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High Valyrian


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#21 boojam

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:21 AM

During George's screening of episode 8 yesterday, he commented on High Valyrian. He mentioned that a student writing a dissertation on the subject had emailed him asking if he could have a complete alphabet, pronunciation key, and any other notes George may have on the subject. George's reply was, "Sorry, I don't have anything like that. High Valyrian contains seven words, and when I need an eighth, I'll make it up." He also mentioned Tolkien's Elvish afterward.

Thought you'd be interested.

Well Tolkien was a philologist and an exceptionally fine storyteller.
George is an exceptionally fine storyteller, in fact so good.... drives me crazy sometimes.
I know of plenty of fine fantasy writers, there may be some, but I don't know any who are philologists.

I have been re-watching the series again and have to say the injection of Dothraki is quite a charmer, I loved the language stuff Peter Jackson used in LTOR, I think GOT has salted the dialog with just the right amount too.

Seems to me comparing the novels to HBO version, Dany didn't speak Dothraki very well in the prose narrative, I may have gotten the wrong impression. She seems fluent on the show, I liked that.
I think there is just enough, and I don't mind subtitles , never have, but I can see you can't do it all the time. Seems sometimes , I may be mistaken again, here and there the Dothraki was not translated.
Salting with High Valyrian would be quite charming.

Edited by boojam, 22 August 2011 - 09:07 AM.


#22 ingsve

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:20 AM

Well Tolkien was a philologist and an exceptionally fine storyteller.
George is an exceptionally fine storyteller, in fact so good.... drives me crazy sometimes.
I know of plenty of fine fantasy writers, there may be some, but I don't know any who are philologists.

I have been re-watching the series again and have to say the injection of Dothraki is quite a charmer, I loved the language stuff Peter Jackson used in LTOR, I think GOT has salted the dialog with just the right amount too.

Seems to me comparing the novels to HBO version, Dany didn't speak Dothraki very well in the prose narrative, I may have gotten the wrong impression. She seems fluent on the show, I liked that.
I think there is just enough, and I don't mind subtitles , never have, but I can see you can't do it all the time. Seems sometimes , I may be mistaken again, here and there the Dothraki was not translated.
Salting with High Valyrian would be quite charming.


Daenerys became fairly fluent after a while but in the first half of the season David made her lines deliberately ungrammatical to highlight that she was not a native speaker.

There were three types of Dothraki lines in the show. Most common were lines that were subtitled. Then there were Dothraki lines that were translated by someone else on screen (often Irri) and these were not subtitled. And finally there were lines that were not translated at all. (Though we have gotten most of them translated over at the Dothraki forum: http://forum.dothrak...topic,56.0.html)

Edited by ingsve, 22 August 2011 - 09:20 AM.


#23 longlivestark

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:38 PM

I'm pretty sure the only fantasy writer in HISTORY to write his own language was Tolkien, and he had a degree in linguistics. So Dothraki is now the second fantasy language, but not written by the author. I don't believe they will waste time and money writing and teaching another language to actors.

Edited by longlivestark, 25 August 2011 - 02:40 PM.


#24 dragginstoned

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:59 AM

During George's screening of episode 8 yesterday, he commented on High Valyrian. He mentioned that a student writing a dissertation on the subject had emailed him asking if he could have a complete alphabet, pronunciation key, and any other notes George may have on the subject. George's reply was, "Sorry, I don't have anything like that. High Valyrian contains seven words, and when I need an eighth, I'll make it up." He also mentioned Tolkien's Elvish afterward.

Thought you'd be interested.


Doesnt mean it cant happen, what he's done with those few words gives us a begining

We've got
"Valor" --- all men
"Valonoquar" --- Little Brother
"Morgulis" --- Must die
"Dolaris" --- Must serve
"Mereaxess" "Beleraion", + 1 other name of ancient dragons.

Viserion, Drogon and Rheagal for the new dragons.

Plus the word Valaryian itself.

Alot can be deduced from these little bits and it gives us 3 root words, Rules for names, and at least one verb tense.

