The creator of the fictional language Dothraki, from the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’, will fly all the way
from Hollywood to Aarhus University on 14/9 – 19/9 2022, where he will give a presentation on his experience as a professional ‘conlanger’.
He will also be holding an informal meet-and-greet where there will be the opportunity for an autograph or a selfie!
A conlanger is a person who creates fictional languages, or a language that did not emerge naturally. David J. Peterson is probably the most successful conlanger in the world. He is Hollywood’s “go-to conlanger” and has therefore created a considerable number of fictional languages for movies and series such as: Thor 2, Defiance, The Witcher, Game of Thrones, The 100, Dune etc.
David J. Peterson studied English and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley and received his bachelor’s degree in the years 1999-2003, after which he obtained a master’s degree in linguistics in the years 2003-2006 from the University of California, San Diego. In 2007 he helped start the organization “Language Creation Society”, which is an organization for people who love to create their own constructed languages.
Peterson is also the author of the book “The Art of Language Invention“, which was published in 2015, and which deals with how to make your own language. In the book, examples of conlanging are retrieved through the processes he himself has gone through when he created his own languages. However, “The Art of Language Invention” is not the only book that Peterson can put to his name. Peterson has also written “Create Your Own Secret Language: Invent Codes, Ciphers, Hidden Messages, and More”, which is a children’s book that deals specifically with creating your own secret language that many children are naturally drawn to. Peterson is also the author of the book “Living Language Dothraki”, which is for anyone thinking of learning Dothraki from Game of Thrones. “Living Language Dothraki” is an overview of the grammar of Dothraki and therefore does not contain a vocabulary of the language. If, on the other hand, you want a larger vocabulary than the few words you get through “Living Language Dothraki”, you can look up in a complete online dictionary on Dothraki, which is also made by, among others, David Peterson.
As I said, David Peterson will come to Aarhus University on 14 / 9-19 / 9 2022, so finally take a friend by the hand and experience a lecture from an international linguist.
Nina Vad Thomsen is studying linguistics at Aarhus University, attending her second semester.
The inspiration to invite David J. Peterson to Aarhus University came after writing an exam on fictional languages, including Dothraki, together with two fellow students, Albert and Geertje, in the course Applied Linguistics. It is super cool to see a vision come true after being inspired by an exam. An exam does not just have to be something that you think must be completed as soon as possible, but something that can lead to new ideas and ambitions.