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A community for the dragon language of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Thuum.org

A community for the dragon language of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Rot Tinvaak - How we "Love" in Dovahzul

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Ruvgein
January 18, 2018

 "How do I say 'I love you' in Dovahzul?"

 

This is undoubtedly the most asked question across the entirety of Thuum.org.  Honestly, it’s quite sweet that everyone wants to tell their special someone that they love them, and saying it in the language of their favorite video game makes it even better.

While it’s great everyone wants to know, there’s no clear-cut answer.  So in this post, I will outline a multitude of ways to express this meaning.  A guideline to point you in the right direction, so to speak.

 

Canon and Non-Canon

Thuum.org has two types of Dovahzul, canon and non-canon. 

  • Canon: This is all the words you find in the game Skyrim, as well as a few extras from the Official Prima game guide.
  • Non-Canon:  Also called Legacy, these are words that were made by members of this community.  They were never official, and now this website no longer wants to add words, instead focusing on the canon 600-something few that were made.

Both canon and non-canon have ways of saying “love”, so keep in mind what their origin is.

 

Context, Context, Context

Of course there is the "I love you" kind of love, but there is also "I'd love some food right now" kind of love.  Now, do you really "love" food?  Do you want to marry food?  I'm assuming not, and if so, here's how to handle that.

What are you trying to say at the core of this sentence?  "I'd love some food right now"  means you want food right now.  So you could really say "I crave food now"  which, using all canon is "Zu'u bahlok kip nu".

Before you try to use the word love, try to think about another way to get the meaning across.

 

Would a Dragon say it?

Something to always keep in mind is what would make sense for a dragon to have words for.  A culture living in the far north might have 7 words for snow, while a tropical one calls it “cold rain”.  It’s the same here.  If a dragon doesn’t experience something, they couldn’t possibly make a word for it, now could they?

Dragons don’t love.  They don’t reproduce, and the closest thing to friendship they have is embodied in the word fahdon, which means an ally rather than an actual friend.  It is a dragon’s nature to dominate, and as such there would be no love how we know it, more then would be respect for allies who have proven themselves, but they still wouldn’t trust them to the level of “loving” them.

Now one might wonder about Dragon Priests and the Dragon Cult.  It is generally thought that Man invented some dragon words of their own.  Like how we have rek to compliment rok.  There are two reasons this could be, either:

  1. they said the very same words in Nordic or whatever language they normally speak, considering Dovahzul isn’t the  language of dragons for nothing, and would be used formally.
  2. Nords back then did have a word, yet mushy stuff like that isn't written on Word Walls, so it sadly never got preserved.

So we do not know how Nords handled it, and I encourge you to come to your own answer to this question!

 

List of words and phrases to mean love

Here are all the ways that members have used to say "love".  They are general terms that are good as poetry or "pet names" to the beloved.

 

 

This post is very much a work in progress, please tell me what can be added, changed, general feedback, or if we need another one of these for different words.

A thank you to Frinmulaar for writing about context with this word, I paraphrased it above.

Also thanks to Diary of a Dragonborn for this post.

Changelog:

Posted Rot Tinvaak - How we "Love" in Dovahzul

Edit 1)  Added links.  Edit 2)  found more words.  Edit 3) added "would a dragon say it?" section. 

Edit 4) added new phrases curtasy of Vokriid,  fixed some puntuation.

by Ruvgein
January 18, 2018

 "How do I say 'I love you' in Dovahzul?"

 

This is undoubtedly the most asked question across the entirety of Thuum.org.  Honestly, it’s quite sweet that everyone wants to tell their special someone that they love them, and saying it in the language of their favorite video game makes it even better.

While it’s great everyone wants to know, there’s no clear-cut answer.  So in this post, I will outline a multitude of ways to express this meaning.  A guideline to point you in the right direction, so to speak.

 

Canon and Non-Canon

Thuum.org has two types of Dovahzul, canon and non-canon. 

