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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Mad Latinist's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, June 8th, 2014
8:00 pm
Sȳror morghūlis
Kiza gundja Well, after my mad rush to get my last entry posted in time, there was no actual Valyrian in the episode. So all that hassle and rushed typing was for nothing. Then of course GoT broke for Memorial Day, so in effect I had two weeks off from my Valyrian scribbles. Between the rest, and the fact that the dialog in this episode was pretty short, I managed to get a draft of this done a couple days ago, and was set to get this entry posted early, until Najahho lured me into Game of Thrones: Ascent... and of course now I wind up posting at the very last minute yet again.

So, episode titles. First of all, let me point out that last week's Vēttria "arrangements" (as the closest I could come up with for "laws") was incorrect: Papya pointed out that it should have been Vēttra. I may go correct that after tonight's episode. And of course, since it's been two weeks, I have two new episode titles to present today:

Isōpire Hontes
Mocking Bird.

OK, obviously we don't have any idea how to say "mockingbird" in High Valyrian, so I figured I'd have to go with "mocking bird," as in a bird that literally mocks. Of course we don't have a word for "mock" either. I could think of nothing I could use for "mock" in the sense of "imitate," but I did have an idea for "mock" in the sense of "make fun of": I went with isōpagon, the oblique applicative of sōpagon "laugh." So the literal meaning of this verb should be "to laugh to/for." Now, perhaps I should have gone with something like bēusōpagon "to laugh on/about," but on the other hand we do seem to have ilimagon "to mourn" (or at least AV ilimagho implies we do.)

Blēnon Peldiō
The Mountain and the Viper.

In this case we can probably get away with just calling The Viper "Snake." But, um, the less said about that particular storyline the better.

Let"s talk instead about...Collapse )

Current Mood: rushed
Sunday, May 18th, 2014
6:06 pm
Mērion... lantir... tomir! (Harior, āeksios!)
Today I'm in even more of a hurry that usual, as I have a 7 PM concert (I'll miss the first showing of GoT, so no spoilers please!). As a result, please forgive any incompleteness or shoddyness.

News items:
  • The Valar Javaris promo ran again last week, and I've finally found it online. check it out. Comedy gold!
  • DJP posted again, "The Valyrian Word for Hamster" (let's call it VHam.) He gives a couple of lines from last week's episode, but more importantly he gives a full transcription of Oznak zo Pahl's Pythonian taunt. As it turns out, it's not in MV at all, but AV (perhaps with a bit of an MV accent though?)... the real-world reason for this is that DJP hoped someone would catch the joke. As for the in-world reason, I have a theory I will mention towards the end of the post.
  • I've already registered all the analyzable vocabulary form that speech, over at [[Astapori Valyrian Vocabulary]], so for the most part I won't deal with it in this entry. I did, however, want to note the words domba "no more," which came up in one of Kraznys's lines last year, and espo, the proper contraction of ez po
  • We finally know what HV kessa / AV kisa actually mean: "it will be"
  • We now have a @valyrianwiki twitter account for Wiki-related Valyrian news. It's just getting started, so there's not much to see there yet, but if you're reading this, you're probably the sort of person who should follow that account.

And now the episode title:
Jaehoro Valarō Vēttria
The Laws of Gods and Men.
I didn't have a word for "law," so I coined vēttir "what is arranged." I put "gods" and "men" in the collective, and "laws" in the plural, but any of them could easily have been done the other way around.

Now without further ado... Begin transcription and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: rushed
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
11:14 pm
Lōtintosy iderennī emilun
There was no Valyrian in last week's Game of Thrones. Nice to have a week off and all, but of course we can always find stuff to do. And of course the first matter is the name of the episode:
Ēlos Zȳho Brōzio
First of his Name

Now, right before the episode aired, there was that brilliant VALAR JAVARIS promo for Silicon Valley. I was sure they would put that promo online, but no luck finding it so far. When it first came on, I was totally fooled, thinking it was a real GoT promo, and that David J. Peterson had given them this verb javaragon "to code." Well, if it wasn't a real Valyrian word when they wrote it, I'll bet it is now! After all, Mr. Peterson liked that promo so much that he named one of his posts after it this week.

Oh right. Quite possibly the biggest news is that DJP posted two new entries this week! Given how long it's been since he's found time to post, even during GoT season this is pretty amazing. Then there was a major post on makinggameofthrones.com. This blog entry will cover each of those three posts.

Now, in "Valar Javaris" (VJ), DJP gives us a translation of Dany's High Valyrian speech from Breaker of Chains (which I analyzed here, and a little bit about Meereenese Valyrian as well. But let's start with the HV.

Now, I'm going to assume you read my previous transcription, as well as DJP's, so I'm just going to quickly go over some of the interesting points, particularly stuff I got wrong.
  • Kostilus: OK, apparently "maybe" is just the familiar kostilus "be it possible," which we've previously seen as "please."
  • Yno bē pirtra: "Lies about me." I read this as one word, and somehow didn't get that the first three syllables were "about me." A silly mistake: it would not be at all like DJP to leave off those words. Although pirtra looks like a substantivized perfect participle, there is apparently no such word as *piragon

  • Daoruni: A while back I noticed a problem: on the vocab page I list the word for "nothing" as daorun, whereas on the pronouns page I list it as daoryn. I was totally baffled and had no idea which one was correct. Listening to this clip, it sounded like Daenerys said daori, which I took as evidence that daoryn was correct. Nope, this confirms it's daorun after all!

