The Official Pronounciation Thread

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 Didi » Thu Jul 25, 2002 1:07 pm

i see a lot of people have many problems with pronouncing elvish words/names (me not) and for each word they mostly start a new thread. so i came at the idea to make a thread for everyone to ask his /her problems with pronounciating here
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby Balance_Keeper » Thu Jul 25, 2002 11:56 pm

Very good idea <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
User avatar
Balance_Keeper
Shield Bearer
 
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2002 12:17 pm
Top

Postby Didi » Fri Jul 26, 2002 1:45 pm

there seems not to be a lot of interest <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0>
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby Darkmagus » Fri Jul 26, 2002 1:59 pm

Actually, i have a question for discussion... I'm pretty sure it's been discussed before, but I've never really found a concrete answer. <BR><BR>I some words it seems like vowels are pronounced long when they should be short. For example, for <i>Namárie</i> I've always heard (and pronounced myself) the -ie as long (ee-aye). But shouldn't they be short (like in the words "let" and "in" )?<BR><BR>Same thing with ea. I've always herad them long (aye-ah), but they are not accented at all...<BR><BR>At least for Namarie, Tolkien himself used the long pronounciation in the recording I've heard (though I have heard that he <i>did</i> use some sloppy pronounciation in that, and that another recording is out there which is better).
User avatar
Darkmagus
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1628
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 6:48 pm
Top

Postby Didi » Fri Jul 26, 2002 2:08 pm

<i>I</i> pronounce it short, but if tolkien himself does it long,... weird...<BR>maybe asking the explanation of an oldie? my quenya is still under constructing...
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby jallan » Fri Jul 26, 2002 3:58 pm

Darkmagus posted:<BR><BR><< I some words it seems like vowels are pronounced long when they should be short. For example, for Namárie I've always heard (and pronounced myself) the -ie as long (ee-aye). But shouldn't they be short (like in the words "let" and "in" )? >><BR><BR>One shouldn't confuse quality and quantity in vowels. Quality is the "sound" of the vowel, for example the sound of <i>i</i> has a different quality in the words <i>in</i> and <i>machine</i>. Quantity, on the other hand is the length that the vowel is held. For example <i>e</i> has a different length in <i>bet</i> and <i>bed</i> in most varities of English, the <i>e</i> in the second example being held longer.<BR><BR>This is often very muddled in inaccurate phonetics taught in primary schools because in the 14th century the long vowels of English also changed their quality sufficiently to sound very differently from their short counterparts. <BR><BR>When people refer to the long vowels of English they often mean (though perhaps don't know it) the vowels that were once mainly distinguished from short vowels by their length but are now mostly by their quality. They are in fact now mostly pronounced as diphthongs (double vowel sounds).<BR><BR>For example, the current normal sound of English <i>bite</i> would be spelled in most other European languages as <i>bait</i>. <BR><BR>Check Appendix E for Tolkien's rather abbreviated description.<BR><BR>He uses <i>were</i> and <i>for</i> as examples for the normal <i>e</i> and <i>o</i> sounds in Elvish, probably to indicate the sounds are what are sometimes called <i>r</i>-colored vowels, particular pronunciations heard in southern British English mainly before the place where a following <i>r</i> was once heard and still appears in spelling.<BR><BR>So Elvish <i>e</i> should be pronounced, more or less, somewhere between the sounds of the two <i>e</i>'s in <i>resumé</i>. Similarly with <i>o</i>, somewhere between the sound of <i>o</i> in <i>not</i> and the <i>o</i> in <i>note</i>.<BR><BR>Tolkien then indicates that long <i>é</i> and <i>ó</i> in Quenya were also distinguished from their short counterparts not only by length, but by being pronounced with a quality difference. They were "tenser and closer", presumably very close to <i>é</i> sound in <i>resumé</i> and the <i>o</i> sound in <i>note</i>.<BR><BR>(Actually these long sounds, as pronounced in most varieties of English, are to some degree diphthongs, that is <i>ei</i> and <i>ou</i>. Tolkien's Elvish should be correctly pronounced without the following <i>i</i> or <i>u</i> off-glide.)<BR><BR>The <i>i</i> sound in <i>pin</i> and the <i>u</i> sound in <i>put</i> are found only in Sindarin where short <i>i</i> and short <i>u</i> have those values. In Quenya both short <i>i</i> and short <i>u</i> have the same qualities as the corresponding long vowels, that is the sounds in <i>machine</i> and <i>brute</i>. Only the length they are held distinguishes them. Think Spanish or Italian.<BR><BR>Compare in English the short vowel in <i>feet</i> against the longer vowel in <i>feed</i> and the short vowel in <i>root</i> against the longer vowel in <i>rood</i> or <i>rude</i>. (At least this last example works in my English. Some dialects pronounce the vowel in <i>root</i> the same as the vowel in <i>put</i>.)<BR><BR>Also, of course, Tolkien's normal English accent does partly interfere with his Elvish pronunciations.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby Darkmagus » Fri Jul 26, 2002 8:26 pm