Starting with the Root word "Val" which means man or person (since we are told that Valaryian is gender neutral)

So Valaryian means of the people, or refers to the people's language. Valor is the collective word for men or people, So "Val" means man or person.

Morgul means death or die

Dohl means serve

"is" is the ending for must... I forgot what to call a command in the future tense.

The Dragon names start to mess this up never mind Mereaxes which doesnt have an ending that fits the rest

We have the problem of changing Viserys name to Viserion to name a Dragon after him.
Same same Drogo to Drogon.
However... Rheagar -- Rheago --- Reagal? I'm a little confused

Well... me hopes some willing grad student will beg GRRM's permission to make it all work so we can enjoy it too

#25 ingsve

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:26 PM

Doesnt mean it cant happen, what he's done with those few words gives us a begining

We've got
"Valor" --- all men
"Valonoquar" --- Little Brother
"Morgulis" --- Must die
"Dolaris" --- Must serve
"Mereaxess" "Beleraion", + 1 other name of ancient dragons.

Viserion, Drogon and Rheagal for the new dragons.

Plus the word Valaryian itself.

Alot can be deduced from these little bits and it gives us 3 root words, Rules for names, and at least one verb tense.

Starting with the Root word "Val" which means man or person (since we are told that Valaryian is gender neutral)

So Valaryian means of the people, or refers to the people's language. Valor is the collective word for men or people, So "Val" means man or person.

Morgul means death or die

Dohl means serve

"is" is the ending for must... I forgot what to call a command in the future tense.

The Dragon names start to mess this up never mind Mereaxes which doesnt have an ending that fits the rest

We have the problem of changing Viserys name to Viserion to name a Dragon after him.
Same same Drogo to Drogon.
However... Rheagar -- Rheago --- Reagal? I'm a little confused

Well... me hopes some willing grad student will beg GRRM's permission to make it all work so we can enjoy it too


You've got the spelling of a lot of those words wrong but that is most of the words that are known. There is also dracarys which means dragonfire. Also a lot of other names are most likely of High Valyrian origin like Ayrmidon,Aegon, Aemon, Aerys, Jaehaerys, Rhaegar, Visenya, Rhaenys, Aenys, Maegor, Daeron, Rhaenyra, Baelor, Naerys, Daeron, Maekar, Rhaella, Viserys, Daenerys, Aerion, Maelys, Velaryon etc.

We also know that all the dialects of the Free Cities which are bastadized versions of High Valyrian so a lot of the names and words associated with those languages should also be made to fit a created Valyrian language.

I know that Dothraki creator David Peterson has an idea of what he would like to do with part of the grammar of Valyrian if he was asked to create the language. I think giving the task to an experienced conlanger is a better idea than giving it to some gradstudent.

#26 dragginstoned

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 04:16 PM

You've got the spelling of a lot of those words wrong but that is most of the words that are known. There is also dracarys which means dragonfire. Also a lot of other names are most likely of High Valyrian origin like Ayrmidon,Aegon, Aemon, Aerys, Jaehaerys, Rhaegar, Visenya, Rhaenys, Aenys, Maegor, Daeron, Rhaenyra, Baelor, Naerys, Daeron, Maekar, Rhaella, Viserys, Daenerys, Aerion, Maelys, Velaryon etc.

We also know that all the dialects of the Free Cities which are bastadized versions of High Valyrian so a lot of the names and words associated with those languages should also be made to fit a created Valyrian language.

I know that Dothraki creator David Peterson has an idea of what he would like to do with part of the grammar of Valyrian if he was asked to create the language. I think giving the task to an experienced conlanger is a better idea than giving it to some gradstudent.



If you like what I do to Valaryian spelling watch what I do to english.

Get David Peterson on that then... and give him a grad student

#27 min

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 01:10 PM

I hope they create it, I loved the Dothraki language in the show and I really liked the Elfin in Tolkien. It would be interesting to see them speak High Valyrian I think.

#28 lyvyathan

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:59 PM

Do the phrases : valar morghulis, valar doheris and dracarys have any meaning in our (real world)? They sound like words you would find in Latin or Romance languages.

