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The problem posed by Meereenese Valyrian

Well we now have official transcriptions for two lines of Meereenese:

  • Shka ma khurf. P’ashkesh she kraj waov. — You’re a fool. The masters are too strong.
  • Yel mizozliwash. Erntash ye kosh shp’ashkesh. — She will protect us. She defeated the masters’ champion.

... so we really need to start thinking how we're going to handle the different idioms of Slaver's Bay. My own opinions on this have vacillated a lot, depending on how I've viewed the linguistic situation. here's the background:

  1. We originally had the impression that AV, YV, and MV were all quite similar, no different from one another are than the different dialects of English.
    • Since we thought this, my plan was that once we learned more dialects we could modify the vocabulary page to operate the way Coptic dictionaries do. For example:
    • Aaeske -e [ˈae̯ske], Maskesh -esh [aˈʃkɛʃ],
    n.cel. master ( < HV aeksio.)
    ... where the superscript letters indicate the different dialects. A lot of the details would still need to be worked out, and we'd have to rename all the AV pages to "Ghiscari Valyrian" or the like, which would be a pain.
  2. Then we got our first clear, subtitled Meereenese dialog in Oathkeeper, and I was shocked at how different it was . I argued that they seemed, in fact, like closely related but still distinct languages, like, say, Spanish and Portuguese.
    This could then be organized into into Ghiscari Valyrian, which would have a structure similar to that of Main Page.
  3. DJP posted, saying that while the sound changes are pretty radical, it really just boils down to a thick accent.
    His next post likens the difference to California English vs. "Scotch English." --Iustinus 10:53, 7 May 2014 (CDT)
    More recently: "The Meereenese and Astapori speak the same language, just with outrageously different accents... Of course, given that Meereenese and Astapori are the same language, Daenerys could eventually understand and speak if she spent a little time with it." --Iustinus 17:37, 9 February 2015 (CST)
    • So now I'm kind of unsure what to do.

I mean, both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, but I guess it really boils down to just how close the dialects turn out to be. I suppose we should probably take DJP at his word and go with the first system.

Still, it would be nice to hear what the rest of you think. --Iustinus 22:39, 5 May 2014 (CDT)

I like the first alternative much more. For one, it offers much more alluring, compact take on the Ghiscari Valyrian. Comparing is also a lot easier. Eventually we (or at least you) will get a good hang on the Meereneese shift and can make safe, only slightly speculative translations from one to another. Since it's techical, but still very basic wiki work, I could help with changing the pages, so that should not be a big pain for you ;) Qvaak..fin thira athdrivaride

I am ambivalent on which system is better, but I personally lean towards system 2. This system is easier to keep straight. The problem I see with system 1 is that you need to pick a precedence of the GV tongues. Not all languages will have all words. And in what order are the words arranged? Still, though, I can immediately see how this would be useful. For number 2, I think we would put all the GV tongues on the same footing as HV and AV. There is no real need, I think, to have a GV subsection that contains all the dialects in it. Its just one more level one must descend to see the GV languages, and this probably does not help much with scholarship. However, I am here to support you what ever you decide, and can do some modifications for you. - Hrakkar

Right, and of course Coptic dictionaries do select a main dialect (usually Saidic, sometimes Bohairic) to start from, and only words that don't occur in Sahidic are spelled alphabetized according to another dialect. For us the base dialect would have to be AV, because as things stand we have far, far more material for it than MV. The gap is sure to close a bit as we get more dialog and David gives us more transcriptions, but I doubt it will eclipse AV for a very long time, if ever. (As for YV, David has said, just this morning, that he hasn't really developed it much, but he sees it as nearly identical to AV. So I doubt that will be a problem.)
The only problem of that nature I see in this system is this: in a Coptic dictionary, supposing you want to look up a word you found in a Bohairic Bohairic text and the dictionary is arranged by Sahidic; you have to convert the spelling to Sahidic in your head, look there, and if you don't find it, go back to how it was spelled in Bohairic. But people who study Coptic generally know how to do this, and I don't think we can assume people who are interested in Ghiscari Valyrian will be able to (how could they possibly know that MThowoá is ADovoghedhy?) I guess I'm thinking that at the beginning of the th section there would be a cross-reference to the d section. Also, of course, while this is a problem, it's a lot less of a problem for a digital glossary than a print one, since it can be easily searched.
As for having a separate page for GV itself, the main advantage of that is that it helps keep the Valyrian dialects from cluttering up the main page, especially if we decide to have a separate suite of pages for YV (we currently have heard two sentences on the show, of which we have an official transcription for one, and we don't know exactly what it means), or Braavosi (which seems pretty inevitable for next season). I was envisioning that the main page would have sections for Dothraki, HV, GV, and eventually BV, then if you click on GV you get a new page divided into AV, YV, MV. If the rest Free Cities dialects ever come into play we might consider further subpages like that, but that's a long way off.
--Iustinus 09:00, 7 May 2014 (CDT)
First off, I should say that I probably will not involve myself very much with the Ghiscari languages, so have that in mind. At first, I was more inclined to keep them on the same page, but after reading Iustinus' email I think separate pages are probably best. Because (a) it is more consistent with the rest of the wiki, (b) it makes the page less cluttered, (c) the "Coptic" argument Iustinus presented above and (d) confusion with identical AV words is prevented. But of course, there are very valid arguments for keeping it on the same page as well.
--Juelos 14:34, 7 May 2014 (CDT)

