Questions tagged [tolkien-languages]

This tag is for questions about the languages constructed by J. R. R. Tolkien or mentioned in his works. His most developed languages are the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin. For in-universe questions, use with [tolkiens-legendarium].

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What is Tolkien's name for the language of Rohan?

Does Tolkien ever supply the name for the language that the Rohirrim speak, and if so what is that name? (In the books this language is "translated" into Old English, but it should still ...
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is Gandalf's Westron name, and why does he sign with a "G" rune?

Gandalf signs his letter to the bartender in Bree with a "G" rune: But "Gandalf" is the English rendition of what's presumably meant to be Westron in-universe. What then is ...
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  • 603
1 vote
1 answer
674 views

What are the lyrics of the song "Of Beren and Lúthien" in Sindarin?

"The leaves were long, The grass was green, The hemlock-umbels tall and fair, And in the glade a light was seen..." Does this song appear somewere written in Sindarin or Quenya? Did Tolkien ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Were the Sindar illiterate before the Flight of the Noldor?

If all Elvish languages are written in the Tengwar script, and in-universe, Tengwar was invented by Fëanor in Valinor, does this mean that the Sindar had no written language until they re-encountered ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is Gálmód male?

What evidence is there for Gálmód to be the name of the father of Gríma the Wormtongue? Gandalf once addresses Gríma as "Gríma son of Gálmód", in a sentence otherwise consisting mostly of ...
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7 votes
1 answer
634 views

Did Tolkien write any parts the Lord of the Rings in Westron?

The Lord of the Rings involves a literary conceit that Tolkien has received the story (and perhaps more) as an actual history, translated from The Red Book of Westmarch. Given that Tolkien's world-...
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1 vote
0 answers
166 views

What are the official characters in tengwar for numbers? [duplicate]

I've seen different depictions for numbers in tengwar online, what are the official characters to depict number in tengwar? I'm particularly interested in the number 3.
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24 votes
3 answers
4k views

What does Eru Ilúvatar's name mean?

So I was wondering whether Eru Ilúvatar has any meaning in and of itself, in-universe, besides being the name of the Creator? Is it at all related to any words in Primitive Quendian, for example? Out-...
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1 vote
0 answers
372 views

Was the Sith language inspired by Tolkien's Black Speech?

In The Rise of Skywalker, C-3PO claims that even though he can read the Sith language, his programming forbids him from translating it for others. This is very reminiscent of a similar scene in J. R. ...
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10 votes
1 answer
666 views

Does the Black Speech have a name?

Most sources seem to call the language of Sauron's servants the Black Speech and/or the language of Mordor, while other languages have their own names, such as Khuzdul, Quenya, and Sindarin. Does the ...
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

How are numbers written in the languages of The Lord of the Rings?

I have found some examples but I am not sure if any of them are right. Are there any concrete examples of Tolkien numerals?
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32 votes
2 answers
4k views

In what language did Túrin converse with Mîm?

Túrin spoke the Mannish tongue of the House of Hador and also Sindarin (in a noticeably archaic Doriathrim way). On the other hand the petty-dwarves being largely isolationist and hating the Eldar, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
397 views

What was Tolkien shouting in the quad in the eponymous biopic?

In the movie Tolkien, after Tolkien is shouting drunkenly at the stars in the college quad, in one of his constructed languages. Soon after, Professor Wright says to him that he recognised some ...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does this say in Elvish?

I was recently in a building, and someone wrote this on a table: It seems to be Elvish. What does it translate to?
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13 votes
1 answer
828 views

What was the basis for Tolkien's Westron?

It is well-documented and often-cited that Tolkien began creating his major artificial languages, Quenya and Sindarin, in order to emulate his aurally favorite languages, Finnish and Welsh. Q and S ...
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-3 votes
3 answers
771 views

Was it just coincidence that "Barad-dûr?" sounds like an English phrase?

