Archive for April, 2012

pear is pädarä

Monday, April 30th, 2012
pädarä = pear (noun) (some things Google found for "padara" and "pädara": a common term; Padara is an unusual last name; Pädara is a rare last name; Padara Padara is the title of a Telugu song from India; DJ Padara; Padara is a rare first name that can be from India; padara means makes in Latvian; similar word padaria means bakery in Portuguese; Padara is the name of a place in Sudan)

Word derivation for "pear" :
Basque = madari and udare
Finnish = päärynä
Miresua = pädarä

Evidently Basque has two valid words for pear. Both Basque words contain "dar", so I used those letters when making my Miresua word. I decided to make the final letter ä (a umlaut), because the Finnish word contains three of them.

Lei Harenhaloon

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I’m watching the Clipper game right now, and I’m not happy. Going to write this to take my mind off things.

Yesterday’s episode, “The Ghost of Harrenhal”, was a bit easier to watch than last week’s. Or, at least if you’re not a fan of Renly who wasn’t familiar with the books. If you are, well… Props to the fallen. Big ups to Gethin Anthony for portraying a Renly Baratheon that I think all of us were really coming to like. For myself, I could really see him as the likable character he’s supposed to be in the books. I didn’t see that so much in the books. Gethin Anthony did a fantastic job, and he will be sorely missed.

Let me step out for a minute to say that I just saw one of the most ridiculous comebacks I have ever seen. I could see the Clippers maybe making a run. But winning that game? Are you kidding me?! Unbelievable. Memphis is not going to enjoy looking at the film of this one!

But yeah, back to Game of Thrones. I like Jaqen H’ghar. I like Brienne and Cat. I like Pyat Pree. And I like Dany teaching her little dragon how to eat. More of that please!

But before getting into Dany’s scenes, a quick note about the translation of the title. There are a couple of ways to do “The Ghost of Harrenhal”, and I decided on the ablative for two reasons—first, it could be “The Ghost From Harrenhal”, which gives a bit more of a locative feel than the genitive would, and also because it makes it sound like Harrenhal is an entity, and that the ghost is a part of its body. I kind of like that, so I went with the ablative over the genitive.

And, of course, the word for “ghost”, lei, got its form from the fabulous Leigh Bardugo, whose debut novel Shadow and Bone is coming out this June (look out for it!).

And since we’re talking shout-outs, let’s jump right into the Dothraki dialogue for Episode 5. We open on a scene with Dany and Doreah giving food to my good friend and trusted advisor Bitey, shown below:

Drogon roasting his meat.

Irri is a bit miffed by Dany saying how much Drogon loves Doreah, so she points out how she’s been fixing up her native Dothraki garments. First Irri says:

  • Anha soqe akka jin sacchey essheyi.
  • “I rewove this part of the top.”

We have, I believe, a new word in soqat, “to weave”, and following it up with akka renders “to reweave”. The word saccheya (seen above in the accusative) derives from the root sach, which gives us words for “half” (sachi, class B) and “to divide” (sachat). With the part-to-whole morphology, you get kind of a part of a half (literally), which becomes a very general word for a part or a piece of something. You’d use the same word (saccheya) for a piece of pizza, a piece of pie, a part of a story—or, if the Dothraki ever developed mathematics, for a word for “fraction”. Then the word essheya (above in the genitive) is formed using the same pattern off of the root she, which is a general locative preposition that most commonly means “on” or “on top of”.

After this, we get to the sentence I was referring to last week featuring Hrakkar’s word! Here it is:

  • Qisi tim, anha arrisse vemishikh jinoon akka.
  • “And I fixed the heel on this one.”

Literally, though, that begins with “Regarding the boot(s)”. So there you go, Hrakkar! A Dothraki word based on your name made it onto TV. Thanks for all the help at WorldCon (which, by the way, it currently looks like I will be returning to this year. I’ll likely have more details later). In fact I had to kind of throw that in, because the line was rewritten. Originally it had the word “boot” in the line, but all that remained was “heel”, so I kind of shoehorned (if you’ll forgive the pun) the word “boot” back into the line, and it made the cut. Hoorah!

