Valyrian and Dothraki Language Inventor David Peterson visits Thronecast
By Lightbringer on in Interview.

On this week’s Thronecast, the hosts welcomed David Peterson, the language inventor responsible for bringing Dothraki and Valyrian into our homes. David discusses how he landed the job of creating languages for Game of Thrones, and how he went about constructing them based on what George R.R. Martin had already written. He admits that there are a few hidden easter eggs in his translations, including a Monty Python reference in Breaker of Chains, and that Jacob Anderson has become his new hero, delivering Valyrian better than he himself ever could.

Talking Points:

  • How he landed the Game of Thrones gig
  • How he set about creating Dothraki
  • Basing Dothraki on the Arabic language
  • The unique task of beginning with 56 pre-existing words
  • Other languages he has created
  • Is Valyrian a complete language?
  • Hidden Easter Eggs – his cats are well represented
  • How long it takes to construct one sentence
  • Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) is his hero
  • His favorite scene in the entire series
  • He records every line to help the actors
  • He’s never been to the set
  • The Monty Python reference in Breaker of Chains

Thronecast has also shared a short video in which David Peterson teaches us five simple phrases in Valyrian.

 


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20 Comments

  1. Lana
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Septa Mordane!

  2. Delta1212
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Question for Lightbriner: Does WiC have any editorial review process to help catch typos? They seem to have been cropping up more frequently of late.

  3. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Monty Python references, please translate “I fart in your general direction”…”Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries”…and “Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!”. They could have been used at Moat Cailin and at the Bloody Gate as well

    Oh…and “I’m not dead yet!”. That one might apply to more than one storyline as well.

    We need T-shirts with these translations…

    Thanks, David, for your wonderful contributions!

  4. Patchy Face
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    Haha. – was your typo intentional?

  5. Chickenduck
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Speaking of Monty Python references, please translate “I fart in your general direction”…”Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries”…and “Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!”. They could have been used at Moat Cailin and at the Bloody Gate as well

    Oh…and “I’m not dead yet!”. That one might apply to more than one storyline as well.

    We need T-shirts with these translations…

    Thanks, David, for your wonderful contributions!

    Here you go (the line written for the show, in Astapori Valyrian):

    Byjan vavi demble eva o, trezy eme verdje espo jimi! Oa mysa iles me nýnyghi, si oa kiba tuziles espo tomistos!

    Which means:

    “I fart in your general direction, son of a window-dresser! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”

    You’re welcome.

    (Note, the line is delivered in Astapori Valyrian in the show instead of the Meereenese dialect, despite being outside Meereen. There is an in-world reason to handwave it, but mostly it was so that the small but intrepid band of linguistics nerds who document the dialogue each week could work the joke out…)

  6. Chickenduck
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Kiman nya másina orvorta va oi sodjistos!

    =

    “I wave my private parts at your aunties!”

    Also in the Astapori variety of Low Valyrian.

  7. Dragonslayer
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Speaking of Monty Python references, please translate “I fart in your general direction”…”Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries”…and “Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!”. They could have been used at Moat Cailin and at the Bloody Gate as well

    Oh…and “I’m not dead yet!”. That one might apply to more than one storyline as well.

    We need T-shirts with these translations…

    Thanks, David, for your wonderful contributions!

    Read this: http://www.dothraki.com/2014/05/the-valyrian-word-for-hamster/

  8. jaqen
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    i knew it ! .” I” in dothraki is exactly the arabic word for “I ”

    which is ” anna “

  9. Unbowed Unbent Unhodor
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Hoping for old tongue next season!

  10. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    jaqen:
    i knew it ! .” I” in dothraki is exactly the arabic word for“I ”

    which is” anna ”

    Close but not exact. The Dothraki word for I is anha with the /h/ being pronounced, an-ha.

  11. BlackTalon
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Lol, Lightbriner!

    I prefer my Dothraki pickled.

  12. Daniellica
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    “It’s just a flesh wound!” would also come in handy.

    Is there a reason I have to enter my info EVERY time I post here now? It was not this way a week ago. Just asking. :)

  13. jentario
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    It’s a glitch, hopefully someone somewhere will fix it soon

  14. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    For the love of the old gods and the new please fix things so we don’t have to log back in constantly.

  15. Tyroshi Barber
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that was great!

    “And now for something completely different..”

  16. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Dragonslayer,
    Chickenduck,

    Thx. That’s just perfect! Low Valyrian is good enough for me. This is too much fun!

    Dinsdale! Albatross! :)

  17. Strider
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck:
    Kiman nya másina orvorta va oi sodjistos!

    =

    “I wave my private parts at your aunties!”

    Also in the Astapori variety of Low Valyrian.

    LOL That will come in handy for sure for some.

  18. TOIVA
    Posted June 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    A most enriching watch.

  19. Chickenduck
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Also, I haven’t gotten around to actually watching this video and I’m guessing he brought it up, but in case he didn’t mention it, DJP has finished a “learn Dothraki” book (Living Language Dothraki), which will be available soon (physical book, online course, iOS app).

    Comes out Oct 7th this year, pre-order at livinglanguage.com/dothraki (I’m excited, can you tell?!)

  20. Boojam
    Posted July 2, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Ok it’s been nearly 3 weeks since season 4 was over… and Thronecast for ‘Series 4, Episode 9 and 10′ are still missing from YouTube.


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