Whether it’s Klingon, Elvish, or Gallifreyan, fictional languages are firmly cemented in nerd culture. Learning to read, write, and speak these languages is a huge undertaking, but can be incredibly rewarding.
When Game of Thrones was developed for television, linguist David J. Peterson was hired to create the language of Dothraki. That means Dothraki has grammar, pronunciation, and cultural ties, just like real languages. The amount of thought and depth that Dothraki has is simply impressive, especially since a small number of scenes involve extensive Dothraki dialogue.
If the Dothraki that appeared in the show wasn’t enough, now you can learn exactly what Daenerys and Drogo were saying. Living Language has created Living Langauge Dothraki, a complete language course written by David J. Peterson himself. The course includes a written and audio component. The booklet explains basic pronunciation and grammatical structure as well as cultural notes, while the audio disc includes every Dothraki word or phrase inside the booklet. In addition, the booklet includes dialogue practice and exercises. There is also a website with even more content, flashcards, and games, and even an iOS app to take your practice on-the-go.
As someone who has studied a language before, I found the course to be surprisingly robust. It is clear that each phrase, word, and syllable was carefully considered by Peterson, and the effort is evident in this course. Although Dothraki is a fictional language, the course treats it the same as a real language, going much further than simply offering vocabulary terms. In fact, the Dothraki displayed in the television adaption is not indicative of how much Peterson developed to reach the few phrases in the show; Dothraki is a complete language. If you wanted to gain a conversational understanding of Dothraki, Living Language Dothraki could definitely make that goal a reality.
Simply put, I was sincerely impressed by the quality and extensiveness of Living Language Dothraki. I would highly recommend the course to any fan of Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, especially those who love to immerse themselves in the world.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Living Language Dothraki by winning a Twitter contest from Game of Thrones. All thoughts are my own.