Elvish Language FAQ -- *Please Read BEFORE Posting*

Tolkien's worlds were birthed out of his love of language and his work at creating new ones. Enter into discussions surrounding Tolkien's languages.

Postby Drem » Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:41 am

Hi all, lately I've noticed that my MSN Encarta dictionary has learned to talk. I put a word in, click and it pronounces it correctly. I'd love to see someone do that with the Elvish languages. Maybe Roisin Carty and Andrew Jack from the movies,maybe you! :lol: I would think that even a modest attempt would go over big.
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Postby johnboy1 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:20 pm

Well, I, being an ignorant horse's... err... rear bumper, did not realize that this thread existed until after I posted my brief linguistic guide in its own topic :x . If it's okay with Nienna, I'll post there requesting the thread be locked and will just post it here, okay? I hope this may help some people, as I take joy in helping other people (when I'm in a good mood :twisted: ).

"I put this little baby together a few days ago. [Note: I made this up for people who would be considered "newbies".] Yes, I do realize there are countless other noteworthy sites, but I was trying to list the BEST sites. This is what I came up with:

Let us begin by making one point clear: only four Middle-earth languages are large enough to be usable, and two of those are actually real languages used to serve a special purpose. There are Quenya and Sindarin, both Elvish Languages, which are actually built-from-scratch conlangs ("fake" languages). Then there are Westron and Rohirric, which are just English and Anglo Saxon (also called Old English) used to represent "translations" of nonexistent languages that we truly know next to nothing about. The rest of the languages are for decorative purposes and simply aren't large enough to be usable.

Quenya

Language of the Noldor, the Deep Elves of Valinor. When they rebelled against the Valar and came to Middle-earth, they took it with them. It was later outlawed by King Thingol of Doriath. It is all but a dead language, a la Latin. The best grammar is found at a site called Ardalambion, but this is a bit much for one unacquainted with grammatical terms. The most user-friendly grammar can be found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain, here:

http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm

The best dictionary (or "wordlist" as he calls it), however, is still found at Ardalambion, here:

http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/

There are a couple recently constructed words to help add to the vocabulary of this language. Many of these can be found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain in the "Neo Quenya" clickable... thing... to the left.

Sindarin

Language of the Sindar, the Grey Elves of Beleriand. This was the living tongue of the Elves at the time the Lord of the Rings takes place in. Again, Ardalambion has the best grammar, but this is WAY too complicated for the average fan. The most user-friendly one is found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain as well. The best free dictionary (including newly constructed words) can be found, though, at Hiswelokë, here:

http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/downloads.html

Westron

The most-used language in Middle-earth. It is the only known Hobbit language, and is used by Dwarves in contact with non-Dwarf species. It is also known to damn near everyone else in Middle-earth. It is "translated" into English at almost all occurrences, so, for all intents and purposes, you're already speaking it. If you honestly want a dictionary and grammar to this, find it on your own :evil: . It's the most used language in the world, after all...

Rohirric

This is Old English in disguise, being "translated" from the actual, nonexistent language used in Rohan. It was used by Germanic tribes that migrated to (read: invaded) England around 1400 years ago. Grammars are all over the place, but the most user-friendly I found is here:

http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/research/rawl/IOE/

And the dictionary of academic standard is found here:

http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/ger ... about.html

Others

There are the other, unusable but still cool-sounding, languages of Middle-earth, and all the information we could possibly glean from them is found at, you guessed it, Ardalambion (I will thank the man who made that site forever, even though I will never be able to spell his name).

Alright, on to the writing systems, which, unlike the languages, are all usable to some level (except one).

Tengwar

This script was first created by the rebel Fëanor at some point in the depths of time. It is easily the most popular of the writing systems. It can be used to write Westron (English), Rohirric (Old English), Quenya, Sindarin, and the Black Speech (Sauron's language, which has very few words). The best guide around is the Tengwar Textbook, which is found at the Tolkien Script Publishing. This site also has a font for typing in the Tengwar. It is found here:

http://www.geocities.com/tengwar2001/pubs.htm

Cirth

This writing system was invented by the Elven Minstrel Daeron. They are used more often in inscriptions than in writing. This writing system can be used to write Old Sindarin, Sindarin, Quenya, Khuzdul (the language of the Dwarves, which has very few words), and Westron (English). It was, apparently, also used for the Black Speech, but I'm not sure which "mode" was used for that. Any help? The best information on Cirth usage is found in the "History of the Elvish Writing Systems" document found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain (see above). The best font for it is found at "Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts", found here:

http://www.acondia.com/fonts/

Sarati

This was the invention of the ancient Elf Rúmil. It is the oldest writing system in Tolkien's world. The guide for writing Quenya with it is in the "History of the Elvish Writing Systems" above. For writing Westron (English), which doesn't make much sense, considering it died out long before the language came into being, and for the font, check out Amanyë Tenceli, here:

http://web.comhem.se/~u86023928/at/

Runes of Gondolin

This was a series of trade runes used by the hidden city of Gondolin in the First Age. Oddly, it seems, by the sounds represented, to be used for writing Rohirric (Old English), which did not appear until thousands of years later. However, some evidence from The Hobbit indicates it was used for Sindarin as well. There is no font for this, but info on how to write it can be found on Tyalie Tyelellieva, here:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthen ... egond.html

Futhorc Runes

This alphabet is like the Westron and Rohirric languages in that it is a "borrowed" element from the real world. It was an alphabet of Germanic origin, but I'm fuzzy on the rest of the details. It might very well have "represented" the Cirth, as it is only seen in The Hobbit, which was written before the Cirth had been invented (by Tolkien). I would really like to know what languages it was used to write in real life, if anyone could help me, but in The Hobbit, it is only used for Westron (English). Both a font and a guide to usage can be found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts (obviously, if you can find a better site on how to use this, I would appreciate it).

Valmaric Script

This was the halfway point in the evolution of the Sarati into the Tengwar. Judging by the name, it was used in Valmar, the city of the Powers in Valinor. It is not usable because we have only two small samples, which can be seen at the Mellonath Daeron, here:

http://www.daeron.forodrim.org/valmaric.html

Once you become familiar with the way the Tengwar is read, you should be able to assign values to the characters. These samples are in Westron (English) and Sindarin, respectively. I do not know of a font for this alphabet, and since it is incomplete, I doubt there is one.

Well, what do you think? Again, if you can perhaps point out some sites that might be better (like Luinnenion did in my other thread), do so. Also, if there are any substantial expansions (read: fabrications) of the lesser languages (such as Khuzdul and Black Speech), I'd love to see them."

Err... well... that's all for now... carry on.
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elvish

Postby some*number*837 » Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:32 pm

ummmmm....... hi! can you translate tori into elvish for me?????

:lol: ThankS :wink:
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Postby Gwenare » Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:11 am

Thanks johnboy1. I have checked out the sites and I believe they will help me out. I have been looking for info on the Elvish languages. Thanks again.

Gwen
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Quenya name lists

Postby Haldatyaro » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:26 am

Not sure if this was posted previously in this thread, but this is a pretty good site on name translations (for all you Sherrys, Alans, Heidis, Roberts, Leopolds, etc. out there):

http://www.elvish.org/elm/names.html
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Tengwar

Postby zmgodkgo » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:28 pm

I've been looking for proper tengwar translation for tattoo,
and I guess I've found where i could get help from.

can you transcribe my name into proper tengwar so I can get a tattoo with it,

my name is Moses Rho

please be kind and thank you so much.
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Postby Elindil » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:02 pm

Aiya!
I haven't seen this site linked here so give this: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/index.html. Thorsten Renk, one of Tolkien lingustics created courses of sindarin and quenya, which are easy to understand. Site and courses have been quite often actualized with informations from magazines Parma Eldalamberon and Vinyar Tengwar so it's valuable source of knowledge.
Sorry, if it was linked here before^^.
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Postby BumbleBee » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:07 am

SOmebody please help??? :? I'm struggling with the whole forum lol. anyway could somebody please translate (each day's a gift and not a given right) into quenya and then into tengwar?? or if not put me in to contact with somebody that can??
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Postby Vea mi olori » Sat May 02, 2009 4:52 am

I figured that firstly this needs to be bumped up the order of posts so that people read it before posting things that are answered in communal threads, and secondly to ask a mod to possibly sticky this. It's FAR too useful to let it slide into obscurity.
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Re: Elvish Language FAQ -- *Please Read BEFORE Posting*

Postby MerryDominic » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:13 am

johnboy1 wrote:Well, I, being an ignorant horse's... err... rear bumper, did not realize that this thread existed until after I posted my brief linguistic guide in its own topic :x . If it's okay with Nienna, I'll post there requesting the thread be locked and will just post it here, okay? I hope this may help some people, as I take joy in helping other people (when I'm in a good mood :twisted: ).