The first time I heard someone talk about Barad-dûr, I thought they were talking about a "barred door." The meaning would be more than appropriate. Is there any chance Tolkien happened to realize he ...
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1 vote
0 answers
160 views

How do I learn the Quenya Dialect? [duplicate]

Quenya, the popular Elvish language is used in all The Lord of the Rings books and movies and appears very beautiful due to its flowing letters and has a charismatic visual appeal. How would I go ...
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0 votes
0 answers
118 views

What is this language? [duplicate]

This is written in the beginning of "LOTR: Fellowship of The Ring" novel. Tolkien invented many languages. But It doesn't match with any languages I have seen on internet. Can anyone tell me which ...
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26 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why was Ondolindë always referred to as Gondolin?

Did Tolkien ever say why Gondolin was so-called by its Sindarin name, instead of the Quenya: Ondolindë? Thingol forbade his people from using Quenya or responding to people who used it, as a response ...
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1 vote
1 answer
307 views

Identify elvish writing from imgur?

I was forwarded this picture; I have no idea what it says. If anyone can help me out, I'd really appreciate it. LINK: https://i.imgur.com/D9g1zFX.png
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4 votes
1 answer
572 views

Is my spelling of "A Túrin Turambar turún' ambartanen" correct?

When near the end of "Children of Hurin" Nienor screams: "Farewell, O twice beloved! A Turin Turambar turun' ambartanen, master of doom by doom mastered! O happy to be dead!" As it is in Quenya,...
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21 votes
1 answer
12k views

Translation of the writing around Gondor's banner

The symbol of Gondor at times comes with writing around it and I couldn't find a definitive answer about what exactly it means and whether it's "canon" or just something fans do.
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35 votes
3 answers
3k views

What dialect or language was the inspiration for Gollum's speech?

J.R.R. Tolkien was famous for his constructed languages. We know that some languages, e.g. the Elven language Quenya, were based on Finnish and Welsh. For the speech of Men, he was inspired by Old ...
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5 votes
2 answers
252 views

What is the translation of this text?

Need help with this: what is the translation of this text? Also, is it real text, and which of Tolkien's languages is it in? A Spanish/native speaker gave it to me, so it is possible that the text ...
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6 votes
1 answer
852 views

What does Shagrat mean by "Hola"?

In the chapter "The Choices of Master Samwise", Shagrat yells Hola! Gorbag! What are you doing up here? Had enough of war already? It seems bizarre that orcs would be using Spanish words. What ...
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5 votes
2 answers
973 views

Are there pronunciation rules for the names in Tolkien's legendarium?

I just watched some YouTube video discussing the new Beren & Luthien book. And to my surprise/chagrin, the people on the video were putting the emphasis on the syllable before the last, i.e. Beren ...
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10 votes
1 answer
609 views

Are all "C" words pronounced with a hard "K" or just Elven ones?

In the appendices of the Lord of the Rings books (Appendix E - Writing and Spelling) it is said: APPENDIX EWRITING AND SPELLING I. PRONUNCIATION OF WORDS AND NAMES The Westron or Common ...
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6 votes
3 answers
730 views

What would be the translation of "non-elf" in Elvish?

I'm thinking of something like "alien" or "gentile", that doesn't sound/read as clunky as "non-elf".
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  • 163
9 votes
1 answer
429 views

Did Tolkien ever change the meanings of his words? [closed]

Inventing a language is no easy undertaking. I can't imagine Tolkien just plucking words from the air and going with them, so I opine that he must have meticulously chosen and changed his made-up ...
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  • 3,551
3 votes
1 answer
351 views

What's the word in Black speech for medal?

Is there any even somewhat canonical word for 'medal' or 'medallion' in the Black Speech? If not, is 'gozg', a mash-up of the words for shield (goshur) and ring (nazg,) close enough for casual use? I'...
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2 votes
2 answers
746 views

Is the Númenórean language Adûnaic supposed to be English?

Early Númenóreans spoke Quenya as per learning it from Elves of Beleriand, and then later on in the Second Age Númenóreans created their own language: Adûnaic which differs from Elvish. Is Adûnaic ...
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15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Which language is more fully developed, Klingon or Quenya/Sindarin?