Many thanks Jallan! That should have been obvious to me considering how many times I'd read the parts on pronounciation, but somehow I'd always managed to misunderstand until you so clearly pointed it out. Almost a little embarrassing actually... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><BR><BR>again, thank you for the explanation, my friend.<BR><BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR>DM
User avatar
Darkmagus
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1628
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 6:48 pm
Top

Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Sat Jul 27, 2002 7:14 am

Good post, jallan.
User avatar
Almacundo/*Auirandos
Citizen of Imladris
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2003 2:19 pm
Top

Postby Carnimiriel » Sat Jul 27, 2002 7:32 am

As someone who studies diction as part of my profession, I think I can add something to the whole long/short vowel thing.<BR><BR>What Darkmagus is calling 'long' and 'short' in professional diction is actually referred to as 'open' and 'closed' which may not be a perfect description either, but it is less easily confused with duration of the vowel (or as jallan says, 'quantity').<BR><BR>For instance: (using standard American pronunciation)<BR><BR>'hit' - open i vowel<BR>'machine' - closed i vowel<BR>'on' - open o vowel<BR>'own' - closed o vowel<BR>'let' - open e vowel<BR>'day' - closed e vowel - (this doesn't work very well in English since it is usually pronounced as more of a diphthong, but makes more sense in Italian, Spanish, or French)<BR>'too' - closed u vowel<BR>'put' - open u vowel<BR><BR>If I am interpreting it correctly, what Tolkien describes as 'tenser and closer' about the 'long' vowels is what I would call in teaching more towards 'closed' vowels.<BR><BR>I hope this makes sense!
User avatar
Carnimiriel
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 2206
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2001 9:02 pm
Top

Postby nami_chan » Sat Jul 27, 2002 11:06 am

Thanks jallan and Carnemiriel, I wondered about the use of the words "tenser" and "closer" in the appendix.
User avatar
nami_chan
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 4:21 pm
Top

Postby jallan » Sat Jul 27, 2002 7:57 pm

Carnimiriel posted:<BR><BR><< If I am interpreting it correctly, what Tolkien describes as 'tenser and closer' about the 'long' vowels is what I would call in teaching more towards 'closed' vowels. >><BR><BR>I would say almost exactly. "Closer" certainly means, as you put it, "more towards 'closed' vowels'", vowels being described as more closed as the front to back or blade of the tongue moves closer to the roof of the mouth.<BR><BR>But it seems that the difference between the two <i>e</i>'s in <i>resumé</i> and similar differences between other such pairs in English is mostly not in position at all (at least in some varieties of English) but in the tenseness or laxness of the muscles.<BR><BR>Either lowering the tongue position or relaxing of the muscles without moving the tongue position can give similar acoustic results.<BR><BR>See for example <a target=new href="http://www.ims.uni-stuttgart.de/phonetik/EGG/pagel3.htm">Tense/lax vowels in German</a> and <a target=new href="http://www.ling.uni-potsdam.de/~green/tnslxvwl.htm">The tense-lax distinction in English vowels</a>.<BR><BR>In writing "closer and tenser" Tolkien is covering both terminologies for the sounds of the vowels. Is he imagining some treatise on tongue positions and tensing of muscles written by Fëanor who appears to have been the great Elvish phoneticist?<BR><BR>Tolkien also indicates different pronunciations before a final <i>r</i>, and I rather expect if pressed he would have happily come forth with much more complex rules about variations in quality and quanitity depending on stress and particular phonemic environments and so forth.<BR><BR>The fun was partly in making things complicated.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby elceleb » Tue Aug 06, 2002 1:33 pm

