Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Tengwar in the Hobbit

Expand Messages
  • Hirifeo
    This may be a bizarre question, but has anyone ever been able to translate the Tengwar inscription in this image?
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 18, 2004
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      This may be a bizarre question, but has anyone ever been able to
      translate the Tengwar inscription in this image?

      http://www.diar.ru/tolkien/pictures/pbjrrt/smaugm.jpg

      I can't quite make it out, but I wonder if someone's seen a larger
      reproduction, or know of someone else who's deciphered it. It's one of
      JRRT's paintings for, I believe, the American edition of *The Hobbit*

      H
    • j_mach_wust
      ... This sample, DTS 1 (according to the Mellonath Daeron Index of Tengawr Specimina), is written in a phonemic English mode. It uses the same vowel letters
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 19, 2004
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "Hirifeo" <dagovno@e...> wrote:
        > This may be a bizarre question, but has anyone ever been able to
        > translate the Tengwar inscription in this image?
        >
        > http://www.diar.ru/tolkien/pictures/pbjrrt/smaugm.jpg
        >
        > I can't quite make it out, but I wonder if someone's seen a larger
        > reproduction, or know of someone else who's deciphered it. It's one
        > of JRRT's paintings for, I believe, the American edition of *The
        > Hobbit*

        This sample, DTS 1 (according to the Mellonath Daeron Index of Tengawr
        Specimina), is written in a phonemic English mode. It uses the same
        vowel letters like DTS 16, 17, 18, 23, but the same vowel tehtar as
        DTS 24. The use of vilya in the first letter of the second line is
        without parallel in any other phonemic mode (they'd all use a
        schwa-sign in such cases).

        It reads:
        gold ??? thrain
        accursed ¿be the? thief

        ---------------------------
        j. 'mach' wust
        http://machhezan.tripod.com
        ---------------------------
      • hisilome
        ... This is not entirely correct, it it? Rather, the representation of the _ur_-sound in _accursed_ corresponds completely (i.e. both vowel letter and tehtar)
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 14, 2004
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <machhezan@g...> wrote:
          > --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "Hirifeo" <dagovno@e...> wrote:
          > > This may be a bizarre question, but has anyone ever been able to
          > > translate the Tengwar inscription in this image?
          > >
          > > http://www.diar.ru/tolkien/pictures/pbjrrt/smaugm.jpg
          > >
          > This sample, DTS 1 (according to the Mellonath Daeron Index of Tengawr
          > Specimina), is written in a phonemic English mode. It uses the same
          > vowel letters like DTS 16, 17, 18, 23, but the same vowel tehtar as
          > DTS 24.

          This is not entirely correct, it it?
          Rather, the representation of the _ur_-sound in _accursed_ corresponds
          completely (i.e. both vowel letter and tehtar) to the usage in DTS 24
          (Treebeard Page). DTS 23 (So Luthien...) for example seems to simply
          use what is called a short carrier (in most modes) for the same sound.

          As for the long _ie_-sound in _thief_, as far as I can tell that is
          written with identical letters in both DTS 24 and the other modes,
          i.e. a short carrier, but in DTS 24 with an andaith (acute accent) on
          top (which indeed corresponds to the jar inscription), while in DTS 23
          a dot is used as tehtar.
          With the _ai_-sound in _Thrain_ it is the other way round: both modes
          use the same tehtar (two dots on top), while the letters, though
          similar, are distinct. The one used here indeed corresponds to the one
          in DTS 23 for the same sound.

          As far as I can see, only for the _o_-sound in _gold_ do we indeed see
          a distinct vowel letter as in DTS 23 etc. and a distinct tehtar as in
          the Treebeard Page.
          Correct me if I got it wrong :), just trying to learn.

          Hisilome

          > It reads:
          > gold ??? thrain
          > accursed ¿be the? thief
          >
          > j. 'mach' wust
          > http://machhezan.tripod.com
          > ---------------------------
        • j_mach_wust
          ... Ah, that s a tricky one! You re right, I should have explained it. (I suppose you wanted to say short carrier + óre .) I think the most convenient
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 15, 2004
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            I wrote:
            > > This sample, DTS 1 (according to the Mellonath Daeron Index of
            > > Tengwar Specimina), is written in a phonemic English mode. It uses
            > > the same vowel letters like DTS 16, 17, 18, 23, but the same vowel
            > > tehtar as DTS 24.

            Hisilome replied:
            > This is not entirely correct, is it?
            > Rather, the representation of the _ur_-sound in _accursed_
            > corresponds completely (i.e. both vowel letter and tehtar) to the
            > usage in DTS 24 (Treebeard Page). DTS 23 (So Luthien...) for example
            > seems to simply use what is called a short carrier (in most modes)
            > for the same sound.

            Ah, that's a tricky one! You're right, I should have explained it. (I
            suppose you wanted to say "short carrier + óre".)

            I think the most convenient explanation for it is to consider the
            tengwa óre to be a vowel tengwa (RP is an r-dropping/non-rhotic
            dialect). When unstressed (as in DTS 23 "bett*er*", "a moment then she
            stayed h*er* song", "daught*er*"), then this sound is represented with
            óre alone. Unfortunately, there's no unstressed instance of it in DTS
            24, but I don't doubt that it would be the same.

            When stressed, then it's marked with an acute in DTS 24 ("searching").
            This makes sense if we consider to be the acute a lengthe mark, since
            stressed vowels tend te be longer than short ones. And in DTS 24, the
            acute is consistently used to mark length (note that in RP, the vowels
            of "beat", "boot" are indeed longer than the vowels of "bit", "put").

            In DTS 16, 17, 18, and 23, however, the _stressed_ instances of this
            sound (e.g. DTS 23 "l*ur*king", "p*ur*chased") aren't written with óre
            alone, but with two tengwar, a short carrier and óre, as you've noted.
            This is unusual, since the short carrier (without tehtar) represents
            only _unstressed_ schwa (as in DTS 23 "*o*f", "rebelli*ou*s", DTS 24
            "re*a*lly", "*a* fra[g]ment"). It is not written with the tengwa of
            the stressed sound of "but", as one might expect (a u-shaped anna as
            in DTS 23 "come", "humble", DTS 24 "but").

            Therefore, I think that in the stressed instances of this sound in DTS
            16, 17, 18, and 23, the main sign of that sound is óre (as well as in
            DTS 24!), and the use of the short carrier is comparable to the use of
            a tehta: an accompanying sign that points out the exact pronunciation
            of the main sign. But I should have pointed this out.

            > As for the long _ie_-sound in _thief_, as far as I can tell that is
            > written with identical letters in both DTS 24 and the other modes,
            > i.e. a short carrier, but in DTS 24 with an andaith (acute accent)
            > on top (which indeed corresponds to the jar inscription), while in
            > DTS 23 a dot is used as tehtar.

            Two dots! There's a number of misspellings, but if we compare all the
            samples of the short carrier in DTS 16, 17, 18, and 23, then we see
            that there are three different uses of the short carrier that
            correspond to three different sounds: without dot - schwa; with single
            dot - open /I/ (as in bit); with double dots - close /i/ (as in beat).

            > As far as I can see, only for the _o_-sound in _gold_ do we indeed
            > see a distinct vowel letter as in DTS 23 etc. and a distinct tehtar
            > as in the Treebeard Page.

            ?? I see the same tehta on the Treebeard page ("Frodo" /frowdow/) as
            e.g. in DTS 23 ("so" /sow/).

            ---------------------------
            j. 'mach' wust
            http://machhezan.tripod.com
            ---------------------------
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.