Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 19:53:31 +0000
From: "Lisa Star" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Three Translations
This is the set of three translations from Gilfanon's Tale, which I prepared
to illustrate the differences between different stages of Quenya. I will
first provide the translations, and then I will offer a very simple
explanation of some of the words.
The English of the beginning of Gilfanon's Tale (p. 231 LTI)
Now many of the most ancient things of the Earth are forgotten, for they
were lost in the darkness that was before the Sun and no lore may recover
them, yet mayhap this is new to the ears of many here that when the Teleri,
the Noldoli and the Solosimpi.....
1) the QQ (Qenya) version (in language compatible with the Lost Tales and
Tyaa nattor akorar olli Marda nalla mintello avanwa as-kasta niento vanwa im
Lomendaanar ya ner noova y UUri, yan alnooleme turur annete ende: er
as-valto ikse naar velupantea ankassenta limbion hyaa en san i Teleri, i
Noldoli yan i Solosimpi....
2) The Etymologies compatible version
Sin linnati yaarima Ambaronen uumer atayalina ten toi vanwa mi loome tana
estie i Anar, a n~olwe uuva atatultat ananta [mayhap] siin ye[va] sinya
laarennar Eldalieeva sii, tana iire i Ingwi, i Noldor ar i Teleri....
3) the LotR compatible version ("mature Quenya")
Sii linnati anyaarima Ambaro laa nar enyaalina an ner vanwa mi mornie i
yestie i Anar, ar laa n~oole enhiruva te ananta nai sii naa vinya lassennar
Eldalieeva sinome, i iire i Vanyar, i Noldor ar i Teleri....
First, about the English, I couldn't translate some parts very directly, so
I used other wording. I had no way of saying "forgotten" so I used
something like "not remembered". I did not have an obvious word for
"before" so I used something like "preceded". I did not have a word for
"recover" so I used either "found again" or "got again". This was true for
all of the translations, more or less.
1) the Qenya version (in language compatible with the Lost Tales and
Lexicons). My original reason for doing this translation was to have a text
to write in the Alphabet of Rumil, and so I have done that and put it up on
the net (but have not finished the webpage yet). So that is what the
"artwork" refers to--since I want to let you know that if you go to the
trouble to translate the artwork, there are a few differences between that
and the text I have here.
(The text again, for convenience) Tyaa nattor akorar olli Marda nalla
mintello avanwa as-kasta niento vanwa im Lomendaanar ya ner noova y UUri,
yan alnooleme turur annete ende: er as-valto ikse naar velupantea ankassenta
limbion hyaa en san i Teleri, i Noldoli yan i Solosimpi....
Most of this vocabulary, I just picked directly out of the Qenya Lexicon
whenever possible, and I do not comment on that further. I also used the
poem Narqelion, the Marquette Grammar (including the long entu declension)
and a few other phrases from the Lost Tales or the Qenya Lexicon to
understand the grammar.
akorar: I think that Tolkien at one time used the word 'kor' to mean 'old,
ancient' It has corresponding forms in Gnomish such as i Chorweg a-Vai 'the
old one of Vai', and hooor 'old, ancient (only of things still existing)',
under Vailimo in LTI and see also under Kooor in LTI where it is said to
mean 'revere'. But the word was transferred to a meaning 'round' very early
and this would not mean 'old' in later Quenya. The plural of the adjective
ending in -r has many examples in the poem Narqelion. Also the prefix a- is
a type of augment meaning 'completely' (QQ pp. 30, 34, 82), not an actual
Marda: this is a short form of Mardeva, which may be a genitive or an
adjectival form (See for example Talka Marda 'Smith of the World'). The
contraction of -eva to just -a may be seen in lintuilind(ov)a where Tolkien
has added the parentheses, and in the comparison of earlier and later
versions of Narquelion. This may be the explanation for what has been
referred to as the "genitive ending in -a" (in very old messages no one here
has ever read--but it was a topic of discussion at one time).
nalla: this is the 3rd person pl. present of verb 'to be', and is based on
the forms in Narquelion, where in later versions the same word is 'nar'.