Since you're all here, I figure I'll send you those pressing pronunciation questions that bother me. How is the final 'e' in Manwe, Aule, etc. meant to be said? Is it a "long e", "short e", German 'e'? (I realize that they're meant to have what's called an umlaut in German over them, but my browser won't let me insert that.) Also, how is the first part of Earendil said? If you couldn't tell, I'm a dumb American <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> I can only manage English and German :-P <BR><BR>Many thanks for the help!
User avatar
elceleb
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1323
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 5:49 pm
Top

Postby jallan » Tue Aug 06, 2002 3:21 pm

Always as <i>e</i> in <i>bet</i>, never as in <i>u</i> in <i>but</i> or <i>e</i> in <i>the</i>.<BR><BR>The diaeresis over the <i>e</i>, as in <i>Manwë</i>, is a diacritic sometimes used to show that a vowel is to be pronounced rather than silent or to be prononuced separately when it might be taken to be in a diphthong relationship with the previous vowel.<BR><BR>Compare these spellings sometimes seen: <i>Persephonë</i>, <i>Noël</i>, <i>coöperate</i>. When found over a final <i>e</i> in normal English outside of Tolkien the intended pronunciation is usually <i>ee</i>.<BR><BR>This is not <i>umlaut</i>.<BR><BR><i>Umlaut</i> is a special use of the diaeresis, different from its original use described above, in which it replaces an earlier superscript <i>e</i> in German and some other languages to indicate a modification of a vowel, e.g. <i>Göthe</i>, <i>Müller</i> which are often spelled in English as <i>Goethe</i> and <i>Mueller</i>. In German, vowels with an umlaut diaeresis are still normally sorted as though the vowel was followed by <i>e</i>.<BR><BR>Tolkien uses diaeresis for umlaut only in a few cases in Appendix E.<BR><BR>If forms such as <i>ea</i> and <i>ei</i> are intended to be pronounced as two syllables, Tolkien puts a diaeresis over the <i>e</i>, as in <i>ëar</i> 'sea'. But if the <i>e</i> is capitalized, Tolkien instead puts it over the following letter as in <i>Eärendil</i> 'sea-lover'. There is a tradition in some language and some schools of typography which tries to avoid putting diacritics on capital letters if possible.<BR><BR>For further details read Appendix E in which Tolkien describes the pronunciation intended for his names and words with resonable clarity.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby elceleb » Wed Aug 07, 2002 2:24 pm

Thanks for the help, Jallen. I know that it's not an umlaut. I simply didn't know the proper term for it, and I didn't want to refer to them as "dots". I'm not a student of linguistics <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
User avatar
elceleb
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1323
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2002 5:49 pm
Top

Postby jallan » Wed Aug 07, 2002 8:13 pm

Didn't mean to sound harsh on the <i>umlaut</i> wording.<BR><BR><i>Umlaut</i> is used commonly in that way in English, and it's something that bothers me a bit.<BR><BR>Actually, the Unicode specification after the official Unicode name COMBINING DIAERESIS adds the synonyms "double dot above, umlaut". (<a target=new href="http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0300.pdf">Unicode: Combining Diacritical Marks</a>.)<BR><BR>I try to use "double dot" or "dots" myself on the general belief that names in clear English are better than obscure and unneeded technical terms. But I've a hard time breaking old habit and didn't do it at all in my post.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby Didi » Tue Aug 13, 2002 1:23 pm

i saw some newbies posting a new thread about pronounciations, and after that a saw this on the 2nd page so now i know y... <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif"border=0> bulmp
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby greenleafwood » Wed Aug 14, 2002 3:01 pm

in German, if there is no possibilty of inserting the <i>umlaut</i>, ie the double dots, one can also write: ä - ae, ö - oe, and ü -ue.<BR>I have a German keyboard! <BR><BR>Pronunciation question!<BR>How do you say <b>i Mbair</b> (from the King's letter)?<BR><BR>greenleaf
User avatar
greenleafwood
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1882
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 3:03 pm
Top

