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Are there any canonical English <-> Elvish dictionaries, that means with no added material? Some Grammar would also be useful.

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  • My understanding is that defining exactly what constitutes "added" material is difficult, because people argue about what is or isn't canon.
    – KRyan
    May 3 '13 at 15:54
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    @KRyan If Tolkien wrote it, it's canon. If he didn't, it isn't (my definition)
    – MadTux
    May 3 '13 at 16:04
  • There's a fair amount in the LotR appendices
    – Kevin
    May 3 '13 at 16:22
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    But I want to hold a real dictionary in my hands. There's enough stuff in the Silmarillion and HoME, but it's too much work for me to compile a dictionary:)
    – MadTux
    May 3 '13 at 16:59
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    Tolkien died after writing many, many versions of Elvish. So there isn't so much of a canon as there are canons of Elivish. That's why people that are attempting to use it as a language tend to call it Neo-quenya. As for attempts to work out the grammar, Gateway to Sindarin loks most promising: amazon.com/Gateway-Sindarin-Grammar-Language-Tolkiens Or an Ouija board for talking to Tolkien. May 4 '13 at 15:21
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I think the best you're going to get are the Ardalambion wordlists. There are words in them that are obtained from compounds and such, but all are marked and their source given. If you're after grammar then (for Quenya) there is the Ardalambion course or Quetin i lambë eldaiva at Parma Tyelpelassiva. Parma Tyelpelassiva also has a Sindarin course. But again, all these sources extrapolated from the source material by necessity. The Ardalambion course does a good job of explaining where everything comes from and notes any ambiguities.

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There are some good digital sources, but there is no complete dictionary that you can "hold in your hands"

Right now https://eldamo.org/ is probably the best resource for this. You can browse by language, or search the entire corpus.

It's not a great resource for teaching you the grammar rules of any of the languages, but it's probably the most reliable dictionary out there, including all the words that have only come to light in recent posthumous Tolkien publications and properly sourcing everything so that you can see where a word or its gloss came from. Words are also distinguished by the time period in which Tolkien made them, as his languages were constantly evolving throughout his life.

Eldamo's "Academic Word Search" will ignore any neologisms or fan additions people have made to the languages.

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  • The description seems to be outdated. Eldamo currently has IMO the best Quenya grammar, and the Sindarin grammar is almost finished.
    – Eugene
    Jul 23 at 6:34
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    @杨Eugene - I meant that Eldamo is more of a reference site than a teaching site. They'll have a very good list of the various grammar rules, but if you're trying to "learn the language" you'll be better off with a set of courses.
    – ibid
    Jul 23 at 6:40
  • Yeah, you're right.
    – Eugene
    Jul 26 at 7:07

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