mintello: 'out of memory' the ending is an ablative from the long entu
avanwa: 'going, passing, nearly gone' is Tolkien's own translation, given in
AVA- in QQ. I have used it to mean 'gone from memory' in the phrase
as-kasta: `by cause/reason', 'because' is my own construction. It probably
should show accommodation, such as aksasta.
niento: 3rd person pl. past tense of 'to be' This is based on the Marquette
Grammar pl. 3rd ending -nto(n) (lto) (used with the secondary endings.) In
the artwork I spelled it nellienta, which I now think is completely wrong.
vanwa: 'gone...lost' Tolkien's own translation under VAHA in QQ. This
different meaning for a similar word, avanwa (above), may just be an
artifact of Tolkien changing his mind over the period of time that he worked
on the Qenya Lexicon, but I have used the two words with slightly different
meanings, since we do have them.
im: we have a choice im or mi, but im is used before a word beginning with a
vowel, so I should have used that here! When this preposition is used there
is no case ending on the noun (im Inwinore, mi Kumi).
Lomendaanar: this refers specifically to the "Days of Gloaming" which I
think is the era referred to here. I could have just used loome,
ya: `that' understood to refer to 'those, that back there' Considering that
ya may also mean 'and' in early Qenya, this would certainly be confusing.
ner: `was' 3rd sg. past tense. Obviously this -r ending is not used for the
singular in later Quenya, where the form would be ne. This difference is
quite confusing when trying to read early Qenya (if you are used to later
noova: `ahead' this was the closest I could get to 'before' I do not know
if it should have required a case ending on the noun.
y: 'the' the oldest form of the word (later spelled 'i'), it appears in the
Quenya title of the Narqelion poem. In most of early Qenya, 'i' would be
UUri: 'Sun', not the form anyone would use later.
yan: 'and' the ending -n is used before a word beginning with a vowel.
alnooleme: 'no lore' my construction which probably should show
accommodation (allooleme in later Quenya, such as Etymologies). al- is the
form of neg. prefix used with nasals according to p. 99 QQ.
turur: 3rd sg, 'can, be able'
an-nete: 're-get' 'get again' with nete 'get'. I meant to say turur annete
'can get again' but it is a fairly shakey construction.
**ende: 'them' This is a plural formed from a singular base form enda in
the long entu declension. It is in the accusative and represents inanimate
as-valto: `with good luck' the best I could do to translate 'mayhap'.
ikse: of the three different words translated 'this' in QQ: hya, iki, taama,
I picked this one, because it appears in a phrase on p. iv of QQ (in the
form iksi, but that would > ikse in use).
naar: 'is' again a *singular* form. I accidentally wrote this as naa in the
**velupantea: `revelatory' based on velupantie 'revelation' which works ok
in the context. I couldn't find any word for 'new'. The closest I saw to
any later form of 'new' was Gnomish guin 'recent, fresh' GG 42, but I
couldn't find any Qenya equivalent root of this. What I mean is that the
entire root (see later translations) seems not to have been invented yet.
ankassenta: 'to the ears' with an allative (locative acusative) ending based
on the long entu declension.
limbion: 'of many' at least limba 'many' is attested. I'm not at all sure
this is the right genitive.
san: 'then, at that time' This is rather pressed into service as I couldn't
find anything better.
i Teleri: Here I have used the forms directly out of the English original
because Tolkien wrote Gilfanon's Tale at the time of the Qenya Lexicons,
more or less, and these are the names that Tolkien would have been using
anyway. But the three names that appear here are, at this time, the 1st,
2nd, and 3rd clans of the Elves, in that order. Later, when I translate
this part I give the names of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd clans according to the
names that he chose later, and you will see it is quite different (because I
am trying to translate the "sense" of the text).
i Noldoli: the 2nd clan
i Solosimpi: the 3rd clan
I tried to check the syntax very carefully in this translation, which is
honestly more than I can say for the later translations. So here is a "back
translation" into English: "Now things oldest many of Earth are from memory
nearly gone by cause [that] [they] were lost in the Days of Gloaming, that
was ahead [of] the Sun, and no lore is able to get them again, yet by luck
this is revelatory to the ears of many here, that then (at that time) the
Teleri, the Noldoli and the Solosimpi..." As you can see, I have sometimes
left out the word 'the' and the subject of a sentence when it is only
expressed as a pronoun in the English, because I think they are unnecessary.
