Vaes Chafi

I’m back from Chicago and an excellent WorldCon. I’d never really been to Chicago before (just its airport), so this was my first trip to the city, and I have to say: I was mightily impressed. What a city! I didn’t manage to see a Cubs game or get to the lake shore (construction), but I did get to enjoy some great food (as below) and saw some magnificent buildings, which was enough to whet my appetite. Rarely do I visit a city I would like to visit again. Chicago is an exception.

A picture of pizza we had in Chicago.
Click to enlarge.

I was on three panels while I was there which were good (especially the last, which I expected to be the driest and least well attended. Turned out to be the opposite), and managed to get a dinner in with some of my conlanging friends. You can see our own Hrakkar in the picture below—taking a picture:

Tim Stoffel and Tim Smith.
Click to enlarge.

One of the highlights of the trip was the parties with the Brotherhood Without Banners. The BWB is a fan group of George R. R. Martin’s (named after the group from A Song of Ice and Fire), and they throw a series of killer parties at every WorldCon. Both George R. R. Martin and his wife Parris attended (as usual), but this year we also got to meet Ron Donachie, who played Rodrik Cassel in Game of Thrones—and had one of the most brutal death scenes I can remember ever seeing.

In addition, I got to meet (in some cases) and see again (in other cases) members of the Song of Ice and Fire Forum. (By the way, who made that beef jerky? It was outstanding!) Special shout out to the translator of the Polish edition of A Song of Ice and Fire Michał Jakuszewski, and also George R. R. Martin’s German agent Martin Fuchs and his daughter, with whom I had a nice discussion about books (and thanks to whom I’m now well into Jack Vance’s The Languages of Pao!).

I also got to hang out with one of my favorite people who is rapidly approaching the realm of literary superstardom, Leigh Bardugo (author of Shadow and Bone, and the inspiration for the Dothraki word lei), and met a new friend in author Nina Post (her books The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse and One Ghost Per Serving both came out this year, and she has another one coming out this fall!), of whom I got an outstanding picture shown below:

Another picture of my outstanding cat.
Click to enlarge.

Okay, that’s actually a picture of my cat and my wife’s arm. Apparently Nina doesn’t like pictures, so I shall respect her wishes. But I actually got a really outstanding picture of her. This happened. Me nem nesa.

While it was bittersweet to leave (oh, by the way, played a nice game of Ingenious with some folks from Minnesota while waiting for sushi!), on returning, I got something to console me: Football. And, no, I don’t mean soccer: I mean football. I’ve got two fantasy teams running this year (and a lack of production on the part of the Giants is hurting me, at present [halftime]), and this got me to thinking: How might one handle football terms in Dothraki? I kicked it around a bit and came up with a few:

English Dothraki
Ball firi
Down akkimikh
Extra Point ovvethikhi
Field Goal ovvethikh
Flag khiro
Football (specifically) firi chenoven
Game vilajerosh
Pass ovvethe
Pigskin kherqifo
Rush lana
Tackle nokito
Touchdown athjadozar
Yard rhaesof

Okay, I could probably keep going, but it might be more fun to see what others can come up with. Also, if you think you’ve got something better for some of the terms I’ve already coined, feel free! This is non-canon Dothraki, so anything goes! By the way, if you’re looking for my preseason Super Bowl prediction, I’m calling Eagles over Texans. I’m also predicting a very frustrating season for Raiders fans like me. (Some day…)

Update: Whoops! I miscopied. The word for “tackle” is nokito, not noko. This is a crucial difference—not merely morphology! My bad!


  1. Athdavrazar! David is right about Chicago. It is my favorite big city in the US, and this was my first extended visit in many years. The pizza pictured is just one kind of Chicago style pizza, which is characterized by being VERY deep dish!

    That last panel was indeed something else! I wanted to attend very badly, but it was scheduled against a very special panel about the Apollo 13 disaster being presented by the flight controller who had handled the situation (this kind of frustrating thing frequently happens at major ‘cons :( ). It unexpectedly turned out to be a dud, so I rushed over to David’s linguistics panel. The room was packed out well beyond capacity, and a very lively discussion was going on. In any case, it was one of the best panels of the convention (and I will send you some pictures of it you can post, tonight). This panel also featured William Annis, who is also a Na’vi master. (He and I did a Na’vi panel together earlier in the ‘con. I can’t claim it was as nearly well attended.)

    There were quite a number of GoT and GRRM-related panels (And George R.R. Martin was out and about all through the event), but I didn’t get to any of them. I was busy with astronomy, spaceflight and linguistics panels. It sounds like next year, I need to do some more GoT activities! But there was still plenty of quality time to spend with the good folks from the Language Creation Society, and David.

    If you have never attended a major science fiction convention, this is something you should do. There is literally something for everyone, and more to do that you will ever get to get done!

    Ah, football terms! This ‘out-of-world’ vocabulary is one of the things that makes learning Dothraki fun! A lot of these terms are useful in general (in and out of world), as well as for football. (‘ball’, ‘game’, and ‘tackle’ easily come to mind.) And I am going to predict that (as a native Green Bayan, and a Packers season ticket holder and stockowner) that it will be the Packers again this year!

    1. … a very special panel about the Apollo 13 disaster being presented by the flight controller who had handled the situation…

      Wow! I would’ve gone to that, too! Too bad it turned out to be a dud.

      And you’re a Packers’ season ticket holder?! You know that I’m a big fan, because of Aaron Rodgers, who was our quarterback for three years. (And by “our”, of course, I mean Berkeley’s.) I’d love to see him play live!

  2. Athdavrazar that you are also a Packers fan! You might find it interesting to know that there are more Packers fans than fans for any other professional football team!

    But more importantly, there is one word missing in your list– ‘Title’, because the Packers will win yet another NFL Title this year!

    1. Yeah, he was at the party both nights. He was coming in as I was leaving the first night; talked to him a bit the second and introduced him to some friends. I also talked to him Friday, but what was going on…? Oh, right. I was in the green room, and I was desperately trying to get something to work (for Defiance); I was kind of frazzled.

  3. I was reading FFC at the time, and had him sign the book. So, yes I did interact– briefly.

    GRRM is so popular at these events that he usually has very long lines at book signings. This is very intimidating to other people who were on the same signing panel. Some had just a few people waiting, others had none :(

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