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  5. Prince/princess has no gender

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beth231200

Prince/princess has no gender

Hi. Still in the early stages of learning High Valyrian, but it seems like there are a lot of words for people that are genderless: voktys (priest/priestess), jentys (leader). i.e., that is more common than not.

So I was surprised to hear the bit of Valyrian dialog on last night's Game of Thrones, which if I followed correctly centered on the word dārilaros. Daenerys speaks High Valyrian, but had to be informed that the words could mean either prince or princess?

I found this hard to believe. Was this just lazy writing on the part of the scriptwriters? Is it part of the shtick that Missandei is better at HV than Daenerys? I know it's just a show, but I'm curious as to what others thought about this scene.

July 24, 2017

7 Comments


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

All HV nouns have a gender: solar, lunar, aquatic or terrestrial; that is what the concept of grammatical gender means in HV.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beth231200

Yes, but if you'll read my post it's obvious what I'm talking about. Not grammatical gender. Has ANYONE actually watched the episode in question?


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

Not really; you are superimposing a largely indo-european understanding of gender as a system that grew from differentiating biological sex on a language that conpartmentalises its nouns in an entirely different manner. There is no reason why it should differentiate between male and female rulers any more than English differentiates between male and female fish.

I also point out that Daenerys does not speak English, she speaks the Common Tongue, for which English is used as a stand-in translation. Your question is therefore predicated on the grammar of this language, and how it differs from HV—neither of which questions can be answered as I do not think that this information exists. I am pretty sure that a previous episode established HV as Daenerys' L1. It is somewhat lazy writing, in my opinion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beth231200

I feel like you didn't read my question. The point I was making are in the last two sentences of your second paragraph.


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

In the HV course, it teaches you that it doesn't have a gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beth231200

Exactly! So are we supposed to believe Daenerys doesn't know this? It's a pretty basic feature of her "mother tongue".

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