Discussions of Tolkien Language

Studies of the Written Tolkien Legacy: From Analysis, to Maps, to Philosophy and Ethics, to Philology
Lindariel
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Post by Lindariel » Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:32 pm

Merry, how about using a little Quenya? "Maruvan" means "abide" or "stay." The word appears in Aragorn's "chant" at his coronation, specifically:

Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta.

In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.

By the way, "maruvan" has the same number of letters as "welcome." Convenient, yes?

Another Sindarin possibility would be "mellon," which means "friend." Hmmmm . . . the password to Moria . . . "Speak 'friend' and enter."
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Airwin
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Post by Airwin » Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:30 pm

Merry, you may find this Q&A with David Salointeresting to read. Also has some possibly helpful links.
Namarie,

Airwin

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:35 am

Thanks for the suggestions, Lindariel, and for the link, Airwin. I'll let you know what I decide. :D
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:56 pm

This is all very interesting. I haven't found as much about elvish on the internet as I thought so the David Salo link is very helpful. I remember him talking on the Tolkien documentaries for the films.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

lyanness
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Post by lyanness » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:47 pm

I found this place where one can learn the vocabulary behind quenya, sindarin, khuzdul (dwarf speech), black speech, primitive elvish and more!!!
(surfing when one's bored sometimes does pay off)
its: http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf
I've made a file filled with the good stuff and hopefully soon i'll be learning the beautiful languages.

:P

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:54 pm

Thank you Lyanness! Riv has it up on our links page but until your post I'd never visited that site before :oops: . I'm glad you highlighted it for us. It looks as though you can get lost in it for hours and hours and hours! Now I've had a brief look around it's got me hooked :D .
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:14 am

I've been enjoying the headlines from the Great Years Calendar! Today's reference to Zirak-zigil has coincided for me with the You Tube tape of Tolkien's interview, during which he says that the dwarves are like Jews. I've read this remark before, out of context, and it has always made me cringe. But in context, he says that dwarvish is like Hebrew--of course, when Tolkien claims similarity, he's talking about linguistic similarity! (At least I hope so! Anti-semitism was probably alive and well during his day.) So I know nothing about Hebrew at all, but it occured to me today that a word like 'Zirak-zigil' might have Hebrew roots. Do we have any experts out there?
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:43 am

Here's an interesting quote from his letters, Merry. He's talking about a broadcast of LotR which he didn't enjoy, except for the fact they took trouble to get the names correct. But he did like the way Gloin was portrayed apart from being a bit too exaggerated and someone's idea (clearly not his) of Germanic:

Letter to Naomi Mitchison, 8 December 1955:
I do think of the 'Dawrves' like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue...'
So it's not only the language but the context that it's evolved in. A language that isn't spoken by anyone but them amongst themselves, a sense of themselves as a people that isn't eroded by exile or by living with others.

Interesting.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
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Post by Merry » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:36 pm

Yes, it is interesting. Thanks, Iolanthe. I know I've seen the idea in some other context as well, so it must have been a fairly consistent idea for him. So far, nothing overtly anti-Semitic, which is a relief.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:15 pm

I think his thoughts were very, very far from that. When Allen and Unwin negotiated a deal for a German translation in 1938 the German publishers asked for confirmation if he was of 'arisch' (aryan) origin. It really made him bristle and confirms that he had some idea of what was going on in Germany at the time:

Letter to Stanley Unwin, 25 July 1938

Personally I should be inclined to refuse to give any Bestatignung (although it happens that I can), and let a German translation go hang. In any case I should object strongly to any such declaration appearing in print. I do not regard the (probable) absence of all Jewish blood as necessarily honourable; and I have many Jewish friends, and should regret giving any colour to the notion that I subscribe to the wholly pernicious and unscientific race-doctrine.
He included two draft letters to the Publishers Rutten & Loening Verlag for Unwin to look at and this one (probably the unsent one as Unwin still had it in his papers) really lays into them:
Thank you for your letter....I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction; that is Indo-iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people...
Don't mess with the Professor :lol:
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Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:12 pm

Oh, yes! I had forgotten about that whole exchange. Many thanks, Iolanthe. This is really great stuff, isn't it? The man has a way with words.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Gil
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Post by Gil » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:32 pm

Merry I went looking for "zirak" or "zigil" and found nothing in any language that I could search online. But there's a possible similarity in the Assyrian word "ziggurat"
ziggurat
1877, from Assyrian ziqquratu "height, pinnacle," from zaqaru "to be high."
that's from an etymological dictionary. "Zirak-zigil" is a mountain, maybe this was lurking at the back of his mind?

Merry
Varda
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Post by Merry » Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:37 pm

Great research, Gil! I think it's precisely those kinds of similarities that Tolkien uses in his invented languages. Thanks!
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Post by Iolanthe » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:04 pm

There is also Zick Zack (German) which is eqivalent to our Zig Zag. Zacke means sharp jagged points or edges. Maybe they all have the same root.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
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Post by Merry » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:21 pm

That makes sense--thanks!
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

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