  • Daoriot jemas: I heard this as a passive jemaks but otherwise got it right. So the literal meaning is "it leads nowhere." Honestly I'm surprised that HV allows "lead" to be used this way: I would think it would require either a passive (which would be very Latin) or an "instrumentive" (my own term for what DJP calls the "instrumental passive") I would have really expected *ajemas. Perhaps we can (not entirely tongue-in-cheek) take this as evidence that jemagon was originally the applicative of emagon!
  • Mērī jemī ivestran It just occurs to me that this is another case of using ivestragon for "to speak," as was the case in Missandei's "Ivetrá ji Qohtenke."
  • Dohaertrossa gave us fits, but turns out to be just a substativized past-habitual active participle of dohaeragon. I really should have gotten this, if for no other reason than that DJP told us on IRC (July 8, 2013) that it was coming:
    Btw, there’s some hilariously opaque stuff in the S4 translations.
    Stuff I thought I would never, ever be able to use...
    …and which proved quite useful.
    Like a nominalization off of a past habitual passive participle.
    I may have missed this in part because he had also said (IRC, Oct 16 2013) that the PH participle was dohaertiarza (using that very example even!). It never occurred to us that this was the past-habitual passive participle, and there's a corresponding active participle (now known to be dohaertre) as well.
  • Hembar: I spelled this hempār, thinking there might be a connection to sepār "and (then)." I still maintain there may be an etymological connection, bit it's clearly not as direct as I had thought.
  • Mirinot: I spelled this Merinot, but close enough.
  • qrinuntys: recall that deciphering this word took a lot of effort. But we got it spot on. Great job, everyone!

  • jevor riñar: Since riña is lunar, I would have expected jeve riñari... no idea what we don't get this here. I suppose it's possible that riñar would sometimes be treated as a 1lun. noun (as sometimes happens to collectives), but even then we would expect *riñri (or something?) here.

  • laodissis ossēnīs: Papaya had the verb forms exactly right, but neither he nor I caught that there was no se here (figuring it was swallowed up between that final /s/, and the following initial vowel); instead we have "conjunctive lengthening" (like in perzys ānogār), something I really need to write about on the wiki.
  • boteri: exactly what it sounded like, not my verschlimmbesserung, *botaria. So what is the citation form of this? Is it maybe a collective *boter?

  • Se jevo qrinuntoti pōjor gūrotriri maghan: Recall that this line was so garbled that it took some serious teamwork to reconstruct it. I am proud to say we were damn near right on with Jevo qrinuntoti pojon gustarion maghan! Credit where credit is due: neither Zhalio, Joel W, nor I managed to figure out that word gūrotriri, but Joel's guess was hands down the closest to correct. Now what is this word, gūrotriri? Well, it appears to be the accusative of gūrotrir, the collective of gūrotir, the substantive of gūrota, the perfect participle of gūrogon. Gūrogon, at least in the reflexive means "to deserve." What does it mean when not reflexive? We'll return to that question later.
  • Nābēmātās!: all I can say is that this makes SO much more sense than ˣNēmēbātās!

The other thing of importance in VJ was that Mr. Peterson talked about Meereenese Valyrian. Some of what he said was directly in response to my own description of MV; he particularly contested my claim that it was like Portuguese to AV's Spanish, preferring to compare them to California and Scottish English. He said he was given specific instructions to make MV difficult for Dany to understand, apparently to set up a future scene. Well, I guess we'll learn more about the degree of difference and mutual intelligibility between AV and MV as we get more dialog. In the meantime, it raises a bit of a problem for the wiki, which I have described here. If you are reading this, please go participate in the discussion there, as I'd like to hear as many opinions as possible.

He also gave a couple of AV transcriptions:
Shka ma khurf. P’ashkesh she kraj waov.
“You’re a fool. The masters are too strong.”
For this phrase, he gave the AV equivalent as Ska me gurp. P’aeske si kotovi uvuve and the HV as Mittys iksā. Āeksia tolī kostōbi issi.. Honestly, I don't have the time and energy to go into full detail on this, and many of those details have already been incorporated on the wiki. But note the following:
  • Khurf, coming as it does from an original /g/, shows I was wrong about the velar fricative, as well as words of Ghiscari origin not changing as much. Oh, and note that while the AV is given as gurp, mitty also exists in that language.
  • P'ashkesh: as I had thought, kesh was just an idiosyncratic pronunciation. Note, however, that it's apparently always ashkesh, not ae-.
  • Kraj: another word of Ghiscari origin, corresponding to AV krazi, which I'm pretty sure is what Grey Worm was calling Dany when asking to challenge Oznak.
  • Waov is not from va after all, as shown by AV uvuve. This doesn't look too Valyrian, so presumably it's a Ghiscari word.

After this, he gave the MV for "Unsullied" as Thowoá, so we were pretty close.

Then, in a comment:
Yel mizozliwash. Erntash ye kosh shp’ashkesh.
“She will protect us. She defeated the Masters’ champion.”
No idea where erntash comes from, but he did confirm that kosh is not related to Dothraki. Other things worth noting: ye for ji, and shp’ for ez p’.

"The State of Valyrian" (SoV) is actually less relevant to this blog, because it's more about the sociolinguistics of Valyrian than the details of the languages. Most interesting to me, though, was that he did answer a question I'd long been posing: what do they speak in the empire of New Ghis? In short, Mr. Peterson believes it's likely to be another Ghiscari Valyrian dialect, albeit probably quite different from the mainland dialects. In discussing this with Najahho, I jokingly suggested that it was as different from AV as is MV, but in precisely the opposite direction. But there may be something to this joke, since this would be a perfect opportunity to have a dialect continuum.

Here is a rough sketch of what the family tree might look like:
   /| NGV
 MV ʌ
   / \
 YV   AV
Very rough, but a nice start.

Next we have the Making Game of Thrones entry, or rather entries, because it consists of two separate posts.

First of all, we have "Interview With Linguist David Peterson," in which we read:

HBO: Have you planted any Easter eggs in the show?

David Peterson: One of the biggest is from Episode 3 this season. There's a scene where the Meereenese rider is challenging Daenerys' champion. He's shouting and Nathalie Emmanuel [Missandei] is translating – but she's not translating what he's saying. He's actually saying a Low Valyrian translation of the French guy's insults in 'Monte Python and the Holy Grail.' That was [series creator] Dan Weiss's idea and it was so hilarious that I had to do it.

