Klingon are for nerds as the cool kids run off to learn Dothraki with the aid of a new iOS app that teaches you to read, pronounce and converse in the language from the Game of Thrones fiction series, spoken by the Dothraki people.
A quick overview of who the Dothrakis are if you’re still not yet acquainted with the nomadic horse people from the Dothrakis Sea.
Game of Thrones, the enormously popular HBO TV show adapted from a series of books, spins an epic yarn of kings and commoners, as disparate forces across a fantasy realm vie for control of the Iron Throne.
One people less concerned with world domination however are the Dothraki, the famed horse riders who roam the Dothraki Sea, which is actually a broad stretch of grassland in tribes called Khalasars, raiding, enslaving and speaking in a coarse, guttural tongue.
When the popularity of the television series, based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire books skyrocketed, fans have eagerly looked for any and all information on the Dothraki characters and culture.
It started with fans creating their own online communities like Dothraki.org, to catalogue Dothraki dialogue, vocabulary, and grammar from show scripts, as well as putting up their own instructional language videos on YouTube. There’s even an mIRC server, irc.dothraki.org, with chat channels dedicated to the Dothrakis.
Random House has also released Living Language Dothraki, the official guide to the Dothraki language, compiled by acclaimed linguist David J. Peterson, which were based on phrases used by author George R. R. Martin in the original books. The book were made available sometime in June for US$19.99.
In the YouTube video below, David J. Peterson shares that Dothraki was created to sound like a combination of Arabic and Spanish. The language consists of more than 2,500 words but only four vowels. Dothraki is not written, and there is no expression for “thank you”. We wonder if that implies that they are not very polite.
Watch the videos below and learn more about the guttural Dothraki tongue.
Besides the Dothraki language book, there’s also the companion app that essentially serves as a portable practice partner, as well as the the Dothraki Expanded online course, which requires a 1-year subscription that costs US$30 in order to participate.
Released on Octover 10, the Random House companion app allows you to learn Dothraki on-the-go, without the need to lug a large book around.
The good news is, while the official website says the app retails for US$3.99, it only costs US$0.99 to get the app right now on iTunes for both iPhone and iPad versions.
The app is a lot less comprehensive than the book or the online course and features only fifteen thematic flashcard decks with more than 300 Dothraki vocabulary words, a conversational dialogue, a pronunciation guide, a simplified grammar summary, and interactive games that test your vocabulary knowledge.
From the app, you’ll get to learn that M’athchomaroon, as used in this article’s title, is the equivalent to saying ‘Hi’ and M’ath and M’ach are shortened and informal versions of it.
The contents of the app is really more than enough to get you conversant in the language of the horse lords and make idle chatter should you decide to roam the Dothraki Sea. Definitely worth the download for every Game of Thrones, Dothraki geek out there.
Also, it’s probably better than paying for an app that helps you to speak like Hodor by basically turning everything you want to say into ‘hodor’.