Dothraki by David Peterson is a very small book that’s used as a guide to learning the fictional language Dothraki from the Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, i.e. Game of Thrones.
0 out of 10 stars. I was so excited to get this set. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was. 🙁 The small book will fit in your hand and is about 100 pages long. The accompanying disc is shorter than most CDs. I think the worst part of all is that the book and the CD don’t match, i.e. there is no corresponding section on the CD to match the first through fourth chapters of the book. :0
First let me explain the Game of Thrones world a little. Three decades ago, a lonely old white guy named George R. R. Martin started a series of novels about a medieval world on a fictional continent called Westeros. Kings, knights, maesters, lords, and ladies live in this kingdom. Across the Narrow Sea, however, is another continent, Essos, where a culture of horse-riders dwell. They are called the Dothraki and they are somewhat mirrored after the Mongols. I personally hate the Dothraki. From the wedding between Daenerys Targaryen, a 14 year old girl, and the Dothraki war lord Khal Drogo who was more than twice her age, I’ve been disgusted with the entire Dothraki world. These are men who rape and pillage, rape and pillage, rape and pillage, and murder a lot. That’s their culture. There’s nothing to respect here. Khal Drogo raped Daenerys repeatedly throughout the first season which is the number one reason so many fans came to Game of Thrones in later seasons. We were all repulsed by season 1 and all the raping of children, especially Daenerys.
So that’s the Game of Thrones world. it became famous, not because of Martin’s writing, but because of the world he created and the marvelous series created by HBO that drew in millions of fans. Martin, seeing an opportunity to make the Westeros world as popular as the Star Trek world, decided to make the Dothraki language kind of like the Klingon language of Star Trek fame. I’m sure he envisioned a Dothraki dictionary and all kinds of spinoffs and other merchandising which has actually come to fruition. Martin has made a huge fortune off of the products sold in relation to Game of Thrones. So off Martin goes and writes a few pieces of dialogue into his novels in the fictional Dothraki language. Here we are three decades later and the HBO series Game of Thrones needs the actual language for their scenes with dialogue. Apparently, HBO went to the Language Creation Society and asked for proposals for the Dothraki language. The winner was none other than David Peterson, the author of this book. He wrote the entire Dothraki language as a spoken only language. It’s not written and so he writes it in English. That alone makes for a confusing way to learn a language.
Aside from the book and the CD not going together, there are other huge obstacles to learning this language. The top three languages–Spanish, Italian, and French–are called the Romance languages because they follow certain patterns. First you learn the six subjects (I, you, he/she, we, you (plural), and they). Then you learn how to conjugate each verb for those six subjects. ALL language learning materials are fashioned this way. Even Rosetta Stone, the number one language teacher, uses this convention. Peterson must have thought all those other teachers were wrong, because he doesn’t teach Dothraki that way. He teaches it by mimicking which is how many conversational languages are taught by the Living Language people. (Which is probably why the Living Language packages never sell.) Peterson has several sections and under each section is a list of phrases commonly used and what they mean. Each of these sections is less than a page and these are tiny pages. :0 How are you supposed to learn that way?
On top of all that is the language itself. It’s full of three sounds: sh, ch, and k. That’s 90% of the language right there. So listening to it is extremely difficult. Was that a sh or a ch sound?
0 out of 10 stars. This was so disappointing. 🙁 I’m going to crawl into my pillow and cry now because I have almost a year until Season 7 rolls around. After 30 years, Martin has only released 5 books in the series and number 6 has been delayed indefinitely. 🙁
Reviewed by Devin.