The Lord's Prayer in Quenya
by Patrick Wynne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Carl F. Hostetter (Aelfwine@elvish.org)
This page is a slightly modified version of an original article first published in the journal Vinyar Tengwar #32 (November, 1993).
"Attolma" composition and notes are copyright (c) 1993 by Patrick Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter. It may not be republished without permission.
||is in heaven,
||be it that
||will be hallowed
|Be it that
|Be it that
||will be done
||(for) our wrong-doers.
||be it that
||thou will not lead
||into overmastering desire
- Attolma 'Our Father'. atto is an affectionate form of atar 'father' (LR:349 s.v. ATA-). Compare the New Testament usage of Aramaic abba 'father', a term "borrowed from childhood's language to express filial address to God", as Christ's words in Mark 14:36: "And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee..." (KJV) The exclusive 1 pl. possessive suffix *-lma 'our' appears in the genitive -lmo 'of our' in omentielmo 'of our meeting' (L:265, 447). The exclusive 1 pl. pronoun does not include the person addressed as part of the we, us, or our; thus Attolma 'Our (but not Your) Father', anta men 'give to us (but not to You)', etc.
- i 'who'. Cf. i Eru i 'the One who' (UT:305).
- menelessie 'is in heaven'. This consists of *menelesse 'in heaven', locative sg. of menel 'firmament, high heaven, the region of the stars' (R:72), to which has been added the copular suffix -ie (= ye 'is'), as in márie 'it is good' (LR:72) < mára 'good' (LR:371) and man-ie 'what is it?' (LR:59) < man 'what?' (LR:63). A form closely analogous to *menelessie is númessier 'They are in the West' (LR:72) < *númesse 'in the West' + pl. copular suffix -ier '(they) are'.
- nai 'be it that, may it be that, maybe' (I:394, R:67-68). Nai is used with a verb in the future to express a wish, e.g. Nai hiruvalye Valimar 'be it that thou wilt find Valimar' (cf. R:67-68). For further discussion, see the next entry.
- airitainiéva 'will be hallowed'. This contains a present stem *airita- 'hallow, make holy', from aire 'holy' (I:394) + causative -ta as in tulta- 'send for, fetch, summon' < TUL- 'come, approach' (LR:395). The past participle is thus *airitaina 'hallowed'; cp. hastaina 'marred' in Arda Hastaina 'Arda Marred', with bare stem hasta- in Alahasta 'Unmarred' (MR:254). With the addition of the future copular suffix -iéva (= yéva 'will be', LR:72) this becomes *airitainiéva '(it) will be hallowed'. Cp. hostainiéva 'is counted', lit. *'will be collected' (LR:72), < *hostaina 'collected', p.p. of hosta- 'to collect' (LR:364).
Our translation of the Lord's Prayer is based on Jerome's Latin version in the Vulgate rather than on the Greek original, owing to our imperfect knowledge of New Testament Greek. Subjunctive verbs in the Vulgate version have been rendered into Quenya with the nai + future construction. Thus Lat. sanctificetur 'hallowed be' has been translated as nai airitainiéva 'be it that (it) will be hallowed'.
- esselya 'thy name'. This is esse 'name' (III:401) + -lya 'your', the 2 sg. possessive suffix, as in tielyanna 'upon your path' (UT:22, 51 n.3). For the reverential sense *'thy', cf. the suffixed nom. form -lye 'thou' in hiruvalye thou shalt find' (I:394).
- ardalya 'thy kingdom'. Cf. arda 'realm' < GAR *'hold, possess', "often in names as Elenarda 'Star-kingdom', upper sky" (LR:360). Also used as a proper noun Arda 'The Realm', "name of the Earth as the Kingdom of Manwe" (S:317).
- tuluva 'will come'. Cf. entuluva 'shall come again' (S:195), with prefix en- 'again' (UT:317 n.43). Here nai tuluva 'be it that (it) will come' represents the Latin subjunctive adveniat 'may it come'.
