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Elvish

Postby mingshey » Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:05 am

Just curious: who among you ever tried to learn, or learned Elvish of Tolkien? Quenya or Sindarin?<br /><br />(LoTR was on the cable TV last night ;D)
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Re:Elvish

Postby benissimus » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:34 am

I haven't yet, although I do planning on taking a good look at it. I was given a nice book on the languages of Middle Earth and it is quite fascinating.<br /><br />Apparently, he assigned English to the language of the storytellers, so the hobbits' language, or the common tongue is represented by English. Then almost all of the other languages are ones that are analogous to English... i.e. the language of Rohan, from which a great deal of the common tongue is derived, is actually Old English, and the language from which a great deal of common is assimilated is one of those elvish languages which is analogous to Latin. Some of the other languages, which are intended to be related but not derived from are represented by Gothic are Scandinavian. Very interesting linguist that Tolkien.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Re:Elvish

Postby klewlis » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:43 am

I honestly can't see myself spending time learning non-existant languages... It's one thing to do "dead" languages because there is an abundance of real and valuable literature to be discovered in them... but to learn a whole language just for the sake of a few books... no thanks ;)
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Re:Elvish

Postby benissimus » Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:46 am

That is my view as well, but he was a very intelligent man and I think he must be worth a look for his efforts and linguistic prowess.<br /><br />Not to mention that many people have learned them and speak them for kicks (similarly to other synthetic languages like Esperanto).
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Re:Elvish

Postby mingshey » Thu Sep 11, 2003 6:41 am

Yes, I saw many people investing horrible efforts in making tengwar fonts, developing typesetting system for TeX, composing poems, doing calligraphy, and making contact with people across continents to order a wedding ring with elvish inscriptions. But my basic attitude is like that of klewlis. I just turned around to restart greek.<br /><br />But someday I might try to learn "Clockwork Orange"-english, for kicks. ;)<br />You who live in the sea of english might have no problem understanding it, but I couldn't catch up what they were gibberishing.
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Re:Elvish

Postby benissimus » Thu Sep 11, 2003 7:10 am

But someday I might try to learn "Clockwork Orange"-english, for kicks.
<br /><br /> :D<br /><br />It's not that hard. Just read the book about 3 times and watch the movie occasionally and you will start speaking it in no time at all. It should come easy seeing as how it really is just English, with a bit of Russian, Spanish, Cockney, and who knows what else thrown in.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Keesa » Thu Sep 11, 2003 11:44 am

Well, I do know a little Elvish, although I refuse to watch the movies, for my own reasons. But I've loved Tolkien and his works for years, long before the movies came out. The languages are really rather complex, although based on English (are you sure about that? I don't mean the movie languages, I mean the book languages...), and I enjoy playing with them. I am the only person I know who has read, understood, and enjoyed the Silmarillion...<br /><br />So, yes, I do speak them a little bit.
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Re:Elvish

Postby annis » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:10 pm

Tolkien, it must be remembered, was One Of Us. A classicist. Actually, a philologist. All the books he wrote were to give a history to his language creations. He knew full well what history does to a language.<br /><br />Ardalambion is the very best web resource for Tolkien linguistics. There is also a huge Quenya primer.<br /><br />Quenya is supposed to look like a cross between Finnish and Latin. Dead, learned language for scholarly Elves.<br /><br />Sindarin is supposed to look like Welsh. That's the language used day to day, and in the films.<br /><br />As a language creator myself, I consider Tolkien something of a patron saint, even if I find his fiction a bit too regressive for comfort.
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Re:Elvish

Postby vinobrien » Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:17 pm

I once asked a Finnish friend if he knew any Elvish and he replied that he could manage "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and I could drum along.
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Re:Elvish

Postby klewlis » Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:26 pm

[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=618;start=0#5771 date=1063280676]<br />Well, I do know a little Elvish, although I refuse to watch the movies, for my own reasons. <br />[/quote]<br /><br /> :o<br /><br />I would really like to hear those reasons. The movies are splendid.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Episcopus » Thu Sep 11, 2003 7:43 pm

Sindarin Elvish is extremely simple, I have a very short grammar however it lacks organised vocabulary. Conjunctions for example in the word list are scattered amongst many types of wine.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Emma_85 » Thu Sep 11, 2003 8:16 pm

I haven't tried to learn any Elvish, though I do know a few people who have learned it and quite a few who tried to learn it but failed ;).<br />I don't think I will ever try to learn the lanugage myself, although I really like the books (The Hobbit was in fact the first book I ever read).<br />At the moment I'm reading the Silmarillion (loads of people have read it here... maybe it's not a very common book in the US. Some americans were moaning in a forum some time ago, that they were having trouble finding the book, but that was before the films... ::))
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Re:Elvish

