Languages

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Throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, numerous cultural and regional dialects are discussed. These dialects form the world's spoken tongue, and help define its people.

Portrayal

Unlike J. R. R. Tolkien, who created entire languages with grammar, syntax, and tenses, George R. R. Martin has created only a few words from each language in his world, and his languages are not conveyed in any great detail. Instead, the tongue in which they are speaking is noted but rendered in English, with added characteristics and flavor portrayed through out the text. As Martin explained,

Tolkien was a philologist, and an Oxford don, and could spend decades laboriously inventing Elvish in all its detail. I, alas, am only a hardworking SF and fantasy novel, and I don't have his gift for languages. That is to say, I have not actually created a Valyrian language. The best I could do was try to sketch in each of the chief tongues of my imaginary world in broad strokes, and give them each their characteristic sounds and spellings.[1]

David J. Peterson developed spoken Dothraki and High Valyrian for HBO's television adaptation, Game of Thrones. The languages expand greatly from Martin's few created words. A website, dothraki.org, helps teach and spread the constructed tongues. The popularity of the Dothraki language has led it to be called "the new Klingon".[2]

Languages of Westeros

The Old Tongue was the language of the First Men, who dominated Westeros for thousands of years. Today, the Old Tongue is still remembered by giants and some free folk who live beyond the Wall,[3][4] but most people within the Seven Kingdoms know no other language than the Common Tongue. Although the Common Tongue has minor variations and regional accents,[5][6] Dornishmen can communicate with northmen without difficulty. Foreign tongues are taught in the Citadel and by maesters,[7] or are are brought from other lands by immigrants, merchants, sellswords, and the like.

Languages of Essos

Many languages exist in Essos, the continent across the narrow sea.

Non-Human Communication

External links

References

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