super new to this language (other than game of thrones) what should i expect?
I am going to give an answer which provides a very general overview of some of the main grammatical features. As with any overview it will be too brief to do justice to the subject. As with any complex subject the condensation of it into a short space may also make it look more complex than if it is approached over a lengthier course of study.
I ask that the following remarks be read with the above remarks in mind.
- Is less complicated than some of the following points might make it seem, but has enough variation and grammar to make it non-trivial.
- Uses the Latin alphabet for the course, much the same as for English but with the addition of long vowels and ñ.
- Has phonetics largely similar to English. The stranger sounds are gh, kh, r, rh, and the long vowels.
- Is a Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) language.
- Does not have articles (a/the).
- Is pro-drop - pronouns are rarely used when the conjugated verb shows the same information.
- Has noun cases - 8 of them, but for the start of the course you really only need to concentrate on nominative (the subject of a sentence, who/what is doing the verb), accusative (the direct object of the sentence, who/what the verb is being done to), and genitive (who owns something).
- Has some verbs which are not followed by the accusative case; a few of these are used later in the course. It's probably worth starting a list of these for yourself when they come up. (As this point shows, the explanation of noun cases I have given above is very general and therefore inexact - but hopefully useful.)
- Has four genders - Lunar, Solar, Terrestrial, Aquatic. Which gender a noun is, is generally (not always) shown by what letter the nominative singular noun ends in, and in general also by what they refer to (which makes them mostly easily identifiable).
- Has six declensions (patterns of how a noun changes in the different cases). Which declension a noun belongs to is generally shown by the final vowel of the nominative singular noun. There is a good degree of similarity between them which in my opinion keeps them from being too difficult.
- Has declinable adjectives split into three classes; these are simpler than the noun declensions in my opinion.
- Has four grammatical numbers for nouns - singular, plural, paucal, and collective; and two of these for adjectives - singular and plural. But anyway, the course at the moment most of the time only covers singular and plural, which you are probably familiar with the concept of from other languages.
- Has a concept of animism, mostly found in the words which mean this, that, these, those; for High Valyrian it should be noted that animals only count as animate if the speaker chooses, so you will come across examples in the course where various animals are not given an animate status.
- Has a very good unofficial wiki which can be used for reference if needed, or if you prefer you can get by with working through the Duolingo course and reading the notes provided with the Duolingo skills and making your own notes when you need them.
- Has excellent moderators.
There are a few examples of the "collective" number as well, although I'm pretty sure they are all of a single noun with "valar".