Postby Keesa » Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:03 pm

[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=6;threadid=618;start=0#5834 date=1063311403]<br />I don't think I will ever try to learn the lanugage myself, although I really like the books (The Hobbit was in fact the first book I ever read).<br /><br />Really? :) I didn't know about the Hobbit when I first learned to read; I was eight before a friend loaned me her copy, and it was about another year before I could find the other books. (There are actually six books, seven including The Hobbit; it's not a trilogy, and was never meant to be. I suspect it was meant to be, in format, more like the seven-book "Chronicles of Narnia," which was written by his close friend C. S. Lewis. (Another classicist, and very good with languages!) The Chronicles of Narnia were the first books I ever read-the first of any length, anyway.) <br /><br /><br />At the moment I'm reading the Silmarillion (loads of people have read it here... maybe it's not a very common book in the US. Some americans were moaning in a forum some time ago, that they were having trouble finding the book, but that was before the films... ::))<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I found my copy-rather, my sister found it and bought it for me-before the films, but it was more of a "happened to find it" sort of thing than actually looking for it.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Emma_85 » Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:58 pm

I had to buy the Silmarillion, because my mum had lost her copy...
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Re:Elvish

Postby Ptahhotep » Fri Sep 12, 2003 6:28 pm

I would love to learn Quenya, but for some reason I stopped and haven't learned anything for months. It is a very beautiful language. I think the more languages people create, the more linguistic discoveries we find, don't you think? ;)<br /><br />hey William, you said that you create languages. Would you mind sharing with us what kind of languages you create? I tried to (influenced by Tolkien by the way) create a language but I sucked and eventually gave up (my picture is actually of the writing system for the world I created).
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Re:Elvish

Postby annis » Fri Sep 12, 2003 9:02 pm

[quote author=Ptahhotep link=board=6;threadid=618;start=0#5927 date=1063391325]<br />I would love to learn Quenya, but for some reason I stopped and haven't learned anything for months. It is a very beautiful language. I think the more languages people create, the more linguistic discoveries we find, don't you think? ;)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Mostly what you learn is that somewhere, someone is speaking a natural language doing the same crazy thing you thought you were inventing. It's amazing the things some languages encode. Some languages, for example, encode the color of the direct object for certain verbs with an infix to the verb.<br /><br />
<br />hey William, you said that you create languages. Would you mind sharing with us what kind of languages you create? I tried to (influenced by Tolkien by the way) create a language but I sucked and eventually gave up (my picture is actually of the writing system for the world I created).<br />
<br /><br />My magnum opus, alluded to somewhere else in the vast fields of textkit conversations, is Vaior. Here's a very small bit of Aesop:<br /><br />
<br />Sersi siothatiesse coldauai vam dúelte oceninauaith túirru saivalalle. Cervi unchineran ocaith evarai na enneraste, "tuerho va, tíar aitothir ach pitothir thiuhen lu vatauo sir iell saivalall fidalle." Ravothir evarai nir, "rafcenaith min saivalan, sihaunai uri sa. Haudeiai ta mir saivalall haspitalle, taul imsauo mir." <br />
<br /><br />So, there is a clear debt to Tolkien in terms of phonesthetics. I once described the language as being like Esperanto invented by speaker of Classical Greek who lived among the Inuit and thought Quenya sounded nice. <br /><br />Someone who knows classical Greek will see many familiar things in the grammar: several verb moods, postpositive particles, a love of participle phrases. Other things will come as shock, mostly in terms of word construction and derivation, but it reflects a great deal of Greek.<br /><br />Once I decided to devote myself more seriously to Greek, Vaior development slowed down. One friend of mine is a little irritated about this, since he thinks the word-building capabilites of Vaior are cool.<br /><br />I'll be sticking with Greek, I think, for the forseeable future.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Episcopus » Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:07 pm

:o You made your own language? That's insane! Incredible...
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Re:Elvish

Postby annis » Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:16 pm

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=6;threadid=618;start=15#5969 date=1063454831]<br />:o You made your own language? That's insane! Incredible...<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Not really. Well, perhaps insane. But not incredible: do a google on "conlang" or "constructed language" and you will find quite a lot of people share the hobby. The guy at http://www.zompist.com/ has made many, many languages under the "Virtual Verduria" link.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Emma_85 » Sat Sep 13, 2003 12:50 pm

You planning on inventing a history to go with that language and then writing a book? ;)
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Re:Elvish

