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Elvish help? - Sindarin

Registered User

Aug 9 2014, 10:34pm

Post #1 of 11 (564 views)
Elvish help? - Sindarin Can't Post

Hey guys, I'm new and just need some drive by help, if you guys would be so kind. Is there a "most accurate" translator/dictionary/what have you somewhere on the internet? I've found a bunch of stuff, but translating the same words seems to give me different results. I'm also looking for a preferred font. I have a design I'm working in for a potential tattoo, but I want to make sure I'm as accurate as possible, and with the plethora of junk out there, it's hard to figure out what's right. I was hoping the collective brain could point me in the right direction.

What I'm trying to accurately translate and scribe is my horses name, Harpers Pretty. The translation I found is Isilwen Annárë, which I think is lovely, but I need it to be right :)

Thanks guys!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Aug 10 2014, 8:23pm

Post #2 of 11 (425 views)
A good transcribing site [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't give you any help with translating the English into Sindarin, you've probably already found all those sites which do try to do that!

But here's a good site for transcribing your Sindarin from our alphabet into Tengwar script:



"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

Grey Havens

Aug 10 2014, 10:41pm

Post #3 of 11 (413 views)
transcription [In reply to] Can't Post

It might be easier to go with a transcription -- that is, writing the name in Elvish letters but not translating the original name. I don't know which site gave you 'Isilwen' for example, but Sindarin *Ithilwen would mean something like 'Moon-maiden' (isil is Quenya 'moon' or Sindarin ithil, see Isildur)

Some sites really include name generators rather than dealing in actual translation.

Grey Havens

Aug 11 2014, 12:09am

Post #4 of 11 (397 views)
Harper [In reply to] Can't Post

By the way, if you are looking for 'harper'(s) as in someone who plays the harp, in a text called Etymologies at least, the word talagand 'harper' can be found, and a name Talagand.

Etymologies however is really about a language called 'Noldorin' [among other languages]. Tolkien abandoned this linguistic document at some point when writing The Lord of the Rings, and had not quite invented Sindarin yet... that said, some of the Neo-Sindarin you find in the films, or on the web, really employs 'Noldorin' words from Etymologies anyway, or fan-updated versions of Noldorin words from Etymologies...

... so... if that's okay with you then why not.

At the moment I'm not sure there is a later word attested by JRRT himself, in Words, Phrases and Passages for example -- which definitely concerns Sindarin and was written after The Lord of the Rings was published. If that's what you mean with harper anyway.

In any case you have harpers... is this plural? Possessive?

I don't fully understand this horsey name Smile

I'm still thinking writing Harpers Pretty with Elvish letters is the easier way to go.

Or maybe re-name your horse Roch ('Horse' in Sindarin, pronounce -ch as in German ach) Wink

(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 11 2014, 12:18am)

Registered User

Aug 11 2014, 12:34am

Post #5 of 11 (386 views)
translated [In reply to] Can't Post

The tengwar.art.pl site I came across a lot and played with that (due to suggestions here and elsewhere).

Harper is named after her sire, and was registered as Harper's Pretty - ie, Harper Is Pretty, rather than plural or possessive. Her owner/breeders at the time had a high opinion of her (and she of herself :P)

I landed on the bottom one in this pic:

I used the dictionary from ambar-eldaron.com to translate, and as there doesn't seem to be an exact transation for 'pretty' I went with 'fair'. Directly translated, it's "Nandaro Vanya". And, given my love for Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, the fact that nandaro is not a name, and rather an occupation is entirely fitting.

The top one is Harper's name scribed letter for letter. It's pretty, but the bottom one just spoke to me more, and should look really nice once I add some other elements to it (woodsy nature based things, since Harper and I love a good long walk in the woods ^_^)

Thank you all for your help!

(This post was edited by tuliza on Aug 11 2014, 12:35am)

Grey Havens

Aug 11 2014, 12:59am

Post #6 of 11 (380 views)
Nandaro [In reply to] Can't Post

Well Nandaro would be Quenya... which is still Elvish of course Smile

At the moment I'm not positive that *Nandaro isn't masculine however... since I now realize the horse is feminine. The Etymologies entry reads...

NGAN-, NGANAD- play (on stringed instrument). Q nande a harp, nandelle little harp; nandele harping; nanda- to harp; nandaro harper. N gandel, gannel a harp; gannado or ganno play a harp; talagant [> talagand] harper (*tyalangando), cf. Talagant [> Talagand] of Gondolin [TYAL]. Ilk. gangel, genglin. [Talagant appears in no literary source, but cf. Salgant in the tale of The Fall of Gondolin, the cowardly but not wholly unattractive lord of the People of the Harp: II. 173, 190 - I, etc.].

