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High Valyrian

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Anyone else think it was great to hear what I imagine is HIgh Valyrian vs Low Valyrian in Ep 3 of S3? Episode three spoiler:

When Danaerys says her speech to the slaver you could hear that she was highborn and speaking Valyrian like a true princess!

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Hi .. first post and I'm glad that there is already a topic about Valyrian language, as I want to say a few things about how this language is heard in the show. If my post is of topic please move it somewhere else.

I'm totally disappointed about how the producers or the language society, ( don't know who made this) made the Valyrian language for the show. From the first phrases that we read in the books the language seems like a more Latin oriented. That seems right as Valyria is supposedly the equivalent of a more Mediterranean, south, city, with a great civilization etc. Valar Morghulis has a Latin "infusion", while Valar Dohaeris, especially this one, has even the ae phonetic of Latin language.

And then suddenly we hear the full language in episode 4 of the third season, where Vallyrian sound to our ears more like an Uralic language, something that sounds more like Hungarian,( not that I have problem with this specific language) than a Latin oriented language as it is supposed from the first phrases that we read in the books.

Even the High Valyrian sound out of place, comparing them always with what is supposed to be their most famous phrases and of the supposed cultural background of Vallyrian people.

Contrary to the very good making of Dothraki language, which fits perfectly to Dothraki people and culture, Vallyrian, as we hear it in the show, is failing to add a piece of what the Vallyrian culture is supposed to be in the books.

As far as I know I'm not the only one who found the sound of this language awkward. Lot of friends, funs of the show and the books discussed the same. What do you think?

If I'm off topic please move my post in a more related discussion. I thought it would be better to post in an existing topic.

Thank you.. nice to join your forum. :)

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Hi .. first post and I'm glad that there is already a topic about Valyrian language, as I want to say a few things about how this language is heard in the show. If my post is of topic please move it somewhere else.

I'm totally disappointed about how the producers or the language society, ( don't know who made this) made the Valyrian language for the show. From the first phrases that we read in the books the language seems like a more Latin oriented. That seems right as Valyria is supposedly the equivalent of a more Mediterranean, south, city, with a great civilization etc. Valar Morghulis has a Latin "infusion", while Valar Dohaeris, especially this one, has even the ae phonetic of Latin language.

And then suddenly we hear the full language in episode 4 of the third season, where Vallyrian sound to our ears more like an Uralic language, something that sounds more like Hungarian,( not that I have problem with this specific language) than a Latin oriented language as it is supposed from the first phrases that we read in the books.

Even the High Valyrian sound out of place, comparing them always with what is supposed to be their most famous phrases and of the supposed cultural background of Vallyrian people.

Contrary to the very good making of Dothraki language, which fits perfectly to Dothraki people and culture, Vallyrian, as we hear it in the show, is failing to add a piece of what the Vallyrian culture is supposed to be in the books.

As far as I know I'm not the only one who found the sound of this language awkward. Lot of friends, funs of the show and the books discussed the same. What do you think?

If I'm off topic please move my post in a more related discussion. I thought it would be better to post in an existing topic.

Thank you.. nice to join your forum. :)

I don't know, I find Hungarian pretty melodic so it's not necessarily an issue in my case. What would have been a stretch is Slavic, though...

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It doesn't sound Hungarian at all, sorry. I still think it has a strong Latin component to it, but with many changed words, completely made up.

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Hi .. first post and I'm glad that there is already a topic about Valyrian language, as I want to say a few things about how this language is heard in the show. If my post is of topic please move it somewhere else.

I'm totally disappointed about how the producers or the language society, ( don't know who made this) made the Valyrian language for the show. From the first phrases that we read in the books the language seems like a more Latin oriented. That seems right as Valyria is supposedly the equivalent of a more Mediterranean, south, city, with a great civilization etc. Valar Morghulis has a Latin "infusion", while Valar Dohaeris, especially this one, has even the ae phonetic of Latin language.

And then suddenly we hear the full language in episode 4 of the third season, where Vallyrian sound to our ears more like an Uralic language, something that sounds more like Hungarian,( not that I have problem with this specific language) than a Latin oriented language as it is supposed from the first phrases that we read in the books.

