"Rytsas, valar morghūlis."
Translation:Hello, all men must die.
I always considered this a rather humbling phrase. Like it's saying that time is fleeting. And the response that men all must serve as a reply that the time available is to be used in service to others. Like the very English "your servant, sir" greeting of old. So it's basically "time is precious" and "I am willing to use that precious time to assist you".
Valyrian greetings is quite weird really. If taken literally, foreigners will have a heart attack upon first meeting.
Is it Valī by itself like that or Vali? I understood that the long i "ī" was used only when the noun is immediately adjacent to another noun, to add the implication of an "and" in between the two.
Yep, it's supposed to be just "vali" here. "Valī" can be what you said and also accusative plural (i.e. the men are suffering the verb's action). In your case ("and" implied) the pronunciation is shifted to the end ("vaLĪ" rather then "VAlī") but not on my case. ;)
Well, it was a book series ("A Song of Ice and Fire") before it was a TV show, but yes. It's their standard ritual greeting:
"All men must die."
"All men must serve."
Yeah, I knew it was a book series, but "show" is shorter than "book series".
Yes, in the Free Cities, like Braavos, it's like a way of greetings. You say valar morghūlis and the people respond with valar dohaeris
Sincerely not intending to be rude but this is extremely basic canon. If it's unfamiliar, I would highly recommend reading the books before bothering with HV. You're missing out on the culture and historical context which -imo - give it the depth of beauty to want to learn the language in the first place.
Okay, well, sincerely not intending to be rude either, but my motivation for learning languages comes from an internal drive to acquire knowledge, not from a desire to seem more acceptable to a certain group of people.
Languages, even constructed ones like this one, are always strongly interwoven with culture, so you'll have to understand both to understand either one, otherwise your quest for knowledge will ultimately not amount to anything.
this is how I'm going to greet my friends for the next few weeks at the least
Is it a greeting because it tells the truth about the inevitability of death?
Yes, in the Tips and Notes that accompany each lesson.
Nothing in those notes explained the grammar for this phrase. Of course, that would be too advanced for this stage, and the phrase should be learned as a set expression; I assume the grammar will come later.
At this stage, just learn it as a set expression. I'm assuming the grammar will be covered at a later, more appropriate stage.