Languages

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Languages

Post by Elthir on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:11 am

Assuming Forumshire currently has no threads about Tolkien's languages (outside of the archives perhaps), not being a trained linguist I thought I should start one. It can be about anything language-Tolkien-related I guess, or even Tolkien-language-related, but I thought I would start off with a short tale of almost unthinkable woe -- a tale that, well, I hope is true, since here it is.

Tolkien was known to change his mind now and again, and for reasons, or a reason that escapes me at the moment, he decided to change omentielmo 'of our meeting' (loosely translated, from the famous Quenya greeting Elen sila lumenn' omentielmo in The Fellowship of the Ring) to omentielvo for the Second Edition in the 1960s. I'm pretty sure I looked into why this change was made (to the part meaning 'our'), but I can't now remember what I found out, if anything, causing great woe.

In any case a fan noticed the revision, and thinking it due to a misprint alerted American publishers, which somehow got this changed! Really? And without checking with Tolkien or anyone who knew it wasn't a misprint? So the story goes anyway, and so a following publication gave readers the actual misprint omentilmo in some editions (I have one, so that much is true; noting incidentally that the Grey Company role players must have one too) -- not only going back to what Tolkien himself wanted changed, but missing a vowel when doing it!

So Tolkien's famous Elvish greeting has at least three incarnations! And more in other senses: for two examples, a version where the full lumenna is seen, and a Telerin version published posthumously.


So greetings to this thread. I know many find the subject dry or boring, but even if no one has anything to post here, now we have a 'thread' on languages.... well if there wasn't one before I mean.

People may even use it for tattoo requests if they like (which seems to keep language forums somewhat more alive here and there on the web), but please note my earlier comment that I, at least, am not a linguist, adding that I don't dabble in much Neo-elvish, High or Grey (a neo-name once in a while maybe, or something very short and 'easy' enough, or something that I think is easy due to my ignorance that it's not really easy), and have no wish to learn the techno-skill of making tengwar appear in threads...

... but for all I know there are Tolkien-language experts already here, posting or lurking, or ready to join soon. Or next year maybe.


And I do apologize for my lack of diacritics!
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Re: Languages

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:54 am

The only elvish I know are the notable bits from the book- Namarie and such words. But I find the general subject fascinating.

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Re: Languages

Post by Amarië on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:12 pm

Sadly I'm no expert. I did try to follow Helge Fauskanger' (neo) Quenya course back when I was a student and had time for such. Still can read and write a little bit Tengwar though, but I'm a bit out of practice now.

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Re: Languages

Post by Norc on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:26 pm

I write tengwar Very Happy but I can't say I am good with sindarin or quenya Wink
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Re: Languages

Post by Elthir on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:04 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:The only elvish I know are the notable bits from the book- Namarie and such words. But I find the general subject fascinating.

An interesting word namárie: for decades probably considered to be a farewell only, until Words, Phrases and Passages was published (at least according to one section there) -- as under the root MAN 'good' Tolkien notes márie 'goodness', and namárie (á na márie) literally 'be well, a formula of greeting or farewell.'

Please excuse my changing employment of diacritics.
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Re: Languages

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:13 pm

Actually I prefer that to it just being farewell- that certainly happens in gaelic were slainte which in english would be replaced by cheers, actually means Health and wellness.

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