HBO: Have fans caught on?

David Peterson: They know that something's going on. Right after that episode aired, I was getting tweets like, "Is he saying a 'your momma' joke?" Close… But no, he's actually starting out with, "Your mother is a hamster." 

Well, ahem, not to blow my own horn, but I totally nailed it (as did Happyplace.com ;) ).

Well, at least I was right about the first line. It didn't occur to me to try to apply that principle to the rest of the speech! That might have helped. But in any case, Mr. Peterson promises a full transcript will be forthcoming. If that comes to pass it will be awesome in its own right, of course, but it will also be a massive increase in our corpus of MV, especially our officially transcribed corpus! Given how off my own transcriptions have been so far, we desperately need some more official ones to work from.

Second of all, "High Valyrian 101: Learn and Pronounce Common Phrases gives us a wealth of new vocabulary and expressions. Let's take a look!
Where are my dragons?
Skoriot ñuhyz zaldrīzesse ilzi?
Only thing to note here, really, is that he's previously given this phrase as "SKORIOT ÑUHYZ ZALDRĪZESSE ISSI?!" Ilzi makes total sense: many language distinguish "to be {something}" from "to be {somewhere}," and this fits in well with the AV use of las (that's mostly used with adjectives, unlike HV, but cf. the YV for "Who goes there?", which, having reviewed the scene, I'm now thinking is "*Val konir las?") It remains to be seen if issa is incorrect in this context (aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus...), or if either alternative is permitted.

I will take what is mine.
Ñuhor līr gūrēnna.
Interesting, but not exactly surprising, that we have ñuhor līr instead of just ñuhon. But notice that gūrēnna, suggesting a citation form gūrogon! So apparently when gūrogon is reflexive, it means "to earn, merit, deserve," but when it is not it just means "to take." Compare also the verb gūrēñagon "to learn," which is probably the same verb with a derivational suffix.

What do we say to death?
Skoros morghot vestri?

Not today.
Tubī daor..
For previous discussion of this quote, see here. I've gotta say, I far prefer the "emphatic" kesȳ tubī for this sentence: tubī daor can mean either "not today" or "not by day"... but what we say to death should be kesȳ tubī daor "not this day!" On the other hand, DJP has been hinting since at least last october that he might not like kesȳ tubī here.

Also worth mentioning that this is more grist for the skoros vs. skorion mill, and confirmation that dat. + vestragon (as opposed to acc. + ivestragon) is a perfectly acceptable alternative.
The next several phrases are explicitly marked as "WHEN IN WESTEROS," something to which I will return later.

I would like a trial by combat.
Vīlībāzmosa iderennī emilun.
Emilun "I would have," another example of the desiderative use of the future subjunctive.

Iderennī is particularly interesting, because while it looks like the known word iderennon "choice," it cannot possibly be a form of it. The acc.pl. in seems to suggest "trial" is a fourth declension noun (so either *iderenne, *iderennes, or *iderennen). I don't think we've seen any words related in quite this way before.

Vīlībāzmosa: the instrumental represents the English quite literally, but notice that we've only seen vīlībāzma as "war" before, but apparently it can be used more generally for "combat." This makes sense, because etymologically it seems to mean just "fighting."

More pigeon pie, please.
Tolī rhūqo lōtinti, kostilus.
Tolī "more": a familiar word, but a new meaning (we previously knew it as "above; after; too")

Lōtinti "pie" could suggest a noun of the 2lun., 2sol., or 5lun. paradigms, but 2lun., *lōtinty seems by far the most likely. Papaya points out that this could very plausibly be a substantivized perfect participle, suggesting a verb *lōtī̆nagon, which could mean somthing like "bake," "fill," or heck, maybe even just "make a pie."

Rhūqo "pigeon" is problematic, because -o suggest nearly any paradigm whatsoever. But Joel (ibid.), points out that *rhūqes is likely, simply because so many animal names belong to that paradigm. This is a good guess, but still just a guess because there are many exceptions. I guess HV recipe names use a "genitive of substance" or the like... Latin is very inconsistent in what it uses in this context, but generally either de or ex, so I bet you could get away with hen in HV as well. That would prevent some "Girl Scout cookies" problems.

The night is dark and full of terrors.
Bantis zōbrie issa se ossȳngnoti lēdys.
This one actually came out the same way as last time.

When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.
Skorī dēmalȳti tymptir tymis, ērinis iā morghūlis.
Skorī: this confirms that skorī may be used relatively (as opposed to interrogatively, e.g. Skorī dēmalȳti tymptir tymis? "When do you play the game of thrones?"

tymptir tymis: looks like tymagon takes an accusative. Latin ludere usually takes an ablative (equivalent too an HV instrumental). HV is not Latin, but that seemed like precisely the sort of detail they might share.

ērinis: aha! So that's the "Erin-word" in HV.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.
Daoruni gīmī, Ionos Sōnaro.
Ionos: Nice! He didn't just go with *Jon and make it 6th declension. Given our difference in philosophy with respect to names, I am pleasantly surprised to see this! It would, however, be nice to know what the lexical form is: Iono? Ionos? Ionor? Ionon? In theory it could be any of those (though the first two seem by far the most likely).

Sōnaro "Snow": interesting. Zhalio and I had speculated that it woudl be Sōno. DJP went with the collective instead, which makes sense in terms of treating "snow" as a substance, rather than a specific object, but on the other hand sōnar also means "winter" (in fact, we knew this long before sōna "snow.") This gives double meaning, I suppose, to Sōnar Māzis: "Winter is coming" = "Snow is coming," just like the fan theories about visions in Game of Thrones/a Song of Ice and Fire, that snow stands for Snow.