Postby mingshey » Sat Sep 13, 2003 7:52 pm

I once tried to build a alphabet for all languages.<br />It started from the depicting of the phonetic organs - the oral cavity, tongue, nasal symbols, that represented the positions and natures of the phonetic values. And with some simplification and cursive styles it ended up with 64 characters set. but with lack of linguistic and phonetic samples it turned out far behind a all-tongue-ish. <br /><br />
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Re:Elvish

Postby ingrid70 » Sat Sep 13, 2003 8:28 pm

Quote from: Mingshey<br />I once tried to build a alphabet for all languages.<br /><br />This should come close (although it's not complete either):<br />http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/fullchart.html<br />It's the alphabet of the International phonetic association. <br /><br />Ingrid
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Re:Elvish

Postby mingshey » Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:34 am

[quote author=ingrid70 link=board=6;threadid=618;start=15#5979 date=1063484890]<br />Quote from: Mingshey<br />I once tried to build a alphabet for all languages.<br /><br />This should come close (although it's not complete either):<br />http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/fullchart.html<br />It's the alphabet of the International phonetic association. <br /><br />Ingrid<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Yes, I met the table before.<br />An afterthought: many nations have phonemes for different sets of phonetic values. That adds the difficulty in trying to make an all-tonguish alphabet. japanese and korean 'r' is close to 'd' or 't' in english in the position of the tongue. The 't' in 'data' as spoken by americans is heard as 'r' in korea. Thus if universal phonetic symbol is used, there's always a problem in consistent transcription.<br />
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Re:Elvish

Postby Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:15 pm

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=6;threadid=618;start=15#5969 date=1063454831]<br />:o You made your own language? That's insane! Incredible...<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Neither insane nor incredible, Episcopus, just very, very time-consuming. <br /><br />I also tried my hand at a language; it goes with one of my fantasy stories. I was also influenced by Tolkien (I call it Elquet, although that probably won't be it's name when (if?) I get it finished...). When I started it, however, I was very young, and had a very poor idea of grammatical principles, and vocabulary was tricky for me...I took to jotting down pretty-sounding groups of letters whenever I stumbled across them, to use for building words. (Okay, so maybe it is insane. ;D) <br /><br />I've been trying for some time to work out an alphabet for it, but the letters I have right now are too complicated to write easily, and I have a different letter for every sound I use in the language, including a different one for long "a", short "a", etc., which seemed like a good idea at the time, but now seems like overkill. <br /><br />I don't have any pictures on the computer, or I could show you... <br /><br />Serena ravlia tuo sere, le chav Ellon ex accro tuo le eri tuo.<br /><br />Traditional Elquet farewell. (I used to use that for my email signature.) <br /><br />Keesa<br /><br />Funny-when I posted it and looked closely at it, it looks as though it has heavy Latin influence, too, but at the time I knew no Latin and almost no French.
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Re:Elvish

Postby annis » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:47 pm

[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=6;threadid=618;start=15#5973 date=1063457445]<br />You planning on inventing a history to go with that language and then writing a book? ;)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Nope. I've never really been interested in the conculture aspect of language creation. As a result most of my languages encode my own worldview pretty heavily. Not a single word relating to religion appeared in Vaior until a friend pointed out the absence of vocabulary to even talk about the subject.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:02 pm

Mine doesn't have the words to discuss religion because I haven't gotten that far in it yet, but like yours, it incoporates my own views...the sample above says, "Farewell wherever you fare, and may Ellon [God] be with you and guide you." <br /><br />
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Re:Elvish

Postby Puella Parva » Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:23 pm

[quote author=klewlis link=board=6;threadid=618;start=0#5803 date=1063290399]<br />[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=618;start=0#5771 date=1063280676]<br />Well, I do know a little Elvish, although I refuse to watch the movies, for my own reasons. <br />[/quote]<br /><br /> :o<br /><br />I would really like to hear those reasons. The movies are splendid.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Klewlis...have you read the books? The movies are horrible compared with them, I have to think of them as two different things to even stand what Hollywood has done...<br /><br />As far as Elvish goes, I can say a few things, like Ellen Sila Lumen Omentievo(sp) and Namarie(sp) and I can quote anything spoken in elvish in the movies.
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Re:Elvish

Postby benissimus » Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:28 pm

How can you say the movies are horrible if you refuse to watch them? Or did you watch them and now you refuse to watch them again?
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Re:Elvish

Postby Keesa » Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:34 pm

Different people talking here. ;D I refuse to watch them; Puella Parva watches them and says they're horrible compared with the books. ;D
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Re:Elvish