"I put this little baby together a few days ago. [Note: I made this up for people who would be considered "newbies".] Yes, I do realize there are countless other noteworthy sites, but I was trying to list the BEST sites. This is what I came up with:

Let us begin by making one point clear: only four Middle-earth languages are large enough to be usable, and two of those are actually real languages used to serve a special purpose. There are Quenya and Sindarin, both Elvish Languages, which are actually built-from-scratch conlangs ("fake" languages). Then there are Westron and Rohirric, which are just English and Anglo Saxon (also called Old English) used to represent "translations" of nonexistent languages that we truly know next to nothing about. The rest of the languages are for decorative purposes and simply aren't large enough to be usable.

Quenya

Language of the Noldor, the Deep Elves of Valinor. When they rebelled against the Valar and came to Middle-earth, they took it with them. It was later outlawed by King Thingol of Doriath. It is all but a dead language, a la Latin. The best grammar is found at a site called Ardalambion, but this is a bit much for one unacquainted with grammatical terms. The most user-friendly grammar can be found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain, here:

http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm

The best dictionary (or "wordlist" as he calls it), however, is still found at Ardalambion, here:

http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/

There are a couple recently constructed words to help add to the vocabulary of this language. Many of these can be found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain in the "Neo Quenya" clickable... thing... to the left.

Sindarin

Language of the Sindar, the Grey Elves of Beleriand. This was the living tongue of the Elves at the time the Lord of the Rings takes place in. Again, Ardalambion has the best grammar, but this is WAY too complicated for the average fan. The most user-friendly one is found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain as well. The best free dictionary (including newly constructed words) can be found, though, at Hiswelokë, here:

http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/downloads.html

Westron

The most-used language in Middle-earth. It is the only known Hobbit language, and is used by Dwarves in contact with non-Dwarf species. It is also known to damn near everyone else in Middle-earth. It is "translated" into English at almost all occurrences, so, for all intents and purposes, you're already speaking it. If you honestly want a dictionary and grammar to this, find it on your own :evil: . It's the most used language in the world, after all...

Rohirric

This is Old English in disguise, being "translated" from the actual, nonexistent language used in Rohan. It was used by Germanic tribes that migrated to (read: invaded) England around 1400 years ago. Grammars are all over the place, but the most user-friendly I found is here:

http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/research/rawl/IOE/

And the dictionary of academic standard is found here:

http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/ger ... about.html

Others

There are the other, unusable but still cool-sounding, languages of Middle-earth, and all the information we could possibly glean from them is found at, you guessed it, Ardalambion (I will thank the man who made that site forever, even though I will never be able to spell his name).

Alright, on to the writing systems, which, unlike the languages, are all usable to some level (except one).

Tengwar

This script was first created by the rebel Fëanor at some point in the depths of time. It is easily the most popular of the writing systems. It can be used to write Westron (English), Rohirric (Old English), Quenya, Sindarin, and the Black Speech (Sauron's language, which has very few words). The best guide around is the Tengwar Textbook, which is found at the Tolkien Script Publishing. This site also has a font for typing in the Tengwar. It is found here:

http://www.geocities.com/tengwar2001/pubs.htm

Cirth

This writing system was invented by the Elven Minstrel Daeron. They are used more often in inscriptions than in writing. This writing system can be used to write Old Sindarin, Sindarin, Quenya, Khuzdul (the language of the Dwarves, which has very few words), and Westron (English). It was, apparently, also used for the Black Speech, but I'm not sure which "mode" was used for that. Any help? The best information on Cirth usage is found in the "History of the Elvish Writing Systems" document found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain (see above). The best font for it is found at "Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts", found here:

http://www.acondia.com/fonts/

Sarati

This was the invention of the ancient Elf Rúmil. It is the oldest writing system in Tolkien's world. The guide for writing Quenya with it is in the "History of the Elvish Writing Systems" above. For writing Westron (English), which doesn't make much sense, considering it died out long before the language came into being, and for the font, check out Amanyë Tenceli, here:

http://web.comhem.se/~u86023928/at/

Runes of Gondolin

This was a series of trade runes used by the hidden city of Gondolin in the First Age. Oddly, it seems, by the sounds represented, to be used for writing Rohirric (Old English), which did not appear until thousands of years later. However, some evidence from The Hobbit indicates it was used for Sindarin as well. There is no font for this, but info on how to write it can be found on Tyalie Tyelellieva, here:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthen ... egond.html

Futhorc Runes

This alphabet is like the Westron and Rohirric languages in that it is a "borrowed" element from the real world. It was an alphabet of Germanic origin, but I'm fuzzy on the rest of the details. It might very well have "represented" the Cirth, as it is only seen in The Hobbit, which was written before the Cirth had been invented (by Tolkien). I would really like to know what languages it was used to write in real life, if anyone could help me, but in The Hobbit, it is only used for Westron (English). Both a font and a guide to usage can be found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts (obviously, if you can find a better site on how to use this, I would appreciate it).

