This FAQ was originally made by Sprite and expanded by Gildor Inglorion in order to provide some supplementary, simplified and more secularized knowledge of the Official Elfling FAQ. The main motivation was the horde of newbie messages that flooded the Elfling Mailing List the past months, after each of the Movies release.

The questions were more or less similar, and we got a really great amount of the kind "How is my name in Elvish" and "What does Arwen say to Frodo in the movie". We had a lot of job answering them all one by one. The Official FAQ was updated in order to facilitate our responses (from direct answers they were simplified to "visit our FAQ"), but some questions which I consider important, still have not been updated.

The following Questions are those which to my opinion should be added to the FAQ since they are still asked in the Elfling Mailing List The answers I provide are a simplified (or sometimes complementary) form to the questions found in the Elfling FAQ and the newbies' postings in the Elfling Mailing List itself. They are given according to my personal interpretation, so and the views presented there are not necessarily those of the Elfling Mailing List.


I don't provide the Questions in sections, but I follow a loose thematic order covering topics like 'what is', 'learning', 'how do I', 'writing' and 'various'.

• What is Elvish? What are Quenya and Sindarin?
• What is the difference between Quenya and Sindarin?
• Which is easier? Which one should learn first?
• How can I learn to speak Elvish with my friends?
• How can I study Elvish? Are there any courses or books?
• What is 'Grelvish'? Why do the linguists seem to disdain it so?
• Where can I find a good dictionary/wordlist?
• I want to speak Dwarvish and Ardalambion has very few words. Where do I find more?
• What if we want a word/words that cannot be found in the dictionary (either Quenya or Sindarin), what do we do?
• What does That Character say in That Scene of the Movie?
• How can I translate my name Elvish?
• How can I "translate" my name in Elvish letters?
• I want to write something on a tattoo or wedding ring "translated" in the "runes" of the One Ring.
• What about the Elvish letters? What are the Tengwar?
• How do I learn the Elvish scripts?
• How can I write Elvish on my PC?
• How do I write with the fonts? The result doesn't look right!
• Where can I learn how to say basic phrases? (Hello, Goodbye...)
• What languages did Tolkien use as his model?
• How are those words pronunced?
• Where can I find other people and talk about Elvish?
• Where can I find Elvish texts and compositions?


• What is Elvish? What are Quenya and Sindarin?

Elvish among us, is the collective name of the Elven languages that were invented by Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and are exemplified as placenames, personal names and short texts in his major works. The Elven linguists are interested in Elvish made by Tolkien, and usually in the other languages (Dwarvish, Adunaic, Orkish etc) of Middle-earth. Some persons must have in mind that this stuff has nothing to do with the Elves of the later RPG worlds. The Elven languages made by Tolkien have nothing to do with the Elven languages of Krynn or Faerun.

(New students often are mistaken and one of their first references is Grey Company. That website is not recommended for students of Tolkien's languages since it presents some RPG Elvish, but many people mistake it for a site about Tolkien).

However the word Elvish used in Lord of the Rings refers to Sindarin, since it was the main vernacular and living Elven language of Middle-earth, during the time the events of the book happened.

Quenya and Sindarin are the most developed languages that Tolkien made, and the only ones someone can study, learn and use. They are two different but related languages, since they both descented from the common ancient language of the Elves, Primitive Elvish (you can find it also as Common Elvish, Primitive Quendian or an other similar form) which was the common language of the Elves who awoke in Cuiviénen (cf. the Silmarillion).

During the centuries and the March to Valinor, this language was sundered. One was the Telerin family of languages, from which Sindarin and the languages of Middle-earth evolved. The other family was spoken in Valinor and brought Quenya.

Quenya was brought to Middle-earth by Feanor and the Noldor who followed him to their exile. However the Sindar were the ruling people and their languages was adopted by the Noldor and Men. Sindarin Quenya was preserved as a language of lore and ceremonies, and often was referred to as High Elven or Ancient Tongue.