  • Canon: This is all the words you find in the game Skyrim, as well as a few extras from the Official Prima game guide.
  • Non-Canon:  Also called Legacy, these are words that were made by members of this community.  They were never official, and now this website no longer wants to add words, instead focusing on the canon 600-something few that were made.

Both canon and non-canon have ways of saying “love”, so keep in mind what their origin is.

 

Context, Context, Context

Of course there is the "I love you" kind of love, but there is also "I'd love some food right now" kind of love.  Now, do you really "love" food?  Do you want to marry food?  I'm assuming not, and if so, here's how to handle that.

What are you trying to say at the core of this sentence?  "I'd love some food right now"  means you want food right now.  So you could really say "I crave food now"  which, using all canon is "Zu'u bahlok kip nu".

Before you try to use the word love, try to think about another way to get the meaning across.

 

Would a Dragon say it?

Something to always keep in mind is what would make sense for a dragon to have words for.  A culture living in the far north might have 7 words for snow, while a tropical one calls it “cold rain”.  It’s the same here.  If a dragon doesn’t experience something, they couldn’t possibly make a word for it, now could they?

Dragons don’t love.  They don’t reproduce, and the closest thing to friendship they have is embodied in the word fahdon, which means an ally rather than an actual friend.  It is a dragon’s nature to dominate, and as such there would be no love how we know it, more then would be respect for allies who have proven themselves, but they still wouldn’t trust them to the level of “loving” them.

Now one might wonder about Dragon Priests and the Dragon Cult.  It is generally thought that Man invented some dragon words of their own.  Like how we have rek to compliment rok.  There are two reasons this could be, either:

  1. they said the very same words in Nordic or whatever language they normally speak, considering Dovahzul isn’t the  language of dragons for nothing, and would be used formally.
  2. Nords back then did have a word, yet mushy stuff like that isn't written on Word Walls, so it sadly never got preserved.

So we do not know how Nords handled it, and I encourge you to come to your own answer to this question!

 

List of words and phrases to mean love

Here are all the ways that members have used to say "love".  They are general terms that are good as poetry or "pet names" to the beloved.

 

 

This post is very much a work in progress, please tell me what can be added, changed, general feedback, or if we need another one of these for different words.

A thank you to Frinmulaar for writing about context with this word, I paraphrased it above.

Also thanks to Diary of a Dragonborn for this post.

Changelog:

Posted Rot Tinvaak - How we "Love" in Dovahzul

Edit 1)  Added links.  Edit 2)  found more words.  Edit 3) added "would a dragon say it?" section. 

Edit 4) added new phrases curtasy of Vokriid,  fixed some puntuation.


paarthurnax
Administrator
January 18, 2018

Excellent post, Ruv! This will be a very handy reference for the Question Board.

by paarthurnax
January 18, 2018

Excellent post, Ruv! This will be a very handy reference for the Question Board.


Ruvgein
January 18, 2018
paarthurnax

Excellent post, Ruv! This will be a very handy reference for the Question Board.

Thank you!  I'm expending and improving it as often as I can.

by Ruvgein
January 18, 2018
paarthurnax

Excellent post, Ruv! This will be a very handy reference for the Question Board.

Thank you!  I'm expending and improving it as often as I can.


Hahdremro
January 26, 2018

This will be very useful for me! I'm the type to write sappy poetry in other languages, and phrases like the ones you listed above are certainly giving me some ideas. Might need to use some of these to write a short, simple Dovahzul love song for Valentine's Day. I'll let you know if I can think of any other phrases that would convey a similar romantic message. 

by Hahdremro
January 26, 2018

This will be very useful for me! I'm the type to write sappy poetry in other languages, and phrases like the ones you listed above are certainly giving me some ideas. Might need to use some of these to write a short, simple Dovahzul love song for Valentine's Day. I'll let you know if I can think of any other phrases that would convey a similar romantic message. 