Even the High Valyrian sound out of place, comparing them always with what is supposed to be their most famous phrases and of the supposed cultural background of Vallyrian people.

Contrary to the very good making of Dothraki language, which fits perfectly to Dothraki people and culture, Vallyrian, as we hear it in the show, is failing to add a piece of what the Vallyrian culture is supposed to be in the books.

As far as I know I'm not the only one who found the sound of this language awkward. Lot of friends, funs of the show and the books discussed the same. What do you think?

If I'm off topic please move my post in a more related discussion. I thought it would be better to post in an existing topic.

Thank you.. nice to join your forum. :)

David Peterson who created the language had this response to a similar question:

I am intrigued by your choices for phonemes. Is there any specific reason that you chose to make the language sound quite unlike what many people, in my impression, were expecting?
Here’s my response to this: All y’all are absolutely crazy. High Valyrian proper sounds so much like Latin that I’m actually embarrassed by it.

Go read http://www.dothraki.com/ and especially the discussion in the comments and then also the mad latinists blog about the language. http://jdm314.livejournal.com/

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post by David Peterson

"Regarding the letter, the text of it was written by Cat Taylor (Dave and Dan’s assistant) and translated by me. The shot of it is quite pretty; the art department did an awesome job! Ideally it should be in Valyrian glyphs, but I guess it didn’t seem worthwhile to create an entire writing system for what ultimately is kind of a throwaway shot. Though I do have the text of it (in both English and High Valyrian, which is what it’s written in), I don’t think I should put it up right now. I’ll put it up when the season’s done with, but there’s been a lot of creativity amongst fans regarding Talisa, and so I think this should remain a mystery for the time being. It isn’t gibberish, though, I can assure you."

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Also I don't think "valar morghulis" sounds particularly Latin, certainly Latin had no "gh" sound, it reminds me more of a stereotypical "elvish" than Latin at any rate!

I think this is absolutely subjective. I don't think Valyrian should be exactly like Latin, also it is a good thing that Valyrian has its own personality and not just a copycat of Latin. I find funny that you did like Dothraki and Valyrian was created by the same person, David J Peterson, but as I said, highly subjective matter, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc. ;)

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IIRC, a few episodes ago, Daenerys "surprised" the slavers by speaking a perfect Valyrian. But, wouldn't slavers in Astapor be speaking Old Ghis tongue? Why would they be speaking valyrian?

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IIRC, a few episodes ago, Daenerys "surprised" the slavers by speaking a perfect Valyrian. But, wouldn't slavers in Astapor be speaking Old Ghis tongue? Why would they be speaking valyrian?

No, they speak a bastard Valyrian with only a substratum of Ghiscari words. So, in fact, they speak a descendant of High Valyrian

Take a look at this quote:

Dany asks: "Missandei, what language will these Yunkai'i speak, Valyrian?"

"Yes, Your Grace," the child said. "A different dialect than Astapor's, yet close enough to understand. The slavers name themselves the Wise Masters."

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I don't know, I find Hungarian pretty melodic so it's not necessarily an issue in my case. What would have been a stretch is Slavic, though...

It doesn't sound Hungarian at all, sorry. I still think it has a strong Latin component to it, but with many changed words, completely made up.

Also I don't think "valar morghulis" sounds particularly Latin, certainly Latin had no "gh" sound, it reminds me more of a stereotypical "elvish" than Latin at any rate!

I think this is absolutely subjective. I don't think Valyrian should be exactly like Latin, also it is a good thing that Valyrian has its own personality and not just a copycat of Latin. I find funny that you did like Dothraki and Valyrian was created by the same person, David J Peterson, but as I said, highly subjective matter, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc. ;)

I wrote about Latin oriented and not Latin copycat. Latin oriented languages are Spanish, and Italian and even Romanian language, but don't sound the same. But all have the same singing like sound, something very characteristic in languages spoken around Mediterranean Sea, and generally languages of southern areas.

I don't think that Hungarian as language sounds bad, I brought it as an example of how the Valyrian sound in the show, at least for those who are not Hungarian :) .. more like a language of a north area, than south as Valyria was. I said that I expected a more polished singing like sound.