A Lannister always pays his debts.
Lannister va moriot zyha gēlȳnī addemmis.
Va moriot "always": literally "to the end."

Addemis "pays": I'd love to analyze this into separate components, but no luck with that so far. (Obviously tempting for me to think of Latin adimō, which actually means "take away; destroy," but comes from emō "buy." Equally obviously, that has nothing to do with this.)

Gēlȳnī "debt" is, funnily enough, the paucal of gēlion "silver." This shows, by the way, that the paucal for -ion nouns is not in fact ˣ-iun as I had previously suggested, but -ȳn (totaly logical, but it hadn't occurred to me.)

Seven hells!
Sīkudi nopāzmi!
I really wonder what the nop- in nopāzma means. I'm a little surprised this isn't an accusative of exclamation, but those are often slippery anyway.

I love you.
Avy jorrāelan.
We've had this one for a while. I'm not sure why it gets a present tense rather than an aorist, though, since of course it's more romantic to present your love as a general fact of the universe, rather than as a present state. I know DJP puts a lot of thought into things like this, so I wonder if he has something in mind here.

Will you marry me?
Ao ynoma dīnilūks?
Oooh, interesting. For a number of reasons.

Ao "you," an emphatic nominative.

Ynoma "with me," a comitative! For whatever reason, true comitatives (as opposed to instrumentals that happen to look like comitatives) seem to be really rare in HV... I think this may even be the first time we've actually seen one.

Dīnilūks: First of all, the form: 2s future passive subjunctive, presumably another desiderative subjunctive. Thing is, what does this dīnagon actually mean? Here's where it gets particularly fascinating:
  • We have the HV verb nādīnagon "to remove (at least in the context of a helmet)" So perhaps dīnagon means "to put on?"
  • In his address to the Meereenese slaves, Grey Worm says something that sounds like Yn dinan kizi ez jim for "But I promise you." So perhaps dīnagon means "promise?" Matrimony is, after all, a sort of oath.
One possible way to reconcile these two meanings is that it actually means "to bind": you "unbind" a helmet, and you get "bound" in marriage? If that's correct, the literal translation would be "Would you be bound with me?"
(Yes = Kessa. No = Daor.)
The real surprise here is that there's any word for yes at all:
I didn’t actually intend for there to be a simple word for “yes” in High Valyrian, but of course there ought to be in Volantene.
I would have expected the "yes" to just repeat the verb: dīnilŭks "I would be bound," but perhaps that was too long here. And while Latin is similar to HV in terms of not having "a simple word for 'yes,'" it has plenty of ways to get around that, so it's not too surprising that HV does as well. My theory is that kessa is a contraction of something like kesir issa "it is this thing." We've seem what is likely a similar contraction in AV as well: Kraznys says Ivetra ji live Vesterozia kisa eva vaneqo."Tell the Westerosi whore she has until tomorrow." I suspect that this kisa is similarly kizir sa "this is [the case]."

One last thing:
Happy Birthday
"At this stage, we simply don’t know enough about the customs of the ancient Valyrians for me to guess how (or if) they would celebrate birthdays," David Peterson explains, "so I can’t come up with a plausible way of saying 'happy birthday' in High Valyrian."
Well, I think the bigger problem is that we don't know a lot about how birthdays are celebrated in post-Valyrian Essos. High Valyrian is, after all, an international language, and needs ways to express things that were not part of Valyrian culture, just as Latin has accepted words for "mosque" (meschīta), "gun" (sclopētum, or just scloppus), and "bell pepper" (capsicum or capsica).

But we do know a little bit about birthdays in Westeros. And it is supposed to be routine for Westerosi nobles to learn High Valyrian (at least in the books; it seems much less common in the show); Mr. Peterson has tacitly acknowledged this by including a section of phrases for "WHEN IN WESTEROS." So perhaps the question should be rephrased this way: how do you wish a Westerosi (who happens to know HV) a happy name day? Even if "name days" aren't celebrated in Essos, surely the Westerosi themselves would have come up with an expression to use in HV, just as Europeans came up with feudum for "fief" or clavicymbalum for "harpsichord," without being too worried what the Ancient Romans would have thought.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, May 4th, 2014
7:49 pm
404 Qringōntir: Ivetrá ji Merininke, sa ji meri ho va mazmagho!
Wow, quite an embarras de richesse this week! Lots and lots of Valyrian dialog, with our first real exposure to Meereneese (MV). But before we talk about that, let's deal with the episode title, Oathkeeper.

We don't have "oath" or "keep," so I figured "promise holder" would suffice. Well, we actually have three HV words for "hold": oregon, pilogon, and raelagon. At first I went with Oressiros Kivȳti (I was thinking the jor- prefix might be nice, just to emphasize that this person keeps on keeping the oath, but then I decided that with jororessiros sounded dumb.) But when I asked my fellow Valyrianists what hey though, Joel W responded:

I would suggest raelagon for "to keep", since it seems least physical of the three verbs translated as "to hold" ("he holds us safe") Pilogon seems to mean "to hold in one's hand" and ōregon "to hold in one's arms". Jorōregon would then mean "to continue to hold in one's arms", which might have some idiomatic meaning, but I wouldn't be "to keep an oath/promise". Based on jorraelagon, I think it could mean "to embrace" in a metaphorical sense.

Anyway, my suggestion would be "Kivio Raeliros".
I think he's on to something! I still can't use the jor- prefix, though, since jorraelagon has the idiomatic meaning "to love." A further advantage, that I wish I'd spotted sooner, is that he used the singular kivio ("keeper of an oath" as opposed to "keeper of oaths"), and the genitive and accusative singular of that word are identical, this neatly skirting the problem we had last week with Pryjassiros Belmoti!

So the title is:
Kivio Raeliros

Oh, and one more thing before we start: if you're interested in High Valyrian, you'll probably enjoy this article (so to speak). Very amusing, um, if I do say so myself.

