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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].

14
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1answer
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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?
11
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0answers
192 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 ...
-4
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3answers
507 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 ...
1
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0answers
73 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 ...
0
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0answers
111 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 ...
24
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3answers
2k 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 ...
1
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1answer
285 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
3
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1answer
253 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,...
22
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1answer
5k 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.
31
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2answers
2k 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 ...
5
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2answers
219 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 ...
6
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1answer
494 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 ...
6
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2answers
299 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 ...
11
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1answer
310 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 ...
6
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3answers
474 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".
8
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1answer
355 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 ...
2
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1answer
229 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'...
1
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2answers
472 views

Is the Numenorean language Adunaic supposed to be English?

Early Numenoreans spoke Quenya as per learning it from Elves of Beleriand and then later on in the Second Age Numenoreans created their own language: Adunaic which differs from Elvish. Is Adunaic ...
14
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2answers
2k 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, ...
5
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1answer
194 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 ...
6
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1answer
1k 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 ...
10
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1answer
811 views

Did Tolkien invent enough Dwarvish to carry on a conversation?

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 ...
9
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1answer
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
885 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 ...
6
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2answers
355 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?...
42
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1answer
7k 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?
12
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1answer
588 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,...
47
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2answers
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 ...
2
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1answer
238 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?
8
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1answer
471 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 ...
71
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2answers
9k 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 ...
6
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1answer
11k 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, "...
2
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1answer
418 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?
54
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7answers
7k 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 ...
8
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2answers
1k 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 ...
21
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2answers
2k views

How did the Black Speech come about?

It doesn't seem to be related to any other documented languages. Being endemic to Sauron's realm, with him persisting through the Ages, it would not likely have diverged naturally from another ...
7
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1answer
330 views

Did Tolkien's contemporaries know Quenya?

Tolkien famously interacted with several other writers, most notably CS Lewis, as he was working on The Lord of the Rings and his other works. But did any of those writer friends really delve into ...
9
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2answers
581 views

Were any portions of Tolkien's writing truly “translated”?

Part of what gives Tolkien's writings such weight and power is that they feel like they belong alongside Beowulf and the Odyssey, translated epics from another era. Even the way he writes, slightly ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Are the Middle-earth languages spoken in the LOTR/Hobbit films faithfully pronounced from the texts written by Tolkien?

As most Star Trek fans know, Klingon is now a spoken language. Are the Middle-earth languages spoken in the LOTR/Hobbit films faithfully pronounced from the texts written by Tolkien? To clarify, when ...
23
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1answer
1k views

Is the circumflex significant in the word “Nazgûl”?

I noticed how Nazgûl always has a circumflex (“^”) over the u. Does that mean anything about how I pronounce the word? Or is it just decoration? Or, in other words: What does the circumflex mean in ...
9
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1answer
555 views

Is there a community for learning Sindarin?

For years now I try to engage myself in how to learn Quenya or Sindarin. I started with two printed excellent courses, but couldn't motivate myself to keep at it — it is difficult when you are ...
21
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5answers
3k views

Are the dwarf runes from 'The Hobbit' just a script or does it have a language?

In the book 'The Hobbit', the map that the dwarves have has writing in what is the dwarf runes. The script is simple enough as the foreword includes some tips and each letter can be substituted ...
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3answers
2k views

Lord of the Rings written to support constructed languages or the other way round?

I've heard the claim that Tolkien wrote, or at least started writing, The Lord of the Rings to support (with a history providing cultural depth) the artificial languages he was creating at the time. ...