Last time I listed some sentences sample sentences featuring the Dothraki Q, and asked for recordings from readers of the Dothraki blog. Here are the results!
1. Qoy qoyi
This is the translation of the famous Dothraki phrase “blood of my blood”. The full phrase would actually be Qoy qoyi anhoon, but the anhoon is left off, as it’s understood (and this happens more often than not with inalienable possession). We got four responders: Hrakkar, ingsve and Qvaak from the Dothraki forums, and George Corley, one of the hosts of the Conlangery Podcast. Here they are (note: some are quite quiet):
Nice job! Most everyone got the [q] down. It’s a toss-up as to which comes closest, but I think it’s Qvaak. Nice job, all!
2. Hake mae “Haqe”
Next, the most ridiculous sentence of the bunch because I wasn’t clever enough to think up a realistic sentence with the words for “name” and “tired” in them (“What’s the name of that tired man?” Dang! Where were you last week?!). Anyway, it means “His name is ‘Tired'” (just totally bizarre; doesn’t look like a Dothraki name at all), and here’s the audio:
Nice job all, but this time, I give the horse heart to George (his A vowels were a little closer than Qvaak’s)!
(I suddenly just imagined a Dothraki award ceremony far, far in the future, where bronzed horse hearts are given out as awards. This should happen.)
3. Kisha dothraki yomme qeshah
In this sentence (which means “We ride across the sand”), I just wanted to get the word qeshah in there, because it’s one of my favorites. Truth be told, I really like the English word “sand” for sand, but qeshah is a close second. Here’s how it came out:
The Q’s sound pretty good, but the stress tripped some people up. Hrakkar got the stress of qeshah right and ingsve got all the stresses right, but George and Qvaak stressed it on the first syllable. Also, unless it didn’t get picked up by the mics, no one gave voice to the final H. That one ain’t there for a decoration, like it is in English! Amongst those who submitted, though, I’d say ingsve’s second reading comes the closest. Nice job!
4. Qafak qov kaffe qif qiya fini kaf faqqies fakaya
Finally, this tongue twister was put together with Qvaak in mind. He’s kind of famous for coming up with these really, really weird Dothraki sentences just to see if they work (check out his user page over at the wiki), so I decided to come up with one that was equally weird. Since I was trying to make use as much as possible of K, Q and F, that didn’t turn out to be too difficult. This sentence means, “The trembling questioner crushed the bleeding boar that squished a kicking corn bunting.” (What else should trembling questioners do?) Here’s the audio:
And, as promised, here’s me doing the tongue twister the first time through without editing:
Ha! I did all right, but the thing that screwed me up towards the end was the stress on faqqies. I was focusing so much on getting the i following the qq right that I begun stressing the word initially, even though it should be stressed finally. I tried to rescue it mid-word, and that just screwed everything up.
Listening through, it looks like everyone else had roughly the same problem. None of us got the stress completely right. It should be (using acute accents to mark it):
- Qafák qov káffe qif qíya fíni kaf faqqiés fákaya.
All in all, though, good tries! Of all five of us, I think Qvaak did the best job. The moral of the story: Hard tongue twisters are hard.
Thanks for the great recordings! Hope you had fun. And clearly I’m going to need to come up with some sort of graphic for the Horse Heart Award…