David Interviewed on Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show

David talks Dothraki and conlanging on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show. You can listen to the podcast episode using iTunes or not using iTunes.

Update: Dothraki Presentations at SWTX PCA/ACA

David’s public talk (“Thinking Dothraki”) for Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations 33rd Annual Conference will be held at the Albuquerque Hyatt at 7:00 p.m. Mountain Time on Friday, February 10th. Admission for the general public is $5, and all proceeds go to the American Cancer Society of Albuquerque. After the talk, there will be a screening of Episode 6 from Season 1 of Game of Thrones, “A Crown of Gold”.

Dothraki Presentations at SWTX PCA/ACA

David will be making two presentations at the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations 33rd Annual Conference being held in Albuquerque, New Mexico February 8th-11th. If you’re available and in the area, one of his talks will be open to the public (Friday, February 10th; more information forthcoming). You can download the conference program here (.pdf).

Dothraki in the New York Times

There are a couple stories on Dothraki in today’s New York Times. Check out the main article by Amy Chozick here (“Concocted Languages to Make Other Worlds Feel Real”), and check out this supplement in the ArtsBeat blog by Jeremy Egner (“Rosetta Throne: Learn to Speak Dothraki”).

New Dothraki Blog

There’s a new blog about the Dothraki language over at Dothraki.com. This blog will focus exclusively on news and press about Dothraki in Game of Thrones, and will be updated somewhat infrequently; the blog at Dothraki.com will be about the language itself, and will be updated more frequently. Thanks for reading!

New Dothraki Words

So it turned out to be more than a few days, but I’ve finally finished coining new Dothraki words based on the names of those who asked questions during my Dothraki presentation at WorldCon. It involved me reviewing the history of boot making and coining dozens of unrelated words, but I’m all finished, so here they are (note: if I’ve spelled your name wrong, or you’d like to give me your last name and/or website to link to, tweet at me here):

  • Key: Name – Dothraki Word (part of speech) definition.
    • Notes.
  • Dave – dave (animate noun) rosemary bush (also an adjective meaning “pungent”).
    • There’s already a stem dev (based on my name!), so I went with the spelling, even though it’s pronounced nothing like “Dave” in English. The inspiration for this word came when I was sitting at my computer trying to come up with words and my wife said, “Dave, can you get me some rosemary from the bush outside?”
  • Dan – dan (inanimate noun) ford (i.e. a place where you can cross a river comfortably on horseback).
    • There was already a word based on the stem dan, so I just had to coin a homonym (not much else you can do with “Dan”!).
  • Ryan – rayan (inanimate noun) summit, top, plateau (mainly geological).
    • The stress shifts to the final syllable, of course, but that just makes the word sound more epic, in my opinion.
  • Jon (or perhaps John…?) – jon (adjective) closed, shut, sealed (refers to a seal on a container or something that fits tightly).
    • My friend Jon already claimed the root jan, which is used for jano, the word for “dog”, so I had to go with the spelling rather than the pronunciation here.
  • Rick or Rich – rich (inanimate noun) a bubble or swelling of some kind.
    • I got a lot of mileage out of this root, coining six related words from it.
  • Perry – ferri (inanimate noun, class A, stem fer-) hemp (the material).
    • Likely to be abundant in, at least, the southern half of Essos, hemp is a useful thing to make stuff out of. Regarding the form, older Dothraki *p became modern Dothraki f, and so the old word *perri has become modern ferri
  • Sondra (or Sandra…?) – sondra (inanimate noun, class B) obsidian (or what the Valyrians and Westerosi call dragon glass).
    • I was wondering what to do for this word, but your name looks so much like another pattern of words I’ve set up for precious gems and metals, this seemed like kismet. Oh, and by the way: if your name is spelled “Sandra” rather than “Sondra”, it’s not too late to change the word!
  • Gene – jin (animate noun) goat (female).
    • I know you’re male, Gene, but I needed a word for a female goat! This just seemed to fit. (Perhaps as consolation, there is another word jin which means “this”—probably one of the most commonly used words in Dothraki.)
  • Mapu – mafo (animate noun) young goat, kid.
    • A member of the Brotherhood Without Banners hailing from New Zealand! Note that the older form of this word was, in fact, *mapu, but due to regular sound changes, is now mafo
  • Sierra – siera (animate noun) nephew.
    • Your full name would, in fact, be a licit form in Dothraki, but siera fits a previously-established pattern really, really well, so I dropped one of the rhotics.
  • Janice – janise (animate noun) niece.
    • As with siera, janise (with the -e pronounced at the end) fits a previously-established pattern very well, so I added it on the end.

Finally, there are three people I’d like to mention specially (and for whom I’ve coined words):

  • Kim Raymourekim (animate noun) ancestor (also an adjective meaning [roughly] “original”).
    • Kim came to all my panels at WorldCon (and the LCS workshop!), and helped to make my first foray into cons a pleasant one. (It’s so nice to see people in the audience who are interested and not scowling.) In addition to be generally cool, she’s written a book on Linear A, which is about as wild as wild gets.
  • Tim Stoffel – tim (inanimate noun) boot.
    • Tim—known as Hrakkar over at the Dothraki fora—really went above and beyond for my wife and me at WorldCon. We were staying at Circus Circus, which was quite far away from the convention center, and Tim offered to basically shuttle us back and forth the whole time. It saved us a lot of money and a lot of hassle. Tim is also a keeper of big cats, but since I (quite coincidentally) had already coined the Dothraki word for cat (havzi) after the name of his former liger (Hobbes), I felt another word was in order.
  • Leigh Bardugolei (animate noun) ghost (also the adjective for “lost”, this is a term for an adult whose body is not burned, and, hence, is not able to ride into the Night Lands).
    • Last, but certainly not least! Leigh bravely ventured forth during my presentation to read a dialogue with me, and did her best to power through an incredibly long Dothraki passage I sprung on her. She’s a good sport (a real lajak), and so I wanted to honor her with a nice, meaty word that will certainly enjoy use at some point in time. Ultimately, the word derives from *leɣi, which one might spell “leghi”, which contains all the letters for Leigh’s name, so she can always know that it was her name this word was coined from (thanks for passing along your card so I could get the spelling right!).

Thanks again to everyone who came out to the Dothraki presentation! If all goes well, I hope to be at future WorldCons, and to meet many more who are enthusiastic about language and want to talk conlanging. :)

Dothraki Presentation at WorldCon

For those interested, you can download the Dothraki presentation I made at Renovation here in a couple of different formats: .PDF, .PPT, and the original Keynote. Check back here in the next few days to see the new Dothraki words coined for those who asked questions!

Dothraki at WorldCon

David Peterson will be appearing in a few panels at the 69th Annual World Science Fiction Convention, and will be presenting a talk entitled “Understanding Dothraki”. For more information, follow the Renovation LiveJournal, or the Renovation program Twitter account.

Interview at Sword and Laser Podcast

David is interviewed for the Sword and Laser Podcast. You can listen here.

Interview with Fictional Frontiers

David is interviewed by Fictional Frontiers with Sohaib, episode #145.

See the attached clip for just the interview with David, or go listen to the full show.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.