As you can presumably tell, I normally speak English (I try to, at least.) I also spent 11 years learning Japanese, although I’m still approximately rubbish at it. I decided, frivolously,  to also try and learn Elvish. As in, Lord of The Rings Elvish. It is an actual language, or to be more correct, several languages; Tolkien, the writer of the Lord of The Rings, was a philologist, and created the books as a back story for his languages.

There are several dialects of elvish, but only two have anywhere near a large enough bank of grammar and vocabulary to learn; Sindarin and Quenya. Quenya is the most complete, so it is where I will be starting to learn, but I hope to learn Sindarin as well. The first step is to learn the Elvish alphabet, which is mostly the same between the two languages (http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tengwar.htm has a good introduction). You can use this alphabet to write in other languages as well, which is a good place to start; I plan to try and write my school notes in the Elvish alphabet to practice next year.

One thing to remember if you are trying to learn Elvish: Since no version of Elvish is complete, there are some differences between courses and materials out there in terms of grammar and vocabulary. It seems that a variation called ‘Grey company Elvish’ is not thought particularly highly of amongst scholars of the Elvish language. Also, if you are trying to learn, try and get someone else to learn with you, as it helps to have someone to talk to when learning a language. I don’t know anyone who speaks Elvish (well, I think I don’t), so I might have to try and talk someone else into it. I have a few people in mind who might just be crazy enough to do it.

Some of the resources I am using:



For Tengwar writers only

Tengwar Alphabet




Pedin Edhellen English Royal (Course on Sindarin, available on Lulu.com)

Elvish Dictionary Sindarin-English English-Sindarin Royal (available on Lulu.com)

Quetin i lambe eldaiva English Royal (course on Quenya, available on Lulu.com)

Elvish Dictionary Quenya-English English-Quenya Royal (available on Lulu.com)


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