The big news is...Collapse )

Current Mood: exhausted
Sunday, April 27th, 2014
7:47 pm
Kesi udra dōro numāzmo issi.
Tymptir Dēmalȳti 4x03 Daenerys Targārien Merīnot māzis
In contrast to last week, there was a ton of Valyrian in this episode! I also got a lot more help than usual, with input coming in from Najahho, Zhalio, Joel W, and Papaya. Kirimvose, jemys!

First of all, let's deal with the title:

Pryjassiros Belmoti
Breaker of Chains

This is a bit tricky: we don’t know for certain if a construction of this sort should be with a genitive (belmoti "breaker of chains") or an accusative (belma "one who breaks chains"). It's entirely possible both are acceptable... we just don't know. A further complication is that genitives can either lead or follow. While a leading genitive appears to be the norm, it seems like a following genitive is common in titles and names (see here as well.) So that gives us at least three possibiliies:
  1. Pryjassiros Belmoti
  2. Belmoti Pryjassiros
  3. Belma Pryjassiros

On to the episode, Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: exhausted
Sunday, April 20th, 2014
7:51 pm
Ding, dong, genenkys darys morghūltas!
I haven’t posted this week because there was no Valyrian in last week’s episode. But there were a few points I wanted to make before tonight’s episode airs.

1. First of all, episode title:

Kēlio Rūklōn
The Lion and the Flower,

... because we don’t yet know the word for “rose.”

2. Second of all, Zhalio suggested that the word I transcribed as abledagho “be frustrating” might somehow be from letagon “to tie.” This made good sense (cf. English expressions like “that must tie you up in knots,” or “that must put you in a bind), except that we couldn’t eplain this *ab- prefix. But eventually I realized that it was simply av ledagho “frustrate (tie) you.” I think we can consider that one settled, but plenty of other words still to figure out.

3. Technically there was at least ONE word of Valyrian last week, if we count the promo for 203: I have something to say to the people of Meereen... NAEJOT!. Very exciting! Funny how they edited it together to sound like one quote, when that’s surely two: naejot means “forward!” so Daenerys must be addressing her own soldiers, not “the people of Meereen.” Still, kind of awesome they felt it necessary to include any Valyrian in the promo at all!

Now of course, Dany pronounces it more like *naējot, but that is consistent with her pronunciation last season. Perhaps a Pentoshi accent, quips grishnash. I also enjoy how the promo edits it together with her quote

4. I recall Mr. Peterson saying on a couple of occasions that he had recorded something cool we’d have to listen very closely for. So when snickle said:
“We haven't had Joffrey's wedding yet, with the ballad of two lovers dying in the doom. I hope their version (if they keep that from the books) meets your standards.”
“There is a scene in the books and there are songs in this scene. One song is in sung in high Valyrian and, being a song, I'd assume it's poetic in some way. The scene in question is likely to occur in season 4 of the TV version, although they may or may not keep the song. If they did keep the song, I expect that this would be the largest chunk of Valyrian verse in the show to date, if not the entire series, and they'd probably want to do a good job to keep the obsessive fans happy.”
... I couldn’t help but think that was it. I was very much looking forward to hearing a High Valyrian poem sung in the background... but alas, my guess was wrong, and that did not occur. It's too bad: if you're going to get Sigur Rós to perform, you may as well have them sing in an invented language, right?

So what is/was/will be this surprise? Well that's where it gets hazy. When it came time to write this down, I wanted to quote Mr. Peterson’s wording exactly, and/or link it. But I couldn’t find this statement anywhere! I even wrote the man himself, and he said:
Shoot. I honestly can't remember anything about this. When did I say that? I wonder what I could have been referring to...
Curiouser and curiouser. Did I dream this whole thing up? Does anyone else remember him saying this?

Well, less than ten minutes to go until Breaker of Chains, so I’m going to sign off. Enjoy!

Current Mood: excited
Thursday, April 10th, 2014
1:58 am
Zaldrīzo tala iksan!
Well, Game of Thrones is back, and with it new Valyrian material (hopefully) every week for us to analyze.

Over the last 10 months of hiatus a lot has been happening in Valyrian studies. But as I'd mentioned, it hasn't seemed worth it to report on it here, now that we have the Wiki up and running. The High Valyrian pages are getting really good, but the Astapori pages still need a lot of work. Last year, I generally assumed knowledge of all previous entries. This year the more important assumption will be familiarity with any material that’s already on the wiki (even if you don’t already know it, you can easily look it up).

As for the new Game of Thrones episodes, it seems unlikely David J. Peterson will be able to blog this season. This means we will not have a regular source of official transcriptions, and will need to figure them out by ear. Fortunately, we also know much, much more Valyrian than we did last year, and so it will be much easier to do.

A minor side effect of Mr. Peterson’s comparative silence will be that we won’t get Valyrian versions of episode titles. But I can’t resist trying to do so myself. Therefore:

Korze Lante
Two Swords,

The only thing iffy here is what the correct nominative plural of korze “longsword” is. It is reasonable to assume, though, that the ending will be -e (making it identical to the singular) based on the analogy:
engos → engossa :
āeksio → āeksia ::

zaldrīzes → zaldrīzesse :
gelte → ?
The logical guess is, of course, *gelte. This analogy is complicated by the second declension: loktys → loktyssy : trēsy → trēsi, but this can probably be explained through vowel assimilation. Compare this statement (about the plurals of relexicalized collectives) by DJP on IRC, 6/24/2013:
DavidJPeterson: Now, the ONLY thing that throws a monkey wrench into this is the vowel harmony.

DavidJPeterson: So if it's valari then it'd be azantyry.
ETA: DJP weighs in. The correct form is korzi. Also, I don't know where I came up with lante—that's wrong too. So:
Korzi Lanti
Two Swords,

OK, moving on, let"s get to the episodeCollapse )

Current Mood: pleased
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
1:44 pm
The Dæneryd
January 20th was Mr. Peterson's birthday, and that means this year's Dothraki Haiku contest has begun.