#29 Knepah

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 09:38 PM

In reply to ... so many posts in this thread:

How hard would it be to have an abridgement to Dany's dialogue which basically says: "Viscaerys / my mother / Illyrio / somebody taught me Valyrian as a child."?

Not very.

There's no question of consistency. She doesn't need to use it particularly until she reaches Slaver's Bay and that's like two years away. Dany can carry on speaking Common Tongue and Dothraki and I don't really think the audience would mind particularly.

#30 boojam

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:40 AM

In reply to ... so many posts in this thread:

How hard would it be to have an abridgement to Dany's dialogue which basically says: "Viscaerys / my mother / Illyrio / somebody taught me Valyrian as a child."?

Not very.

There's no question of consistency. She doesn't need to use it particularly until she reaches Slaver's Bay and that's like two years away. Dany can carry on speaking Common Tongue and Dothraki and I don't really think the audience would mind particularly.


I always got the impression that Daenerys and Viserys's 'minders' spoke Valyrian. In fact across the novels we are always running into people in the East who speak pure Valyrian (even if the diffused and evolved form is more prevalent).
Across 5 novels now I have always been puzzled as to just how many pure blood Valyrians are left? Seems odd there could have been only one enclave of Valyrian survivors , Dragonstone , we know that Dany and Viserys escaped to Braavos, but that was all? Surely there must have been scattered enclaves of Valyrians all over the East?



#31 Job Snow

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:26 AM

I always got the impression that Daenerys and Viserys's 'minders' spoke Valyrian. In fact across the novels we are always running into people in the East who speak pure Valyrian (even if the diffused and evolved form is more prevalent).
Across 5 novels now I have always been puzzled as to just how many pure blood Valyrians are left? Seems odd there could have been only one enclave of Valyrian survivors , Dragonstone , we know that Dany and Viserys escaped to Braavos, but that was all? Surely there must have been scattered enclaves of Valyrians all over the East?

There's Volantis for example, with all the Old Blood behind the Balck Wall. I think there was a distinction between normal Valyrian smallfolk and the upper echelons of the society, which I have the impression seem to be a different kind of people.

#32 ChrisJM89

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:57 PM

We've got
"Valor" --- all men
"Valonoquar" --- Little Brother
"Morgulis" --- Must die
"Dolaris" --- Must serve
"Mereaxess" "Beleraion", + 1 other name of ancient dragons.

Viserion, Drogon and Rheagal for the new dragons.

Plus the word Valaryian itself.

Alot can be deduced from these little bits and it gives us 3 root words, Rules for names, and at least one verb tense.

Starting with the Root word "Val" which means man or person (since we are told that Valaryian is gender neutral)

So Valaryian means of the people, or refers to the people's language. Valor is the collective word for men or people, So "Val" means man or person.

Morgul means death or die

Dohl means serve

"is" is the ending for must... I forgot what to call a command in the future tense.

The Dragon names start to mess this up never mind Mereaxes which doesnt have an ending that fits the rest

We have the problem of changing Viserys name to Viserion to name a Dragon after him.
Same same Drogo to Drogon.
However... Rheagar -- Rheago --- Reagal? I'm a little confused

Well... me hopes some willing grad student will beg GRRM's permission to make it all work so we can enjoy it too





Well considering dracarys means dragonfire (as ingsve posted.)

We can assume rys is fire. Or A'e'rys even (making Aerys fire fetish literal!)
Unless the Ae or singular E makes it masuline whilst with Nae or an Ne makes it feminine. If thats the case then we can crack afew more words of Valyrian. (I've noted that all Targaryen names that are for females don't begin with an A, except Alysanne which appears rather atypical of naming tends.)

(I know High Valyrian was sometimes gender neutral, does it say such in all cases however?)

Maegi means wise.

And as dragginstoned said, Val being the root word for person, man, kin etc. We can start to pick apart the meaning of Targaryen names. Or atleast try. Try being the optimum word.

