For the past three years, a number of conlangers have participated in the Conlang/Concultural Card Exchange. I participated the first year with Kamakawi, but missed the deadline the next year, so I wanted to be sure to participate this year (though I still almost missed the deadline). For this year’s exchange, I decided to use Dothraki, and I thought this would be as good a place as any to post the translation info for my card.
First, here’s what the front of the postcard looks like:
And here’s a shot of the back of the postcard:
(Note: That’s the LCS’s address, not mine. Don’t send mail there unless it’s accompanied by a $35 membership check made out to “LCS” [by the way, with the holidays around the corner, why not give the gift of LCS membership! Okay, plug over].)
Now, when I made these up with Costco, they gave me a character count, and I swear I came under that character count! But, as you can see, the text got cut off—literally. In fact, there was one more line after what you see there (I’d signed it Devvo ki Drogosi. Oh well). So you don’t have to go squinting, here is the entire text (plus the missing line):
Aheshke ray jad, majin anha vazhak yeraan azh, hajinaan m’anha chomak yeraan sekke. Jin vezh hrazef avervenanaz drogikhoon anni. Yer laz tihi mae mra jerve she hatif. Me drozhak! Tihas vorsaes tihoa ma charas tem fogoon! Ma me lana ven chaf! K’athjilari: Vo cheyi ven mae vekho vosecchi. Ma me yeri! Vezhof gora ha yeraan. Me nem nesa.
Devvo ki Drogosi
Now, I don’t want the card recipients to jump through too many hoops, so here’s an interlinear (though this won’t be pretty. Does CSS do small caps yet…?):
/winter already come.PST and 1SG.NOM FUT-give-1SG 2SG.ALL gift.ACC because COMP-1SG.NOM respect-1SG 2SG.ALL very. this stallion horse SUP-wild-SUP herd-ABL 1SG.GEN. 2SG.NOM can see-2SG 3SG.ACC in cage at front. 3SG.NOM killer! see-IMP fire-ACC eye-ABL.PL and hear-IMP thunder.ACC hoof-ABL! and 3SG.NOM run-3SG like wind! truly: NEG bay-GEN like 3SG.GEN exist-3SG.NEG NEG.EMPH. and 3SG.NOM 2SG.GEN! horse.god charge-3SG for 2SG.ALL. 3SG.NOM PASS know-3SG./
/Dave by Drogo-GEN/
Or better yet: Have they made a WordPress plugin for interlinears yet? Any conlangers out there who are big into WordPress and coding? (Think that’s what we need to get this done…)
Anyway, there you have it! Translation shouldn’t be tough (remember that the ablative expresses inalienable possession and that it’s only optionally expressed). Feel free to post your translation in the comments, and I’ll tell you how you did.
Also, I ordered 10 cards, since I thought that’d be a good round number, but I have three leftover. I thought I’d have a contest and give away the remaining three, but that would involve you giving me your address, so I thought I’d better make it voluntary. So! If you would like a card, and if you’re comfortable giving me a mailing address you have access to, e-mail me at “dave” at-sign “dothraki.com” and let me know. I’ll send them out to the first three people that e-mail me with addresses, and I’ll personalize them somehow in what little space there is left on the card.
Fonas chek, zhey lajaki!
Update: All the cards have been claimed. Perhaps there will be more next year, or for some other holiday (do the Dothraki celebrate Flag Day…?). Who knows? These, though, are being sent out to stud. But let me tell you: If there is a next time, ain’t nothing getting cut off—I’ll make sure of that!
The translation ought to be something like:
“Winter has come and I will give you a gift because I respect you so much. This stallion is the wildest horse in my herd. You can see him in a cage on the front side. He’s a killer! See the fire of the eyes and hear the thunder of the hooves. And he runs like the wind! Truly: There is no bay like him! And he’s yours! The Great Stallion charges for you. It is known.
Dave son of Drogo”
Oh, snap! That’s darn near perfect! I would have said “thunder of his hooves”, and the Great Stallion is, of course, the Great Horse God, whose fiery khalasar streaks across the night sky. Well done!
By the by, there’s still one card left to be claimed!
Well, I went with “the hooves” since the sentence didn’t explicitly use a pronoun. I would have expected something like “tem fogoon moon” for “thunder of his hooves”.
I used “The Great Stallion” rather than “Horse God” eventhough you wrote horse god in the interlinear since Great Stallion was the term used in the shows subtitles and because I think it sounds better than “horse god” which I think sounds generic and bland.
Oh, did they use that in the subtitles? That’s cool. Sounds better. Anyway, though, the whole point with the expression of inalienable possession being optional, is that it’s, well, optional. So moon likely wouldn’t be used there.
I seriously missed out. I only read this, this morning. That’s what I get when I don’t have a chance to log on!