I confess that I myself have been leaning (lately) towards the first, Coptic-style, solution. The problem I mentioned about alphabetization is minor on a searchable webpage. But in any case, if we go the other way, I'm thinking YV is still going to have to be lumped in with AV—David has said:

As for Yunkish, I put don’t put it in the middle of the two dialects. Rather, it’s all but identical to Astapori. Truth be told, I haven’t had to do anything specific for Yunkish, but if I did, the variation would be minor.

And, indeed, any words of Yunkish we've been able to figure out so far have gone on the Astapori Valyrian Vocabulary page.
So, in other words, YV should probably get "solution 1" no matter which solution we go with for MV. I am, of course, open to counter-arguments --Iustinus 12:29, 8 May 2014 (CDT)

Another thing is that if we go with solution 2, there will be an awful lot of duplication of information between the two pages, since for the most part AV and MV words are going to line up nearly exactly in terms of etymology and usage. That will be a pain to make certain that any changes that need to be made to one page are made to the other. --Iustinus 00:30, 11 May 2014 (CDT)

Decided to make dialect templates experimentally, just in case we do go with the first solution. And even if we don't, I'm sure we can find uses for them:

  • 𝐴𝑌aeske -e [ˈae̯ske], 𝑀askesh -esh [aˈʃkɛʃ],
n.cel. master ( < HV aeksio.)

(I'm just assuming, of course, that the YV form is aeske for demonstration purposes.) --Iustinus 14:28, 12 May 2014 (CDT)

I think we should make a separate section for each dialect. It would make it easy for grouping and collecting information about each dialect. The problem with the first system is that I imagine it could clutter up the dictionary. If it is a High Valyrian dictionary, I think it should remain that and not add words from the other dialects. We can make a separate dictionary for words that are found in only Astapori or Meerenese Valyrian --Tertrih 01:56, 25 June 2014 (CDT)

Just to clarify, the idea is not to merge all the dialects into High Valyrian. The idea would be to merge Astapori, Yunkish, and Meereenese into Ghiscari Valyrian, and leave that separate from High Valyrian. Currently we have High Valyrian Vocabulary and Astapori Valyrian Vocabulary... so I guess it boils down to:
  1. Move Astapori Valyrian Vocabulary to Ghiscari Valyrian Vocabulary, and include YV and MV there.
  2. Leave Astapori Valyrian Vocabulary where it is, but create a new Meereenese Valyrian Vocabulary page for MV. (YV should probably not get it's own page, but rather be somehow incorporated into the AV page.)
Either way, High Valyrian Vocabulary stays exclusively HV, with the exception of one or two LV words sometimes used in HV.
I'm guessing that you still prefer the second solution though, creating a separate page for Meereenese?
--Iustinus 03:18, 25 June 2014 (CDT)

I think we've gradually drifted towards making separate pages for Meereenese, especially once Tertrih arrived, but I'm still uneasy about it. It's been a while since we've talked about this does anyone have anything new to say here? --Iustinus 17:37, 9 February 2015 (CST)

Meta-Question

On many wikis it seems like the Community portal gets renamed to something thematic and creative (see, for example, what it's called on the various language Wikipedias). Do we want to do someting similar here, and if so, what do we want to call it? --Iustinus 10:53, 7 May 2014 (CDT)

It would be pretty cool if the portal had one name in English, and then translations into all the various languages as a subtitle. Lentuno remia, "the community's gates" would a pretty adequate translation of "community portal" I think. Looking at what other wikis have, maybe something like "Tavern" or "Inn"? Another idea might be "The Crossroads" or just "Crossroads", since in Essos, the Valyrian roads are an important way of travel, and from what I can recall in the books they are used by both the Dothraki and the Free Cities' inhabitants (examples being Drogo's khalasar and Illyrio Mopatis). --Juelos 08:08, 8 May 2014 (CDT)
The multilingual thing would be fun; even if "Community portal" is a rather bland name, we do at least know how to say it in HV, if not in AV and certainly not MV (Dothraki perhaps? I do see the word for "gate" in the vocabulary.)
The roads idea is also nice, though like the "portal" idea, we'd need to get DJP's help for anything more specific than just plain "road."
Then again for something like this, we have a better than normal chance of getting help.
--Iustinus 12:00, 8 May 2014 (CDT)
I asked DJP about "crossroads" on Twitter just now, but unfortunately he didn't have time. A somewhat decent translation for HV might be ezīntra geralbri "split roads". Given my very limited knowledge of Dothraki, osyom "crossing-road" seems like it could be a candidate. --Juelos 18:11, 4 June 2014 (CDT)
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