I just learned that today is the birthday of Dothraki.org forum member Daenerys. Majin yeraan, zhey khaleesi, astak anha ki, “Asshekhqoyi vezhvena!”
I’m not sure how (or if) the Dothraki would celebrate a birthday, but it occurred to me that they’d probably have a word to describe it (it’s a significant enough day in a given year [and I’m going to ignore the entire discussion of how seasons and years work in the Song of Ice and Fire universe. Consider that discussion permanently tabled]). The issue was raised during an IRC chat with Dothraki.org members, but I forget by whom… It was probably someone’s birthday, and I could’ve sworn the conversation would be in my chat transcripts, but it isn’t (so if someone wants to post a comment and remind me, please do).
As I recall, what we discussed is what, if anything, would be important about commemorating the day of one’s birth. Aside from one’s coming into the world, the day of one’s birth is the day one first bleeds (due to the cutting of the umbilical cord). That seems like it would be pretty important to a race of warrior nomads. Thus, one’s birthday is one’s asshekhqoyi—literally, one’s blood day.
The phrase Asshekhqoyi vezhvena! is actually a shortening of a longer phrase: Anha zalak asshekhqoyi vezhvena yeraan!, “I wish for an excellent blood day for you”. The word asshekhqoyi itself is in the genitive (the accusative is used with zalat only when the subject wants something that they will then possess), which means that vezhven, the word for “excellent”, takes a suffixed -a (a form of agreement). If you want to add someone’s name in there, simply add zhey followed by their name at the end.
And there you have it! That’s how to wish someone “happy birthday” in Dothraki. And, of course, I hope you’re having a good birthday, zhey Daenerys. Saqoyalates gavat hrazefoon yeri! (I.e. “May your horse meat be bloody!”)