The word for “heel” is kind of fun. It starts with vem, a word that means either “elbow” or “knee”, depending on contexts. From that we get vemish, which means “heel” (both of the foot and the hand [the part you hit the board with if you're doing a palm strike]), and then from that we get vemishikh, which is kind of like “artificial heel”, or, specifically, the heel of a boot or shoe (and this one just refers to the footwear, really, since gloves don’t have an equivalent part that’s equally important).

Later when Dany mentions Drogo’s name, Irri offers up this short prayer/saying (I like the Dothraki term asto for this):

  • Me dothralates she Rhaeshi Ajjalani ayyeyaan.
  • “May he ride through the Night Lands forever.”

Last week we got caught up talking about the jussive because I confused the terminology, but the use of dothralates above is a true jussive (used optatively here).

As we shift scenes, Dany’s out in the courtyard talking and out of the corner of her she sees her Dothraki up to no good. We don’t really hear what they’re saying, but what Jorah says as Dany walks up is:

  • Chaki, chaki. Khaleesi jada. Me vakkelena jin.
  • “Quiet, quiet. The khaleesi is coming. She’ll decide this.”
  • Then we have a bit of rapid-fire discussion between Dany, Jorah, Kovarro and Malakko. After Jorah explains the argument, Kovarro adds (regarding that boss peacock statue):

    • che ivvisaki mae. Disisse.
    • “Or melt it. Very simple.”

    Dany responds:

    • Kisha nevaki mae! Yer laz vos vefenari mae, vos tavi mae, vos ivvisi mae.
    • “We are his guests! You can’t pry it or chop it or melt it.”

    The vos, you can see, is required since the verb has a second person subject, and the positive and negative conjugations are identical. Kovarro objects:

    • Vosecchi, zhey khaleesi! Kisha vayoki athezaraan kishi.
    • “Of course not, khaleesi! We will wait until we leave.”

    Literally the second bit is, “We will await our departure”. Dany responds:

    • Kash athezar kishi vos akka.
    • “Not even when we leave.”

    Or more literally, “During our departure, not even”. Kovarro, curious, asks:

    • Vos arrek? Kifindirgi?
    • “Not then? Why?”

    And then Dany says, at the very least, some of the following:

    • Hash idrik kishi vijazero kisha Athasaroon Virzetha hash yer zali zifichelat moon? Anha acharak vos alikh.
    • “Our host saved us from the Red Waste and you want to steal from him? I will hear no more.”

    Of this, well…Dany’s pronunciation of “alikh” was spot on! But I think everything after Athasaroon got cut off, and a stray kishi was inserted somewhere. So it goes.

    Overall, I thought the Dothraki scenes were pretty good! Any time I get to see a little dragon roasting a little bit of meat and eating thereof it’s a good day. (Plus I got to see the Clippers come back from an eleventy-billion point deficit to win.)

    As a final note, Justin commented on the last post asking:

    So, maybe this has been answered somewhere else, but how would you render “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die” in Dothraki? I can get the rest, I think, but the only word I see for “play” means playing a musical instrument, so it’s driving me crazy.

    Up to then I didn’t have a word for “to play” in the usual sense. As I commented, I did have a word for “to spar” or “to train” which is based on the word “to fight” (in fact, it’s a diminutive thereof). I decided it made sense to extend the meaning of that word (lajilat) to “play” in the sense of children playing, or playing a game. To play in general, then, is lajilat, and to play something, you’d use a preposition phrase headed by ki, which assigns the genitive case. So, to translate the phrase “When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die”, I would do the following:

    • Hash yer lajie ki Vilajeroshi Adori, hash yer che najahi che drivoe.

    I decided to use the present tense here rather than the future tense to make it more of a “when…then” phrase as opposed to an “if…then” phrase. Somehow it seems like the present does a better job of that than the future.

    Halfway! Only five more episodes of season 2 of Game of Thrones. Been good so far! See you all next week.

Trurian word of the day: siath

Monday, April 30th, 2012

siath (noun): calf, young cow.


