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Registered User

Dec 29 2012, 2:27am

Post #1 of 4 (272 views)
Elvish Can't Post

Does anyone know how to read/speak Sindarin Elvish? I need a poem translated into Elvish. surely one of you fellow fans has taken time to learn this beautiful language, as I have not.

Tol Eressea

Dec 29 2012, 11:56pm

Post #2 of 4 (206 views)
I may not be the best person to answer this - [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Featherchild3. As I say, I may not be the best person to answer this question, because I'm a bit of a dunce at languages, But really, there is no-one who can speak or read Elvish; not enough to translate a poem. Tolkien once said in a TV interview 'I shouldn't like to sit around all day speaking Elvish to chaps. Anyway, we can't - there isn't enough of it.' (paraphrase from memory).

What Tolkien meant is that he hadn't invented a very large vocabulary. I shouldn't think it possible to translate 'Polly put the kettle on' into Sindarin, for example - what's the Elvish for kettle? If JRR didn't write it down, no-one will know.

Sorry to disappoint.

Fredeghar Wayfarer

Dec 30 2012, 8:59am

Post #3 of 4 (193 views)
Geordie is right [In reply to] Can't Post

A direct translation into Elvish is not always possible because it's not a complete language. Even the Elvish used in the movies is considered "Neo-Elvish" because a lot of it is reconstructed or guessed at using earlier forms of Tolkien's languages.

That said, this site has a dictionary of known Elvish words. You might be able to translate part of your poem:



Dec 30 2012, 6:37pm

Post #4 of 4 (191 views)
Featherchild in Elvish [In reply to] Can't Post

I might be able to write 'featherchild in Elvish'... well actually I can and just did write that, twice now... but the matter of Neo-elvish is a complicated issue too.

Sorry to disappoint, but I agree with the following linked article 'Elvish as She Is Spoke'


Constructing names or 'simple enough' phrases (idiomatic expressions aside) might be 'arguable' Quenya or Sindarin, but technically I think anything not attested by JRRT himself is Neo-elvish (I doubt everyone agrees with that). I mean if Tolkien wrote ennyn Durin 'Doors of Durin' (and Durin isn't even Sindarin), and you wanted to say ennyn Nargothrond 'Doors of Nargothrond' I'm sure people would call me pedantic if I insisted that that was Neo-sindarin.

So call me pedantic Wink

But the usual request goes beyond something as simple as that, which someone else will probably argue is simply 'Sindarin'... if arguably correct. I try a Neo-name once in a while.

And if you wanted 'Doors of Nargothrond' translated as part of your poem, which I'm guessing you did (in consideration of the odds): you're welcome. If I haven't forgotten something and rendered even that wrong!

Also my apologies for the silliness! especially in case a Neo-sindarin expert is lurking.

(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 30 2012, 6:41pm)


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