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Pronunciation

This course uses the Romanized version of Dothraki, and while most letters are pronounced as they are in English, there are some key differences. See the charts below for examples of Dothraki pronunciation. Please note that many Dothraki words have multiple pronunciation variants, often depending on whether the speaker is native or non-native. Khaleesi, for example, has three separate pronunciations: khal-ee-si, khal-i-si, and kal-i-si. You will also hear both khal and kal used for the word khal.

Dothraki letter/English example Dothraki examples
a
between hat and hot; hot (after q)
astat
to say

qacha
firefly
ch
mischief
chare
ear

sachat
to divide
M’ach!
Hi!
d
d
og (dental)
dothralat
to ride
adakhat
to eat
e
grey; bed (after q)
eveth
water
qevir
forest
f
f
eather
fonak
hunter
hlofa
wrist, ankle
darif
saddle
g
g
ood
Gwe!
Here!/Let’s go!/Go!
khogar
clothes
h
h
and
haj
strong
tihat
to look, to see
rhoa
animal
fih
smoke
i
machine; grey (after q)
iz
poison
fati
insult
qile
island
j
j
ungle
jahak
braid
lajak
warrior
haj
strong
k
sky
ko
bodyguard
akat
two
fonak
hunter
kh
Bach
khefat
to sneeze

zhikhat
to be sick
rikh
rotten
l
l
eg (dental)
lajak
warrior
malilat
to be finished
krol
flea
m
m
an, jam
m’athchomaroon
hello
mem
sound
n
n
o, men (dental)
ninthqoyi
blood sausage
majin
and then, then
o
o
pen; not (after q)
okeo
friend
qora
hand, arm
q
sky, but produced deep in the back of the throat
qora
hand, arm

oqooqo
heartbeat
fasqoyi
destiny
r
rolled as in Spanish when at the beginning of the word and followed by a vowel, at the end of the word, or when doubled; everywhere else, tapped
rai
hooray
rhaesh
land, country
mori
they

mhar
sore
jerriya
discussion
mithri
rest
s
s
ee
sajo
one’s own horse

ase
word, command
vaes
city
sh
sh
e
shierak
star
kisha
we
hosh
giddyup
t
stop (dental)
tih
eye
ataki
first
astat
to say
th
th
in
thir
alive
athrokhar
fear
eveth
water
v
v
ery, have
vov
weapon
havzi
cat
w
w
ater, anyway
awazak
screamer
zoqwat
to kiss
y
y
es, boy
yer
you (sg.)
qoy qoyi
blood of my blood
z
z
oo
ziso
wound
kazga
black

laz
could, can
zh
measure
zhavorsa/zhavvorsa
dragon
afazhi
warm
rizh
son

Double Consonants and Vowels

Whenever you see a consonant or vowel doubled in Dothraki, each segment is pronounced fully.

For consonants, think about how you say the letter s in the words misunderstood versus misspent.

dd addrivat
to kill
ff affin
when
gg rhaggat
cart
hh najahheya
victory
jj ajjalan
tonight
kk akka
also, as well
ll jelli
cheese
mm gomma
mouth
nn hanna
rose
qq jaqqa
executioner
rr tolorro
bone
ss disse
only, just
tt esittesak
braggart
vv inavva
sister
ww ewweya
olive pit
yy ayyathat
to lift
zz ezzolat
to teach

Remember that this distinction is important, as the doubling of a consonant can change the meaning of a word.

jelli
cheese

jeli
lemon

When consonants such as ch, kh, sh, th, and zh are doubled, they become cch, kkh, ssh, tth, and zzh respectively.

cch vosecchi
of course not
kkh lakkhat
to chew
ssh asshekh
today
tth atthirar
life
zzh Havazzhifi Kazga
Black Salt Sea

In vowel clusters, each vowel sound is pronounced consecutively, whether the vowels are the same or different. This means that a word like krazaaj technically has three syllables (kra-za-aj), all given full voice. Any vowel can appear next to any other vowel. Some (but not all) examples are shown below.

aa krazaaj
mountain
ae vaes
city
ee avees
father (accusative)
ei dei
shallow
ia chelsian
locust
io chiori
woman
oa choakat
to be bitter
oo m’athchamaroon
hello

As an important spelling note, in reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, you may occasionally come across a Dothraki word that utilizes the spelling jh, such as Jhogo, one of Khal Drogo’s bloodriders. In developing a consistent Romanization system for the HBO series, the spelling jh was respelled zh. Thus, what is spelled Jhogo in the books will be spelled Zhogo here, and vice versa.

Stress

Stress is the emphasis placed on syllables in spoken language. In English, just think about how you say the word EMphasis: the stress falls on the first syllable. Generally, stress in Dothraki follows these rules:

  • When a word ends in a vowel, the stress falls on the first syllable: Ataki, HAVzi
  • When a word ends in a consonant, the stress falls on the final syllable: laJAK, m’athchomaroON
  • When the penultimate syllable is a heavy syllable (a syllable that consists of a consonant-vowel-consonant combination before another consonant) and the word ends in a vowel, the penultimate syllable will be stressed: zhaVORsa, voSECchi

There are a few other exceptions to the above rules, but these rules will cover most of the new words you come across in Dothraki. Listen carefully to the audio links attached to each word to hear the proper stress on words.