Ruvgein
January 26, 2018
Hahdremro

This will be very useful for me! I'm the type to write sappy poetry in other languages, and phrases like the ones you listed above are certainly giving me some ideas. Might need to use some of these to write a short, simple Dovahzul love song for Valentine's Day. I'll let you know if I can think of any other phrases that would convey a similar romantic message. 

Glad it's useful to you!  I'll definitely be interested in seeing that. 

by Ruvgein
January 26, 2018
Hahdremro

This will be very useful for me! I'm the type to write sappy poetry in other languages, and phrases like the ones you listed above are certainly giving me some ideas. Might need to use some of these to write a short, simple Dovahzul love song for Valentine's Day. I'll let you know if I can think of any other phrases that would convey a similar romantic message. 

Glad it's useful to you!  I'll definitely be interested in seeing that. 


Ziigrovul
February 11, 2018
Very interesting topic!

One question: "Fahluaan do ziil" means "gardener of your soul" instead of "gardener of my soul" doesn't it? I started learning grammar lately so I am not sure about it
by Ziigrovul
February 11, 2018
Very interesting topic!



One question: "Fahluaan do ziil" means "gardener of your soul" instead of "gardener of my soul" doesn't it? I started learning grammar lately so I am not sure about it

Ruvgein
February 11, 2018
Ziigrovul
Very interesting topic! One question: "Fahluaan do ziil" means "gardener of your soul" instead of "gardener of my soul" doesn't it? I started learning grammar lately so I am not sure about it

Good catch Ziigrovul!  I will edit that.

by Ruvgein
February 11, 2018
Ziigrovul
Very interesting topic! One question: "Fahluaan do ziil" means "gardener of your soul" instead of "gardener of my soul" doesn't it? I started learning grammar lately so I am not sure about it

Good catch Ziigrovul!  I will edit that.


scrptrx
February 13, 2018

Very cool!

by scrptrx
February 13, 2018

Very cool!


NordicLight
February 15, 2018
Ruvgein

Thank you!  I'm expending and improving it as often as I can.

I actually had an idea that one does not says "I love you" in Dovahzul, as the language is pretty different from human Indo-European languages that we are familiar with. Dii Lok Los Hin, for example, feets better.

by NordicLight
February 15, 2018
Ruvgein

Thank you!  I'm expending and improving it as often as I can.

I actually had an idea that one does not says "I love you" in Dovahzul, as the language is pretty different from human Indo-European languages that we are familiar with. Dii Lok Los Hin, for example, feets better.


Ruvgein
February 15, 2018

scrptrx

Very cool!

Thanks!  If you think there's anything that should be added, let me know.

 

NordicLight

I actually had an idea that one does not says "I love you" in Dovahzul, as the language is pretty different from human Indo-European languages that we are familiar with. Dii Lok Los Hin, for example, feets better.

Thanks, NordicLight.  I'll keep that in mind for the next edit! 

by Ruvgein
February 15, 2018

scrptrx

Very cool!

Thanks!  If you think there's anything that should be added, let me know.

 

NordicLight

I actually had an idea that one does not says "I love you" in Dovahzul, as the language is pretty different from human Indo-European languages that we are familiar with. Dii Lok Los Hin, for example, feets better.

Thanks, NordicLight.  I'll keep that in mind for the next edit! 


Hahdremro
February 15, 2018
Ruvgein
  • Non-Canon:  Also called Legacy, this are words that were made by members of this community.  They were never official, and now this website no longer wants to add words, instead focusing on the canon 600-something few that were made.

"This are words" is incorrect, worth an edit.

 

As for the idea that one does not say "I love you," I have to say this is true in canon Dovahzul. However, I think it would make sense that ancient Nords would have some way to say it, even if that hasn't been used in the TES series. As fun as it is to think of creative ways to express one's feelings for someone else, sometimes it's best to just say it plainly. I can't imagine the language actually missing such a vital word in-universe.

by Hahdremro
February 15, 2018
Ruvgein
  • Non-Canon:  Also called Legacy, this are words that were made by members of this community.  They were never official, and now this website no longer wants to add words, instead focusing on the canon 600-something few that were made.

