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Marissa Brodbeck

Eng 125.032
Batia Snir
Fake language of the Day: Tolkien Elvish
While there are many different types of Elvish languages around today, one of the first was
created by J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien was
a very interesting man; he had a love for languages. For his books, he didnt write the story and then
create a language but the exact opposite. In a letter, Tolkien wrote, The invention of languages is
the foundation. The 'stories' were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse.
To me a name comes first and the story follows. He created the Elvish language and then thought of
the history of that language. In doing so, this expanded the language more. He made different dialects
and even separate languages for Elvish.
The first, or original, Elvish he created is called Primitive Quendian.This language then
branched off into Eldarin and Avarin. The more famous and elaborate elvish languages used stem
from Eldarin: Sindarin and Quenya. Tolkien spent the most time on Sindarin and Quenya. They are
the most known and have the most words. He was inspired by many different languages when he
created Elvish, but was most influenced by Welsh and Finnish. Many Welsh similarities are seen in
Sindarin and Finish in Quenya. Sindarin and Quenya arent the only branches Tolkien imaged and
created, below is a chart of how he imaged Elvish expanded over thousands of years.

Tolkien created about 2,500 Quenya words and 1,500 Sindarin words. He also made
grammar rules to go with this as well as exceptions just like any other language. While this is a lot,
we really can only read/translate elvish because Tolkien didnt make the language to be spoken.
Creating Elvish was just a hobby of his that he did in his free time, he wasnt trying to create a new,
fully functioning language. The elvish heard in the movies is made up by linguistic fans who have
made educated guesses as to what Tolkien would have wanted or used.

Side Fact: Tolkien wrote his books as if he was translating them from another language. Also they
have websites dedicated to showing you how to write in Elvish. This is how my name Marissa would
be written:

Marissa Brodbeck
Eng 125.032
Batia Snir
Work Cited
"Elvish: A Few Hundred Words? A Few Thousand?" Lord of the Rings Fanatics Archive. First Age,
Oct. 2004. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.
http://www.lotrplaza.com/archives/index.php?Archive=First%20Age&TID=155163
Gulley, Ned. "Write Your Name in Elvish in Ten Minutes." Star Chamber. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb.
2014. http://www.starchamber.com/paracelsus/elvish/elvish-in-ten-minutes.html
"Languages." Tolkien Gateway: Wiki. Vesa Piittinen, 17 Dec. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.
http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Languages#cite_note-1
McWhorter, John. "Are Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Navi Real Languages?" TED-Ed. TED
Conference, Sept. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014 http://ed.ted.com/lessons/are-elvish-klingondothraki-and-na-vi-real-languages-john-mcwhorter#watch