About the "mad latinists". The suffix "is" as in the words "morghulis " and "dohaeris" is a characteristic suffix of Latin words in ablative. And this gives the a very strong point of where to start someone who wants to make a language from scratch and why audience expected something like this.

Btw no where in the Valyrian spoken in the show, the 'is" suffix is heard again. Mr David Peterson should have known well that languages' grammar and syntax rules apply to all words of the same kind. In nouns as in these case. By not include this in the language that he create, he made "Valar Morghulis/Dohaeris" sound like the ultimate exceptions or perhaps part of another completely different language.

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About the "mad latinists". The suffix "is" as in the words "morghulis " and "dohaeris" is a characteristic suffix of Latin words in ablative. And this gives the a very strong point of where to start someone who wants to make a language from scratch and why audience expected something like this.

Btw no where in the Valyrian spoken in the show, the 'is" suffix is heard again. Mr David Peterson should have known well that languages' grammar and syntax rules apply to all words of the same kind. In nouns as in these case. By not include this in the language that he create, he made "Valar Morghulis/Dohaeris" sound like the ultimate exceptions or perhaps part of another completely different language.

Are you kidding? David J. Peterson has created an incredibly extensive, naturalistic and deep grammar and syntax. You need to go and actually read the analyses on his and the Mad Latinist's blogs before you start talking on here.

Morghulis and dohaeris aren't nouns. They're the conjugated verbs in this sentence - and the ending -is on verbs in High Valyrian means "must".

The noun is valar, which means "all men".

Those sentences are 100% regular grammatically with the rest of the language he has created.

Valar urnebis.

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Apologies, the forum software doesn't allow macrons, so the HV transcription doesn't show the long vowels. But here's a sentence in High Valyrian with a whole bunch of verbs in the imperative mood (not that the -is ending is definitely imperative mood, but the pattern seems to be the same).

Dovaogedys! Aeksia ossenatas, menti ossenatas, qiloni pilos lue vale tolvie ossenatas, yn riñe dore odrikatas. Urnet luo buzdaro tolvio belma pryjatas!

“Unsullied! Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off every slave you see!”

ossenatas - kill! (imperative 2p pl)

odrikatas - harm! (imperative 2p pl, but here it's in the negative "dore odrikatas", as in "don't kill")

pryjatas - strike! (imperative 2p pl)

Or this one:

Dovaogedys! Naejot memebatas! Kelitis!

“Unsullied! Forward march! Halt!”

kelitis = Halt! (same ending as morghulis, dohaeris etc)

membatas = March!

There might be some difference in the conjugation with different verb classes (as in real world Romance languages such as e.g. -er/-ir/-re in French).

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IIRC, a few episodes ago, Daenerys "surprised" the slavers by speaking a perfect Valyrian. But, wouldn't slavers in Astapor be speaking Old Ghis tongue? Why would they be speaking valyrian?

It's interesting that , apparently, all the Unsullied are taught High Valyrian.

Now as slaves they come from different parts of Essos that spoke various Valyrian dialects, lumped together 'Low Valyrian'.

Apparently, or at least George gives this impression, all the Essosi can understand High Valyrian even if it sounds a little funny or they miss a few words.

So I guess the idea is that no matter who their masters are and no matter what form of 'Low Valyrian' they speak they can understand the language.

I get hints from the books that 'educated' Essosi know High Valyrian, yes, even if you are a slave master.

At least that is the surmise I make.

I can't remember in the books that the Unsullied's , 'common tongue' (for military purposes) is High Valyrian , but even if GRRM didn't put it in, it makes sense, can't have everybody speaking various forms of Low Valyrian and a command not be understood.

I suppose Grey Worm could learn 'common tongue' (I can't remember from the books) so he should always be speaking in High Valyrian from here on out.

(I have never been bothered by subtitles , so the more High Valyrian the better for me.)

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I wrote about Latin oriented and not Latin copycat. Latin oriented languages are Spanish, and Italian and even Romanian language, but don't sound the same. But all have the same singing like sound, something very characteristic in languages spoken around Mediterranean Sea, and generally languages of southern areas.

I don't think that Hungarian as language sounds bad, I brought it as an example of how the Valyrian sound in the show, at least for those who are not Hungarian :) .. more like a language of a north area, than south as Valyria was. I said that I expected a more polished singing like sound.

