The Oath of Cirion and Eorl in Sindarin
Translated by Didier Willis and Helge Fauskanger,
Edited and annotated by Didier Willis, March 2000.
The oath of Cirion and Eorl (Unfinished Tales pp. 305 and 317) is a short text written by J.R.R. Tolkien in Quenya, the language of the High Elves.
I have tried to translate this piece of text into Sindarin, the language spoken by the Grey Elves. I am much grateful here to Helge Fauskanger, who played an important part in this attempt (the last sentence actually follows his suggestions). I remain the only responsible for the errors that may possibly remain in this version.
Arphent Cirion: i 'west hen bronatha an rîn aglar Dôr-en-Êl a bronwe Elendil Sadron. Hebithar ha aen, i cherir erin erchaim ned Annûn ar i Vin i northa or erchaim phain an uir.
"And Cirion said: this oath will last for the remembrance of the glory of the land of the star and of the faith of Elendil the faithful.They shall keep it, those who sit on the thrones in the West, and the One who dwells above all thrones forever."
v. pref. "and (he) said" is attested in the so-called unpublished "Túrin's wrapper", and is conceivably composed of pent, past tense of ped- "to say" (LotR/II:IV), prefixed with the conjunction a, ar "and" (SD/129-31). The latter apparently triggers a liquid mutation.
plur. in 1. art. "the" (definite article) - 2. rel. pron. "who".
n. "oath" (Ety/397), lenited to 'west after the definite article.
dem. adj. "this" is the hypothetical singular of hin "these", attested on the Door of Durin (i thiw hin "these signs", LotR/II:IV). Actually, this word is conceivably *sen plur. *sin, lenited in adjectival position (lenitions are grammatical in Sindarin, see Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien p. 426, footnote).
v. "to last, to survive" (Ety/353), in the future tense bronatha "will last".
n. "remembrance" (PM/372).
prep. "to, towards, for" (LotR/II:IV, UT/39, SD/129-31). Since the following word begins with a -r, Helge Fauskanger suggested that this preposition should perhaps be mutated to *adh, on the example of Caradhras (< caran-ras), if we assume that such a mutation does not occur in compounds only.
n. "glory, brilliance" (Ety/348, S/427, LotR/II:I, LotR/VI:IV). The word is directly followed by its attributive complement: in Sindarin, genitival constructs are formed by merely juxtaposing the words, as in Ennyn Durin "the Door (of) Durin".
n. "land, dwelling-place, region" (Ety/376, S/430, WJ/413).
art. "of the", genitival article (LotR/VI:IV, Letters/308).
n. "star" (WJ/363, MR/373).
n. "lasting quality, endurance, faith" (Ety/353). This word is actually given as a proper name, but is the equivalent of Q. voronwe.
n. "faithful one" is the hypothetical singular of sedryn "faithful ones" (UT/431). The singular stemis restaured from Sador (untranslated name, Túrin's faithful servant), following the examples of hador and hadron (Ety/363, WJ/234). The primitive root would conceivably be *SAT.
v. "(they) will keep" is derived from ú-chebin in Gilraen's linnod (LotR/A.v). I had here an occasion to use this verb, whose uninflected stem is unkown (it might be either *hab-, *hob- or *heb-). But of course, Helge Fauskanger noted that tirithar would have been more literal, mirroring the Q. tiruvantes "they will guard it". It should also be noted that we do not know for sure how to form the future of basic verbs ending in a consonant: the published corpus only contains derived verbs such as linna- (linnathon "I will sing", LotR/II:I) or esta- (estathar "(they) will name", SD/129-131).
pron. "it" (Ety/385).
v. "may it be that (?)" is attested in the King's Letter only (SD/129-31). It is supposed to be the equivalent of Q. nai (optative form of the verb "to be") though there is unfortunately no definitive evidence of this.
v. "to sit" (here in the third person plural) is an hypothetical reconstruction suggested by Helge Fauskanger, on the model of Q. hárar "they sit". A nasal mutation occurs after the relative pronoun in, changing *(in herir) into i·cherir , cf. the nasal mutation of hîn "children" (WJ/403) in Narn i Chîn Húrin. For this verb, my suggestions were *ham- or *hemia (hence i·chemir or i·chemiar), both reconstructed from the root KHAM from The Etymologies, where Christopher Tolkien only lists Q. ham- ("the other derivatives are too chaotic and unclear to present", Ety/363).
prep. "on the" (SD/129-131).
pl. erchaim n. "throne" (literally "royal seat") has been suggested to me by Helge Fauskanger. It is coined from ar(a) "high, noble, royal" (S/428) and the stem KHAM (see also har- above).
prep. "in" (SD/129-131). Perhaps this preposition should only be used when giving a date (ned Echuir in the King's Letter), but we have no better choice.
n. "West" (Ety/376, S/428, LotR/E...).
adj. num. "one" (Ety/373), here lenited after the definite article.
v. "to dwell" (Ety/376). This word derives from the root NDOR, and its lenition after the relative pronoun is therefore northa.
prep. "above, upon" (Ety/379).
adj. "all" (mhellyn în phain "all his friends", SD/129-31). It has been suggested that this might perhaps be a word *pân pl. *pain, showing a nasal mutation after the reflexive pronoun în. In that case, we should perhaps read bain here (with standard soft lenition).
n. "eternity" (Ety/379).