It must be noted that some thought (and think) that the term "Ancient Tongue" implies that Quenya was the ancestor of Sindarin. This is wrong, as stated by the above history, but it is true that Sindarin descents directly from a language (Old Sindarin) that shared many common words with Quenya. Quenya is ancient in the manner that it was archaic and closer to the Common Elvish language. Quenya is not an ancestor of Sindarin, but an 'uncle'.

I suggest that the starter who is interested in Elvish must have a look at the PDF document, Cent o Edhellaim where he can find a great amount of info, like the background of Elvish Linguistics, the wherabouts of the languages and the nature of their studies and the problems that show up.

• What is the difference between Quenya and Sindarin?

There is no direct answer (well, what is the difference between Spanish and Italian?). They are both elvish but different languages. The long sundering between the Sindar and Nandor of Middle-earth and the Vanyar and Noldor of Valinor evolved both languages indepedently from their common ancestor. Various phonological and grammatical changes differentiate Sindarin from Quenya (which preserved better the elements of that ancient language). A good example of this parallel evolution would be the words tyelpe and celeb that mean "silver" in Quenya and Sindarin respectively. They seem to be totally different, but they are not if you consider their common Common Elvish ancestor which is kjelepê.

It's useful to look at this page about the Development of Elvish languages by Måns Björkman to get an understanding of their sundering and evolution.

With a little experience everyone can tell those languages apart.

Quenya is more lyrical and open-sounded, and does not have many consonant clusters. The hard sounds d, b, g are found in their softer forms nd, mb and ng (or after l and r). The words mostly end in vowels, or only in the consonants r, l, n, and less often in s and t. Typical Quenya words are quessë, namárië, laurëa, alassë, laurelindórenan. Quenya was based on Finnish, a language that Tolkien considered the most beautiful language according to his taste.
Galadriel's Lament, some phrases and traditional names are Quenya. A full Quenya phrases and texts list in Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings can be found in Ardalambion's Quenya corpus article.

Sindarin is a "hard" language. Almost all of the words end in consonants, the voiced sounds d, b, g are found in all positions, while their unvoiced variants t, p, c are found only initially. Consonant clusters are favoured and are found at the beginning and end of words (which is not allowed in Quenya). Typical Sindarin words are genediad, morn, aglareb, gwanur, elenath, aerlinn, Beleriand. Sindarin is celtic-like and based on Welsh, another language that Tolkien loved.
Practically, Sindarin was the daily and dominant Elvish language during the time of Lord of the Rings and most of the names of places and persons in that book are Sindarin. A full Sindarin phrases and texts list in Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings can be found in Ardalambion's Sindarin corpus article.

However there are some words that are alike in both languages: aran is "king" in both, as well as nén "water" (nên in Sindarin spelling), tol "island" etc. (note that the plurals are different, because the grammar has evolved differently).

• Which is easier? Which one should learn first?

This question can't be answered directly: it largely depends on what languages you're already familiar with. I believe that Quenya is appropriate for the starter because it gives better understanding of the Primitive language, and then he can find Sindarin easier.

Quenya is an inflected language: a single word has many cases, that express things which would need prepositions in English. For example, the word alda 'tree' has a different form that expresses meanings like 'of the tree' (aldo) 'to the tree' (aldanna) 'from the tree' (aldallo) 'in the tree' (aldasse) etc. This would sound a riddle for English or French speakers since they use prepositions for these functions, but speakers of an inflected language like German, Russian or Greek won't have a problem.

Sindarin is hard to some because the plural formations seem "irregular": In Quenya, to form the plural, you just stick i or r at the end of the noun, but in Sindarin, the whole word itself changes. The plural of aran "king" in Quenya is simply arani "kings", but the Sindarin plural is erain. Other examples of plurals include amon > emyn, rûth > ruith, ôl > ely, tulus > tylys etc.
There is also the matter of mutations: the first consonant of the word changes to another according to its syntactic position (eg. the initial letter of adjectives). For example b changes to v and the adjective bell 'strong' becomes vell following a noun. So 'mighty king' is aran vell and not bell aran as an English speaker would think. But these are no problems for those who speak or have studied Irish or Welsh.

