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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
a runes question


May 31 2018, 4:34pm

Post #1 of 3 (1827 views)
a runes question Can't Post

Hello, it's me again, with another fiddly question arising from my project on Chinese translations of Tolkien.

OK, so: FOR p. 25, about Gandalf's fireworks. "each labelled with a large red G [the Tengwar rune for g appears here] and the elf-rune [Sindarin rune for g]." Obviously Gandalf's name could not really be represented by "G" which is after all a Latin letter. Instead, the "G" in the quote is actually a helpful translation of the runes--otherwise we wouldn't know what they represented.
first question: If you are reading aloud this line, how do you say it? I guess most people would just say "a large red jee [and then skip the rune] and the elf-rune [..]" or "...and the elf-rune jee." Or, "a large red jee jee and the elf-rune jee"?

second question: the letter G represents the hard-g- sound of Gandalf, but the name of the letter is pronounced jee. We don't say g' or guh. But what is the name of the Tengwar and Sindarin runes? If someone asked Gandalf, "how do you spell your name?" what would he say?


Grey Havens

Jun 1 2018, 2:12pm

Post #2 of 3 (1783 views)
ungwe -- spider's web [In reply to] Can't Post

The Quenya name for the tengwa in question is ungwe. But in any case "Gandalf" is Old Norse, thus a name never used by Mithrandir himself or anyone in Frodo's day.

It's a translation of some unknown name, although the meaning "Elf with a magic wand" should reflect the meaning of this actual name.

Not sure if Tolkien ever noted this actual name -- if so it's not published anywhere yet that I'm aware of.

Grey Havens

Jun 2 2018, 2:45pm

Post #3 of 3 (1647 views)
Westron names [In reply to] Can't Post

Also, the website Mellonath Daeron describes:

Numenian Mode Chart -- Reference: Report From Marquette by Jim Allan -- Characters: 32

Description: Jim Allan's "Report From Marquette", written and circulated in the beginning of the 1970's, reproduces and describes (among many other things) a Tengwar mode chart:

"A loose sheet contains the following chart, already given us by R. Stencel ... The forms of the tengwar are the same as those appearing in the printed text so I did not recopy them".

The loose sheet was found in Box 7: Series Folder 3: Appendix E. The mode chart is titled "Alphabet of Fanor: Numenian, or Westron, Mode." and contains Westron names of the Tengwar: "t, p, ch, c" etc.'

And (the website) Amanye Tenceli refers to the character of ungwe as (Westron name): g


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