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Hello I would like a new language please…

Hello I would like a new language please, a question which hit me while driving to an event this week. I listened to an interesting interview with David Peterson. David is a language developer and is the individual responsible for creating the Dothraki and High Valyrian languages for Sky Atlantic’s Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is an American epic fantasy television drama series created for HBO filmed in Belfast and in locations around the world. As part of the plot there was the requirement to have a language for the indigenous inhabitants of the Dothraki Sea. The language was developed following a competition between thirty linguists who specialise in conlanging.

Conlanging is the creation of constructed languages or conlangs, such as Esperanto or Lojban. A conlanger is someone who creates or constructs languages or conlangs and David Peterson was the chosen specialist for the series. There are over 3,500 words within the language as well as full syntax and grammar. This does may not seem like a lot compared to the over one million words in the English language, but when you consider this is a language created for a television series it is mightily impressive and it was the product of over five months work to develop.

Of course this is not the only language created for television and one of the earliest examples is Klingon from Star Trek, this has led to the creation of plays and operas in Klingon including a version of Hamlet. It can only be a matter of time before you can see the works of Shakespeare in Dothraki.

So although Lingua Translations can translate over two thousand languages, Dothraki is currently not one of them, however we do have a linguist we could recommend! Hash yer dothrae chek?

Linguists may wish to read more about the language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dothraki_language
To create your own language visit the Language Creation Society website: http://conlang.org/

UPDATE: Following my posting of this post I read that Microsoft has partnered with Paramount to add Klingon to the languages available on its Bing translation services. The service will go live on 14th May – so if you are caught short on  H’atoria you will be able to confidently ask: “nuqDaq ‘oH puchpa’ ‘e'” (where is the bathroom?). Now that is linguistic progress, I think?

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About Sharon Stephens

Sharon Stephens is Operations Director of Lingua Translation. With a First Class Honours Degree in Translation and a University Lecturer in Translation (Masters), she is a self confessed language geek! Bringing the academic principles of translation and business together Sharon offers a quality-driven and needs centric translation and interpreting service - like no other.

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