3 ways to speak Elvish

3 ways to speak Elvish
3 ways to speak Elvish
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The term "Elvish" always refers to a group of languages ​​invented by J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the books "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". He invented several Elvish languages ​​with their own vocabulary, grammar and syntax. There are two main Elvish languages, Quenya and Sindarin. Quenya is an older, formal form of Elvish while Sindarin is a more prevalent version among the people of Middle Earth. To learn one of these languages, you must start by remembering the sounds. Then, practice with the consonants, which are easier to pronounce than those of French. Finally, practice accenting words correctly before learning several sentences. Even if you only remember a couple of things, your knowledge of Elvish might impress your friends and become an interesting topic of conversation!

Steps

Method 1 of 3: Speak Quenya

Speak Elvish Step 1

Step 1. Spell the Elvish vowels to remember them

The vowels in Quenya are fixed and their pronunciation does not change depending on their place in the word. The diacritic (the accent on the letter) indicates whether the vowel is short or long. Memorize vowel sounds and practice pronouncing them.

  • "Y" is not a vowel in Quenya. However, it is a vowel in Sindarin.
  • Quenya is written with an alphabet called tengwar. You speak Quenya, but you write in Tengwar.

Vowels:

á - a long (pronounced "aah"}

a - a short (pronounced "ah")

é - e long (pronounced "éé")

e - e short (pronounced "é")

í - i long (pronounced "ii")

i - i short (pronounced "i")

ó - o long (pronounced "oo")

o - short o (pronounced "o")

ú - u long (pronounced "ouou")

u - short u (pronounced "or")

Speak Elvish Step 2

Step 2. Identify special consonants and practice

Most of the consonants in Quenya are pronounced the same way as those in French. There are a few unique rules specific to Quenya. Learn them and practice using them when speaking Elvish.

  • The "c" in Quenya is always pronounced hard. It is always pronounced like the "c" of "raven" and never like the "c" of "cherry". It is then pronounced like a 'k', which can be a bit confusing, as both letters appear in Tengwar, but are pronounced the same.
  • All the "r's" are rolled as in Spanish.
  • The sounds "n", "ny" and "m" are always pronounced in a soft way. They are called "nasal consonants" because they are pronounced by allowing air to pass through the nose.
  • The letter "y" is always a consonant. Pronounce it with a harsher sound like in "yo-yo".
Speak Elvish Step 3

Step 3. Emphasize the beginning of words that begin with a vowel

If the word you are reading in Quenya begins with a vowel, stress the first syllable of the word by emphasizing it and pronouncing it distinctly. Let the other syllables roll over your tongue in a smoother way. Stress patterns in Quenya are universal, if the word begins with "a", "e", "i", "o" or "u", emphasize the first syllable.

  • When there are only two syllables, the stress always falls on the first, even if it does not start with a vowel.
  • For example, a word like umin will be pronounced "OU-min" and not "ou-MIN".
Speak Elvish Step 4

Step 4. Accentuate the third syllable in words without a vowel at the beginning

For words that do not begin with a vowel and contain more than two syllables, always emphasize the third. This means that an Elvish word like hyarmen is pronounced "haram-EN" with the tone going back to the end of the word.

  • Many Middle Eastern languages ​​exhibit a similar stress pattern. It might sound like Arabic or Aramaic at first.
  • You might notice that there is always a vowel in the third syllable of every Quenya word. It is an almost universal pattern in Elvish and it is one of the reasons which give a more elegant pronunciation to these languages.
Speak Elvish Step 5

Step 5. Use an Italian accent for successful pronunciation of Quenya

In general, you can be able to accentuate Elvish words even if you do not follow the rules of the language by following the rules of prosody in Italian when speaking Quenya. Native Italian speakers tend to use their native tongue pronunciation patterns to pronounce French words, which can make it appear as though they are speaking Elvish well even if they are not.

  • For example, if you were using an Italian accent, you would position the accent on the first syllable of words like ando and vala, which is correct.
  • In Tolkien's world, Quenya is spoken by High Elves, teachers and nobles. It's sort of a classic version of Elvish.

Method 2 of 3: Understand Sindarin

Speak Elvish Step 6

Step 1. Keep the pronunciation of the consonants the same as in French

The pronunciation of consonants in Sindarin is more or less the same as in French (and Quenya). There are, however, a few exceptions that you should keep in mind. Learn the different exceptions by practicing speaking many Elvish words.