So there is no definite answer on which is easier. However I still believe that it would be better to begin with Quenya.

• How can I speak Elvish fluently with my friends?

We have bad news... You can't, and perhaps you never will! Although Tolkien tried to create languages with real vocabulary, grammar, etymology and writing, he never completed them in the manner of Klingon or Eperanto. He never actually intented them to be spoken by others, not even by himself, more than just satisfying his need of creation. He also didn't work on an expanding policy, but on a revising one: instead of expanding and estabilish the exiting vocabulary and grammar, he preferred to reject older words and rules and replace them with others which liked more.

Our corpus from the published works lacks many simple and useful words like yes, if, although, or, perhaps, not to mention more complex ones like extrapolation, tentatively and many other useful ones. Tolkien might never had thought of an Elvish word for extraplation, but he might have thought of Elvish perhaps, which remains unpublished. There are some magazines like Vinyar Tengwar that attempt to publish the personal writings by Tolkien that hold linguistic interest, not to revive the languages, but for academic study. So the abovementioned little words maybe will be known in some time. However revealing more corpus is also a problem because Tolkien's process has been inconsistent: for example he often changed his mind concerning the Elvish pronoun system, and that's why it remains still a riddle to us.

While more and more words and rules fill some of the gaps of our puzzle, some students try to make a "standard" system for Elvish, choosing the more "stable" elements of the contradicting corpus. At present we can write poems and short texts in Quenya and Sindarin. There is no hope to write or compose in the other languages, like Orkish, Hobbitish, Dwarvish or other Elven ones like Avarin and Silvan, simply because we know just a hundred of words, and possibly Tolkien didn't advance far from there.

There have been attempts to reconstruct and invent words for Elvish and other languages but this goes far from Tolkien. We are interested in Tolkien's languages, right?

• How can I study Elvish? Are there any courses or books?

The common point of reference is of course Helge Fauskanger’s Ardalambion website which contains tutorials and analyses of all Tolkien's languages. This site also hosts a Quenya course, which will shed light to any beginner (from pronounciation and stressing, till complex etymology). Sindarin lessons exist also, one in French at Hisweloke and one teaching "Gannelian" dialect Sindarin in Tol Gannel. This one is an attempt to expanding Sindarin in everyday and modern phrases as spoken in the virtual land of Tol Gannel, but in respect to Tolkien's Sindarin (so I recommend it).

There are a few books, but I don't recommend any: most of them, good or bad, are now outdated, and all the info you need can be found on those and other sites.

There is a page about all the resources, books and important links (http://www.elvish.org/resources.html). I possess only one book "An Introduction to Elvish" and although it has been one of the best published it is outdated. In my oppinion you can learn anything you need on-line, books are not vital.

Pages like Grey Company have nothing to do with Tolkien and are to be avoided.

• What is 'Grelvish'? Why do the linguists seem to disdain it so?

"Grelvish" is a contraction of "Grey Company Elvish" (it has no relation to Tolkien's Grey-Elven tongue, which is Sindarin). The Grey Company is an Ultima Online clan, specialized in playing elves, and have built their own Elvish language to make things a bit more "realistic". They started off with a sort of bastardized confusion of Quenya and Sindarin vocabulary, little knowledge of their grammar, and then went from there in their own directions. Their language does bear a loose resemblance to (both) Tolkien's tongues. Their site provides some of their language resources for download (dictionary and grammar).

