A while back, frequent commenter Esploranto mentioned that it would be nice if some of the posts on the Dothraki blog could be translated into Spanish. I agreed, but didn’t feel up to the task (my writing style is too idiomatic and idiosyncratic for my Spanish to handle!), so Esploranto offerred to give it a go. He translated a couple of the early blog posts before I realized that there was no simple way to host translations. What would be perfect is if there was a button that you could click on to easily switch between the English and Spanish translations of a given blog post.
That’s when my old friend from elementary, junior high and high school stepped in. Ian Byrd (founder of ByrdSeed.com and a gifted education instructor) saw the problem and took it upon himself to create a custom WordPress plugin (which, if you’re me, sounds like nothing less than sorcery). As a results, translations can now be handled pretty much just as I described: You go to the top and click on the translation you want, and it automagically appears! (Wow. WordPress doesn’t think “automagic” is misspelled? No, wait, hang on: It thinks “automagically” is fine; “automagic”, though, gets a big fat red underline. Crazy!)
Anyway, to see it in action, you can go to my very first post and see the translation provided by Esploranto, upon whom I have conferred the Dothraki name Najahho: the victorious one. Kirimvose, zhey Najahho!
Of course, there’s no reason that the Dothraki blog need be translated only into Spanish. Any and all translations are welcome—including conlang translations! It’s pretty easy to add a language to the plugin, so I can expand the list to include whatever I want. If you’d like to translate a Dothraki blog post, just send the translation in a plain text e-mail to me (or attach a .txt file). If possible, please keep the HTML in tact (it will simplify my job greatly). Provided it looks okay, I can just paste it right in and we’ll be set! Oh, but do include the phrase “Translated by [your name]” in your language to append to the end, and if you’d like me to link to your website, include a link for me and I’ll add it.
Just one note before leaving the topic: Right now the plugin has one kink in it which has broken the right-hand navigation slightly. All the options are there, but they’re not as neat as they were. Ian’s working on a fix, and when we get it, we’ll be sailing.
If it’s morning where you are when you’re reading this, it means that I’m on a plane headed to Seattle for NorWesCon. Can’t wait! If you’re in the Seattle area, come give me a shout. Otherwise…three days. Tick tock.
So this one kind of slipped under the radar.
If you point your browser over to JoinTheRealm.com, you’ll be able to create a custom sigil à la Game of Thrones for your own house. You can choose your colors, your sigil, your house name, your house motto—the whole bit—and share it with friends.
But if you take a moment, you may notice something else. If you go to the upper left-hand corner of the screen and select “Change Language”…
Yep. You can go through the entire app in Dothraki. I translated the whole thing—even the copyright info down at the bottom.
In fact, if you want to try to include some salty language in your sigil, you’ll even get to see a custom “Nah, you can’t do that” message.
I could literally sit with something like this all day and never get tired of coming up with custom sigils, but this is my first:
Those who remember this discussion may know what that means at a glance.
I don’t know if the comments will allow you to post images, but if there’s a way you can share, let’s see some sigils! I’ll probably be doing more as the weeks, months and years progress.
Update: And one just for me:
The past two Game of Thrones premiere events have been pretty incredible, but this was something different. Going all the way back to the 1920s, if anyone mentioned a big Hollywood premiere, the first place that would come to mind was Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. And lo and behold, that’s where we were.
Of course, I was late, though. I guessed the traffic correctly, for the most part, but I guess when they do a premiere like this, the traffic around the theater is a bit crazy (as I learned when I got there and saw they had lanes blocked off to accommodate the premiere). So we kind of rushed in (it was already dark), and the first thing we saw was this:
Big old line. That was the first indication that things would be different this year. And, indeed, it appears that the “cast and crew” premiere event has outgrown its former venue by leaps and bounds. The theater was packed.
Originally we were escorted to the wrong seats and I ran into Bryan Cogman, who got to sit next to Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (lucky chiftik). But it’s all good. My wife Erin and I had a lot of fun taking a look at the renovated Chinese Theater (I’d been there once before pre-renovation/restoration. Looks great now.)
After some speeches, we got to see the first episode of season 3…about which I’ll have much more to say come April 1st.
Afterwards we got to get our picture taken out front (thank you Sharon!).
