Author Topic: How do you say "I'm 24" in Dothraki ?  (Read 1591 times)

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Alizia

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How do you say "I'm 24" in Dothraki ?
« on: August 05, 2015, 12:40:53 pm »
So, how do Dothraki say their age ?

Qvaak

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Re: How do you say "I'm 24" in Dothraki ?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 02:48:35 pm »
Guh. I'm almost certain this has come up, but I fail to remember and fail to dig it up. At worst it's been discussed on chat with DJP years ago and never written down. These things are always said in fixed ways (possibly in several ways, but still), but you can easily see the solution and think it so uninterestingly natural that you just gloss over without any true attention.

I guess it might be half intentionally dodged, because GRRM's world has this weird season thing that kinda confuses year count, even if the concept of year is still very much present, as you could not otherwise tell, how many years a summer lasts. It's not even clear, how much the weirdness affects Essos. DJP usually avoids creating words/expressions that would require meddling with world building, like for example words regarding supernatural.

I would not expect anything literally close to "I'm 24," as Dothraki are not big on the modern brevity. Something more like "I'm 24 years of age" "I'm from 24 years" "I've seen 24 summers" (if we disregard the aforementioned world weirdness), "My age is 24" You get the idea. I don't think we know the word for age, so let's hope year is good enough.

Let's guess:
Anha chakat ma tor firesofoon. (or if we're talking about more aged specimen like me, Anha chisen ma mek firesofoon.)
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Alizia

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Re: How do you say "I'm 24" in Dothraki ?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 03:59:42 am »
Thanks a lot Qvaak !

Other question, why you use ablative form for "firesof" and not genitive form ? Noun Cases is very difficult to understand O.o.

Qvaak

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Re: How do you say "I'm 24" in Dothraki ?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2015, 03:20:52 am »
Quote
Other question, why you use ablative form for "firesof" and not genitive form ?
Sigh. Because I'm dumb. It's not that it couldn't work. Since I was trying to create a hypothetical slightly contracted experssion, there is a lot of leeway. But this particular attempt messes with the way zero copula sentences express time, so as guesses go, it's unnecessarily messy.

You see, I wanted something less contracted than "I'm 35" and more contracted than "I'm 35 years old/of age". Going simply with "I'm 35 years" (Anha chisen ma mek firesof) felt like a lazy attempt. I'm not really a bunch of years. I'm a human and a wee bit fat, but the years are what I've been through, not what I am. I figured Dothraki would probably do a little better and use a preposition or non-nominative case. I might have gone with a preposition like vi or ha, but since prepositions are sorta like extensions of the small case system, you should usually go with bare cases unless they feel insufficient. The core sense of ablative case is origin or source, ie. "from". That was a tight fit, so I went with it; a very reasonable guess at face value.

Had I taken a second look, I might have noticed that a zero copula sentence (which this is) has a well established special sense on putting the second word (I think that's predicate in the linguistic lingo) in ablative, it's how a zero-copula sentence is put in the past tense. So, frankly, I more likely managed to say "I was 35" than "I am 35".

Further note: this has nothing to do with the number thingie. AFAIK, in nominative "35 years" is chisen ma mek firesof (and 24 years chakat ma tor firesof), and as with any noun phrase, you need to put it into a correct case if you want to use it in a sentence. The number part does not inflect and does not affect how the noun inflects (though interestingly for animate nouns the noun can be in plural but does not have to be).

I'm afraid that this might be one of those explanations that confuse more than actually explain, sorry. I tend to overthink and that tends to show :P
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.