Lesson:Wèg Dar Ri'Rìk/1. Meeting Giants

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Welcome to the first lesson in the Giants' Speech, known natively as Wèg Dar Ri'Rìk (The Speech of the Strong). The Giants' Speech is closely related in vocabulary to the Old Tongue, although the grammatical structures are quite different. The vocabulary is in fact so close, that human Wildling speakers of the Old Tongue can usually develop communicative ability with the Giants with only a few hours' practice, particularly if they can convince the Giants to slow down and stop yelling.

In the conversation below, feared Giant warrior Mág Mar Tùn Dóh Wèg meets Nág Mar Krùh Llàk Dóh, a less-feared warrior, but one who is respected for his skills in bear training.

Conversation

Nág: Dáh wèg thūh wèg!

Mág: Dáh ngak nar thūh wèg llèk!

Nág: Wèg má'mar?

Mág: Thū'thuh... Ngak nar má'mar?

Nág: Thū'thuh llèk.

Mág: Wèg már dūn?

Nág: Ngam nar Nág Mar Krùh Llàk Dóh.

Gloss

Dáh wèg thūh wèg!
To giant (here: "you") good strength
Dáh ngak nar thūh wèg llèk!
To that one (here: "you") good strength also
Wèg má'mar?
giant what kind?
Thū'thuh... Ngak nar má'mar?
very good... that one what kind?
Thū'thuh llèk
very good also
Wèg már dūn?
giant what name
Ngam nar Nág Mar Krùh Llàk Dóh.
this one (here: "I") (name) (relative pronoun) to ride bear

Idiomatic translation

Nág: Good strength to you, Giant!

Mág: Good strength to you also!

Nág: How are you?

Mág: Very well... How are you?

Nág: Very well also.

Mág: What is your name?

Nág: I am Nág Mar Krùh Llàk Dóh.

Cultural Notes

Terms of Address

The Giants' Speech does not have true pronouns. Instead, Giants use a series of nouns or demonstrative particles when required. This can vary depending on relative social standing; Ngam nar (= this one) would often be used by a Giant of lower social standing to one of his superiors, whereas Wèg (=strong) or Wèg Nar are often used as a sign of respect for a fellow warrior, or a superior you wish to praise.

Names

Giant names usually consist of a single given name syllable, followed by a relative clause. For example, the name Mág Mar Tùn Dóh Wèg, while usually translated into the Common Tongue as "Mag the Mighty", literally means "Mag who has great strength".

His conversation partner is named Nág Mar Krùh Llàk Dóh, literally translating as "Nag who rides a bear".

Exercises