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Eldarin Language Resources

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Eldarin Language Resources


    At the beginning of time, there was given to the Eldar, as a race, a language.  The Quendi of Aman and the Cwendi of Ennor alike were given a common tongue (both race-names are variants of a word meaning "people").  However, this ancient, unrecorded language quickly grew and evolved, as the two cultures developed in radically different ways, and two separate languages came to be.  In some words a common ancient root could still be noted, but in many other cases there would eventually not be a similarity at all.  The language of Aman was Quenya, which eventually traveled, with a migration, to Ennor to be used for some time by the Noldor, then slowly to fade into usage as the tongue of ceremony by the Third Age.  The language native to Ennor was that of the people whom the Noldor called the Avari, and who would be known later as the Silvyn.  The Silvan tongue was spoken only among its own pure-blooded people, who had dwindled greatly by the Third Age.

    In common usage, in Ennor at least, both Quenya and Silvan came to be replaced by an amalgamated mixture of the two.  In many areas the two kinds of Eldar had intermarried and formed settlements together, and it was not long before their languages began to intermix along with their blood and customs.  The new language was at first slightly different in the northern regions of Eriador, where it was called Noldorin, from the southern regions of Eriador, where it was known as Telerin (all elven lands east of the Misty Mountains at that time still belonged to the Avari alone).  For all purposes but higher academic preciseness, these dialects can be combined into what is known as Old Sindarin.  The common language among the Eldar of the late Second and Third Ages was Sindarin, called the "grey-tongue" for its mixture between the languages and cultures of what were sometimes called the "light" and "dark" lands, namely Valar-protected Aman and wilder, untamed Ennor.  This language spread quickly through not only Eldarin lands but northern human ones as well, through alliances and friendships.  It is the common if respected tongue known by most humans as "Elvish".

   On this site will be found a dictionary of known Quenya words, and some basic grammatical information.  Listings of what relatively-few words are known in Old Sindarin and Avarin/Silvan are also available, for anyone interested in seeing how Sindarin came to be, or for that matter any writer who needs a historically accurate word or two (I cannot always promise happiness there however as what I could find is scanty at best).

    The main project of this site, however, is the Sindarin section.  It is constantly under revision and expansion as I seek to gain every possible word from every Tolkien document and true-Sindarin (no role-play "Elvish") website I can, and place them into one dictionary.  In some cases, I have even tried to derive some words from parent tongues when a writing-work of my own needed one that did not seem to be available.  However, I promise that this project is as accurate as I know how to make it; I have not just "made up" anything.  I also have pages on grammar and usage, generally trying to make simple some of the more complex information; after all I am not a trained studier of languages and I assume most of you are not either.  The idea of this project is to make Sindarin actually writable or even speakable for a human living in the modern Age, not to be technical.

    Usage of this site requires a basic-to-moderate understanding of language structure.  (In other words, be able to differentiate between nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.)  The words on all the dictionary pages are listed alphabetically by Eldarin word, not English.  To search for a specific word, press Ctrl-F, then type in the English definition that you wish to find.  Remember to look for all the synonyms (English) before using a particular word, especially in the extensive Sindarin section - there are sometimes several words that mean similar but different things! Often in this dictionary a particular English word may be used in more than one definition, when grouped with others to try to explain a concept or angle of meaning not easily translated (such as some of the aforementioned synonyms). It is very important to these languages to use the right word.

    If you have questions, word requests (I can try to find or derive it if you need it), or suggestions, feel free to email me.


                                                                                                        Laurefind o Imladris


Speaking Without Words - a guide to some particular gestures in the cultures of the Eldar (especially of Ennor) which are common to communication and at times even take the place of words entirely







                 Word listings

                 Thoughts on plurals, dialects, etc


Old Sindarin

                Word listings