  • As in Quenya, the letters "c" and "k" are pronounced the same (ie harsh). The "r" is always rolled as in Spanish.
  • "Dh" and "wh" are most often pronounced like "th" in English. For example, a word like bedhyr is pronounced “beth-ir”.
  • "V" is not pronounced at the end of the words. "G" is always hard as in "guard". It is never pronounced like a "j".
  • The pronunciation of the vowels is almost identical to that of Quenya, except for the "y". It is treated as a vowel in Sindarin, but as a consonant in Quenya.
Speak Elvish Step 7

Step 2. Emphasize the first syllable for most words

If a Sindarin word contains three or more syllables, emphasize the first, regardless of the first letter of the word. This gives Sindarin a more frontal character, like Portuguese, Welsh or Gaelic.

  • Take for example the character of Legolas. The first syllable of his name will be pronounced more strongly before lowering the tone of the voice on the others. The "o" and "las" are softer, giving a vaguely Spanish or Italian sound.
  • Sindarin is the most common Elvish version in Middle-earth. When you hear Elves speaking in the Lord of the Rings movies, pay attention to the way they speak and look for patterns of emphasis.
Speak Elvish Step 8

Step 3. Emphasize the third syllable

This rule is quite simple: if there are four or more syllables, you should emphasize the third syllable. All other words are pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.

  • For example, Sindarin is pronounced "SIN-dar-in" and not "sin-DAR-in". If there was a fourth syllable at the end of the word, it would become "sin-dar-IN-o".
  • In Quenya, Sindarin is pronounced "sin-dar-IN".
Speak Elvish Step 9

Step 4. Speak with an Irish or Scottish accent

Irish and Scottish speakers tend to emphasize the beginning of words in English, regardless of their standard pronunciation. This is a good method of pronouncing Sindarin words, as most of the time the stress falls on the first syllable. Speak Sindarin with an Irish or Scottish accent to mimic the pronunciation of Sindarin.

For example, the word ai (which means "hail") is pronounced like "garlic"

Advice:

Avoid swallowing vowels when speaking Sindarin, they should all be pronounced clearly.

Method 3 of 3: Learn common phrases in both languages

Speak Elvish Step 10

Step 1. Greet and thank others

Elves tend to be overly formal and friendly and have different ways of greeting and thanking others. Mae g'ovannen! Means "we met well" in Sindarin and is used to greet people. Ni 'lassui is the most common saying to thank someone in Sindarin and it literally translates to "I am happy".

  • There is a more elaborate and interesting greeting in Sindarin Êl síla erin lû e-govaned vîn which means "a star shines at the hour of our meeting". If you speak Quenya, you will say Elen síla lúmenn 'omentielvo for the same occasion.
  • In Quenya, general expressions of greetings and thanks include namárië (go well), aiya (hello), and hara máriessë (stay happy).
Speak Elvish Step 11

Step 2. Introduce yourself as Elvish during a first meeting

Introduce yourself in Sindarin by saying I eneth nin, which means "my name is" followed by your name. It's a fun way to introduce yourself, even if the person you meet doesn't speak Elvish. Just add your name at the end of the formula to introduce yourself. For example, I eneth nin Sarah means “my name is Sarah”.

Say Nánye in Quenya to say "my name is". For example, Nánye Sarah means "my name is Sarah"

Speak Elvish Step 12

Step 3. Learn unique and colorful phrases

Elvish languages ​​are expressive and include fun phrases and euphemisms that you can learn. For example, you can be romantic in Sindarin by saying Gellon ned i galar i chent gîn ned i gladhog which means: "I like to see your eyes shine when you laugh". You can be rude in Quenya and say Súrë túla cendeletyallo which means “wind is pouring out of your mouth”.

  • In Quenya, raise your fist in the air and shake it while shouting Úcarnet nin! which means "you betrayed me!" "
  • In Sindarin, hold your hand in front of someone who is getting on your nerves and tell them Hela, which means "get out!" "
Speak Elvish Step 13

Step 4. Obtain an Elvish dictionary to search for words

While Tolkien didn't always include a translation for every word, he left thousands of definitions for you to view for free. You can find an online Sindarin dictionary here. You will also find an online Quenya dictionary at this address.

Advice:

there are many physical editions of Elvish dictionaries that you can purchase. You will find it in many bookstores and for sale online.

Speak Elvish Step 14

Step 5. Take a free Quenya or Sindarin class

There are many resources online to help you learn Elvish. People who are interested in learning Elvish languages ​​are generally friendly and willing to help. Search online to find a guide or a complete course in the language of your choice.

  • Among the best Quenya courses, take a look at this course.
  • You can also learn Sindarin by taking this course.
  • There are also many resources and an active community of Elvish speakers on the Tolkiendil site.

Advice

  • By learning a few phrases in Elvish, you might make new friends at conventions, clubs, or parties.
  • It takes a lot of practice to be fluent in an Elvish language. Consider learning it with a friend so you have someone to talk to and practice with!

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