About the "mad latinists". The suffix "is" as in the words "morghulis " and "dohaeris" is a characteristic suffix of Latin words in ablative. And this gives the a very strong point of where to start someone who wants to make a language from scratch and why audience expected something like this.

Btw no where in the Valyrian spoken in the show, the 'is" suffix is heard again. Mr David Peterson should have known well that languages' grammar and syntax rules apply to all words of the same kind. In nouns as in these case. By not include this in the language that he create, he made "Valar Morghulis/Dohaeris" sound like the ultimate exceptions or perhaps part of another completely different language.

Sorry, my friend, but you couldn't be more wrong.

As far as we know, we had lots of instances of -is sounds. I don't get what you mean about "music", I speak Spanish and I think English is waaaay more musical than Spanish or Latin. I think that's very very subjective. I don't think it's right to say that "morghulis" is an exception, on the contrary is more common than I would have expected, also the fact that Latin has an -is ending doesn't mean that makes it Latin.

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I wrote about Latin oriented and not Latin copycat. Latin oriented languages are Spanish, and Italian and even Romanian language, but don't sound the same. But all have the same singing like sound, something very characteristic in languages spoken around Mediterranean Sea, and generally languages of southern areas.

I don't think that Hungarian as language sounds bad, I brought it as an example of how the Valyrian sound in the show, at least for those who are not Hungarian :) .. more like a language of a north area, than south as Valyria was. I said that I expected a more polished singing like sound.

About the "mad latinists". The suffix "is" as in the words "morghulis " and "dohaeris" is a characteristic suffix of Latin words in ablative. And this gives the a very strong point of where to start someone who wants to make a language from scratch and why audience expected something like this.

Btw no where in the Valyrian spoken in the show, the 'is" suffix is heard again. Mr David Peterson should have known well that languages' grammar and syntax rules apply to all words of the same kind. In nouns as in these case. By not include this in the language that he create, he made "Valar Morghulis/Dohaeris" sound like the ultimate exceptions or perhaps part of another completely different language.

For someone complaining about a language created by a professional linguist, maybe you should try to write posts that are actually in comprehensible English.

  1. Latin as it was spoken orginally did not sound very much like "singing" as you put it, and I don't see any realistic reason why the spoken sound of High Valyrian should be influenced by modern Romance languages.
  2. I don't even see you point. The closer to the Mediterranian, the more melodious is the language? What do you base this on?
  3. Maybe you should try actually reading the information available about High Valyrian, on dothraki.com. High Valyrian is a heavily inflected language and a lot of the phonology is inspired by Latin. The infix/suffix "-is" is actually really common in HV.

Before criticizing the creative effort of someone else, try to actually inform yourself about it. Hopefully you'll come across as less arrogant.

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Valar morghulis.

I am definitely interested in learning High Valyrian. Some of it at least. Hopefully David J. Peterson adds in a lot more vocab soon and hopefully he is contracted to make a Valyrian writing system soon as well. He says he's up for the challenge. I'm not sure if I'm up for learning it all though lol. The admin of the Dothraki forums says he is gonna try to get a Valyrian wiki set up this weekend, so hopefully that happens.

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Valar morghulis.

I am definitely interested in learning High Valyrian. Some of it at least. Hopefully David J. Peterson adds in a lot more vocab soon and hopefully he is contracted to make a Valyrian writing system soon as well. He says he's up for the challenge. I'm not sure if I'm up for learning it all though lol. The admin of the Dothraki forums says he is gonna try to get a Valyrian wiki set up this weekend, so hopefully that happens.

Well, he certainly already has a big vocabulary (close to 1,000 words if I'm not mistaken), but they haven't been released, unfortunately. About the writing system I agree with you, I hope they let him do it, that'll be mighty interesting. If you want to learn as much as you can about the language I would recommend this site: http://jdm314.livejournal.com/

It has all the information that's known about High Valyrian and Astapori Valyrian. The blog entries are very comprehensive and well done, so you can already get to learn all there is to know about the language. Also it includes notes and links to David Peterson's material on the language as featured on his blog, so this is the must-go site to learn more about it!

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