https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

On why I am excited about High Valyrian

First of all, I am Finnish and I find the way High Valyrian and Finnish have been treated in recent discussion horribly unfair to both people who are interested in High Valyrian and people who are interested in Finnish. I would love to see Finnish in the Incubator and I have applied to become a contributor. That does not mean that I am upset when other languages make it into the Incubator. I have also had a chat with the creator of High Valyrian and I found out that he is studying Finnish at the moment and would love to see Finnish on Duolingo. I thought that perhaps if people knew more about High Valyrian, they would see why people like me who are generally interested in linguistics are so excited about a chance to learn this language.

1) Latin and not Latin - In terms of cultural position in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, High Valyrian resembles Latin of the Medieval Europe. In terms of linguistic features, however, the vocabulary is nothing like Latin. dracarys, the word for "dragonfire", may resemble the Latin draco, but the High Valyrian word for "dragon" is, in fact, zaldrīzes.

2) The language has phonemes that are rare in European languages, the most obvious one being ɣ. High Valyrian also has both falling and rising diphthongs. You can read more about High Valyrian phonology here.

3) High Valyrian has four genders: Lunar, Solar, Terrestrial and Aquatic. Read more here.

4) High Valyrian nouns have four grammatical numbers. Read more here.

5) Animate and inanimate demonstrative and interrogative pronouns have different stems. Read more here.

6) There are eight noun cases.

7) There are six noun declensions.

8) Friends of Sanskrit will be happy to notice that High Valyrian verbs have aorist form. More about verb conjugation here.

9) There are more postpositions than prepositions. Read more here.

The links will lead you to Dothrawiki. Now as much as I would love to see Finnish or Latin in the Incubator, I have to say that I am very excited about the chance to learn High Valyrian. It just sounds like an intriguing language.

Thank you for making Duolingo a great place! :)

November 12, 2016

24 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuoFaber

I don't get why people got so upset when they heard about High Valyrian. It's not like it's going to slow other languages down, it's just another course being added to the list, and each course has its own difficulties and its own reasons for being delayed. By the way, future learners of High Valyrian probably know a lot about patience, it's been years since the last Game of Thrones book. And as a reader myself, I'm still waiting too.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theron126

The thing is, developing courses does take a certain amount of staff resources, which is why they tell us they can't just add every language they have contributors for. So it isn't necessarily true that it's not going to slow other languages down.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuoFaber

Oh, okay! Thanks for the info ;)

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

I am waiting for the next book myself. Avoiding spoilers has not been easy. :)

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Same for me Mari.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/browncar002

This is very well written and probably could be in a newspaper

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lauren13hannigan

I love Game Of Thrones and i always find all the languages in the show so fascinating, but i really don't understand why Duolingo couldn't let both languages in the incubator, i mean there was a lot of people that applied to be a contributor in Finnish and it is one of the most requested languages, while High Valyrian is an amazing language, there's only one contributor and i have not seen anyone asking for it in any discussion, i think that if there's people to work in the language they should let them! but i don't really think that High Valyrian is pointless, it is a nice language to hear in the show and once they put Klingon there was no reason to not put High Valyrian or any other fictional language.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nate605330

There are four, though Peterson has produced most of the content and the rest are just his prodigies. But I do agree, I would like to learn Dothracki too

July 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharmingTiger

Athdavrazar Mari! I don't know how you put amazing posts like this together in your free time, but it's all in a day's work for you.

Mari: "Hmmm.... I think I'll learn the intricacies of the Dothraki language today for fun and have a chat with the creator of High Valyrian."

A lot of people ask 'Why?'. You however are that special type of person that chooses the opposite approach and says: Why not? : ))

Shieraki gori ha yeraan! Dothras chek.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

I think the people who complain are probably temporary users who only intend to learn as much as they need or want of a specific language. People who stick around are probably more interested in language in general. I have languages I would like to see here but I am just happy to see they are still adding more constructed or not.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1662
November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

They may have started it and should be disapproved of, but the way some people reacted to the nonsense of these so-called pro-Finnish people is just as inexcusable. There was a post demanding that all Finnish-related posts should be down-voted. My Finnish lessons have been down-voted too, even though they are meant as a serious language learning tool and not as propaganda. I think the reputation of both Finnish and High Valyrian have suffered because of the situation and I find this sad because both are very beautiful languages.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1662
November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zzzzz...

I am moving this conversation to your profile. :)

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

look, tbf, Finnish is basically a running meme now

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Hallelujah - some common sense! applause

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/underwood.jones

I think I'm a little surprised that it was High Valyrian and not Dothraki that got added. They had talked about Dothraki in the past and there was even a little horse-flag icon found on their flags image map at one point.

To phrase the disappointment of others in another way: I think it's fewer emotions directed at High Valyrian being added, and more emotions directed at the fact that popular requests (Icelandic, Finnish, Latin) have not yet been added, and even less commonly requested languages (Gothic, to which I applied to contribute, and Cherokee, which is more commonly requested but still has a small speaker base) have also not been added...even as Romanian has graduated and other languages (Yiddish) have stalled in progress for years. Perhaps we can embrace High Valyrian with one arm and wag a finger with the other?

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

Didn't Duolingo ask HBO for permission to teach Dothraki and get told no?

I'm a little surprised that their Dothraki logo is still on https://d7mj4aqfscim2.cloudfront.net/images/flag-sprite11.svg and the lists of languages at https://incubator.duolingo.com/apply .

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RVFVS

Thankyou for helping to clear up peoples disagreements. I think that arguing over which language belongs on duolingo the most is pointless. The point of duolingo is to have fun learning the languages you love, not thrashing out at High Valyrian. Thanks for this post!

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/otsogutxi

Maybe Duolingo will put Finnish in the Incubator when High Valyrian is done as a thank you for the creator doing hard work on the course:)

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeyItsKayliKat

Thank You! I agree people should just be accepting.

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjaumjaupurr

Reading your post has made me excited about the new arrival to the incubator too. Thank you for your cogent reasoning and inspiring enthusiasm. ^_^

November 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

3) High Valyrian has four genders: Lunar, Solar, Terrestrial and Aquatic.

Normally linguists call this category noun class instead of gender when there's a whole bunch of them: https://2seedsswahili.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/swahili-unit-4/comment-page-1/ . ;)

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nate605330

Can't get it on smartphone. I like conlangs a lot so I wish it were on mobile

July 20, 2017
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