The problem is that their page tends to come up pretty high in the search-engine queries for "elvish language": Most actual Tolkienian pages don't use "elvish" in their META tags, but rather "Quenya" and/or "Sindarin". So lots of newbies, not knowing the names 'Quenya' and 'Sindarin', look for 'elvish' and come up with this site instead of some serious sites like Ardalambion, and they have no way of knowing any better.

Then they eventually join Elvish communities like Elfling, and ask things like 'vedui il'er, mellonamin, I have seen the LOTR movies and I have started learning Elvish. I want to ask how to pronunce and write 'amin mela lle' in Elvish letters!', and we have to point out every time how they've been taken in and wasted a bunch of time learning stuff that wasn't what they wanted.

(It's very likely to have this stuff, since some of it has been circulating Web sites, kazaa and chat rooms for years. If you have anything that claims to teach "elvish", and it has either "Grey Company" or "tel'Mithrim" on it, either delete it, or at least have in mind that it's not Tolkienian Elvish.)

• Where can I find a good dictionary/wordlist?

Quenya: Helge Fauskanger who owns Ardalambion has also compiled more comprehensive Quenya wordlists that include the published vocabulary of Quenya and other less known words not found in the standard books. This can be downloaded from http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/wordlists.htm. On second choice, you can download also Taryn East's in-process experimental dictionary from here.

Sindarin: Didier Willis’ dictionary and DragonFlame are free for download at http://www.geocities.com/almacq.geo/sindar/, and also Ryszard Derdzinski’s which you can order from http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm.

Other Languages: The other languages and Elven dialects are not that developped and the words available are quite few. However all of those words of each minor language are concentrated in complete (?) wordlists that follow each Ardalambion article with etymological designations.

You must have in mind that a dictionary is not enough to use a language. Some English speakers, and generally those who haven't any previous experience with other languages, tend to ignore that each language has its own functions and grammar, and use Elvish like 'english disguised in elvish words'. The results are more or less awkward phrases such as 'tomorrow me goes at the Canada'. Someone who intends to use a language must be aware of its grammar.

• I want to speak Dwarvish and Ardalambion has very few words. Where do I find more?

Since only those are displayed in Ardalambion then only those are known to us. Sorry, but Tolkien never developped his other languages in a useable fashion. That means we can learn and write texts in Quenya and Sindarin, while we will never be able to write Dwarvish or Hobbitish! For example we don't know yet a single Hobbitish pronoun!

However we believe that Tolkien has indeed invented more words and functions that remain unpublished. We keep a faith that some hundreds of Dwarvish, Orkish and Hobbitish words are waiting to be published, and maybe the above paragraph will be proved inaccurate. At present many fans have attempted to expand them. Since Dwarves are much favoured among RPG players, this language needed to be expanded (i.e. invention of non-contradicting grammar rules and words based on existing knowledge of it) and something like that was to be found in the abandoned site http://www.khuzdul.com/. The rules are invented in accordance to Tolkien's Dwarvish and it could be recommended to non-purists hardcore Dwarvish fans :-)

• What if we want a word/words that cannot be found in the dictionary (either Quenya or Sindarin), what do we do?

As we said, both Quenya and Sindarin are derived from the same common language. So if we know a word in one language and we want the same word in the other, we consult the other language, or just the appropriate etymological root! These are the ways we follow:

Borrowing a word from one language to another: For example, the word for "ring" in Quenya is corma, derived from Common Elvish *corma.. we don't know the Sindarin form, but after the example of Quenya parma and its Sindarin equivalent parf from Common Elvish *parma, we know that *corma would derive Sindarin *corf.
On the other hand, we know that "frog" in Sindarin is cabor, but we dont know the Quenya equivalent. Our understanding of Sindarin evolution shows that cabor derived from Common Elvish *capro... this would derive Quenya *carpo or *capar.

Deriving words by affixes: The word for "dynasty" was needed and someone invented the word *hilyale from the verb hilya- "follow, succeed" and the ending -le which forms verbs to nouns (we know for example hantale "thanking", nurtale "hiding" from Tolkien's work).

