Of the Tongues of Arda, the invented world of J.R.R. Tolkien


One of the most comprehensive sites about Tolkien's invented languages that you are likely to find on the net. NOTE: When I write á, é, í, ó, ú, I hope you see the vowels a, e, i, o, u with an accent on your screen. Similarly, I hope you see the same vowels with a circumflex when I write â, ê, î, ô, û (e.g. in Barad-dûr). When I write ä, ë, ö I hope you see a, e, o with a diaeresis (two dots over): Manwë, Eärendil, Eönwë. If some other weird characters turn up instead, at least you know what it should have read!


Why I made the site
And who am I anyway?
Tolkien's Not-So-Secret Vice
How many languages did Tolkien make?
What's New? - for those who drop in occasionally

The tongues of Arda:

Quenya - the Ancient Tongue (see also Course)
Sindarin - the Noble Tongue (sorry, I have no Sindarin course to go with the Quenya course above!)
Adûnaic - the Vernacular of Númenor
Westron - the Common Speech
Telerin - the Language of the Sea-Elves
Doriathrin - the Mothertongue of Lúthien
Various Mannish Tongues - the Sadness of Mortal Men?
Nandorin - the Green-elven Tongue
Old Sindarin - between Primitive Elvish and Grey-elven
Ilkorin - a "Lost Tongue"?
Avarin - All Six Words
Khuzdul - the Secret Tongue of the Dwarves
Entish - Say Nothing That Isn't Worth Saying
Orkish and the Black Speech - Base Language for Base Purposes
Valarin - Like the Glitter of Swords
Primitive Elvish - Where It All Began

Invented languages from Tolkien's youth:

Animalic - "crude in the extreme"
Nevbosh - new nonsense
Naffarin - at least we know that "vrú" means ever

Corpus Texts Analyzed:

Namárië (Quenya)
The Markirya Poem (Quenya)
The Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary (Quenya) - available as an RTF download
Fíriel's Song (late "Qenya")
A Elbereth Gilthoniel (Sindarin)

The Quest for Standard Sindarin:

(Sindarin or Grey-elven, the Celtic-style language of Tolkien's mythos, was very often revised by the Professor: In the pre-LotR period, it wasn't even called Sindarin, but "Noldorin"! The articles below discuss various inconsistencies haunting the primary sources and suggest how the material can be edited to achieve a LotR-compatible "standard" form of the language: Writers should not mix various conceptual stages of Noldorin/Sindarin into a hybrid language that would not properly reflect Tolkien's intentions at any stage. WARNING: by necessity, these articles are often highly technical!)
AE or OE? - Tolkien's Hard Choice
On LH and RH - not to mention HL and HR
The question of ND or NN - about the behaviour of the cluster nd in "Noldorin" vs. Sindarin
To SS or not to SS - a Gollumish problem

Tolkien's early "Qenya" language:

The Qenya Lexicon Reviewed - comments on Tolkien's earliest Elvish wordlist, as published in Parma Eldalamberon #12
Index to the Qenya Lexicon by English glosses - what vocabulary does the QL really provide?
Index to the Qenya Lexicon by Elvish words - the corresponding Qenya-based guide
A Qenya Botany - compiled by David Salo

Other Resources:

Quenya Course - downloadable lessons with exercises
The Evolution from Primitive Elvish to Quenya - A Comprehensive Survey. (This treatise, available as a PDF file, attempts to list the sound-changes that occurred as High-Elven was evolving from the earliest forms of Elvish. This is a revised, updated and expanded version, edited by Vicente Velasco and incorporating his extensive annotation on my original treatise (still available as an RTF file).
Index to the Etymologies by English glosses - where do you find the word you so desperately need?
Index to the Etymologies by Elvish words - where do you find the word you can't understand?
Probable Errors in the Etymologies - where Tolkien's handwriting proved too tough!
The Quenya Corpus - the central texts
Quenya Wordlists - English-Quenya and Quenya-English
Parviphith Edhellen - English-Sindarin wordlist
Suggested Conjugation of all known or inferred Sindarin verbs
Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System - the reasoning underlying the Suggested Conjugation
A Taste of Elvish - selected Quenya and Sindarin vocabulary
Quenya Affixes - derivational elements in High-Elven. (Pityon Lastalon Mithrendir has made a PDF version of this article.)
Do you have trouble reading or printing some of the articles on this page?

