Some of the Dwarf words that Thryst uses in Dwarf Story were not in the original manuscript pages that W.W. Marplot sent to me. The professor gave me lists and – sometimes vague – meanings of the words, with suggestions (a little less vague) for which to use when. I didn’t question this when putting the book together, there was so much else to do, and I didn’t understand any of it at first glance. Or at second, third, etc. so I thought I would ask him.
GGD: I have a question about the Dwarf words for Dwarf Story. You sent me lists of “Proper Dwarfspeak” as you called it, remember?
WW: I do.
GGD: Good. They definitely sound like things a warrior Dwarf would say, very harsh. I thought maybe it was one of the made up languages from Tolkien or somewhere else, but I couldn’t find anything. And, besides the word “Thryst” itself, which the book explains, I couldn’t find the meanings of the words anywhere. Where did you get that list?
WW: I see. If you presented the manuscript material correctly in the book then it can be figured out.
GGD: Really? That’s good to know. So it really means something?
WW: Why yes, lass, it does. Of course it does, certainly it does.
GGD: (expectant for a hint at least). It does, great. Can I get another list of what Dwarfspeak means or how it works? Where it comes from? Is it real? I mean, was it ever a real language anywhere?
WW: Yes, of course, I will make a note to send it.
But he never did, so I am still waiting. It is interesting that he says someone could figure out the language from what’s used in the book, in Dwarf Story – as long as I used them right! That’s a lot of pressure, I am glad I didn’t know that when we were doing all that editing, that’s a lot of pressure! I just thought they were made up actually, at the time – when I thought of it at all, which was rare with so many other details going on, and putting that puzzle together as I had to do, a thousand pieces from a hundred scattered sources.
Anyway, after this conversation with W.W. I went back to make sure that I did faithfully keep the original words and use them in context correctly, and followed his advice to the letter with the list he sent. So if he never sends me the translations I can always figure it out – another puzzle, ugh – from what’s in the published book, as anyone can. I doubt I ever will!