Magol or Mago - Another Language?
- I am currently reading and enjoying the second volume of the History
of the Hobbit. While reading on my patio (on the one day it is not
raining in London) I was surprised to see in notes of the Goblin of
the Battle of the Five Armies name - _BOLG_ a note that says it comes
not from Norse or Sindarin/Noldorin but from "one of Tolkien's minor
invented languages, called _Mago_ or _Magol_ about which little is
known other than at one point Tolkien considered making it the Orkish
language, only to reject this idea." (Rateliff pg. 710)
He then refers to Magol Document page 3 with a note - but the note is
more about this potential historical etymology of the word _Bolg_
from Celtic/Pictish - Fir Bolgs, etc.
Does anyone know where this document lives and whether there is
enough of it to understand? Has it appeared in any other writings,
BTW: VT 49 is a treasure trove of info - brought it to Wales with me
on holiday and I am still digesting.
[As I wrote in MythSoc message #18083 (cited here with some coding
garbage tidied up):
"Tolkien's Hungarian-style language is actually called _Mágol_. In the
earlier of the two texts on this language it is called _Mágo_ and more
closely resembles Adunaic than Hungarian; this same text also says
that 'Old Mágo' was the language of the children of Húrin.
"In the later text, the language is called _Mágol_ and seems clearly
modeled after Hungarian in phonology and grammatical structure,
while retaining a strong Elvish influence as well -- it reminds me of
something that might have been spoken by a lost tribe of Avari who
had taken up residence outside Budapest for a few millennia. This
later text makes no internal mention of the speakers of the language,
though some time after (perhaps _long_ after) its completion, Tolkien
jotted the words 'Ork, Orkish' at the top of the typescript, then struck
this out and wrote 'No'.
"I should also note that Mágo(l) is probably the language misreported
by Lisa Star as 'Mork' in her online 'List of Tolkien's Languages':
"Star opines that 'Mork' is 'probably related to Old English', which
is also not true. I presume that the name 'Mork' is a mistaken con-
flation in Star's mind of 'Mágol' and 'Ork'."
So far as I know, the original Mágo/Mágol manuscripts are in the
possession of Christopher Tolkien. I and the other members of the
Editorial Team have photocopies of these texts, and I'll be presenting
them in a future issue of VT. Both are fascinating documents, and there
is much specific information provided about their phonology and
grammar, particularly in the case of the later form Mágol. -- PHW]
- Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
> "Tolkien's Hungarian-style language is actually called _Mágol_. In theVery intriguing! I wonder whether there is some connection between
> earlier of the two texts on this language it is called _Mágo_ and more
> closely resembles Adunaic than Hungarian; this same text also says
> that 'Old Mágo' was the language of the children of Húrin. ... In the later
> text, the language is called _Mágol_ and seems clearly modeled after
> Hungarian in phonology and grammatical structure, while retaining a
> strong Elvish influence as well ...
_Mágo(l)_ and the names we get to know from Michael Ramer (a fictional
professor of Finno-Ugric phonology) in the 'Notion Club Papers'
For instance he mentions _Shomorú_ 'Saturn' (IX:221), _Dalud dimran_
or _Eshil dimzor_ (IX:218), a waterfall on the world _Ellor Eshúrizel_
(IX:200). Actually, it seemed to me that these names resemble the
Ramer also uses some Hungarian words or similar ones: _Gyönyörü_,
_Emberü_ (IX:178,214), _Gyürüchill_ 'Saturn' (IX:205,221) and so on.
Are we perhaps dealing with specimens of _Mágo(l)_ in one of these two
linguistic layers, just as we meet there Quenya and Adunaic?
[This is an intriguing possibility, to be sure, but there seems to be
no correspondence between words or elements in Mágo(l) and Ramer's
Hungarian-style dream-names in _The Notion Club Papers_.
BTW, as I noted in a letter to Christopher Tolkien (see XI:xi), the name
_Shomorú_ itself is probably < Hung. _szomorú_ 'sad'. -- PHW]