Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones, has mastered the Dothraki language. She has been speaking the language since Game of Thrones started back in 2011. If you’re wondering if it’s a real language, the actress answered the question when she guested on Late Night With Seth Meyers.
Meyers, like many, was curious about the language and asked Clarke if she made up words when she spoke the Dothraki language in Game of Thrones. Emilia said that Dothraki is a full language that can be studied.
In fact, the Dothraki language was created by linguist David Peterson for Game of Thrones, as Rolling Stones reports. In the video below, the Peterson explains how the Dothraki language was created.
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Emilia Clarke then explained the process of learning her lines for the show. According to the actress, she gets the script in English first and then gets to read her lines in Dothraki, and afterward, she hears an mp3 version of her lines in the Dothraki language. She then rehearses her lines time and time again until she gets all the words right and sounds convincing.
Of course, learning a new language is quite difficult, so Meyers asked Emilia if she ever messes up her lines when speaking in Dothraki while the camera is rolling. Clarke confesses that the crew doesn’t know if she makes a mistake, as they don’t know the language. She even admits that she may have made quite a few mistakes in this season’s Game of Thrones. Despite admitting to making mistakes while delivering her lines, it seems that Emilia Clarke has a good grasp of the language, as she once translated Hanson’s hit “Mmmbop” into Dothraki. Check the video below to see Emilia’s full interview and hear her recite “Mmmbop” in Dothraki, which is quite impressive.
David Peterson, the creator of the Dothraki language, has also created other languages for series such as Defiance and Dominion.
In Game of Thrones, the Dothraki language is spoken by the Dothraki people, who are warriors. George R.R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of books Game of Thrones is based on, said that the Dothraki people are loosely based on the Turks, Native Americans, Huns, and Mongols. The Dothraki are copper-skinned and have dark hair.
In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke’s character, Daenerys, was married to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki people, and that was when she learned the Dothraki language. “Khal” translates to Dothraki warlord, and that’s where Daenerys got the name “Khaleesi,” which means “the wife of khal.” The language, according to Peterson, reflects the culture of the Dothraki.
According to the websiteDothraki: A Language of Fire and Blood, the Dothraki language was developed from a few Dothraki words that are present in the first three books of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Now, the language has expanded to more than 3,000 words and is continuously expanding.
For those who want to learn the Dothraki language, Peterson created a book with a CD that featured basic phrases, a grammar guide, pronunciation guide, dialogue notes, and some questions for testing. Those who are interested can also learn through an online expanded course that costs $30 for a year’s subscription. Check out a video of David Peterson recording in Dothraki below.
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