2) The Etymologies compatible version
The text again: Sin linnati yaarima Ambaronen uumer atayalina ten toi vanwa
mi loome tana estie i Anar, a n~olwe uuva atatultat ananta [mayhap] siin
ye[va] sinya laarennar Eldalieeva sii, tana iire i Ingwi, i Noldor ar i
Here again, if the vocabulary could be taken directly from Etymologies, I
did, without further explanation. I also used Firiel's Song (abbreviated
FS) and other text fragments from the Lost Road, and Lhammas, and Cirion's
Oath (UT:305), though I don't know if that last is defensible.
linnati: taare 'thing' is attested in FS, so I could have used lintaari.
yaarima: here also I have used an augment ending rather than an actual
superlative (see vorima 'continual, repeated' vanima 'fair' tyelima 'final'
Ambaronen: the -en genitive ending for -i plural nouns, which is peculiar to
Etymologies. This form is actually attested. The form i-Mar is used in FS,
and actually you could probably argue several other possibilities here such
as Arda or Endor.
uumer: 'are not' based on uume 'is not'
atayalina: 'recalled, again called' based on enyalien which appears in
Cirion's Oath, and the prefix ata- 'again' in Etym.
ten: 'for' FS
toi: 'they' FS I have left out the verb and put the subject pronoun in,
since that seems to be the common sentence construction in Firiel's Song for
cupola sentences, toi vanwa 'they [are] lost'. I was going to create a past
tense of yee 'to be' forming **yelto `were' based on the verb kaarielto
'they made' in FS, but I thought that was just too weird.
loome 'darkness' again, I haven't used a locative case here, because it
doesn't seem to be used with the preposition mi.
**estie 'preceded' a verb in the perfect (whether past or present). It is
based on the root in Etymologies ESE-, ESET- Of course, later in LotR
compatible Quenya, this will take a form yest- 'begin', etc.
i Anar: 'the Sun' Tolkien has dumped Uri as a name for the Sun, though there
are still related words for "Sun maiden" a being who lives in the sun.
a: 'and' in the form that it takes before a word beginning with a consonant.
This distinction is maintained in FS.
n~olwe: I hope you can read this, it should be: n with a tilde, then
uuva: Here I have quite a different construction for this sentence
"lore will not fetch them again". The negative is produced with an
independent particle that precedes the verb (not a prefix on the noun as in
the QQ translation).
atatultat: this is the ata 're, again' prefix with a verb tult- 'fetch,
bring' and a pronoun suffix for 'them'. It could be contracted to attultat.
[mayhap]: I couldn't find anyway to express the conditional, so I just left
this in the English. The best I could do was to use the future "yeva" which
appears below and hope that might be understood as conditional of some kind.
ye[va]: as just above, I'm using a future to try to indicate conditional. I
don't mean to imply by using forms of yee in the Etymologies translation and
forms of naa in the other translations that I think that Tolkien dropped one
verb for the other and then changed his mind. It may be (it is widely
asserted--on what evidence I don't know) that both words were retained, but
for different purposes. But this is what we have, so this is what i used.
sinya: 'new' obviously different from the LotR form.
laarennar: 'to the ears' a completely different form from the earlier QQ
noun. It might be that the form should be hlaarennar.
Eldalieeva: I couldn't find an obvious word for 'many' referring to people
and when I thought about using lie 'folk' since that it is the understood
referrant, I just decided to use Eldalie 'Elf-folk'. I'm using an
adjectival type of ending since the ears have not fallen off the Elves'
tana: 'that' of the many words that mean 'that', this one is listed as
i Ingwi, i Noldor ar i Teleri: here, as mentioned before, I have used the
names of the Three Clans of Elves as Tolkien named them in the Lhammas.
Also, the word for and 'ar' does have an -r on the end because it precedes
the def. article 'i' which starts with (consists of) a vowel.