Maegor. Wisdom? From wisdom?
Aerys. Of Fire (Masculine name)
Naerys. Of Fire (Feminine name)

Val. Men. Or/Ar All? So the ending of Rhaegar and Maekar. Would be 'all' or a word that is similar to it.

Hmmm... thats my attempt. What we have is so limiting. Argh :-\

Completely random guess. 'Dae' means beauty. Daena beautiful? Daenerys. beautiful fire? For all I know it could instead mean blood 'Dae'. Which I suppose would tie into the Targaryen motto.

By the way, I think Rhaego is a bastardised attempt at Dany to merge Dothraki and Valyrian together rather than it being naming convention. It just doesn't sound Valyrian so it's probably not.

I do hope we find out what 'Baratheon' actually means in Valyrian too. If it was the named used for Valyrian bastards then that would be a rather apt foreshadowing of the events that transpired 300 years after Aegon's landing. (Joffrey et al.)

#33 lynxx

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:03 PM

I'm not asking for a whole new conlang, just a few more handy phrases.

The idea about Westeros folk songs and tales possibly having a Valyrian origin opens many possibilities.

#34 Anvik

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:22 AM

I keep seeing references to tolkein here, because of his language creation. However, his vocation was as a linguist, so to further his story, he 'created' 7 speakable languages, the most well known the elvish used in peter jackson's movies, which were taken directly from the text. This being said, these 'made up' languages in LotR have much more behind them then Valerian would, as the original creator of the idea actually invented the language and tied much of his story together with that.

Another well-known 'fake' language is Klingon from Star Trek, but that was created after the show first aired, so it doesn't completely tie in with everything.

While I'll admit having a 'High Valyrian' dictionary would be amazing, I don't see it happening and the rules and such that we are seeing won't necessarily take root.

#35 Horus Ex Machina

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

On the 4th episode recap of Stupid for Game of Thrones, David Peterson seemed to confirm tease that he might be commissioned to create the High Valyrian language. Or perhaps it was just wishful thinking on his part.

I kinda looked at the killing of Irri as a possible move in that direction to eliminate the use of two different languages simultaneously on the show. Instead of speaking to Irri, she'll be speaking to Missandei primarily.

Edited by Horus Bergeron, 07 June 2012 - 04:53 PM.


#36 Istari

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 11:17 AM

I'm sure they (the linguists behind Dothraki) would certainly love the opportunity to create Valyrian as well. But, it all depends on how 'successful' dothraki has become. If there is a significant amount of people taking the time to learn Dothraki, then it is more likely a Valyrian dialect will be created.

I think Anvik has the right of it with respect to Tolkein and his elvish languages.

#37 gussvenin

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:35 PM

I'm sure they (the linguists behind Dothraki) would certainly love the opportunity to create Valyrian as well. But, it all depends on how 'successful' dothraki has become. If there is a significant amount of people taking the time to learn Dothraki, then it is more likely a Valyrian dialect will be created.

I think Anvik has the right of it with respect to Tolkein and his elvish languages.


I would say that people learning the languages has no impact on whether they choose to create Valyrian or not. It's purely a stylistic choice by Dan and Dave. Valyrian will be created if they feel that it would add something to the story either plotwise (which it might) or stylewise.

#38 Istari

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:42 PM

Good point, Gussvenin!

I completely missed that point.

#39 boojam

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

I would say that people learning the languages has no impact on whether they choose to create Valyrian or not. It's purely a stylistic choice by Dan and Dave. Valyrian will be created if they feel that it would add something to the story either plotwise (which it might) or stylewise.


In ASOS... Daenerys II , it's Jorah (don't think it's Arstan)'s advice to her to hide the fact that Daenerys understands Valyrian (I am sure High Valyrian ,and suppose some Vulgate Valyrian too?), when dealing with the Astapor slavers, who for some reason think she is pure Westorsi. It's a strategic ploy in dealing with these jerks.
I hope the teleplays next year keep this little gem.

Edited by boojam, 09 June 2012 - 01:04 PM.


#40 Úlfhéðnar

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:36 PM

I would love to learn high valyrian /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

I love the word DRACARYS!!! Mwahahahahaha!