Then we walked over to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for the after party (the Dothraki vitteya [props to the HBO folks who got the word right!]). This was my first ever encounter with actual paparazzi. Not that they were looking for me, but we were all walking from the theater in a big group, and there was actually a barricade with police and a whole bunch of guys with cameras shouting at the crowd (the names I heard as I was going by: “George!”, “Nathalie!” [and, in fact, George R. R. Martin did go over to the barricade to sign a few autographs, which I thought was charitable]). It was really bizarre. I really should’ve taken a picture of them (kicking myself now. If there’s a next time, anha astak asqoy: I will get a picture of a wall of paparazzi!).
The party at the Roosevelt was, in a word, opulent. There were a string of performers (a juggler, a belly dancer, two guys doing a sword fighting display, musicians) in the main hall, a place where you could get your fortune read with tarot cards—oh, in fact, I took a picture of the little program they had printed up:
I did, indeed, shoot some arrows (unfortunately the picture was too dark; not worth posting), and my wife got her nails done (and of the choice, she notes: “The dragon has three heads!”):
And to keep an old tradition going, here’s a picture of my dinner:
A quick aside: Are there such things as freshwater shrimp? Is that a modern phenomenon (with shrimp farms)?
Anyway, one thing I was extremely glad of is I got to meet both Nathalie Emmanuel (who plays Missandei) and Dan Hildebrand (who plays Kraznys) at the after party. I saw their work for the first time tonight, and, as I told that, I was extraordinarily impressed. They’re both new to the show and new to working with a constructed language, and the language itself is brand new, so, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. Their performances far exceeded my expectations. I could barely sit still in my seat, thinking to myself, “My god! They’re nailing it!” I’ll have some more specific details after the official premiere, but suffice it say they both put a lot of effort into getting the Astapori Valyrian down (for which I’m grateful), and their hard work more than paid off. I couldn’t have hoped for anything better.
Oh, and they were both gracious enough to take a picture with me. Here’s me and Nathalie:
And here’s me and Dan:
Oh, and before I forget, this was the main banquet hall. I couldn’t get a picture to do it justice, but there was a gigantic map of Westeros and some of Essos draping the far wall (more than a story tall). You can see it in the background here:
Probably the number one moment that many are going to wish I was videotaping but which I didn’t occurred when they started playing “Billie Jean”. George R. R. Martin was sitting at a table with most of the child actors (Arya, Sansa, Bran, Hot Pie), when Maisie Williams decided to start singing along, using Sophie Turner’s hand as a microphone. As it moved into the chorus, they all joined in. It was priceless.
My strangest moment was when Dan Weiss’s father and mother came up to introduce themselves to me. They recognized me, and said they were big fans of the show. The show they meant, though, wasn’t Game of Thrones: It was CNN’s The Next List. I guess they watch it all the time, and they’d seen the episode with me on it and they recognized me from it. (Tracey Dorsey, if you’re reading this, you’ve got fans in high places! They love the show!)
But I think the highlight of the night for me was when I achieved something I failed to last year. Jason Momoa was at the premiere again this year, and, like last year, he brought his wife, Lisa Bonet. And though it didn’t happen last year, this time I got a picture with her:
If I could tell you what The Cosby Show meant to me as a kid growing up, it’d take months to read this post. In short, let’s just say I can die happy.
I know there are a lot of fans out there that can’t wait for March 31st—and, believe me, it’ll be worth the wait; they did a terrific job. But now having seen it, I have to say: I can’t wait for April 7th.
A fellow conlanger (Scott Hamilton, creator of the Riddlesbrood language) sent some pictures my way of some new Dothraki jewelry. Sunnie Larsen and Marcos Duran got each other a joint anniversary present pictured below:
The bracelets say “zhey jalan atthirari anni” (hers) and “zhey shekh ma shieraki anni” (his). Very nice! They came from Etsy designer rubybliss (I should get me one of them one day…).
In other news, I’m going to be traveling to the following events in the next few months. If you’re nearby, come say M’ath!
