Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mithlond on $5 a Day: A Brief Phraseblog of Sindarin

Mithlond, the Grey Havens, was most probably the last settlement of grey elves to remain in Middle-Earth in the Fourth Age of Tolkien's legendarium, for Círdan the Shipwright was to remain there until the last ship sailed west. It seems a fitting place to travel with a handy little phraseblog for Sindarin.

This post draws from the Sindarin corpus and Elvish (&c) dialog from the LotR movies, as well as one Sindarin phrasebook or another. There is consequently much neo-Eldarin: "Navaer", for example, appears to be a neologism derived from the attested Quenya "Namárië".

I've tried to include some useful phrases like "Death to the din-horde!", while avoiding lightning-stuck postillions.

Welcome, Well met/ Mae govannen.
Good hunting.Farad vaer.
Thank you.Hannon le.
Well done.Mae carnen.
I am ___ Im ___
Can you speak Elvish?Pelil peded edhellen?
I don’t understand.Ú-chenion
Sit down.Havo dad.
Run swiftly!Noro lim!
Look out! Tiro!
Death to the din-horde!Gurth an Glamhoth!
Vengeance comes.Tôl acharn.
How are you?Manen le?
I’m well.Im maer.
I am not well.Im úvaer.
Heal me.Nesto nin.
Release me.Leithio nin.
Save me.Edraith enni.
Forgive me.Goheno nin.
Sleep well.Losto vae.

If I had to nominate a lorem ipsum text, I'd use the first Sindarin phrase I could pick out from the movie: "Im Arwen. Telin le thaed. Lasto beth nîn, tolo dan nan galad". Or otherwise, the motto of the movie: "I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae a han noston ned 'wilith."

Carl F. Hostetter notes in "Elvish as She Is Spoke" that Tolkien wrote in a letter to his son Christopher that “Nobody believes me when I say that my long book is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true. An enquirer (among many) asked what the L.R. was all about, and whether it was an 'allegory'. And I said it was an effort to create a situation in which a common greeting would be elen sila lumenn' omentielmo, and that the phrase long antedated the book." That phrase is Quenya for "A star shines on the hour of our meeting".

No comments:

Post a Comment