This year Peterson opened the contest to entries in High Valyrian, with the stipulation that whereas Dothraki entries should be based on syllable count (just as we do with haiku in English), HV entries should be based on mora-count, just as is done in Japanese.

This turns out to be easier said than done. For one thing there is a lot of uncertainty as to how to treat word-final consonants (a problem Japanese doesn't really have, except in the case of –ん). I treated them as closing a syllable if the next word begins with a consonant (and we will see why below), others treated them as always closing the syllable, but the official ruling was that they should be "extrametrical"—i.e. we should ignore them entirely. This rule was eventually amended to be optional. This was probably a wise move, as people are having endless difficulties composing meaningful HV haiku in a 5:7:5-mora structure (which is not to say that there haven't been some terrific submissions that made the cut!)

Mr. Peterson is leaning towards declaring High Valyrian unsuited to haiku, and suggests there must be some verse form that would work better.

My answer is that it works perfectly for Greco-Roman quantitative verse! I sing of WHAT??Collapse )

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, July 19th, 2013
12:39 am
Conventiculum MMXIII
First of all, if you're looking for Valyrian, this ain't it. I never got around to that last post, and I don't think I ever will: I've been expending my Valyrian energy on the wiki instead, and that's frankly a better place for it. But if, for some crazy reason, you want to see more Valyrian posts here let me know. Meanwhile, this journal goes back to what I usually use it for: trying (and in recent years miserably failing) to blog Latin conferences in Latin.

Quotennis conor singulos dies Conventiculum enarrare, quod munus numquam recentioribus annis efficere valeo. Hoc anno igitur, scribam si scribere mihi videtur, alioquin non scribam, neque me pudeat.

In diebus ante Conventiculum huiusce anni, conabar in antecessum Cenam Romanam parare. Sed modo una septimana antea ad Terentium scripsi—inepte, name eo tempore Cena iamiam non potuit nisi Die Solis celebrari. Die Solis non licet panes a Coemgeno accipere.

Pridie Conventiculo volui gustationes praeparare, et potiones. At variis de causis domesticis, non feci usque ad horam valde serotinam, et opus fuit diutius pervigilare. Sed bene praeparavi et gavisus sum. Nescius, ut videtur. Nam adeo fessus fui ut non solum nequii ad tempus proficisci (itaque Convivium Initiale et Aditiale praetermisi), sed etiam magnum errorem comisi. Lexintoniam denique adeptus, res meas in deversorio imposui, et super lectum incidi. Post brevissimam requiem, scivi opus esse cibos in Arcam Frigidariam imponere... sed ubi cibi sunt?


Tot horas, tantum laborem frustra pependi. Vae mihi. Huius anni Cena Romana debuit esse omnium usque adhuc optime parata, sed rem totam perdidi et opus est de novo incipere.

Ea de causa vix dormui, et totum diem tamquam cadaver animatum per Conventiculum ambulabam, caffeino totum nixus. Nunc igitur opus est ephemerin deponere et somnum petere. Valete.

Vocabula, Locutiones, Citationes:
  • fulcĭo -īre, fulsi, fultum "To support," (unde "fulcrim"). Calceamentum fultum "high-heeled shoe."
  • Iuncta ordine, id est, seriatim constituta
  • Silicum venae ecce genetivus materiei: non *siliceae venae!
  • "Non texo stercus!" —Scottius

Current Mood: crushed
Monday, June 10th, 2013
3:58 am
Limás, Hāedus (Rūgilō daor!)
MORE LIKE <i>VALAR LIMASSIS</i>Just when you thought you'd recovered from last week's "The Rains of Castamere," I come to post about it. Don't worry; we'll be staying far away from the Red Wedding. About 3,500 miles, in fact.

First of all, this week's post  by David J. Peterson, Kastāmiro Daomior (KD). Let's start with our weekly review, then we'll deal with the Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin podcast, and finally (as usual) last week's dialog.

But, one more note before we begin: as my sister is getting married next weekend, it is highly unlikely I'll have the next analysis by Sunday. Since there is no new Game of Thrones episode for 41-or-so weeks, I guess that's not that big a problem, but it seemed worth mentioning.

Begin analysis and transcriptCollapse )

Current Mood: sad
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
12:21 am
Valar Pizze Ipradis... yn nyke krespe sindigon jaelan!
Valar Morghulis... Valun JomorghulisSeems like I'm always getting these done at this last minute, even when I have two weeks. This post was actually all but done on Saturday night, when I went to bed. I figured I would go over it and post it in the morning. I wanted to get it posted before David J. Peterson posted—he had, after all, promised a big, all-grammar post, which would at least render my post obsolete, and possibly even "put me out of business," as it were. I figured Sunday morning was fine, because, from past experience, I expected his post to come out Sunday night at the earliest. I was wrong. When I woke up there was a new post, and sure enough this contained a lot of information that needed to be incorporated. I figured I'd just put it off, and post as soon as I could rewrite it.

Well, as you can see, I couldn't get that taken care of all week. At least I'm consistent in always posting right before new episodes of Game of Thrones airs. ETA: OK, OK, right after it airs. Sigh.

But back to our actual episode, "Second Sons," which aired back on May 19th. Once again, there was not much Valyrian this time around. On the other hand, Mr. Peterson has taken advantage of this time to teach us a good deal more than has been usual. We will begin with some of this new information, as well as some of my theories, arranged by part-of-speech, before moving on to the actual episode.

The relevant DJP posts are:
  1. Tȳni Tresi (TT)
  2. Some High Valyrian Inflection (SHVI)
Mr. Peterson also appeared on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, where he gave some more useful information, but given how long it took me to incorporate SHVI, I decided to save this for a later post.