- SWTX PCA/ACA Conference, Albuquerque, NM, February 13-16
- TEDActive 2013, Palm Springs, CA, February 24
- TED 2013, Long Beach, CA, February 25-March 1
- ConDor 20, San Diego, CA, March 8-10
- NorWesCon 36, Seattle, WA, March 28-31
- UCSD, San Diego, CA, April 19, 25
- LCC5, Austin, TX, May 4-5
- BayCon 31, Santa Clara, CA, May 24-27
- Comic-Con, San Diego, CA, July 18-21
- El Ser Creativo, Madrid, Spain, November 7-9
There may be some others that come up within this time period, so revisit this post periodically; I’ll update it. Until then, davralates asshekhi yeri!
And, indeed, what a merry Goatmas it has turned out to be! I realize that in my last post I had us voting on who would be crowned Winter Goat, 2012, but I had a late entry that has caused me to overturn the results of the vote (which, at the time of writing, were inconclusive anyway). Consequently, I shall push the current nominees for Winter Goat to next year, and have proclaimed this year’s Winter Goat to be the jolly fellow you see before you here!
This fine little gentleman came to me from Ingsve, who sent him all the way from Sweden! He is a traditional Scandinavian yule goat, and has a magnificent goatish beard. While yule goats are sometimes burned after they’ve served their time, I can assure you this goat (which for some reason I’ve suddenly decided to name Mr. Dorviclaus) will stay with me (unbowed, unbent, unbroken—and unburnt) for many, many years. All hail this year’s mighty Winter Goat!
Attached to Mr. Dorviclaus was this note, written by Ingsve in Qvaak’s script:
Here’s the transcription:
Anha zalak vitteya ajjalani neaka vezhvena yeraan. Azhas jinaan Dorvi Aheshki fichat san azhi yeraan. Me nem move hrannoon vosma me haja ma qotha. Anha zalak firesof akat dalen senthi adavrae yeraan.
Shieraki gori ha yeraan,
Ingsve went with an original translation for “Christmas”: vitteya ajjalani neaka. That translates to “feast of the long night”. I rather like it!
Despite all the images, this post is rather short, as I’ve gone up to my second parents’ home for Goatmas this year. This post was actually typed up while I was packing, though I’m sure I hopped on and added a few things as I could thereafter. As a result, I didn’t have as much time to type this up. Nevertheless, I’m sure Winter Goat has something in his shaggy beard for one and all! Here he is, in fact, visiting Standing Rabbit and Sitting Turtle outside my door:
It’s been a good year, and I’m forever thankful to the few who follow this blog and come in to say M’ath! in our weekly Dothraki chats. It does get tiresome to be forever without a Dothraki word for “thank you”, though, so to remedy that (even though I begged him not to), Mr. Dorviclaus has shaken a word for “thank you” out of his frosty beard—not from Dothraki, but from High Valyrian. The word is: kirimvose (or kirimvos, for short; stress on the second i for both). Unless I miss my guess (or unless those armed with Google are very, very clever), this is the first new word of High Valyrian to be released. It will not be followed by others, as I shall return to my customary radio silence, but this being Goatmas, I simply couldn’t restrain mighty and loyal Winter Goat.
Have a Merry Goatmas, and a Goatish New Year!
After poring over several thousand copies of the eight goat pictures I received, I have settled upon four candidates that have earned the right to claim the title “Winter Goat, 2012″! Those images, submitted by readers of this blog, are presented below:
(Note: The live goat pictures from above come from the Sierra Safari Zoo in Reno, Nevada. Stop in if you get the chance!)
There it is: The full line-up for Winter Goat, 2012! To cast your vote, leave a comment below. I was going to set up a really cool poll and use that for voting, but I give up. I’ll get it to work later, lousy edavrasakh…
In other news around the conlanging world, an article was published in The New Yorker today on my good friend John Quijada, the creator of Ithkuil. I got to hear this story as it unfolded over the course of the past few years, and I think this is a pretty good summation. I definitely recommend it.
In the article it’s mentioned that “Dothraki is now heard by more people each week than Yiddish, Navajo, Inuit, Basque, and Welsh combined”, as if this meant anything one way or another. On this, I’ll only say that Inuit is not the name of a language, though if you ever want to look at a wonderfully fascinating language, I recommend Inuvialuktun (I’ve got a grammar of it that I did not steal from the UCSD library [I returned that copy (eventually)]).