Valmaric Script

This was the halfway point in the evolution of the Sarati into the Tengwar. Judging by the name, it was used in Valmar, the city of the Powers in Valinor. It is not usable because we have only two small samples, which can be seen at the Mellonath Daeron, here:

http://www.daeron.forodrim.org/valmaric.html

Once you become familiar with the way the Tengwar is read, you should be able to assign values to the characters. These samples are in Westron (English) and Sindarin, respectively. I do not know of a font for this alphabet, and since it is incomplete, I doubt there is one.

Well, what do you think? Again, if you can perhaps point out some sites that might be better (like Luinnenion did in my other thread), do so. Also, if there are any substantial expansions (read: fabrications) of the lesser languages (such as Khuzdul and Black Speech), I'd love to see them."

Err... well... that's all for now... carry on.


Sent from my YP-GS1 using Tapatalk 2


Wow, this is amazing detail!! Thanks so much for this post!

I really appreciate all of this, I reslly do, but I would really like it if you put the link of the difficult grammar web page for Quenya, as I am planning on mastering elvish. It qlwould mean the WORLD for me:grin:
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Re: Elvish Language FAQ -- *Please Read BEFORE Posting*

Postby MerryDominic » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:13 am

johnboy1 wrote:Well, I, being an ignorant horse's... err... rear bumper, did not realize that this thread existed until after I posted my brief linguistic guide in its own topic :x . If it's okay with Nienna, I'll post there requesting the thread be locked and will just post it here, okay? I hope this may help some people, as I take joy in helping other people (when I'm in a good mood :twisted: ).

"I put this little baby together a few days ago. [Note: I made this up for people who would be considered "newbies".] Yes, I do realize there are countless other noteworthy sites, but I was trying to list the BEST sites. This is what I came up with:

Let us begin by making one point clear: only four Middle-earth languages are large enough to be usable, and two of those are actually real languages used to serve a special purpose. There are Quenya and Sindarin, both Elvish Languages, which are actually built-from-scratch conlangs ("fake" languages). Then there are Westron and Rohirric, which are just English and Anglo Saxon (also called Old English) used to represent "translations" of nonexistent languages that we truly know next to nothing about. The rest of the languages are for decorative purposes and simply aren't large enough to be usable.

Quenya

Language of the Noldor, the Deep Elves of Valinor. When they rebelled against the Valar and came to Middle-earth, they took it with them. It was later outlawed by King Thingol of Doriath. It is all but a dead language, a la Latin. The best grammar is found at a site called Ardalambion, but this is a bit much for one unacquainted with grammatical terms. The most user-friendly grammar can be found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain, here:

http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm

The best dictionary (or "wordlist" as he calls it), however, is still found at Ardalambion, here:

http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/

There are a couple recently constructed words to help add to the vocabulary of this language. Many of these can be found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain in the "Neo Quenya" clickable... thing... to the left.

Sindarin

Language of the Sindar, the Grey Elves of Beleriand. This was the living tongue of the Elves at the time the Lord of the Rings takes place in. Again, Ardalambion has the best grammar, but this is WAY too complicated for the average fan. The most user-friendly one is found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain as well. The best free dictionary (including newly constructed words) can be found, though, at Hiswelokë, here:

http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/downloads.html

Westron

The most-used language in Middle-earth. It is the only known Hobbit language, and is used by Dwarves in contact with non-Dwarf species. It is also known to damn near everyone else in Middle-earth. It is "translated" into English at almost all occurrences, so, for all intents and purposes, you're already speaking it. If you honestly want a dictionary and grammar to this, find it on your own :evil: . It's the most used language in the world, after all...

Rohirric

This is Old English in disguise, being "translated" from the actual, nonexistent language used in Rohan. It was used by Germanic tribes that migrated to (read: invaded) England around 1400 years ago. Grammars are all over the place, but the most user-friendly I found is here:

http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/research/rawl/IOE/

And the dictionary of academic standard is found here:

http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/ger ... about.html

Others

There are the other, unusable but still cool-sounding, languages of Middle-earth, and all the information we could possibly glean from them is found at, you guessed it, Ardalambion (I will thank the man who made that site forever, even though I will never be able to spell his name).

Alright, on to the writing systems, which, unlike the languages, are all usable to some level (except one).