"This are words" is incorrect, worth an edit.

 

As for the idea that one does not say "I love you," I have to say this is true in canon Dovahzul. However, I think it would make sense that ancient Nords would have some way to say it, even if that hasn't been used in the TES series. As fun as it is to think of creative ways to express one's feelings for someone else, sometimes it's best to just say it plainly. I can't imagine the language actually missing such a vital word in-universe.


Ruvgein
April 5, 2018

Update!

Added a new section, "Would a Dragon say it?"  After careful thinking, I felt the fact that Dragons don't feel love in the first place is worth explaining.  Again, feedback is welcomed and encouraged!

@Hahdremro, I fixed "This are words", too.

by Ruvgein
April 5, 2018

Update!

Added a new section, "Would a Dragon say it?"  After careful thinking, I felt the fact that Dragons don't feel love in the first place is worth explaining.  Again, feedback is welcomed and encouraged!

@Hahdremro, I fixed "This are words", too.


laaniiksedov
July 11, 2018

So, while I totally understand where you are coming from. I must disagree. There is a completely canon way to say I love you in Dovahzul: Zu'u laan hi. It literally means I want you. but when you consider this happens in other real world languages as well (Spanish: ¡te quiero!). Your own dragon culture discussion lends well to this idea as well. The implication being domination. A full saying might be "Zu'u laan wah rel hi." Or "Zu'u laan hi wah rel dovah." depending on the submissiveness or dominance of the dragon speaking. Another really awesome way to say this. Especially for dragons of the happier male persuasion (reference to original meaning of gay), it could be "Zu'u qilaan wah hi." Or the very bland but accurate "Zu'u laan wah kos voth hi."

 

by laaniiksedov
July 11, 2018

So, while I totally understand where you are coming from. I must disagree. There is a completely canon way to say I love you in Dovahzul: Zu'u laan hi. It literally means I want you. but when you consider this happens in other real world languages as well (Spanish: ¡te quiero!). Your own dragon culture discussion lends well to this idea as well. The implication being domination. A full saying might be "Zu'u laan wah rel hi." Or "Zu'u laan hi wah rel dovah." depending on the submissiveness or dominance of the dragon speaking. Another really awesome way to say this. Especially for dragons of the happier male persuasion (reference to original meaning of gay), it could be "Zu'u qilaan wah hi." Or the very bland but accurate "Zu'u laan wah kos voth hi."

 


Liis
Moderator
July 11, 2018
@laaniiksedov, "other real world languages"

I never thought comparing irrational and self-contradicting real world languages to the fantasy language of rational and particular creatures is a good idea.
by Liis
July 11, 2018
@laaniiksedov, "other real world languages"



I never thought comparing irrational and self-contradicting real world languages to the fantasy language of rational and particular creatures is a good idea.

laaniiksedov
July 14, 2018
@Liis Hate to be the one to point this out but several of the canon words in dovahzul are based in real world languages. Mostly of Germanic origin. Hell Do is stolen directly from Portuguese.
voth-most likely from English "with"
Kiin-probably from "kin"
Brit-probably from "Bright"
Escaping the real world language isn't exactly happening. just embrace it Liis. And as I explained; it is indeed a logical construction. As It makes sense within the dragons own culture of domination. I want you meaning I want to own you.
by laaniiksedov
July 14, 2018
@Liis Hate to be the one to point this out but several of the canon words in dovahzul are based in real world languages. Mostly of Germanic origin. Hell Do is stolen directly from Portuguese.

voth-most likely from English "with"

Kiin-probably from "kin"

Brit-probably from "Bright"

Escaping the real world language isn't exactly happening. just embrace it Liis. And as I explained; it is indeed a logical construction. As It makes sense within the dragons own culture of domination. I want you meaning I want to own you.
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