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December 15, 2003

Tolkien's not-so-secret vice

An eagle-eyed Flea-reader spotted an article summarizing Middle Earth's linguistic heritage.

Around a dozen languages are mentioned in the Lord of the Rings but Tolkien only properly developed two of them - Qenya and Sindarin, the languages used by the elves. "Qenya is the Elvish Latin - a literary language not used as a spoken vernacular; it was reserved for poetry, for song, for lament, for magic," says Hoyt. "Whereas Sindarin, at least among the elves in his book, was a spoken language."

There are excellent resources on "the internet" for learning more about the tongues of Arda including an on-line Quenya course. The University of Texas has even offered some in-class thoughts on the subject. Flea-readers wishing to test their proficiency in Tolkien-speak can do so with the aid of... wait for it... mind-bending quiz action!

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 15, 2003 07:41 AM