And a Happy Goat Year!

Happy 2012 to you all!

2012 should be a good year for Game of Thrones fans: Season 2 is debuting in April, and George R. R. Martin will be finishing up The Winds of Winter! Okay, maybe not, but A Dance with Dragons will be coming out in paperback, after kicking some choyo in hardback. Athdavrazar!

Since it’s a new year, I thought I’d do some resolutions, since I never seem to do any. For Dothraki, I’ve got a big one: 5,000 words by December 31st, 2012. We’re currently at 3,300, so that’s a fair amount, but I’ll give it my best shot!

To start things off this year, let’s look at some year-related words, if that’s a licit category. We know the word for “day” (asshekh) already. The word for “year” is firesof, deriving ultimately from fir, an adjective meaning “round” or “circular”. I’ve left uncreated words for things like “week”, “fortnight” and “month”, for the time being, since it seems like at least some of these might end up being borrowed from other languages, so those lexemes will have to remain mysterious for the time being. Something everyone in the universe of Ice and Fire certainly has to deal with, though, is the seasons.

If you’re new to A Song of Ice and Fire, seasons work very, very differently. In the world of Westeros and Essos, summers and winters can last several years at a time, or just a few months; one never knows. How does it work? Magic. (Or, for more information, go here, but don’t expect a complete answer.) But certainly the seasons aren’t something one can shrug off, like we can here in Southern California. (Want to know what the high here was today? 75°F/24°C. Yeah… We got it good here.)

Since the seasons are unpredictable, I decided to derive the terms for the seasons from climatological phenomena. The four seasons are as follows (all inanimate nouns):

  • eyelke “spring” (from eyel, “rain”)
  • vorsaska “summer” (from vorsa, “fire”)
  • chafka “autumn” (from chaf, “wind”)
  • aheshke “winter” (from ahesh, “snow”)

There are parts of Essos that won’t see snow in the winter, but the Dothraki travel all over, and likely weather snow for a good part of a given winter.

As firesof is an inanimate noun, a new year would be a firesof sash, but to wish someone a happy new year (or the equivalent), one would more likely say something like, Firesof athvezhvenari! And you can replace athvezhvenari with any other superlative noun in the genitive, such as, Firesof shekhikhi! or, Firesof alikhi!

So, to one and all, Firesof athdavrazari!

Posted on January 1, 2012, in Vocabulary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Is spring really ejelke or is that a mistake? We have rain as being “eyel” so it looks like you have used the IPA of the word instead unless y->j is some type of phonological deal.

  2. By my math, that works out to about 4 1/2 words a day. That’s quite a pace, but probably doable.

    • Oh, man, when you put it like that, it sounds like a lot… But, really, it’s more like one word, zero words, zero words, zero words, zero words, fifty-three words, zero words, zero words, zero words, zero words, twenty-six words, zero words… ;)

  3. Firesof shekhikhi! :)

    I thought Monday was Sunday and missed the meeting! Oops! :O

  4. Coming a bit late for this celebration…
    You sneak in some superlative nouns. Athvezhvenar, athdavrazar, shekhikh, alikh… Familiar words, but not all known to us as superlative, I think. Is this (a part of) Dothraki’s list of words like sweet, rad, awesome, great; words that all mean more or less exellent, but all with their distinct flavour? Can they all be used as a single word exclamation?

    • They don’t all work the same way. The general construction for something like “happy new year” is “YEAR” N-GEN. So the criteria for inclusion in that construction are simply “be a noun” and “make sense”. For exclamations, it’s the ath- -ar-type nouns that are used. So “Shekhikh!” wouldn’t make much sense as a general exclamation of delight (well, unless you’re in a cave, and suddenly you can see light), nor would “Alikh!”, which, in this context, just means “surplus”.

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