Yes, it's Smowg

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Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:09 pm

That's how JRRT pronounced it, according to a first-person earwitness.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Arlaug » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:08 am

I still find a Sh-maug amusing. Glad to have a close original pronounciation
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Gungnir » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:29 am

solicitr wrote:That's how JRRT pronounced it, according to a first-person earwitness.


Anyone who's ever read the appendices of LOTR would already know this
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby oldtoby » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:42 am

Hehe until finding out the proper pronunciation i had always pronounced it "smog" :lol:
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby ngaur » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:04 pm

Confused. Doesn't Smowg make Smeug? Or is that just Snow?
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Arlaug » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:32 pm

Is it not as in dog?
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:11 pm

Gungnir wrote:
solicitr wrote:That's how JRRT pronounced it, according to a first-person earwitness.


Anyone who's ever read the appendices of LOTR would already know this


Why? The Appendices only provide a guide to Elvish pronunciation, not Dalish/Norse.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Gorthaur the Cruel » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:56 am

Just out of interest, why does this point need to be made? They don't use 'Smorg' (or 'Shmowg' or even 'Slag') in the current Hobbitish films do they?

Not that the point shouldn't be made. I just wondered what brought it on.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Gungnir » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:09 am

solicitr wrote:Why? The Appendices only provide a guide to Elvish pronunciation, not Dalish/Norse.


Not true- they also include guidance to the pronunciation of westron, as translated to english by Tolkien.

As the only published guide on the pronunciation of 'au'

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote:au,(aw) as in loud, how and not as in laud, haw


and without any other contradicting evidence, it is natural to presume that the au in Smaug would sound like the au in Sauron. And do we know which language 'Smaug' comes from? All other dragon names, AFAIK, are derived from elvish.

And, as Gorthaur said, why is this even an issue?
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:34 am

Gungnir wrote:
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote:au,(aw) as in loud, how and not as in laud, haw




Is explicitly a guide to pronouncing the dipthong in Elvish. You can't claim that it somehow becomes a default mode for pronouncing everything "in the absence of other evidence."

To take a parallel case: Gandalf is pronounced with a soft F, notwithstanding the direction that final F is pronounced V in the Elvish tongues- because Gandalf isn't an Elvish name, and no amount of "no contradictory evidence" arguments gets you anywhere.

Not true- they also include guidance to the pronunciation of westron, as translated to english by Tolkien.


Exqueeze me? The Appendices include guidance on how to pronounce English?
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Gungnir » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:52 am

solicitr wrote:Exqueeze me? The Appendices include guidance on how to pronounce English?


Do people still say 'exqueeze me'? how very 1980s.

In case you missed it...

J.R.R.Tolkien wrote: APPENDIX E WRITING AND SPELLING

I Pronunciation Of Words And Names

The Westron or Common Speech has been entirely translated into English equivalents. All Hobbit names and special words are intended to be pronounced accordingly: for example, Bolger has g as in bulge, and mathom rhymes with fathom.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:01 pm

Right: Shire nomenclature and words like mathom are to be pronounced as in English because they are, in fact, English.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby ngaur » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:44 am

Is it said anywhere is Smaug is a Sindarin name or a name in the language of the North men?
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby ngaur » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:44 am

#
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Eucatastrophe » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:15 am

I don't understand the purpose of the thread, :?

Arlaug wrote:Is it not as in dog?


No, it should be as in "ouch". But, I had the same pronunciation when I first read TH anyway (and frankly, I still use that one :P)

ngaur wrote:Is it said anywhere is Smaug is a Sindarin name or a name in the language of the North men?


I have not read anything.
But since the name "Smaug" probably came from from the primitive Germanic verb "smugan" I think the pronunciation should be be "ow". ( as "au" is pronounced that way in German. )
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:54 am

While to my knowledge Tolkien never explicitly said that Samug was a name in Dalish/Norse,* he did say that, generally, the language of Dale and environs was Norse; and, yes, he did say that he derived it from the past tense of PG smjugan.... but in that case it's a 'forward-formed' asterisk word in Norse form, like that other 'forward-formation' of the same root into Old English, Smeagol.

While 'au' certainly is pronounced "ow" in modern German, Primitive Germanic and indeed Old Norce (as opposed to Mod Icelandic) are not all that certain; and on some boards, if not this one, the question did arise. JRRT's own pronunciation of it should put the matter to bed.

----------------------
*And it can't possibly be a name in Quenya or Sindarin
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Unwin » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:36 pm

This is a debate that I can really imagine happening in The Big Bang Theory. :D We should put it in the Hall of Fame with the Balrog wings thing.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby AlatarVinyamar » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:07 am

solicitr wrote:Right: Shire nomenclature and words like mathom are to be pronounced as in English because they are, in fact, English.