Post-Tolkien Quenya Compositions:

The New Testament in Neo-Quenya - the whole thing, completed in its first version on June 12, 2015
The Old Testament in Neo-Quenya - in progress
Ríanna - Quenya poem by Vicente Velasco
Hríweressë - Quenya poem by Vicente Velasco
Roccalassen - Quenya poem by Ales Bican
I Yessessë - Quenya translation of the first chapter of the Bible; by Helge Fauskanger
Genesis 2 - Quenya translation of the second chapter of the Bible, still by H.F.
Tengwar Version of the two Genesis chapters above, available as a PDF file (thanks to Javier Rojas for this one!)


Satanist (?) Uses the Black Speech - Sauron's Esperanto* isn't quite dead yet!
Now We Have All Got Elvish Names - or at least the readers of Tyalie Tyelelliéva do!
Artificial Languages - an essay by Robert Isenberg, focusing on Klingon and Quenya. Thanks to Robert for this one!
A Second Opinion on the Black Speech - an analysis by Craig Daniel. Thanks to Craig for letting me use it here!
A Commentary on Tolkien's Tengwar Translitteration of Namárië - by Vicente Velasco (again, thanks for letting me use it!) Available as a PDF file.
BLASPHEMY - "Auld Elvish" from Bored of the Rings!

Links of Interest:

The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship - information about the journals Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon, plus a list of Resources.
Parma Tyelpelassiva - sc. "Book of Silver Pages", Thorsten Renk's page with both technical analyses of Tolkien's Elvish and a number of post-Tolkien Elvish texts. A high-quality site (Thorsten sometimes challenges certain of my own interpretations, as is his right as a scholar!)
Glaemscrafu - a site with recordings of samples of most Tolkien-languages!
Gwaith-i-Phethdain - sc. "Fellowship of the Word-smiths", Ryszard Derdzinski's page with various Eldarin material by many authors! Here you will also find analyses of the Elvish dialogue heard in the Peter Jackson movie. As for Ryszard's comprehensive Sindarin Dictionary, you can read about it here.
Elfling - the best mailing list devoted to Tolkien's languages! Join it today!
Aglardh - home for discussion on Eldarin and other Tolkienian languages!
Sindanórie - a site with some scholarly analyses and many short compositions in various Elven-tongues!
Ardhon Ellammath - "Realm of the Elf-languages", with many sound-files of Elvish texts read aloud!
Men i Eldalambinen - "A Place in the Elven-tongues", Petri Tikka's site with many Elvish texts (and the site is dedicated to me...I'm blushing...!)
The Noble Tongue - articles about Sindarin!
Elm - Ales Bican's page featuring lists of post-Tolkien Quenya words, a list of Quenya translations of common names, and several Quenya poems!
Mellonath Daeron - the Language Guild of the Forodrim. Many good Quenya texts and other stuff!
Quettar Órenyallo - a site with some Quenya translations and Haikus by V. Barouch
Tyalië Tyelelliéva - a journal publishing Elvish poems! (Unfortunately not appearing in recent years.)
The Eldalamberon site - some Quenya poems and information about the journal Parma Eldalamberon
The Tengwar - download Daniel S. Smith's fonts for Tolkien's most beautiful Elvish script! For more info about the Tengwar and the other writing systems, see Måns Björkman's site Amanye Tenceli and the Tengwar Primers of the Mellonath Daeron. You may also want to check out Yet Another Tengwar Tool (yes, that's the title!), a site providing software for transcribing texts into or from Tengwar.
Tengwar in Reality - a page with pictures of real-life Tengwar inscriptions (usually spelling out actual Quenya or Sindarin words) on rings, as tattoos etc.!
Tengwar Textbook - Chris McKay's site with much downloadable material about the Tengwar script; ideal for learners!
Didier Willis' Sindarin vocabularies - download his remarkable Sindarin dictionary here!
The Tynntangial page - with some Quenya vocabulary stuff (and yes, this is where I stole the background for this page!)
La faculté des études elfíques - with information about Tolkien's languages in French!
Elvish pronunciation guide - with recordings of Quenya (not perfect, but the theory stuff is good!)
The Top 10 Model Languages - what, Quenya second after Esperanto?!
TolkLang - the archives of the Tolkien Language List
The Language Construction Kit - a MUST if you feel the urge to make your own language!


