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Elvish!

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So this might seem a little (or very) strange, but does anyone here know/speak any of the Elvish languages from The Lord of the Rings? I've just started learning Sindarin, one of the many dialects. I hope to get to the point where I am fluent in both writing in speaking, but since no one at school is interested, I turn to you guys to express my nerdyness! :P

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Mae govannen, Hiril nin.

My wood-elf Larp group, the Anarquendor en Eglerion, learned a few phrases to add some flavour, though our Autherdir (Captain) studies it more seriously. I haven't really immersed myself in the language(s) as much myself. At one point I could write one version of Tengwar (just the script, not any associated language) almost fluently, but even that knowledge has sunk a bit by now.

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I as well know the Sindarin Tengwar, and can transcribe it with ease, but I don't actually know the languages. I looked into learning Sindarin, realized that it's such an in-depth language that it'd probably mess with the other languages I know and make things weird.

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not to mention that any attempt to use tolkien's elvish languages as a complete grammatical lexicon requires much conjecture, and will only be minimally based on tolkien's work on the topic. you'd probably be better off learning an actual archaic language from the british isles - you could even say it's elvish and the chance of you running into someone who knows otherwise would be trivial.

Edited by jhndflpp

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Actually, Tolkien wrote hundreds of pages on grammar and lexicon; the vast majority was just published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien, and much of it is found in an appendix from this, an appendix from that; or appears as "Gnomish" which was the early conception of what became Sindarin.

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not to mention that any attempt to use tolkien's elvish languages as a complete grammatical lexicon requires much conjecture, and will only be minimally based on tolkien's work on the topic. you'd probably be better off learning an actual archaic language from the british isles - you could even say it's elvish and the chance of you running into someone who knows otherwise would be trivial.

Like Welsh. My wife is part Welsh and when she says some, it sounds like some Elvish speak.

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I as well know the Sindarin Tengwar, and can transcribe it with ease, but I don't actually know the languages. I looked into learning Sindarin, realized that it's such an in-depth language that it'd probably mess with the other languages I know and make things weird.

Tengwar is a script that can be used to write various languages including the elvish languages of Sindarin and Quenya.

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Tengwar is a script that can be used to write various languages including the elvish languages of Sindarin and Quenya.

That's what I meant: I know the Tengwar for writing Sindarin, but not the slightly different way of writing for Quenya. So I can write out English words with the Sindarin form of Tengwar; though admittedly, it doesn't always work perfectly.

Edited by Milquetoast

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So this might seem a little (or very) strange, but does anyone here know/speak any of the Elvish languages from The Lord of the Rings? I've just started learning Sindarin, one of the many dialects. I hope to get to the point where I am fluent in both writing in speaking, but since no one at school is interested, I turn to you guys to express my nerdyness! :P

Nothin nerdy about this at all. There is a great deal on information on Sindarin on the net. It is a well constructed living language even though it is totally artificial. With some effort (not any more than would be needed to teach yourself any other language) you will be able to reach your goal. There are many sites with 'courses'. A good start is http://www.councilofelrond.com/reading/

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Actually, Tolkien wrote hundreds of pages on grammar and lexicon; the vast majority was just published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien, and much of it is found in an appendix from this, an appendix from that; or appears as "Gnomish" which was the early conception of what became Sindarin.

having read the histories of middle earth in their entirety, created a searchable database of elvish roots as outlined in the etymologies, and followed the "elvish linguistic fellowship" for some time, i can tell you that tolkien had no intention of creating a complete, speakable language. he used various celtic and "british" languages to form roots for words and created and borrowed rules for creating words and forming sentences.

tolkien certainly wrote much in the various forms of elvish that evolved over the years, though i believe you'd have a rough time finding "hundreds of pages," especially about the actual grammar. but philology was his life. he didn't need to write a complete dictionary and form a grammar to make sure he adhered to his canon. he knew how these types of languages worked and could infer at will. people attempt to continue to infer today and create a more complete language, but it has grown well outside his intent.

that said, you can certainly guess i'm not going to fault anyone for wanting to learn an elvish language, as expanded by more modern sources; just wanted to give a little more information to those interested.

Like Welsh. My wife is part Welsh and when she says some, it sounds like some Elvish speak.

welsh is one of the main languages on which tolkien based his later evolutions of sindarin, as well as what david salo used for the movies, so it would certainly be a great language to learn as a substitute!

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Oh, he certainly didn't write any textbooks on it, if that's what you think I'm saying; but modern Sindarin is far more than "minimally based" on what he wrote. The hundreds of pages is not in one place, certainly, and I apologize if it seemed like that's what I was saying; but between things like the Legendarium, the compilations of his letters, and the whole bundles of Tolkien's own writings published by the Linguistic Fellowship in the Parma and Vinyar (not including their own added bits), there's a whole lot of of information out there on it.

But you're definitely right in saying that it's gone far further than he originally intended: when I was reading his letters I couldn't help but think how disappointed people who wrote him about his languages must have been when he wrote them back with answers that usually seemed to suggest that the language was for the Middle Earth universe, and not actually one he'd planned for "real" use.

Edited by Milquetoast

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Oh, he certainly didn't write any textbooks on it, if that's what you think I'm saying; but modern Sindarin is far more than "minimally based" on what he wrote. The hundreds of pages is not in one place, certainly, and I apologize if it seemed like that's what I was saying; but between things like the Legendarium, the compilations of his letters, and the whole bundles of Tolkien's own writings published by the Linguistic Fellowship in the Parma and Vinyar (not including their own added bits), there's a whole lot of of information out there on it.

But you're definitely right in saying that it's gone far further than he originally intended: when I was reading his letters I couldn't help but think how disappointed people who wrote him about his languages must have been when he wrote them back with answers that usually seemed to suggest that the language was for the Middle Earth universe, and not actually one he'd planned for "real" use.

no problem at all. we're on the same page. ;-)

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Planning on learning both Quenya and Sindarin. :)

Ardalambion has an extensive Quenya Elvish language course. Here's their site: http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/

There's actually several different scripts for writing Elvish depending on which version you are using: Tengwar for Quenya, Tengwar for Sindaran (http://omniglot.com/writing/tengwar.htm), and Mode of Beleriand (http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_beleriand.htm) which is also used for Sindarin. Then there is Sarati (http://omniglot.com/writing/sarati.htm), Cirth (originally an Elvish script;http://omniglot.com/writing/cirth.htm), and the Uruk Runes (used for the Black Speech; http://omniglot.com/writing/urukrunes.php).

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Thanks for all your replies and links! I've been using the Sindarin workbook thing at http://www.councilofelrond.com/readingcats/sindarin-workbook-updated/ , as well as other websites and some videos. There are some really good guides, I didn't quite realise how many are around. I think the thing I'm struggling most with is pronunciation...it's hard to know what words are meant to sound like.

I absolutely love the Tengwar script though... it just looks so cool. I might even be able to get some proper calligraphy pens to write with. woo!

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GiSudon tor a muinthel Eledi,

 

Does anyone know any good sights that I can learn Sindarin on? I've been trying to learn a bit of Elvish, and have purchased a Sindarin dictionary online but I am learning very slowly. Can anybody help?

 

Le Hannon!

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