Begin analysis and transcriptCollapse )

Current Mood: relieved
Sunday, May 19th, 2013
2:50 am
Hen Sicāgot nikēlot jeve ivestragon issa: rytsas!
So, as usual, let's begin with what we've learned off-air this week:

On Monday, right after I posted my last entry, I got to do another IRC session with Mr. Peterson, and we learned a good deal.

Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: touched
Monday, May 13th, 2013
8:59 pm
Jomōza lua vala ēngoso daoro ȳdrassigon kostilas.
At long last it's done. I know I never get these things out until the last minute, but this entry is over 24 hours late. Sorry about that. This last week was difficult: David J. Peterson was himself delayed by LCC5, and couldn't post his transcripts right away. In the past I have managed to get quite a lot out of trying to transcribe scenes unofficially with Najahho, but this week was the first time I would have to do this with High Valyrian. Given HV's complex grammar and phonology, it is much harder to transcribe by ear, especially at our current state of knowledge (and Thoros of Myr's current state of drunkenness.) It was very frustrating to try, and even with Dinok's prompt and diligent help, it was overwhelming, and, well, qrinqōntan (ahem, nyke rudan!)  On Wednesday, Mr. Peterson finally posted (let's call that entry "Hp"), but that very night I came down with something. Between these tings I was not up to the task of getting this post out before the episode. And then of course today another post came out (let's call it GRL), which included some information I wanted to incorporate.

But before I begin, here are some general comments on what we learned off-screen last week:
  • There are six noun declensions in HV, which can be subdivided into 21 total paradigms (so far.) To determine which paradigm a noun belongs to, you only need the nominative singular.
  • While the theory of gender we've been working out (largely on the basis of Zhalio's speculations) seems to be nearly exactly right, we are not quite there. And in particular the nominative singular will not always tell you the gender. Since the system we've been using is based entirely on the ending of the nom.s., we clearly have some work to do.
  • As far as the semantics of the genders is concerned, Mr. Peterson says they have their origin in "the early grammatical distinction [he] wanted to capture (mass vs. individual)"
  • In AV, we already knew there were only two genders. We now know that "solar" and "lunar" merge (this gender is unofficially called "celestial"), leaving the "terrestrial" gender. What happens to aquatic? Well, Mr. Peterson's comment is ambiguous (he seems to imply that it simply ceased to exist), but I take it to mean that the aquatic merges into terrestrial as well.
This episode's scene marks a number of firsts: it is the first time we've had a HV-only scene with no AV mixed in, the first time we've gotten any religious terminology, the first time we've had anyone other than Dany speak HV, or gotten any Valyrian dialog outside of her storyline—as a result I had to get the video from a different YouTube channel: Here it is, by the way. We also get a first right at the start of the scene... let's get started.

ETA: Just got to chat with Mr. Peterson on IRC, and got lots of good information, which I will write up when I have time. But for now, the coolest thing is the corrected versions of my title: Jomōzussis lua vala doros ēngoso ȳdrassigon kostilas, or better yet the negative version I originally wanted: Jomōzussis lua vala mirros ēngoso ȳdrassigon kostilos daor.

Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: frustrated
Saturday, May 4th, 2013
10:40 pm
Éban au ivétragho nýa brózhi, y do zer gímin éji tóvi!
Here's my analysis of the Valyrian from 305 "Kissed by Fire." For once I have nothing to say by way of introduction, so without further ado:

ETA: OK, some further ado: the video.

Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: content
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
6:36 pm
Me zaldrize tuzis ez perji, svagizi?
Here is my promised analysis of Aeske Hildebrand. But before we begin, let's have a quick roundup of other Valyrian news:

First of all, we have David J. Peterson's latest blog entry, Perzo Vujita (PV). Mr. Peterson has also released a few hints elsewhere:

On Twitter, he gave the HV word for "to lift," as manaeragon, which I suspect to be the etymon of AV  maneragho "to win" (as in Manerágho zýa zómbe, selévas ji Dovoghédhy... "To win his shield, an Unsullied must...")

In "The Man Who Invented Game of Thrones' Languages," Peterson gives us a new official transcription: Si kizy vasko v’uvar ez zya gundja yn hilas “And this because I like the curve of her ass.” Boy was I off on that one. Si is "and," from HV se. Vasko "because" matches the Spanish equivalent porque exactly. V'uvar "the curve" gives us a rare example of the vi article. Ez means "of," more on which below. Gundja "ass" looks very un-Valyrian to me, and it would make perfect sense for it to be a Ghiscari borrowing.  But I was apparently right about yn hilas.

In a comment, Mr. Peterson has also finally revealed  what the four genders of High Valyrian are:  solar, lunar, terrestrial, aquatic. The names do not really tell you anything about the class (as opposed to masculine, feminine, and neuter, which purport to be connected to biological sex), rather they represent the classic example of a noun of that class (that is the word for "sun" is solar, the word for "moon" is lunar, and so on.) There is at least some correspondence to semantic classes:
It’s more like the declension classes correspond with some basic categories, and then those declensions fit into a single gender. So a lot of humans will be either lunar or solar, because many will have the ending -a or -ys (plus some others, but I mean words for humans that aren’t names). A lot of foods and plants will be terrestrial, because many end in -on, etc.
Be sure also to read Zhalio's speculation on gender, as his theory seems good, and in general he has an uncanny knack for figuring out Peterson's languages. Putting all this together, and reading between the lines, it looks like it may be something like this:
  • Solar: the lexical form ends in an s
  • Lunar: ends in a vowel
  • Terrestrial: ends in an n
  • Aquatic: ends in an r
We know that Astapori Valyrian reduces the genders to two, but beyond that we know very little about the system.