Deriving words from primitive roots: We know the primitive Elvish root YUK which derives words having to do with "use".. the noun "usage" in Quenya would probably be formed with the common noun ending -ma (cf. parma)... yuk+ma in Quenya would produce *yungwa so this is our word.

However, all must have in mind that those products are not as valid as Tolkien's, more than just possibilities for some temporary help! It would be no surprise if Tolkien's 'real' words for "ring" and "frog", were very different from our corf and capar. For example we used for a while the Sindarin ess for "name", reconstructed from Quenya esse, but later, the 'real' Sindarin word was published, which is eneth!

Most of the above examples were found in Boris Shapiro's Parma Penyane Quettaron ("book of lost words") and ELM's Newwords which provide several useful Quenya new-made words. You can consult it to learn more about the way of thinking of making them.

There is also for Sindarin Eirien Tuilinn's Gobeth i-pethath 'win ("dictionary of new words").

It would be useful to consult this list of etymological affixes from Ardalambion.

• What does That Character say in That Scene of the Movie?

You can sonsult a well-informed unofficial site that has the movie quotes translated with word-by-word analysis and sound clips of every sentence: http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/movie.htm

You must have in mind though, that the Elvish of the movie is not genuine Elvish. Some of those words and rules had to be reconstructed by rules also used by Tolkien (explained in a question below) so that they won't contradict known evidence. If you study this Movie Elvish, you must have in mind that this is by no means canonical, and future evidence might consist these reconstructions wrong.

David Salo, the linguist who composed the Elvish lines of the movie, has told in the Elfling list, that he will prepare a site about it.

• How can I translate my name into Elvish?

The Elves preferred to translate the meaning of every name. Some of the Elven names used around are translations of actual names. There is Quenya Lapseparma, a site that provides translations of real names into Quenya. A typical example from that site is this:

ROGER (m.) - Old Ger. 'fame + spear'; alcar "glory"; ecco "spear", thus Alcarecco

If a name is not there, try to find the roots of your name (the site http://www.behindthename.com/ is highly recommended), then find an Elvish dictionary and try to make an educated guess.

Avoid some less serious solutions like the Barrow Downs. These sites simply have an algorithm that replaces letters of your name with some Elvish-sounding elements (you don't really think that a mere fan-site can automatically translate flawlessly in Elvish all your names, nicknames, last names etc?). For example try to give aaaa aaaa as a name, and the applet will provide you an Elvish name as a 'translation'! However they are interesting if used for fun, and can provide ideas for RPG character names. Remember that the results are not real translations in either Tolkien's language.

• How can I "translate" my name in Elvish letters?

This is a very vague question... first of all, since you are talking for 'translation', it seems you are unaware of the term 'transcription/transliteration'. Translation concerns the rendering of a meaning from one language to another, while transcription refers to the sound of a word, from one writing system to another. If you ask for a 'translation' in 'elvish letters' we can't know if you want a mere transcription of your real name (from Roman letters to Elvish ones), and/or a translation to ane language to another first... you should clear this out for us by using the appropriate terminology.

• I want to write something on a tattoo or wedding ring "translated" in the "runes" of the One Ring.

Oho! The writing on the One Ring is NOT Runes! The Elven Runes (called Cirth) are a script totally different than that of the Ring, and similar to the Norse Runes.

Now, when you want something "translated", you need it translated in another language. You dont translate an English text into Cyrillic writing, or an Arabian text into Kenji ideograms. Hence you don't translate a text into Runes or Tengwar! This process is called transcription (that means, converting the same sounds from one writing system to another) not translation from one language to another!

So if you want an English text written in Tengwar, you have two alternatives: either to transcribe it as is according to the Tengwar English Mode (as Tolkien used to do in some occasions) or to translate it into Quenya or Sindarin first and transcribe the Elvish text into an appropriate of the many Tengwar Modes.

