Within the fictional universe created by J. R. R. R. Tolkien and appearing in novels such as The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, there are several Elvish languages. Tolkien, a philologist by profession, devoted many years to the development of these languages.
He also created a writing system called tengwar that can be used to write for both fictional and non-fictional languages. An example of an Elvish word is Fangren, which means “warrior”.
Among the more developed Elvish languages are:
Quenya, spoken by the High Elves Noldor.
Sindarin, spoken by the Grey Elves.
“Speak friend and enter”. That famous phrase gave rise to the most famous word of the Sindarin language, mellon, and to the fabulous fictional languages that J.R.R. Tolkien created for his universe. For decades we have been trying to analyze and expand both these languages and their main writing system, Tengwar. And the results can be seen in portals like Tecendil, a “Tengwar transcriber” that at some level also functions as an elvish translator. Why don’t you try it?
The first three movies still have a very important place, the fans hardly talk about the adaptation of “The Hobbit”, and of course, the books are timeless. Amazon is supposed to start production on its series based on “The Lord of the Rings” shortly, and the available figures speak of $450 million for just one season, a chilling number compared to the $281 million the original trilogy demanded. One way or another, new details about J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe are likely to appear very soon. And until that happens, why not explore it in a different way?
I’m talking about taking a closer look at his fictional languages, among which Sindarin, Quenya, and the very Black Tongue of Mordor, under the Tengwar system script. To begin with, we need something that behaves similarly to an Elvish translator, and all arrows point to the Tecendil portal.
From a technical point of view, Tecendil is not a dedicated translator, but it performs functions that are very similar. At the same time it behaves as a search engine and encyclopedia, presenting additional information about each expression. For example, if you enter the Ring Verse directly in Black Language, Tecendil will recommend a font change (out of six available) to make the interpretation more accurate.
Obviously, words like mellon and Tinúviel are immediately recognized, and both are accompanied by descriptions and secondary applications. There are also more humorous cases, with pedo leading the way. In Sindarin, “pedo” is something similar to “to speak” or “to say” (“pedo mellon a minno” = “Speak friend and come in”), while in Spanish… you know.
Speaking of Spanish, Tecendil offers very limited support, but we should not lose sight of the fact that these resources prioritize English for conversion. After all, that’s the original language of the novels, and if we adapt a bit, we’ll get better results. Give it a try! There is a lot to learn at Tecendil, and we definitely recommend reading their Tengwar Handbook, available free of charge on the site.