A couple of weeks ago, we talked to the creator of the full Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones, David J. Peterson, and it got us wondering about its practical applications. We know how effective Dothraki is when barking at someone in a medieval fantasyland; it sets the perfect tone for something like, “I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak!” (Anha aqorisok chiories mori, vazzafrok yal mori, ma afichak vojjor samva Vaesaan Dothrak!) But how does it work when you’re trying to quote pop culture? We issued Peterson a challenge: Translate eight famous catchphrases to see how they sound in Dothraki. Turns out “That’s what she said” is a lot more menacing, and “I am the one who knocks” sounds a lot nerdier! See the translations of these and more, with audio files by Peterson to help with your pronunciation.
(And yes, we did ask him to translate Don Draper’s “That’s what the money’s for” but we forgot that the Dothraki don’t have a word for “money.” Silly us.)
“We are never ever ever getting back together” — Taylor Swift
Kisha nemo vos akemaki vos save vosecchi vosa.
“I am the one who knocks.” — Walter White, Breaking Bad
Anha vekhikh fin mema.
“I drink your milkshake.” — Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood
Anha indek lamekh jesho yeri.
“That’s what she said.” — Michael Scott, The Office
Hazi reki ast me.
“May the force be with you.” — Star Wars
Athhajar ma yeroon.
“Live long and prosper.” — Spock, Star Trek
Thiri k’athneakari ma shari.
“You come at the king, you best not miss.” — Omar Little, The Wire
Hash yer jadi khalaan, hash yer jif vo losti.
And in case you and your Dothraki friends are sitting around feeling nostalgic for the nineties …
“Talk to the hand ’cause the face ain’t listening.”
Vasteras qorasaan; hatif vo charoo.