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A small look into the origin of the languages in middle earth for The Fellowship.

Posted by OrangeNero on Aug 3rd, 2010

Languages in The Lord Of The Rings

 
Elves - Quenya   Elvish.org

The High-elven was an ancient tongue of Eldamar beyond the Sea, the first to be recordered in writing. It was no longer a birth-tongue but had become, as it were, the Elven-Latin, still used for ceremony, and for the high matters of lore and song, by the High-Elves, who had returned in exile to Middle-earth at the end of the First Age.

Elves - Sindarin   Elvish.org

The exiles dwelling amongst the more numerous Grey-Elves had adopted the Sindarin for daily use; and hence it was the tongue of all the Eldar and Elf-lords that appear in this history.

Dwarfs - Naugrim

The language of the Naugrim is as mysterious and obscure as their origin and fate. It sounds too harsh and odd and has changed a little by ages. Thus travelling all over Middle-earth, trading with other races and laboring for their lords they had to learn the languages of peoples among whom they lived. But still they used their own tongue which had become a language of lore and ceremony and was guarded as a treasure of the past. Few of other folks succeeded in mastering the Dwarvish, and besides there was also a special language used only in emergency, the secret of which no Dwarf would betray under any circumstances. The tongue was believed to be devised for them by Aulë himself. The names of Gimli, Dain, Durin and others are of Northern origin for their own "inner" names the Dwarves would never reveal to any other folk, not even they would inscribe them on their tombs. According to ancient Dwarvish legends, in their true names the soul was contained.

Ents - Entish

The language of the Ents - that strange race of half-trees half-human-beings - was unlike all others: slow, sonorous, agglomerated, repetitive, indeed long-winded; formed of a multiplicity of wovel-shades and distinctions of tone and quantity which even the lore-masters of the Eldar had not attempted to represent in writing. They preferred the Eldarian tongues, especially ancient High-elven, which was the first language they had heard and learned. Being very skillfull in tongues, they grasped them quickly and never forgot. Unlike the Dwarves, the Ents did not keep their language in secret for none of other race could manage something like 'Lourelindorenan lindolorendor malinornelion ornemalin'.
"It's a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say and to listen to", says Fangorn about Entish. Most roots of this language have Quenya or Sindarin origin like the names of Fangorn 'beard-(of)-tree', or Fimbrethil 'slender beech'. But the grammar remains purely Entish. In the Appendix to The Lord of the Rings we find an example of an Eldarian borrowing constructed in Ent-fashion: "Taurelilomea-tumbalemorna Tumbaletaurea Lomeanor". When translated word for word it means "Forestmanyshadowed-deepvalley-black Deepvalleyforested Gloomyland" and can be rendered as 'there is a black shadow in the deep dales of the forest'. And we still have a purely Entish word a-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lind-or- burume, by which Fangorn meant 'hill'.

Orcs and the Black Speech

Orcs, the Sindarin name for this folk is orch, and in the Black Speech - the language of Mordor - it was related as uruk and for the lesser kinds it was snaga 'slave'. They had no language of their own, but developed a great many barbarous dialects, perverting other languages and adapting them for their needs. For communications between tribes the Orcs used the Westron tongue that sounded more like a harsh jargon. Still even this clumsy language was influenced by the nearness of the Mannish realms, thus the Orcish word tark 'man of Gondor' was a debased form of tarkil, a Quenya word for one of Númenorean descent. 
Apart from Orcish jargons there existed one more language devised by Sauron for the everyday use within Mordor. "The Black Speech, entirely alien to any other tongues, is marked off by its use of grammatical suffixes ( gurbatulûk), its apparent postpositions (burzum-ishi), its constant back vowels, and consonant clusters (Lugbúrs, Nazgûl, Gorbag, Ufthak). To our ears also it sounds thick, guttural, clumsy. The croaked curses of the Orcs established them as a coarse, cruel, unimaginative folk.

THE MEN OF THE WEST - Common Speech Tolkienics.com

Common speech, every region has differences. some mix up with the Elvish Sindarin or Quenya.

Hobbits - Common Speech and Former Language

The Hobbits adopted the Common Speech which they used freely and carelessly in their own manner. They seem always to have used the languages of Men near whom, or among whom, they lived. Thus they quickly adopted the Common Speech after they entered Eriador, and by the time of their settlement at Bree they had already begun to forget their former language. This was evidently a Mannish tongue of upper Anduin, akin to that of the Rohirrim. The language of the Shire was never notable for its refinement. It is simple, provincial, abound in colloquial expressions and rather 'unsophisticated', as it were. But when occasion reqired, the more learned among the Hobbits could make a brilliant display of eloquence. The tongues of the Shire and Rohan both originated from the Mannish speech of Wilderland, though hobbits spoke for the most part a rustic dialect, preserving just a few words, such as mathom and smial, names of days, months and seasons and the place-names of Bree and Shire, out of their ancient language, while in Rohan a more antique form was used, more formal and high-flown. One of the four hobbits who took part in the quest, listening to the speech of the Rohirrim felt that 'it was a language in which there seemed to be many words that he knew, yet he could not piece them together.

more infos at Tolkienics.com

Post comment Comments
LOTRuler
LOTRuler Aug 10 2010, 4:45pm says:

Great! Nice work.

+4 votes     reply to comment
SkyDog13
SkyDog13 Aug 11 2010, 11:08pm says:

Nice!

+3 votes     reply to comment
prettylove1
prettylove1 Oct 2 2010, 2:52pm says:

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0 votes     reply to comment
pandemic--hour
pandemic--hour Jan 27 2011, 10:11pm says:

very interesting to read.

great stuff ^^

+2 votes     reply to comment
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