There are many languages and modes, so you must clarify some answers before you begin to translate and transcribe something. Look at How do I write [phrase] in Elvish first and answer the quetions to yourself :-) if you have difficulties you can ask some help from the Elfscript list.

• What about the Elvish letters? What are the Tengwar?

The Elves (and the peoples influenced by them) used majorly the Tengwar or the Cirth (Runes).

The Tengwar (or Feanorian characters) were devised by Feanor in Valinor originally for writing Quenya, and they were influenced by the Sarati of Rumil. When the Noldor came to Middle-earth in the beginning of the First Age, they brought this alphabet with them, and adapted it for Sindarin. One example of this is the Mode of Beleriand. The Tengwar were during the ages adapted for many languages, like Black Speech (like in the case of the Ring), Adunaic, Westron etc, somehow like our Roman alphabet is used throughout the world.

The Cirth were made by Daeron (cf. the tale of Beren and Luthien) for Sindarin and looked very alike with the Runes of Northern Europe (that's why Tolkien aften calls them runes instead of Cirth). In later times they were used only by the Dwarves as featured on The Balin's Tomb of Moria in Khuzdul.

Besides then there are other, less famous writing systems, like the Sarati of Rumil, but not many are very interested in them. :-)

It is a common misunderstanding that the Tengwar are also considered runes, and many refer to them as 'the runes of the One Ring'. Please have in mind that runes refer only to the Cirth of Daeron, and never to the Tengwar. The Tengwar don't look much runic, do they?

• How do I learn the Elvish scripts?

If you don't know about Elvish scripts, a very good starting document on Tengwar and Certhas (elvish runes) can be found on The letters of Middle-earth explaining briefly their nature, usage and differences (PDF format).

Amanye Tenceli is a very good site about Tengwar and Sarati and their history. It also contains guides on calligraphy, the Tengwar Parmaite font and TengScribe, a program that wirtes Tengwar automatically to download.

Tengwar Primers is a highly recommended site for learning Tengwar, Quenya and Sindarin, since it contains practical guides in the form of tutorials (and exercises!).

When you are more experienced (and sometimes even if you aren't), you'd like to consult Quenta Eldatencelion, an essay about the history of Elvish writing, with theoretical analyses of all the attested modes in all languages through time (DOC format).

And if simply you want to write English with Tengwar, like Tolkien did, you should visit Tengwar Textbook which explains and analyses the various English modes used by Tolkien.

• How can I write Elvish on my PC?

[This answer concerns only the TTF fonts... I hope I will incorporate information about Mac and Unix fonts also]

You can download the famous Dan Smith's Tengwar and Rune fonts along with some documentary on their usage and their various modes.

Mans Bjorkman has made two Elvish fonts, Tengwar Parmaite and Tirion Sarati which can be downloaded from here.

And Harri Perala has made the Tengwar Cursive font, based on the hand of the One Ring. This font is highly recommended if you want to engrave a text and want it to look like the One Ring!

Note that all the abovementioned Tengwar fonts are 95% compatible with each other, since they use the same keymapping, first devised by Dan Smith. If you write a Tengwar text with any font of them, you can easily switch between those fonts to see which style you prefer most, without fearing that the spelling will change.

• How do I write with the fonts? The result doesn't look right!

The abovementioned Tengwar fonts use the keymapping first used by Dan Smith. The Tengwar alphabet doesn't fit the Roman alphabet, so Dan Smith decided to put the Tengwar table on the keyboard, according its own order.

The Feanorian alphabet is divided in rows of 4 letters each. Dan Smith corresponded each row in each keyboard column. So the first row (first 4 letters) which are t, p, c, qu correspond to the leftmost keys which are z, a, q, 1. So, to type letter t of Tengwar, you don't press the t key (this would correspond to the tengwa for m) but the z key! The 1 key, doesn't correspond to the tengwa numeral for 1, but to the tengwa for qu!