So if nanda- is 'to harp' we might have -ro here, which could be masculine... compare ontaro and ontare both meaning 'parent'.

Not sure however... hmm...

(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 11 2014, 1:04am)


Aug 12 2014, 6:35pm

Post #7 of 11 (367 views)
I recommend Xandarien's dictionary. [In reply to] Can't Post

She's not on these boards, but she has an extensive dictionary that compiles a variety of well-known sources into a single document. You can download a copy here.

That said, Elthir's Talagan(d)* is probably correct. Xandarien modernizes it to Talagan, as it seems that many words ending in -nd lose the d by the Third Age (e.g., Rochand > Rohan).

To say "Harper Is Pretty", it would be Talagan Bain or Talagan Vain (pronounced 'bine' or 'vine'). The difference between B and V is slight: "talagan bain" says "harper is pretty" while "talagan vain" says "pretty harper".

Please note that all of this is neo-Sindarin using realelvish.net's Sindarin lessons for grammar. I can't transcribe it for you now, though, because I'm just on my lunch break and don't have access to the fonts on this computer.

Grey Havens

Aug 13 2014, 2:15pm

Post #8 of 11 (351 views)
final -nd [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
That said, Elthir's Talagan(d)* is probably correct. Xandarien modernizes it to Talagan, as it seems that many words ending in -nd lose the d by the Third Age (e.g., Rochand > Rohan).

I thought about that, as the reduction is probably based on something from the Appendices. This...

'... nd became nn usually, as Ennor 'Middle-earth', Q. Endóre, but remained nd at the end of fully accented monosyllables such as thond 'root' (cf. Morthond 'Blackroot'), and also before r, as Andros 'long-foam'. This nd is also seen in some ancient names derived from an older period, such as Nargothrond, Gondolin, Beleriand. In the Third Age final nd in long words had become n from nn, as in Ithilien, Rohan, Anórien.'

That said we have a personal name in Etymologies [the name of an Elf, as well as the word itself] and some instances which at least seem to represent Third Age usage, like Elrond, or from The Passing of the Grey Company Elladan tells Gimli: 'We have descended from the uprising of the Morthond [..] Blackroot men call it.'

I would guess both Talagan or Talagand are okay in general [not that you said otherwise]. Tolkien probably wanted to account for certain forms among others.

That said, I would only add to Tuliza: while I get the lure of wanting an Elvish name written in Elvish, to state the obvious your horse's name is really 'Harpers Pretty' not some different sounding word or words in either Quenya or Sindarin. I mean, I would think for a tattoo people might want their horse's acutal name [this specific sound sequence in English] written in Elvish...

... rather than a very different sound sequence of arguably similar meaning that you never use, or don't usually use, to refer to her... that said there's nothing wrong with this of course, and it's up to you obviously; and obviously you want a 'fully' Elvish name.

I'm just rambling now Smile

(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 13 2014, 2:29pm)

Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Aug 16 2014, 11:11pm

Post #9 of 11 (309 views)
Why don't you just learn Welsh? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or possibly ancient Welsh as I believe it comes to the same thing as Tolkien based Sindarin around Welsh


Aug 17 2014, 3:58am

Post #10 of 11 (302 views)
That would help. [In reply to] Can't Post

And Finnish is useful for quenya. I have a Finnish dictionary.

Grey Havens

Aug 17 2014, 1:04pm

Post #11 of 11 (346 views)
learning languages and web requests [In reply to] Can't Post

Not that you said so but Sindarin is not Welsh, despite that Welsh is a Primary World influence on Sindarin (nor Finnish Quenya).

But anyway I think it would be much easier, when translating a single name for a tattoo, to simply ask those who might know a thing or two about Sindarin rather than learn an entire language that only influenced Sindarin.

That said, when one goes on the web, if the person asking knows nothing about Sindarin then how does he or she know that the person answering knows enough about Sindarin to get things accurate for a tattoo? Well, for example, two or three people seemingly agreeing on some form, with a quote or two, might instill confidence...

... but even then it could be a week or more later where someone posts that the words already suggested were really 'Noldorin' and that a late text concerning Sindarin has a different word or words... but the ink has possibly dried by then, or the person asking has left the forum by then, never to return.

Of course being too careful might mean that you never tattoo anything, for fear of not knowing what you don't know... still, in some instances [speaking generally now] I find the seeming trust put in 'someone on the web' to be a bit too easy.

Or so I ramble... as some person on the web Wink

(This post was edited by Elthir on Aug 17 2014, 1:17pm)


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