- írelya 'thy desire'. Cf. íre 'desire' < *i\di 'heart, desire, wish' (LR:361 s.v. ID-).
- tyarniéva 'will be done'. The base KYAR- 'cause, do' yielded Quenya derivatives in tyar- , as tyaro 'doer, actor, agent' (LR:362). We have assumed a p.p. *tyarna 'done' on the basis of varna 'safe, protected, secure', apparently a p.p. *'uplifted, saved, rescued' < BAR- 'uplift, save, rescue(?)' (LR:351). Here nai tyarniéva 'be it that (it) will be done' represents the Latin subjunctive fiat 'let it be done'.
- mardesse 'on earth'. Cf. mar 'earth' in i-mar 'the earth' (LR:72), with oblique stem mard- seen in Mardello 'from Earth' (ibid.)
- ve 'as, like'. Cf. ve rámar aldaron 'as the wings of trees' (I:394), ve fanyar 'like clouds' (R:66-67).
- anta 'give!' (imperative). Cf. stem anta- 'give' (LR:348 s.v. ANA1-). In Quenya there seems to have been no formal distinction between the bare stem of a verb and the imperative; thus NA\2- "Stem of verb 'to be' in Q" (LR:374) appears in na\-i 'be it - that' (R:68). Here anta represents the Latin imperative da 'give!'.
- men '(to) us'. The accusative 1 pl. exclusive pronoun me 'us' appears in nuruhuine me lumna 'Death-shadow us is-heavy' (LR:56). The dative form *men '(to, for) us' seems to appear in assimilated form mel- in nuruhuine mel-lumna 'Death-shadow us-is-heavy' (LR:47), lit. *'the shadow of death lies heavy for us' (cf. lumna- 'to lie heavy'; LR:355 s.v. DUB-).
- síre 'today, (on) this day', a neologism coined from SI- 'this, here, now' (LR:385) + the suffix -re 'day' as in mettare 'last day' (III:386) and Cormare 'Ringday' (III:390). Also cf. íre 'when' (LR:72), enyáre 'in that day' (ibid.), yáre 'former days' (LR:399 s.v. YA-).
- ilyaurea 'daily, of the whole day', a compound of adj. ilya 'all, the whole' (LR:361 s.v. IL-, I:394) + *aurea 'of a day', adj. form of aure 'day' (S:190, 195), just as adj. laurea 'golden' is derived from laure 'gold' (R:70). In the present context *ilyaurea refers to a quantity of bread 'sufficient for the whole day'.
- mastalma 'our bread'. Cf. masta 'bread' (LR:372 s.v. MBAS-).
- ar 'and' (I:394).
- avanta 'forgive'. No Elvish word meaning 'forgive' appears in the published corpus. The verb 'forgive' in Old English was forgiefan , from the prefix for- , denoting loss or destruction, and giefan 'give'. We have used this as the model for a neologism *avanta- 'to forgive' < the privative prefix ava- (LR:349 s.v. AWA-) + anta- 'give' (LR:384 s.v. ANA1-). Privative ava- is translated as 'for-' in avaqet- 'refuse, forbid' (LR:366 s.v. KWET-), lit. *'say away'. Thus *avanta- 'to give away, for-give', appearing in this line in imperative *avanta 'forgive!', as well as with the exclusive 1 pl. nom. suffix -lme 'we' in *avantalme 'we forgive' (cf. laituvalmet 'we will praise them', III:231, L:308).
- raikalmar 'our wrongs'. Cf. adj. raika 'crooked, bent, wrong' (LR:383 s.v. RAYAK-), here used substantively to mean *'a wrong thing, sin, trespass'.
- raikatyarolmain '(for) our wrong-doers'. *raikatyaro 'wrong-doer, sinner' is a compound of raika 'wrong' + tyaro 'actor, doer, agent' (LR:362 s.v. KAR-). With the addition of the possessive suffix *-lma 'our', this appears in the dative plural raikatyarolmain 'for our wrong-doers', i.e. 'for those who do us wrong'. A direct object raikar 'trespasses' is implied but unexpressed in this clause; i.e. ve avantalme (raikar) raikatyarolmain 'as we forgive (trespasses) for those who do us wrong'.