3) the LotR compatible version ("mature Quenya")
In this copy of the text, I have marked some of the words in brackets,
because I simply lifted them out of the Etymologies translation. The
vocabulary of later material is far more limited and I had no better idea
(and, in fact, I did not spend as much time on this translation as on the
earlier ones--there are probably better solutions than what I came up with
for this dialect). Here I used some other texts, like RGEO, the 3rd version
of Oiolima Markirya and Letters most of which were written after the
publication of LotR (I reference the page number).
Sii [linnati] anyaarima Ambaro laa nar enyaalina an ner vanwa mi mornie i
yestie i Anar, ar laa n~oole enhiruva te [ananta] nai sii naa vinya
lassennar Eldalieeva sinome, i [iire] i Vanyar, i Noldor ar i Teleri....
[linnati]: lifted from the last translation.
anyaarima: with -ima 'exceedingly' (Letters 278) and an- a separate prefix,
Ambaro, the simplest genitive ending, though Arda might be a better word,
based on Letters. It might be Ambareo.
laa: from VT, a different way of forming the negative.
enyaalina: en- 're- again' in enyalien and enquantuva. Here I have based
this form on enyalien from Cirion's Oath, but this it is in LotR material
that we see en- used to mean 're-, again' as in enquantuva, which is from
the Song of Galadriel.
an 'for' in the Song of Galadriel
ner 'were' I don't think this has been published anywhere, but it is widely
used for the past tense (ne 'was', ner 'were') of na(a) 'to be.'
mornie: quite a different word for 'darkness' than earier 'lome.' I don't
think this appears anywhere until this late time.
i 'that' here used as a relative pronoun
**yestie: 'preceded' based on words like yestare 'first day' and their
relationship to words in Etymologies.
i Anar: there are so many words for sun, but this seems to be the most
standard one. Eventually Tolkien makes a distinction between what word
various *tribes* of elves used, so if Gilfanon is a Noldorin elf (ok, I
forget), he might have used i Rana.
ar 'and' using the form ending in -r even though this precedes a word
beginning with a consonant, because no such distinction is made in later
Quenya, e.g. 'ar sindanooriello', in the Song of Galadriel. (Actually, I
think Tolkien just forgot but nevermind.)
laa: I think this might better precede directly before the verb.
n~oole: 'lore' I was sure I knew this form from somewhere as the "standard
form" for 'lore', but couldn't find it.
enhiruva: 'will find again' I could have used tuv- as a base for the verb
from Aragorn's shout Ye, utuvienyes!, but a word like entuvuva didn't fit my
te: 'them', so I meant to say here: laa n~oole enhiruva te 'no lore will
find them again' or 'lore will not find them again'.
[ananta]: lifted from Etym.
nai: 'may be, it may be' from the Song of Galadriel.
vinya: 'new' a completely new word than any earlier forms, and appears in
Lotr in Vinyarion.
lassennar: lasse 'ear' is given on page 165 of the Annotated Hobbit. I'm not
sure which afternoon Tolkien was using forms with lar- and whic afternoon he
was using forms with lass-.
Eldalieeva: I probably could have used rimbe 'host' (Letters 382) but I just
lifted this word from the previous translation, though it is certainly
sinome: I think I got this from Aragorn's oath.
i 'that' used as a relative pronoun. Although 'i' appears as the def.
article long before this, it doesn't show up as a relative pronoun until
late. Although the demonstrative pronouns like ta- continue to appear, I
think this construction is much more in accord with Tolkien's later
conception of the languages.
i Vanyar, i Noldor ar i Teleri....: interestingly, the names of the three
clans are not given in LotR, although the "Three Kindreds of the Elves" are
mentioned. Only the Noldor are named. The Teleri are named in Letters (p.
426) and are named the third tribe in the Silmarillion. The Vanyar are
first named (as the 1st tribe) in the Silmarillion (in terms of the order in
which the texts were published). I had for many years assumed that these
would be the latest forms that such names would take, but I have to question
And on that tentative note, I think I'll give everyone a rest!!
Thanks if you had the patience to read this.