Come to UC Berkeley for the chance to study Game of Thrones’ beloved fictional languages with the linguist who helped create them, stay for the absurd hilarity that is the university’s fight song, delivered as a Dothraki war cry. No, really.
The university has released the opening stanza of its traditional fight song, “Sons of California,” in the language of the horse lords for your listening pleasure this morning:
It’s... certainly something. A bit more talk-singing than actual fight song, but I guess an actual Dothraki cares less about the “song” bit and more about the “fight” bit of it all anyway.
The bizarre release is to help promote a new course the University is starting this summer. David J. Peterson —who created Dothraki and High Valyrian for Game of Thrones, as well as many other fictional languages for film and TV—will teach a six-week course at Berkeley entitled “The Linguistics of Game of Thrones and the Art of Language Invention,” focusing on the structure and form of building a language from the ground up, with the world of Westeros and Peterson’s work on the Dothraki tongue as a framing device. So while you won’t necessarily be learning the differences between your Khals and your k’athjilari, you’ll get to learn about some of the insights into how Peterson brought the new language to life for the show. And maybe also to start singing in Dothraki, while you’re at it.
You can find out more about Peterson’s course over at the University’s website.