- útukuvalye 'thou will not lead'. Cf. tukin 'I draw' < TUK- 'draw, bring', whence also N tegi 'to lead, bring' (LR:395); here in the 2 sg., future tense: *tukuvalye 'thou will lead'. The Etymologies gives the negative prefix ú- 'not, un-, in-', "usually with bad sense" (LR:396). Use of this prefix to negate verbs is not yet attested in Quenya but appears in Sindarin, e.g. ú-chebin estel 'I have kept no hope' (III:342). Also cf. Goldogrin Ú- "negative prefix with any part of speech" (LT2:346 s.v. Nínin-Udathriol).
- mailenna 'into overmastering desire'. Cf. maile 'lust' (LR:373), used in this translation to refer to excessive desire in general, not just sexual appetite. Cf. def. 5 of lust in the OED: "Lawless and passionate desire of or for some object....Overmastering desire (esp. of battle)." That this more general sense also applies to maile is implied in the Etymologies s.v. MIL-IK-, where maile apparently provides the basis for the name Melko < *Mailiko\ . The Noldorin form is given in this same entry as Maeleg , with which compare N mael 'lust'. Other derivatives of MIL-IK- include Q milme 'desire, greed', milya- 'long for', and milka 'greedy' (N melch ). For the use of the allative to mean 'into', cf. eari ullier ikilyanna 'seas should flow into chasm' (SD:247).
- ná 'but'. The Etymologies s.v. NDAN- 'back' gives na\ , na\n 'but, on the contrary, on the other hand' (LR:375). Also cf. nan 'but' with short vowel in "Fíriel's Song" (LR:72). This is not to be confused with ná 'is' (I:394, R:67).
- fainu 'release!' (imperative). Cf. fainu- 'release' (LT1:250); for imperative use of the bare stem , see the discussion of anta in Line 4.
- ulkallo 'from evil'. The adj. ulka 'evil' appears in henulka 'evileyed' (SD:68, 72 n.12), and is here used substantively as *'wickedness'.
- amen . A borrowing of Hebrew a\-me\n 'certainty, truth', used adverbially as 'certainly, truly'. This might also be rendered into Quenya as *anwave 'truly' < anwa 'real, actual, true' (LR:348 s.v. ANA2-) + adverbial suffix -ve as in andave 'long' (III:231, L:308).
 John D. Davis, The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible , revised and rewritten by Henry Snyder Gehman (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1924). F. Wilbur Gingrich's Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (Second edition, revised by Frederick W. Danker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983) notes that Aramaic abba is "a specially intimate term".
 For a further discussion of imperatives cf. p. 5 of "Sauron Defeated: A Linguistic Review" by Carl F. Hostetter (VT24:4-13, July 1992).
VT: Vinyar Tengwar. The Journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship. Carl F. Hostetter, Editor (Aelfwine@elvish.org).
OED: The Oxford English Dictionary
The following works are all by J.R.R. Tolkien. Page references are to the most recent Houghton Mifflin Co. hardcover editions.
I: The Fellowship of the Ring
III: The Return of the King
L: The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
LR: The Lost Road and Other Writings
LT1: The Book of Lost Tales, Part I
LT2: The Book of Lost Tales, Part 2
MR: Morgoth's Ring
R: The Road Goes Ever On
S: The Silmarillion
SD: Sauron Defeated
UT: Unfinished Tales
Q : Quenya
N : Noldorin
1 : first person
2 : second person
sg. : singular
pl. : plural
adj. : adjective
nom. : nominative
p.p. : past participle
< : "is derived from"
* : indicates that a word or meaning is hypothetical, i.e. not actually attested in the published corpus.
\ : indicates that the vowel that precedes should be marked with a macron.
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