Its worth pointing out that not everyone pronounces English words the same way. Even ignoring words like Aluminium and Lieutenant, "Dog" has a very different vowel sound in Southern states of America than in Oxford.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby oldtoby » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:24 pm

indeed, it always kinda makes me laugh hearing someone round here talking about putting some all in their car. :lol:
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:00 am

AlatarVinyamar wrote:
solicitr wrote:Right: Shire nomenclature and words like mathom are to be pronounced as in English because they are, in fact, English.


Its worth pointing out that not everyone pronounces English words the same way. Even ignoring words like Aluminium and Lieutenant, "Dog" has a very different vowel sound in Southern states of America than in Oxford.


In which case Shire-names are to be pronounced in the manner of the Warwickshire countryside..... :P
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Galin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:08 am

I must agree that the Apendix in question later explains that names in other tongues, where not otherwise excepted, are to be pronounced as in the Elvish section. I agree that Gandalf doesn't work, but Tolkien does seem to refer the reader back to the Elvish section. 'Note: in names drawn from other languages than Eldarin the same values for the letters are intended, where not specifically described above, except in the case of Dwarvish.’

Even, it seems, for certain translated names: ‘The ‘outer’ or Mannish names of the Dwarves have been given Northern forms, but the letter-values are those described. So also in the personal and place-names of Rohan where they have not been modernized), except that here ea and eo are diphthongs, which may be represented by the ea of English bear, and the eo of Theobald; y is the modified u…’ Appendix E [the e of ea and eo in the actual text has an acute accent]

Smaug works in any case, when referring back to the Elvish explanation of -au-. Smaug is seemingly a translation for Trâgu if posthumously published texts are to be accepted here anyway. I posted this at the following link too, but if wrong I would like to corrrect me.

http://www.arrantpedantry.com/2013/12/2 ... -of-smaug/
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby solicitr » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:51 pm

That excerpt mentioning Rohirric (Rohanian? Rohese?) is itself revealing in its all-important "may be represented"- because it shows that Tolkien was saying "Well, this will get you in the ballpark" even though he is *not* providing real guidance for 'proper' Anglo-Saxon pronunciation. So it is throughout the 'other languages': he's telling us that the fairly universal (to Europeans) letter-values of the Latinate sort are close enough for Government work.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:04 pm

Galin wrote:I if wrong I would like to corrrect me.


I'm sure if you were wrong you would correct yourself. :P

But you are not wrong.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Galin » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:08 am

solicitr wrote:That excerpt mentioning Rohirric (Rohanian? Rohese?) is itself revealing in its all-important "may be represented"- because it shows that Tolkien was saying "Well, this will get you in the ballpark" even though he is *not* providing real guidance for 'proper' Anglo-Saxon pronunciation. So it is throughout the 'other languages': he's telling us that the fairly universal (to Europeans) letter-values of the Latinate sort are close enough for Government work.


Perhaps, but isn't Tolkien clearly [considering the three reactions so far to my post, thanks Bronweg, I dare to write 'clearly' now] referring back to the Eldarin letter values, twice, to help explain the pronunciation of names in non-Eldarin tongues; and even rather directly, in the same sentence, after mentioning the 'northern forms' of the Dwarf-names.

But does it work 'well enough' if we look at the pronunciation rules for both Old Norse and Old English? Or on the other hand, is the average reader expected to know these in any case? And if Tolkien really only means 'close enough' [and so on, as you say] then so be it, but in my opinion this seems more strongly worded than that -- or at least it seems rather 'straightforwardly' worded, if that's a word.

And the 'may be represented' part is dealing with a noted exception already, no? In other words I read it as: see the Eldarin explanations, except with respect to eo and ea in these names, which 'may be represented...'

Referring back to the Eldarin section works for Smaug and the owner of this Blaug seems to agree with my opinion of these passages -- that said [and only said for the 'blaug' joke admittedly], I would be interested to know just how much referencing the Eldarin information does not work [if and where it does not work] for Anglo-Saxon or Norse names. I suppose I could look into this myself...

... but it seems like a lot of work :) and I'm no linguist so I would have to take the word of my sources as I interpret them.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby MeadowForest » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:28 am

Well if that's how Tolkien meant it to be said then so be it. However by habit, I will probably continue to pronounce it Smorg.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Old_Begonia » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:14 pm

ngaur wrote:Confused. Doesn't Smowg make Smeug? Or is that just Snow?


It's Smeug, unless there's a minkey throwing a bim.
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There is something profound about standing AT sea level.
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Aravar » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:27 am

But does the "ow" sound rhyme with sow or sow?
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby heliona » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:16 am

Aravar wrote:But does the "ow" sound rhyme with sow or sow?



Definitely "sow". ;) :D
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Re: Yes, it's Smowg

Postby Aravar » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:55 am

Thanks for the clarification heliona, it's much appreciated.

It's interesting that it could be pronounced as a homophone of "smoke".
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