Now, let us return to Aeske Hildebrand. The English is a pæan to Dan Hildebrand, and a dirge for Kraznys mo Nakloz. The Valyrian... seems to be something quite different. Mr. Peterson describes this as an "inside joke," but I think it's easy enough for us outsiders to understand: the Valyrian is in the style of Kraznys, and the English is in the style of Missandei! In some cases the "diplomatic translation" can help us figure out the Valyrian, but much of the time it strays too far to help. Lets take a look.

Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: pleased
Saturday, April 27th, 2013
8:13 pm
Do ydran ji Valyre!
Time once again for Game of Thrones conlangs. Today we'll be doing episode 304, "And Now His Watch is Ended." The Valyrian scene in this episode is just incredible. If you want to take a look for yourself, see here. For David J. Peterson's entry on this episode (which, recall, we are calling SUZKO), see here.

Linguistically, one of the most important aspects of this episode was the introduction of High Valyrian, in Daenerys' lines. Mr. Peterson has been a good deal more forthcoming about High Valyrian, and those of us who have been following his blog and participating in the comments  actually know a surprising amount about the language already. There will be a lot of grammatical terminology thrown around in our discussions of High Valyrian. If you need anything defined, you may want to read the quick-and-dirty guide I wrote in my replies to "Dinok" in this thread. In particular, note that High Valyrian is pretty consistently a "Head Final" and "SOV" language... if you don't know what that means, see here, but in short it means that the word-order will be very different from that of English.

In other Valyrian news, Curtain Call: Dan Hildebrand over at Winteriscoming.net contains an extensive composition in Astapori Valyrian by David J. Peterson (let's call it Aeske Hildebrand, or ÆH for short). We now know the language well enough to realize that the English translation might be... slightly less than literal. I'm hoping to write another post on that text later this week, if I get a chance, but in the meantime I'll feel free to use it as evidence for this post.

I am still using underlines to mark lines for which we have Mr. Peterson's official transcription—for this episode it is nearly the whole scene (including English glosses for lines that aren't subtitled). But I have added two new symbols:
  • Parentheses mark lines where the actor has missed or significantly garbled a word given in the transcript. It happens: not everyone is analyzing the gobbledygook as much as we are, so it's not worth the effort to correct every mistake. Furthermore some of them may not be mistakes, but deliberate cuts quicken the pace of the dialog. Still, if we have David J. Peterson himself saying one thing, but the actors saying another, I figure I should note it.

  • To make them easier to distinguish, I have decided to mark High Valyrian (HV) in Targaryen Red, and Astapori Low Valyrian (AV) in Good Master Green.
Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: exhausted
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
1:47 pm
Ji pínda skókido ivetrágho "dragon"
Non-conlanging friends (if any of them are even still on LJ) may be getting bored of this, but nevertheless my Petersonian Valyrian study continues.

So, on Sunday the episode And Now His Watch Is Ended aired, with an absolutely amazing Valyrian scene (featuring both Astapori and High Valyrian). David J. Peterson's post (let's call it SUZKI) transcribes nearly the whole thing, which is fortunate because even with his help I'm despairing of getting my analysis done in time. And there is plenty of helpful material in this new post.

But in the meantime, we have a less conventional development: on Monday night, I attended an IRC chat with other Game of Thrones conlanging fans, including Najahho, and David J. Peterson himself. Over the course of the chat, we managed to get a few bits of new information out of Mr. Peterson, most importantly corrections to two sentences from the first episode of the season, and my first post. I'd like to say that it's incredible how much we got wrong, except it is, in fact, totally credible.

Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: geeky
Sunday, April 21st, 2013
2:12 am
Do kotozlíva klimágho kízi
Continuing on my last post, here is my attempt at a transcription for the “Astapori Valyrian” in Game of Thrones, episode 303. For further explanation, see that previous post—everything in the introduction there applies here as well (including, I repeat, some very nasty words). Note that Najahho was not generally available to help me this week... but hopefully he can post his suggestions in the comments when he has more time.

One additional source: Qilōnario Geron (QG), David J. Peterson’s blog entry about the episode.
ETA: I should have also included a video of the scene.
Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: tired
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
5:59 pm
Ivetra sko vezy las kreny gimigho (or something like that)
Warning: this post is insanely nerdy. Even by my standards.

Recently the third season of Game of Thrones started. Some of you may know that that show already features the constructed language, or "conlang," Dothraki, created by David J. Peterson (formerly dothraki) out of the brief snippets that occur in the original books by George R.R. Martin (grrm). As the show had progressed, Peterson has continued to flesh out the languages of Martin's fantasy world, and this season the job got much bigger: he had to invent not just one language, but a whole language family: Valyrian.

In the world of Game of Thrones, The Valyrian Freehold is a fallen civilization analogous to our Roman Empire. They spoke a language which, in the books, is referred to as "High Valyrian." Once the freehold was destroyed in some sort of natural (and/or magical) disaster, the language broke up into several dialects, with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility, each in the process of greadually developing into its own descendant language. In the books, I gather, these are generally called "Bastard Valyrian."

We are only on the second episode of the season. So far Valyrian has only showed up in the first episode, and it was specifically the dialect of the city of Astapor. Esploranto (to whom I will be referring as "Najahho," the honorific Dothraki name bestowed on him by David Peterson himself) and I have been working together on trying to decipher this constructed language. We've only just scratched the surface so far (and have surely made many mistakes)—after all, how much progress could we possibly make with just one scene's worth of dialog, and no official transcript? But I did want to make sure to post it before the next episode airs tomorrow, and renders this incomplete or obsolete.

So, obviously, don't continue reading if you're not interested in this kind of thing. Also, I should warn you that the scene contains some naughty words (in both English and Astapori), and some very disturbing, violent, images. Continue at your own risk!
Begin transcript and analysisCollapse )

Current Mood: geeky
Friday, September 21st, 2012
11:23 pm
Aenigma Umbraticissimum
— Quomodo Vesterosiani amicos suos longinquos salutant?

Nescio. Quomodo?Collapse )

Current Mood: crazy
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