Tengwar

This script was first created by the rebel Fëanor at some point in the depths of time. It is easily the most popular of the writing systems. It can be used to write Westron (English), Rohirric (Old English), Quenya, Sindarin, and the Black Speech (Sauron's language, which has very few words). The best guide around is the Tengwar Textbook, which is found at the Tolkien Script Publishing. This site also has a font for typing in the Tengwar. It is found here:

http://www.geocities.com/tengwar2001/pubs.htm

Cirth

This writing system was invented by the Elven Minstrel Daeron. They are used more often in inscriptions than in writing. This writing system can be used to write Old Sindarin, Sindarin, Quenya, Khuzdul (the language of the Dwarves, which has very few words), and Westron (English). It was, apparently, also used for the Black Speech, but I'm not sure which "mode" was used for that. Any help? The best information on Cirth usage is found in the "History of the Elvish Writing Systems" document found at Gwaith-i-Phethdain (see above). The best font for it is found at "Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts", found here:

http://www.acondia.com/fonts/

Sarati

This was the invention of the ancient Elf Rúmil. It is the oldest writing system in Tolkien's world. The guide for writing Quenya with it is in the "History of the Elvish Writing Systems" above. For writing Westron (English), which doesn't make much sense, considering it died out long before the language came into being, and for the font, check out Amanyë Tenceli, here:

http://web.comhem.se/~u86023928/at/

Runes of Gondolin

This was a series of trade runes used by the hidden city of Gondolin in the First Age. Oddly, it seems, by the sounds represented, to be used for writing Rohirric (Old English), which did not appear until thousands of years later. However, some evidence from The Hobbit indicates it was used for Sindarin as well. There is no font for this, but info on how to write it can be found on Tyalie Tyelellieva, here:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthen ... egond.html

Futhorc Runes

This alphabet is like the Westron and Rohirric languages in that it is a "borrowed" element from the real world. It was an alphabet of Germanic origin, but I'm fuzzy on the rest of the details. It might very well have "represented" the Cirth, as it is only seen in The Hobbit, which was written before the Cirth had been invented (by Tolkien). I would really like to know what languages it was used to write in real life, if anyone could help me, but in The Hobbit, it is only used for Westron (English). Both a font and a guide to usage can be found at Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts (obviously, if you can find a better site on how to use this, I would appreciate it).

Valmaric Script

This was the halfway point in the evolution of the Sarati into the Tengwar. Judging by the name, it was used in Valmar, the city of the Powers in Valinor. It is not usable because we have only two small samples, which can be seen at the Mellonath Daeron, here:

http://www.daeron.forodrim.org/valmaric.html

Once you become familiar with the way the Tengwar is read, you should be able to assign values to the characters. These samples are in Westron (English) and Sindarin, respectively. I do not know of a font for this alphabet, and since it is incomplete, I doubt there is one.

Well, what do you think? Again, if you can perhaps point out some sites that might be better (like Luinnenion did in my other thread), do so. Also, if there are any substantial expansions (read: fabrications) of the lesser languages (such as Khuzdul and Black Speech), I'd love to see them."

Err... well... that's all for now... carry on.


Sent from my YP-GS1 using Tapatalk 2


Wow, this is amazing detail!! Thanks so much for this post!

I really appreciate all of this, I reslly do, but I would really like it if you put the link of the difficult grammar web page for Quenya, as I am planning on mastering elvish. It qlwould mean the WORLD for me:grin:
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Re: Elvish Language FAQ -- *Please Read BEFORE Posting*

Postby Hobbit_Guy » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:06 pm

A heads up - some of those links are no longer valid. The newer URL for Amanye Tenceli is here, and while Geocities is gone, an archived mirror of the Runes of Gondolin page can be found here. Additionally, we now know much more about the Valmaric Script than when that FAQ was written.
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Re: Elvish Language FAQ -- *Please Read BEFORE Posting*

Postby Wingheart Mistywing » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:34 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! I ave always been interested in Elvish (I have read LotR at least 10 times within the last 3 months even amongst the business of 8th grade, including the indexes!) and I have been searching everywhere from Valinor to the Shire about how to learn Elvish. I almost gave up and eventually started to try and piece together some stuff by means of my logic and brain and LotR. Then I continued to search for help. And I have found it here. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Hehe. Sorry for shouting...but I am sugar-high at the moment and very excited...oops. - Wingi
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Adding more thanks

Postby prmiller » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:32 pm

There have been a lot of helpful posts leading we fledgling students of Tolkien's languages
to excellent websites.
Thank you for all your work and for the ways you inspire others
to discover the delights of a different aspect of linguistics.

Blessings,
Parm :)

Some day the words an elf-lord sang,
or stirring stories dwarves may tell,
will skip along my tongue with ease...
with other language skills as well.
Variations on a theme: winter here in Calgary...and elsewhere?

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