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"Valar morghūlis, Jaqessi."

Translation:All men must die, Jaqen.

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1 year ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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Is the "must" a particular verbal form, rather than an auxiliary verb?

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SprightBark
SprightBark
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As I understand it morghūlis can be either the 3rd person plural/paucal present indicative or the 3rd person singular/collective aorist.

In the aorist, the "must" here gives the sense that it is a general truth. Which makes it an interpretation of a particular verbal form.

The “must” is optional:

Valar morghūlis - All men die ("All men must die" is another possible translation of this line)

Source: https://wiki.dothraki.org/High_Valyrian_Tutorial

MadLatinist (one of the Duolingo HV contributors) has written:

This is also the verb form in the infamous Valar Morghūlis/Dohaeris, conventionally glossed "All men must die/serve." Because the aorist implies something is always true, it can sometimes be translated with "must," especially when used with a collective noun.

Source: http://forum.dothraki.org/index.php?topic=354.0


In the present indicative Vali morghūlis is simply: men die.

The 3rd person singular in present indicative is: morghūljas, so I suppose we could have valar morghūljas meaning all the men are dying! with no hint of a general truth.

See also:

https://wiki.dothraki.org/High_Valyrian_Verb_Conjugation

https://wiki.dothraki.org/High_Valyrian_Number

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Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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Ah, that is not what I would understand as an aorist. I had always thought of that as a past tense that was not specifically perfective or imperfective. Perhaps I have only ever learned languages with past aorists.

In any case, then, my "All men die" should then have been accepted. I wish I had reported it.

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SprightBark
SprightBark
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I have had to make edits to my above comment.

They do not change the outcome regarding the aorist - "must" seems optional.

I had been careless in my reading of information from the conjugation page saying that "morghūlis" was both present indicative and aorist (my carelessness was in not spotting one is plural, the other singular), and the tutorial page saying that "valar morghūlis" was "All men (must) die" (which I then erroneously put together thinking this meant that "valar" could take "morghūlis" in both present indicative and aorist, which is not correct).

For reference, my original incorrect comment read:

As I understand it Valar morghūlis can be either the present indicative or the aorist.

In the aorist, the "must" here gives the sense that it is a general truth. Which makes it an interpretation of a particular verbal form.

In the present indicative it is simply: All men die. [Again, as I understand it.]

MadLatinist (one of the Duolingo HV contributors) has written:

This is also the verb form in the infamous Valar Morghūlis/Dohaeris, conventionally glossed "All men must die/serve." Because the aorist implies something is always true, it can sometimes be translated with "must," especially when used with a collective noun.

Source: http://forum.dothraki.org/index.php?topic=354.0

1
Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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And, of course, I imagine the actual quotation was originally thought of by Mr Martin (I assume it is in the books) in English, so there is a truly correct translation (All men must die) in a way that would not be possible from another language. The fun of this little game, though, is treating this as a natural language. Thanks for playing with me.

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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Well, Mr Peterson has made an interesting, little language, so the questions come easily.

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1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SprightBark
SprightBark
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It has indeed been fun. And thank you for asking interesting questions which have helped to engage me further with the language. :)

1
1 year ago