Khaleesi zheanae. That means, “The queen is beautiful” in Dothraki – in case you didn’t know. The Mother of Dragons managed to learn the language of the nomadic horse-mounted warriors in the space of a few short episodes of Game of Thrones, and starting 7 October, you and your GoT fan club can try doing the same.
David J Peterson, the linguist who created the language for the HBO fantasy series from a few of the phrases in George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, has teamed up with Living Language to design a course for anyone else who wants to master the language (there are already 150 self-identified Dothraki speakers on the “Tongues of Ice and Fire” Wiki, apparently).
The course will include more than 500 words and phrases and “never-before-heard material and words coined exclusively for the Living Language Dothraki course” and is billed as being just like learning a language in the classroom where the curriculum includes vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and cultural notes.
Just to be safe, the lessons will also include the derogatory terms you shouldn’t use: “Whatever you do, never call a Dothraki warrior an ifak (walker): the ultimate insult since it implies he can no longer ride his horse.”
The course will be narrated by Peterson himself and is available in three packages: a book and CD, an expanded online course and a companion mobile app. If you can’t wait until the autumn to place your order, you can pre-order now and also download a sample lesson on adjectives. Maybe it’ll be davra for the next episode.
To quickly satisfy your nerdy needs, here’s a crash course from the sample lesson:
davra – useful/good
dik – fast
fish – cold
haj – strong
naqis – small
zheana – beautiful
zhokwa – big
Here are a few sentences with the adjectives working with nouns:
The arakh is good.
Arakh davra vos oflecha.
A good arakh will not be dull.
Hrazef dik adavrae.
The fast horse will be good.
The queen is beautiful.