“they slaughter a calf at the end of each month”

Conlangery #48: Designing a Sound System

Monday, April 30th, 2012
After a discussion of George’s recent consumption of bear meat, we get to talking about designing your sound system, a topic we meant to talk about in episode 29 but somehow didn’t end up saying much about.  After a long discussion about that topic, we feature perhaps the second most famous auxlang in history, which […]

Conlangery #48: Designing a Sound System

Monday, April 30th, 2012
After a discussion of George’s recent consumption of bear meat, we get to talking about designing your sound system, a topic we meant to talk about in episode 29 but somehow didn’t end up saying much about.  After a long discussion about that topic, we feature perhaps the second most famous auxlang in history, which […]

From Aeruyo to Malviz: A little morphology

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Since my last post on deriving Malviz from my existing Malviz language, I've worked a little on the morphology of the language.  Aeruyo had a complex inflectional system on both nouns and verbs, so in order to work out the morphology of Malviz, I simply ran several fully declined nouns and several fully conjugated verbs through the sound changes to see what irregularities and mergers occurred naturally.  Then, based on this work, I made the following morphology changes:


  • I got rid of the vocative case.  In most cases it was merging with either nominative or instrumental, and I had planned on getting rid of it anyway, so it seemed like a good opportunity.
  • I merged the plural and collective for spirit nouns, since apocope had essentially done that for me right out of the gate.  In cases where the collective form causes o>u mutation (particularly in oral ~ uro > oral ~ urz), I kept the mutated form as the plural/collective form, though analogical flattening in some roots isn't ruled out.
  • All verbs had the non-past positive and negative forms mergina, while the past forms remained distinct, so I extended the past tense negative forms to cover non-past as well (essentially creating a tenseless negative form and avoiding the need to create a negative particle.


There are still a few cases where forms are identical, but for the most part those are quite regular.  One issue I have with verbs is that they are merging in different and interesting ways depending on the root, which is making it hard for me to decide what forms to keep.  For instance, often the potential and optative moods are merging in both positive forms but not the negative:

Indicative Potential Subjunctive Optative Necessitive
Past khon khonrz khonm khonrz khoŋrz
Non-Past khonv khonrz khonai khonrz khoŋrz
Negative khongui khonrui khonmmoi khonzui khoŋgrui

However, there are cases where it does not merge:

Indicative Potential Subjunctive Optative Necessitive
Past adeh adez adem aderz adegrz
Non-Past adev adez adei aderz adegrz
Negative adekui aderui ademoi adezui adegrui

And there is one rare case where the necessitive also merges in with potential and optative (again, only in positive forms):

Indicative Potential Subjunctive Optative Necessitive
Past per perrz perm perrz perrz
Non-Past perv perrz peroi perrz perrz
Negative pergui perrui permoi perzui pergrui

I probably will apply some sort of analogical flattening for the last case, since it requires such a specific initial configuration (an Aeruyo verb root CVrV-), though the more common merger of potential and optative is quite interesting.  Should I just completely merge one to the other (the pronunciations are quite close, after all), or should I say, keep the distinct optative negative form for some vestigial usage?

Torn Tongue: Nouns Beginning with “V”

Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Vocabulary words have appeared in various other posts. Here are some more nouns beginning with "V" in each of the three noun classes.

English ........... Torn Tongue

vegetable ........... magarf
volcano .............. rororj
vole ................... inerf

English .......... Torn Tongue

vanilla .............. irilth
vase ................ effilt
veil .................. assulth
vest ................. kald

English ............ Torn Tongue

vacation .............. erdass
verse .................. desh
vessel ................. momis
victory ................. ribaff
voice ................... rrith

Reviewers Needed

Saturday, April 28th, 2012


The LCS is looking for three experienced conlangers to serve as reviewers for an upcoming job announcement. The review process should take one day, but will likely be a full day.



Application Period

From now until filled.


May 9th (anticipated)



To Apply

Please e-mail jobs “at” conlang “dot” org with links to your conlanging work and/or conlanging work attached.

Language Needed for Theater Troupe

Friday, April 27th, 2012


The LCS is looking for conlangers to apply to create a language for a theater troupe. The troupe plans to use the language in their live performances, and the language will become a central part of their identity. This is a job that’s being proxied by the LCS, and the application period is currently open.



Application Period

Thursday, April 26th to Monday, May 7th


Materials needed by August 15th


Please inquire.

To Apply

Application is done through the LCS jobs list. To join the jobs list, please e-mail jobs “at” conlang “dot” org with a resume that describes your conlanging experience, or with links to conlanging work you’ve done, or with attachments of your conlanging work. Note that all those who would join the jobs list must sign and abide by the LCS non-disclosure agreement.

Trurian word of the day: won

Friday, April 27th, 2012

won (noun): man; human being.


“there are the bodies of seven men in the house”