View/Sign Guestbook

Elsewhere I have presented my thoughts about a possible prequel to the Peter Jackson trilogy, The Optimal LotR Prequel Movie. Comments on that particular project (strictly speaking unconnected with this Tolkien-linguistic site) should go in the special guestbook dedicated to that subject.

Ardalambion translations: After I made this web site, I started receiving mails from people wanting to translate my articles into other languages. This was quite unexpected (and very flattering). I have invariably granted permission for such translations to be made, as long as I am recognized as the author. I would also like the translators to inform me of any errors they may find as they go along; the Spanish translators in particular have been of considerable help in weeding out certain wrong references and other mistakes. (The general public is likewise encouraged to tell me of any errors in these articles; if you can point out omissions or genuine mistakes of any kind, I will not be offended, but grateful.) Anyway, here are some translations that have been made:

Quenya course in Chinese - translated by Aslinn Zha and team.

Spanish - translated by various translators; the most complete and up-to-date non-English version. As for my Quenya course, I understand there now exist several Spanish translations; here is one by Antonio Palomino.
Polish - all the original Ardalambion articles translated by Gwidon S. Naskrent; this reflects how my site appeared in the beginning. My Quenya course has since been translated into Polish by Vendis and Elanor from the Elendili Forum; their Polish version can be found here.
Hebrew - various translators. (Notice the nice graphics on the title page; somehow Tengwar and Hebrew characters go well together!)
Norwegian - various translators have finally rendered much of my material into my native tongue (I have to write for an international audience myself!)
French - some articles translated by Sebastien Bertho and others; aims to be complete (one day!) Moreover, the Ambar Eldaron site features a French translation of my Quenya course.
Croatian - Valarin, Khuzdul, Black Speech/Orkish articles, translated by Miroslav Èagalj; the site also has other Tolkien-linguistic material
Italian - some articles translated by Gianluca Comastri, more to follow
Dutch - summaries of my Quenya lessons, translated by Annemieke Copal
Japanese - Quenya article only (who was the translator?)
Finnish - the Kontu page now features the Adûnaic, Westron and Sindarin articles, translated by Vesa Piittinen. (They may later have been revised so that they no longer correspond exactly to my original articles.)
Czech - selected articles translated by Frantisek Spoutil. Lucie Holá's Czech translation of my main Sindarin article is found here.
Korean - Quenya article only, translated by Aaram Yun
Russian - Adûnaic, Westron, Khuzdul, Black Speech, Entish, Avarin, Nandorin, Valarin and Various Mannish Tongues; translated by Drauger
German - a few articles translated by Sebastian Basten and others. Also see the German Quenya course, translated by Brigitte Rassbach. Yet another German translation of the course, made by Neniel Tindómerel, may be found at the Lindiénen page (this page features recorded sound samples). A German rendering of the Khuzdul article, by Jandrim, is also available.
(Brazilian) Portuguese - various articles as well as my Quenya course, which the Brazilians have also published as a book (concerning that publication, see this site). An independent translation of parts of the course is found here. Translations of the articles about Nevbosh, Animalic and Naffarin are found here.

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Thanks to Jessica for the above award!