We sought out David Peterson, the man who constructed the Dothraki and Valyrian languages for Game of Thrones. He was game (even though, as he said, he “stopped listening to rap when Montell Jordan came to fame.”) He then broke it down for us.

Swaghili, he said, should be a creole that mashes English (“swag”) up with Swahili — though, despite what many people think, Kanye’s name isn’t Swahili, he says; it’s Igbo, a Nigerian language. Swaghili should occasionally use rap slang, too. Preferably Chicago-area. But most importantly, Swaghili should rhyme constantly. Rapping should just ooze out of it — swag incarnate.

Within a day, David actually put together the foundations of an entire language. So here’s an example of it, from Kanye’s now-famous New York Times interview (and so you know: the i's sound like hard e's; the e's sound like hard a's; and the a's themselves are soft):

  • From: I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.
  • To: Mi ta sababishaya na kompanili i tathaminiwa bilingi dolingi, kami mi nawa ansringi. Mi nayelewa kultili. Mi nuklili.