David Peterson Biography
David Peterson (David Joshua Peterson) is an American language creator and artist born on 2oth February 1981 in Longbeach, California United States. He has constructed artificial languages for television and movies, including the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for the television series Game of Thrones.
David Peterson Age
David Peterson was born on 2oth February 1981 in Longbeach, California United States. He is 38 years old as of 2019.
David Peterson Net worth
David Peterson earns his income from his businesses and from other related organizations. He has an estimated net worth of $34.7 million.
David Peterson Family
David Peterson was born to Sandi Ishii. He was raised together with his two brothers in Long Beach, California.
David Peterson Siblings
David Peterson has two siblings Jim Peterson and Tim Peterson who is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2003 to 2007 representing the Greater Toronto Area riding of Mississauga South.
David Peterson Wife
David Peterson married Shelley Peterson who is a Canadian television and film actress and writer, best known as the star of the Canadian sitcoms Not My Department and Dog House. She is also an author of several novels, her most known book being Dancer. The couples were blessed with three children.
David Peterson Children
David Peterson has three children Benjamin Peterson (son), Adam Peterson (son) and Chloe Peterson (daughter).
David Peterson Education
David Peterson attended the California University, Berkeley where he received a degree in bachelor of English and in linguistics from 1999 to 2003. He then received an MA in linguistics from the University of California, San Diego from 2003 to 2006.
David Peterson Career
David Peterson started his career while he was still in Berkeley after attending the class of Esperanto in 2000. He co-founded the Language Creation Society with nine other language creators where he serves as its president from 2011 to 2014. He created the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for the HBO series Game of Thrones and the Castithan, Irathient, and Omec languages for the Syfy show Defiance; he has been creating languages since 2000.
He also created the language used by the Dark Elves in the movie Thor: The Dark World. His projects include the creation of the Inha and Munja’kin languages for the NBC series Emerald City. He has worked to popularize the activity of language creation, or “conlanging.” He produced a number of videos on YouTube, in a series called “The Art of Language Invention, and published a book of the same title in 2015. He has also worked as an executive producer on the 2017 documentary film, Conlanging – The Art of Crafting Tongues.
David Peterson Movies
Language(s) / Role
|2011–2019||Game of Thrones||Dothraki, High Valyrian, Low Valyrian, Mag Nuk, Skroth (unused), Asshai’i (unused), Gerna Moussha (unused)|
|2013||Thor: The Dark World||Shiväisith|
|2013–2015||Defiance||Kastithanu, L’Irathi, Indojisnen, Kinuk’aaz, Yanga Kayang|
|2015||Penny Dreadful||Verbis Diablo|
|2016||The Shannara Chronicles||Noalath|
|2016||Warcraft: The Beginning||Orcish|
|2017||Emerald City||Inha, Munja’kin|
|2017||Conlanging: The Art of Crafting Tongues||Executive Producer|
|2017||Bright||Övüsi (Elvish), Bodzvokhan (Orcish)|
|2018||Into the Badlands||Azrán|
|2018||The Christmas Chronicles||Elvish|
David Peterson Languages
David Peterson Book
- The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building
- Living Language – Dothraki
David Peterson Dothraki
David Peterson Twitter
David Peterson Interview
How did the culture of Essos influence you the languages you created?
David Peterson: Two major factors come into play. First, the topography of the area, which helps determine what these people do and don’t have words for, and what their lifestyle is like. I think about these people and ask: “What are their lives supposed to be like?”, “Who do they interact with on a regular basis?” and “How do those interactions shape their own culture?”
The second factor is their level of technology. The world of ‘Game of Thrones’ is at a significantly lower level of technology than the modern world. And in the case of Dothraki, they are at a technology level that’s below even that. It seems that their culture is very insular. They don’t let their interactions with other people influence their lifestyle. What that said to me is that the Dothraki are going to have words for their own lifestyle, and they may borrow other terms. For example, the Dothraki word for “book” is borrowed from Valyrian.
Was your process similar for creating Valyrian?
David Peterson: Valyrian is a very different type of language. We don’t really have a window into the Valyrian culture at all. It’s one of the great mysteries in the book series. Furthermore, the culture and all of the speakers are now dead. The language has been handed down from generation to generation and it’s a fossil of a bygone era.
In that sense, it’s been difficult for me. Human experiences are always going to be roughly the same, so I can come up with words for how people feel and basic things like that, but I haven’t gone out on too much of a limb on the culture. I tried to stay away from things that describe daily life.
That isn’t the same with the Low Valyrian speakers. While they’ve inherited the language, they’ve also inherited some words from their own culture – Ghiscari. They’re a living people, so I can use what I know about Slaver’s Bay to inform the language a bit.
Can you give an example where High and Low Valyrian differ?
David Peterson: The Low Valyrian that the slavers speak takes a lion’s share of its vocabulary from High Valyrian, but most of the terms regarding the slave trade have been taken from Ghiscari. The word for “slave” in High Valyrian – which Daenerys would know –doesn’t look anything like the word for “slave” in Low Valyrian, and I did this on purpose to kind of distinguish the two. Back in Season 3, Daenerys she uses Low Valyrian word – “buzdari” – when speaking to the slaves: “Zaldrizes buzdari iksos daor,” a dragon is not a slave. It makes her point more forceful and makes sure that they absolutely understand what she’s saying.
Do you pass along any tips to the actors when they’re learning the language?
David Peterson: I did with Dothraki. I didn’t really do so with Season 3 or Season 4, and honestly, I haven’t needed to. The cast has gotten better and better at working with these languages as the show has progressed.
Are any words you created based on your personal life?
David Peterson: Oh yeah – my wife has a word in every language. Her name is Erin, which is the basis for “kind” in Dothraki. My cat’s name is Keli and the word for “cat” in High Valyrian is “kēli.”
Have you planted any Easter eggs in the show?
David Peterson: One of the biggest is from Episode 3 this season. There’s a scene where the Meereenese rider is challenging Daenerys’ champion. He’s shouting and Nathalie Emmanuel [Missandei] is translating – but she’s not translating what he’s saying. He’s actually saying a Low Valyrian translation of the French guy’s insults in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ That was [series creator] Dan Weiss’s idea and it was so hilarious that I had to do it.
Have fans caught on?
David Peterson: They know that something’s going on. Right after that episode aired, I was getting tweets like, “Is he saying a ‘your momma’ joke?” Close… But no, he’s actually starting out with, “Your mother is a hamster.”
Out of all the words you’ve created, do you have a favorite?
David Peterson: A lot of my favorites end up coming from High Valyrian because that language is just shamelessly pretty. It was completely indulgent. I’ll stick with the word for dragon: “Zaldrizes.”