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The Dothraki language has 20 consonants, 4 vowels and 2 glides.


Standard Ortography

Dothraki IPA Informal English example Notes
a a aah father
ch t͡ʃ ch check can be aspirated
d d dog dental
e e e then
f f ff fool
g g g good
h h hh ham
i i ee machine
j d͡ʒ j judge
k k k kill can be aspirated
kh x x Bach
l ll left dental
m m mm man, ham
n nn no, tin dental
o o oh mow
q q k
r ɾ, r rr trilled when at the beginning of the word and followed by a vowel; at the end of the word; when doubled; tap medially elsewhere
s s ss see, city
sh ʃ shh ship
t t' stop, top can be aspirated, dental
th θ th thin
v v vuh voice, have
w w wuh wave, dowager
y j y' yes
z z zz zoo
zh ʒ azure

Apart from names, the letters p, b, u and x do not appear in the ortography of diegetically modern Dothraki, and c appears only in the digraph ch.


For phonemes that are marked with digraph, the geminate has a reduced ortography, eg. kkh instead of khkh. This does not affect the pronunciation, these are geminates just as any others.

Dothraki IPA Never
kkh xx *kx
ssh ʃʃ *sʃ
tth θθ *tθ
zzh ʒʒ *zʒ
cch tt͡ʃ



Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Plosive t [t̪] k [k] q [q]
Voiced Plosive d [d̪] g [g]
Affricate ch [t͡ʃ]
Voiced Affricate j [d͡ʒ]
Voiceless fricative f [f] th [θ] s [s] sh [ʃ] kh [x] h [h]
Voiced fricative v [v] z [z] zh [ʒ]
Nasal m [m] n [n̪]
Lateral l [l̪]
Trill r [r]
Tap r [ɾ]
Glide w [w] y [j]

The digraphs kh, sh, th and zh are all fricatives, while ch and j are affricates.

Doubled consonants are always pronounced geminated.


Dothraki has four phonetically distinct vowels:

Dothraki IPA Notes
i i
e e
o o
a a

There are no diphthongs or long vowels.


As in any natural or natural-aspiring language, there are some phones in Dothraki that are considered - and even heard - the same with each other.

Complementary Variation

Some phonemes change according to the surrounding phones, to ease the pronunciation.

  • As [q] sound is produced far in the throat, if there is a vowel immediately following, that vowel shifts considerably - so much so, that we have opted on marking this shift in IPA pronunciation guides in vocabulary.
Dothraki normal after q
i i e
e e ɛ
o o ɔ
a a ɑ
  • In syllabe-final position, h [h] shifts to [ħ]

Free Variation

There is no definite line between complementary variation and free variation; some variation happens always when the surrounding phones call for it, some may happen. Some variation is indifferent of the surrounding phones.

  • While Dothraki has no labial plosives, [p] or [b], both of these have been available in the past and have developed into [f] and [v], respectively. The [p] and [b] phones can still be met as free variants of f [f] and v [v], and should generally go unnoticed.
  • With only four vowel phonemes, Dothraki vowels have more room to shift than in most languages. They should be treated as little less precisely placed than eg. vowels in English.
  • Following velar consonant, k [k], kh [x] or g [g], o [o] may shift as far as to [u].
  • Voiceless stops, t [t], k [k] and q [q] even ch [t͡ʃ] may be aspirated.

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