It is well-known that Tolkien's forte is linguistics and he created various fictional languages in his writings. Although Klingon language started off kind of slow, it's emerged as a viable language, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
276 views

Is this a correct translation of this poem into Quenya?

I'm starting to learn a bit of Quenya and I'm trying to transate a small poem I wrote last year to the language. I still have small understanding about all the suffixes. The original poem is in ...
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Elvish transcription - Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red

Does anyone know if this transcription is correct? It's a portion of Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red. Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread Through shadows to the ...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did Tolkien invent enough Dwarvish to carry on a conversation? [duplicate]

I read the glossaries of the Lord of the Rings books and it said that the language spoken by the Dwarves was not spoken to others except for a few words. That got me wondering if Tolkien had ever even ...
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

What language did Hobbits speak before Men?

In Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings we are told that there “is no record of any language peculiar to hobbits. In ancient days they seem always to have used the languages of Men near whom, or among ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What did Christopher Tolkien mean by "Tolkien's fifteenth invented language"?

I know this question would usually raise other questions as to what is considered a separate language (e.g. Qenya/Quenya, Gnomish/Sindarin, etc.). The thing is that somewhere there is an official list....
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7 votes
2 answers
372 views

Could Tolkien write in his languages without using a wordlist?

Were any of his languages developed enough that he could just write or even talk with them without using any kind of dictionary, wordlist, or grammar helper? In other words, did he actually know them?...
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44 votes
1 answer
11k views

How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?

Tolkien created many languages. Is there any list of all the languages he invented? How many fictional languages did Tolkien create?
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13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why would Bilbo agree to arbitration in the Khuzdul language?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the Dwarves present Bilbo a contract. It's presumably in Westron, but through the magic of Translation Convention, it appears on-screen in its entirety in English,...
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49 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did Tolkien think about language evolution when the speakers are immortal?

Tolkien, being a linguist, designed his fictional languages rather carefully. Quenya and Sindarin were closely related, having both descended from the primordial speech of the elves. Tolkien, of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
359 views

What language did the first Edain awake speak if they did?

I ask this because I was wondering, since Morgoth came across them first, they had to have had some sort of language in order to communicate with him - or is that not specified?
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8 votes
1 answer
567 views

What does this elvish text from UC Irvine say?

UC Irvine has an area where all the buildings are named after Middle earth stuff (squeee!) Those buildings have pretty tile signs, some of which have an elvish script around the edges. As far as I ...
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70 votes
2 answers
10k views

Elvish tattoo - can it be translated into English?

A cousin of mine recently died in a disastrous accident. Her family discovered a tattoo on her arm, which was completed shortly before. It appears to be written in Elvish (from Lord of the Rings) and ...
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6 votes
1 answer
23k views

How do you write "Speak friend and enter" in Elvish characters?

I'm looking to get this as a tattoo, but unfortunately because of the size I am unable to fit all of the writing found at the top of the archway. I was looking to maybe just have the part that says, "...
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5 votes
3 answers
3k views

What does the Elvish word "Ai!" mean?

In the chapter titled "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm", in The Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas is the first member of the Fellowship to see the Balrog known as "Durin's Bane". He ...
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

How much Dwarvish appears in Tolkien's work?

The comments on this question led to an interesting conversation about the Dwarvish language (apparently known as Khuzdul among the Dwarves themselves). The conversation centered on Gimli's battle ...
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  • 66.5k
2 votes
1 answer
505 views

Why was the Westron tongue accepted as the common tongue in Middle-Earth?

Which race(s) originally spoke the Westron language in Middle-Earth and what are the reasons for it being adopted as the common tongue in Middle-Earth. When was this done?
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59 votes
7 answers
8k views

Was Tolkien the first to invent languages purely for fictional works?

Imaginary languages are now par for the course in fantasy literature: sometimes called something like 'the old tongue' or 'the ancient language', sometimes the languages of different types of being or ...
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Learning Quenya and/or Sindarin

If someone wanted to learn to speak Tolkien's Elvish languages (Quenya and Sindarin) is there a guide to how to go about doing so? Are there any authoritative sources regarding which language should ...
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