Please visit this guide that explains the usage of the fonts, and gives hints to make their use easier.

If both Tengwar spelling and typing are too hard for you, you can find some help in sites such as the Online Tengwar Trancriber.

Have in mind however that these programs can't replace your knowledge. Tengwar spelling is complex and often relies on each word's etymology. Programs like this can't know the etymology of each word, and decide the approrpiate tengwa!

• Where can I learn how to say basic phrases? (Hello, Goodbye...)

The best site for that is http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_parl.html

• What languages did Tolkien use as his model?

It is well known that Tolkien loved Finnish and he started to make Quenya in order to give flesh to his phonoesthetic ideal. On the process he loved Welsh and he invented Sindarin. But those two where not his only models. It is clear that he used elements from Latin, Spanish, Greek and much more. It is also known that Tolkien wanted Adunaic and Dwarvish to be "Semitic" and resemble Hebrew.

Many people can find similarities with their own mother languages. Some noticed some similarities between Quenya and Hebrew, Sanskrit and others, while some have expressed the idea that Valarin sounds like Sumerian and Telerin like Italian. Did Tolkien had all those languages in his mind or are they just chance resemblances? These few following examples of Quenya words give weight to some words of Faramir's that did not make it into the published LotR, that "all speech of men in this world is Elvish in descent". (WR:159)

Varda means "exalted", while Sanskrit vara means "best, most excellent".
• The Valar are the "Powers, Angelic beings" of the mythology, and Sanskrit bala means "power", Latin valiens means "strong" while Finnish valari means "shining ones"
ambo means "hill" and in Amharic amba means "mountain"
corma is the "ring", and in Latin corona means "circlet"
nosta- is the verb to "give birth", and in Greek nostos means "homeland"
Aman is the land of the Valar, which means "blessed, free from evil", and Aramaic aman is "safety"
alda means "tree", and in ancient Greek aldainein means "make grow"

...and many more

A good article about Tolkien's process and inspirations can be found in Ardalambion and in an interesting article about the resemblances between Finnish and Quenya.

• How are those words pronunced?

The first reference is of course the Appendix E to Lord of the Rings. But since you ask that kind of question, that means you have the unappendiced version :-P

The quick answer is this: Quenya and Sindarin are not English. Each letter has the same distinct value in every position, pronunced separately. There are no silent letters and all are pronunced always. To indicate that even the final e is pronunced, Tolkien usually put two dots over it (many wonder how ë is pronunced, now you know). Únótimë is pronunced oo-notty-meh and not as an English word (which the Elves would spell yunotaim).

The other signs are the acute accent ( ' ) and circumflex ( ^ ) that indicate a long vowel.

A good guide is the course of Ardalambion, but there is also Elvish pronounciation Guide, a site with good theoretic stuff and some not-so-good sound samples of Quenya and make sure to visit Tolkien Language Comparison with spoken elvish, dwarvish and orcish phrases from the book by two different persons :-)

• Where can I find other people and talk about Elvish?

There are various mailing lists. I am a member of Elfling where some of the most famous Elven Linguistics celebrities are found :-). There is also Quenya in which all the messages are supposed to be written in that language but it is quite dead and not of the same high level as Elfling's. There is also Elvishlinguistics.

For live chat, we have opened the channel #elfling on Undernet server. You can visit us with any IRC client such as mirc.

• Where can I find Elvish texts and compositions?

There are many sites dedicated to post-tolkienian compositions of texts, poems and songs in Elvish. I won't recommend any in particular, because they are too many. Instead, I will provide the link Elvish Poetry which is a (quite huge) link collection that leads to many Elvish texts pages.

But you must have in mind, the post-tolkienian texts are in no way canonical. It's a bad idea to start studying Elvish from these texts, since as mentioned, Tolkien's languages are not perfectly understood and their vocabularies have gaps. Those works often contain reconstructed words and rules, not to mention that they must have mistakes.

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