- BIRMINGHAM, England It's central England, not Middle-Earth, but one
school is offering its pupils the chance to learn Elvish.
Youngsters at Turves Green Boys' Technology College (search) in
Birmingham are being offered weekly after-hours lessons in Sindarin
(search), a conversational form of Elvish invented by "Lord of the
Rings" creator J.R.R. Tolkien and based on Welsh sounds.
Educational co-ordinator Zainab Thorp said she hoped the classes
would help boost the self-esteem of pupils, some of whom have
"The recent success of the 'Lord of the Rings' films has increased
the interest in learning Elvish," Thorp said.
"The children really enjoy it. It breaks the idea that education
should simply be aimed at getting a job."
Thorp said Tolkien was an expert in ancient languages who had
developed two forms of Elvish.
Sindarin was based on Welsh sounds and was the more commonly used,
while Quenya (search), which was based on Finnish, was largely a
"A couple of the boys are very into role-playing games. Knowing
Sindarin is useful when giving orders to their Elvish armies," Thorp
"It's also very useful if they want to go on to university to study,
as it involves looking at some of Tolkien's old manuscripts. This
develops some very complex skills."