Postby Puella Parva » Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:44 pm

Yes, my uncle has taken me to see them, and I have a VHS of the first one and a DVD of the second. I don't think they're good Tolkien movies, but they're very good action movies. Just not done right.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Emma_85 » Fri Sep 19, 2003 8:42 pm

I thought there were some important parts missing the in the first movie, but I liked it a lot anyway. It's much better in the extended super DVD version, though. Now I'm just waiting for the extended version of the 2nd one and I hope they treated Faramir better in that version.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Puella Parva » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:46 pm

Yeah, really. I like the extended version too. I watch my brother's copies. :D
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Re:Elvish

Postby mingshey » Mon Sep 22, 2003 1:43 am

[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=6;threadid=618;start=15#6285 date=1064004134]<br />I thought there were some important parts missing the in the first movie, but I liked it a lot anyway. It's much better in the extended super DVD version, though. Now I'm just waiting for the extended version of the 2nd one and I hope they treated Faramir better in that version.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />They might add up some of the missing parts, but I don't expect they would change the characters. :(<br />Look how Pippin is treated as an all-thumbs dummy dumb.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Alundis » Mon Sep 22, 2003 2:49 am

I read most of LOTR, but I didn't bother trying to understand Tolkien's languages. I get the feeling that I missed the whole point. Perhaps I will look at Quenya sometime. <br /><br />I also think the movies suck, but that's another topic.
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Re:Elvish

Postby Puella Parva » Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:57 pm

[quote author=mingshey link=board=6;threadid=618;start=30#6415 date=1064195015]<br />[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=6;threadid=618;start=15#6285 date=1064004134]<br />I thought there were some important parts missing the in the first movie, but I liked it a lot anyway. It's much better in the extended super DVD version, though. Now I'm just waiting for the extended version of the 2nd one and I hope they treated Faramir better in that version.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />They might add up some of the missing parts, but I don't expect they would change the characters. :(<br />Look how Pippin is treated as an all-thumbs dummy dumb.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I agree! They had no right to do that, he's a hobbit, and most hobbits are smart-and he's one of the smartest!
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Postby xn » Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:57 pm

mingshey: I never tried to learn Quenya or Sindarin, but did learn the Tengwar, and used it to transliterate notes for myself on school desktops (in pencil), which sometimes came in useful… (Those of you who are still in school, please don’t emulate my bad example!) I haven’t seen any of the Jackson movies. The IPA has diacritics for creating “narrow” transcriptions of speech, so that information on lip-rounding, tongue location, &c. can be specified to the desired degree of detail.

Keesa: I read and enjoyed the Silmarillion, but I can’t be sure that I understood everything that Professor Tolkien wanted to communicate. Yes, the distinction between “book” and “volume” is often blurred.

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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:09 pm

I'm glad someone started to reply on an old post like this one. It's funny; I go back and enjoy reading really old posts. It's interesting to read all the original gansta's very early postings here. I wanted to bring some back, but just thought it was awkward to do so. Anyway, I’m more interested in learning about his language influences and the process of creating his languages. The main language influences that I read were Finnish and Welsh. But people bring up Gothic, Old Norse, and even Latin? I read that Latin only had an “ocular” resemblance to one of his elvish languages. I realize he was a philologist and there probably were subtle influences from the languages that he studied, but I don't know how much influence they had on his elvish languages... Is there a book or article that elaborates more about his language creation process/technique and his linguistic influences on his main fictional languages?
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Postby Raya » Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:18 pm

1%homeless wrote:Is there a book or article that elaborates more about his language creation process/technique and his linguistic influences on his main fictional languages?


I remember seeing a book somewhere on Tolkien's languages; I think it was one of those compilations of notes by his son. Anyway, it had a fairly straightforward title like The Languages of Tolkien or somesuch.
You might wish to try looking up keywords on Amazon...
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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:33 pm

I think it was one of those compilations of notes by his son.


Just did a search now and can't find anything by Christopher other than middle-earth history and such. I did find the book you mentioned though. The review in amazon mentioned a book by Christopher as well, so I think it does exisit. Oh well, will dig further later. Thanks. :)
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Postby benissimus » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:58 pm

I have the book, it is "The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth", by Ruth S. Noel, and it is quite interesting. I almost forgot I'd been reading it I've been doing so much math and biology... :evil:
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Postby annis » Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:00 pm

benissimus wrote:I have the book, it is "The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth", by Ruth S. Noel, and it is quite interesting.


It is, alas, also riddled with errors. Of course, it was the only thing available for quite a while, and I certainly have a copy of it my constructed languages section.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;
annis
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