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HBO’s GAME OF THRONES Series Creating its Own Fantasy Language

TV HBO Book Game of Thrones by Joey Paur

Hash yer ray nesi?

HBO is currently in development on a new fantasy series called Game of Thrones, based on the hit fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. In a press statement recently released announcing that that series will begin full on production in June, it is revealed that the network is going to create a new language for the series. The language that is being created is called Dothraki, the tongue of the saga's nomadic warriors.

David J. Peterson, a language creator from the Language Creation Society, is the expert who will create the tongue. He will use inspiration from author George R.R. Martin's description of the language, as well as from such languages as Russian, Turkish, Estonian, Inuktitut and Swahili. However, the Dothraki language is no mere hodgepodge, babble or pidgin. It has its own unique sound, extensive vocabulary of more than 1,800 words and complex grammatical structure. An example: athastokhdeveshizaroon, which means "from nothing."

This sounds pretty cool. It takes a lot of work to develop a whole freakin language, and the fact that they are taking the time to develop this detail for the series shows how dedicated HBO is to doing it right, and putting in 100% effort to pleasing the fans. Star Trek has it Klingfon language, Avatar has it's Na'vi,and now Game of Thrones has its Dothraki.

You can read all the full details of how they are going to come up with this language in the press release below.

EXPERT CREATES LANGUAGE FOR NEW HBO SERIES GAME OF THRONES

David J. Peterson, an expert language creator from the Language Creation Society (LCS), has been chosen to create the Dothraki language for HBO's upcoming fantasy series GAME OF THRONES, based on the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire," by George R.R. Martin.

When GAME OF THRONES executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss needed a language for the Dothraki, Martin's race of nomadic warriors, they turned to the Language Creation Society. The LCS solicited and vetted a number of proposals for the Dothraki language from its pool of experts, with Peterson's proposal ultimately being selected by the GAME OF THRONES production team.

Peterson drew inspiration from George R.R. Martin's description of the language, as well as from such languages as Russian, Turkish, Estonian, Inuktitut and Swahili. However, the Dothraki language is no mere hodgepodge, babble or pidgin. It has its own unique sound, extensive vocabulary of more than 1,800 words and complex grammatical structure.

"In designing Dothraki, I wanted to remain as faithful as possible to the extant material in George R.R. Martin's series," says Peterson. "Though there isn't a lot of data, there is evidence of a dominant word order [subject-verb-object], of adjectives appearing after nouns, and of the lack of a copula ['to be']. I've remained faithful to these elements, creating a sound aesthetic that will be familiar to readers, while giving the language depth and authenticity. My fondest desire is for fans of the series to look at a word from the Dothraki language and be unable to tell if it came from the books or from me -- and for viewers not even to realize it's a constructed language."

"We're tremendously excited to be working with David and the LCS," says producer D.B. Weiss. "The language he's devised is phenomenal. It captures the essence of the Dothraki, and brings another level of richness to their world. We look forward to his first collection of Dothraki love sonnets."

Did you know? (Hash yer ray nesi?)

The name for the Dothraki people -- and their language -- derives from the verb "dothralat" ("to ride").

The Dothraki have four different words for "carry," three for "push," three for "pull" and at least eight for "horse," but no word that means "please" or "follow."

The longest word in Dothraki is "athastokhdeveshizaroon," which means "from nonsense."

The words for "related," "weighted net," "eclipse," "dispute," "redhead," "oath," "funeral pyre," "evidence," "omen," "fang" and "harvest moon" all have one element in common: "qoy," the Dothraki word for "blood."

Dothraki for "to dream" - "thirat atthiraride" - literally means "to live a wooden life"; in Dothraki, "wooden" ("ido") is synonymous with "fake."

The word for "pride" - "athjahakar" - is derived from "jahak," the traditional long braid worn by Dothraki warriors ("lajaki").

More information about the Dothraki language (and their love poems) will be released over the course of the series.

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