Saturday, 11 January 2014

Just For Fun Friday

The end of the week is upon us! I hope that this post finds you looking forward to an exciting and relaxing weekend. 

I decided that I wanted to dedicate this week's Just For Fun Friday post to J.R.R. Tolkien, in recognition of the anniversary of his birth on 3 January. Little did I know that this ambition would lead me into the world of Elvish - the language created by Tolkien and used in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are, apparently, two Elvish dialects - Quenya and Sindarin. Since Quenya is spoken by the High Elves, it is obviously to be given preferred treatment. So here I present a beginner's guide to Elvish - the Quenya dialect (beyond this, you are on your own).


Pronunciation

Vowels:

á - long 'aaah'
a - short 'ah'
é - long 'eeeh'
e - short 'eh'
í - long 'ee'
i - short 'ih'
ó - long 'oooh'
o - short 'o'
ú - long 'uuuh' (sounds like 'oooo')
u - short 'uh'

Dipthongs:

ai - aisle
au - house
se - so
ie - yule
oi - oil
ui - ruin

Consonant Oddities:

c - pronounced as 'k'
h - pronounced as 'h' when at the beginning of a word; pronounced as 'ch' or 'k' when   between consonants; silent when 'hw', 'hy', 'hl', or 'hr'
ng - always pronounced fully, as in 'finger'
r - pronounced with rolling tongue
s - always unvoiced
y - always pronounced as a hard consonant
qu - pronounced 'kw'

Useful Phrases

Hi - A
Hail - Ai
I greet you - Gi suilon
You are welcome here - Gi nathlam hí
Sorry - Goheno nin
Yes - No
No - U
I love you - Gi melin
Do you speak Elvish? - Pedig edhellen?
Where are we? - Mi van me?
What are you doing? - Man cerig?
When? - Na van?
Why? - Am man?
Behold! - Alae!
Beware! - No dirweg!
Stop! - Daro!
You smell like a monster - Sevig thu úan

And now you're good to go! But if you feel the need for more, you can find a full Quenya-English dictionary here. Enjoy!

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