Postby jallan » Wed Aug 14, 2002 6:10 pm

Like one word, that might be pronounced <i>imbire</i> in English.<BR><BR>In German it might be written <i>imbeir</i>.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby Falathiel » Wed Aug 14, 2002 8:38 pm

Oh, Didi! How delightfully clever of you. Thank you! (sisterly hug)<BR><BR>This is just what I've been dreaming of...help with pronunciations! I did find a wonderful link with audio (wave?) files that help with Quenya letters and words. It's through the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, I think. I have the link at home and will try to post it tonight or tomorrow morning in case anyone is interested.<BR><BR>Question: Is the accent on the first or second syllable in the word "Sindarin"? I heard Peter Jackson pronounce it with the accent on the second syllable (dar as in far), but it seems like it should be on the first syllable. Help, anyone?<BR><BR>(I'm such a newbie--but I just can't help myself from gushing all over. This is really more fun than a New York cheesecake!)<BR><BR>Falathiel, Daughter of the Coast<BR><BR>*****Here's the url for the audio pronunciation files: http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/misc/local/Tolk ... guide.html
User avatar
Falathiel
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1232
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 6:16 pm
Location: Newport Beach CA AKA the Falas
Top

Postby Falathiel » Wed Aug 14, 2002 8:51 pm

Lovely Carnimiriel! Thank you for the pronunciation helps. <BR><BR>(How exciting your work sounds! Do you adopt newbies? Would you consider adopting me? I love languages and one of my present goals in life is to improve my pronunciation, encunciation and verbal reading skills in order to share Tolkien works with children, shut-ins and well, anyone who's interested in listening. So...I'm taking a literary reading class this fall at my local college. I hope it's OK to ask this in this thread--I'm still learning my way around.)<BR><BR>Blessings and thanks to everyone. I think this will be a great thread and helpful to many people--especially newly charmed lovers of Quenya and Sindarin.<BR><BR>Falathiel, Daughter of the Coast<BR><BR><BR><BR>**Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.** -Mae West
User avatar
Falathiel
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1232
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 6:16 pm
Location: Newport Beach CA AKA the Falas
Top

Postby Didi » Fri Aug 16, 2002 3:24 am

the phonetic [X] is that the by-tolkien-so-called ich-laut or his ach-laut? and which is then the IPA sighn for the other one?
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby Didi » Fri Aug 16, 2002 3:28 am

falatiel: since i think sindarin is the quenya word for that language, i guess you re right its the 1st syllable. and if i d be wrong and it being the sindarin name too, then i dont have any idea , i dont know any site with sindarin stress rules
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby Carnimiriel » Fri Aug 16, 2002 6:47 am

Didi - the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol for the sound in the German word 'ach' is indeed x - in IPA the word would be rendered [ax].<BR><BR>The coresponding symbol for the sound in the German word 'ich' is the c with the tail on it (as used in French in the word 'ca' meaning 'that'. Just imagine the tail on the c since my computer doesn't do that).<BR><BR>The first sound (as in 'ach') is presumably the one Tolkien was after since he uses 'bach' as an example, but the difference in the two sounds in German is determined by the preceeding vowel and I would imagine it works the same way in the Elvish languages, it being rather difficult to change the mouth position in mid-stream to get a sound such as [ix] in IPA. But come to think of it, I can't think of an example of a word in one of Tolkien's languages that uses the 'ich' combination so maybe that is not an issue.<BR><BR>Just a note to explain IPA since many people may not be familiar with it - since there are more than 26 distinct sounds, the International Phonetic Alphabet was devised in 1888 (revised sometime in the 50s) to assign a different symbol for each phonetic sound. This is useful in learning to pronounce foreign languages because a word shown phonetically in IPA is much more clear and concise than other attempts at phonetic transcripion, since each symbol can only have one value.
User avatar
Carnimiriel
Ranger of the North
 
Posts: 2206
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2001 9:02 pm
Top

Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Fri Aug 16, 2002 7:02 am

Try thin link for more info on the IPA:<BR><BR><a target=new href="http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/ipachart.html">http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/ipachart.html</a>
User avatar
Almacundo/*Auirandos
Citizen of Imladris
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2003 2:19 pm
Top

Postby Arion » Fri Aug 16, 2002 10:47 am

I recently was able to get the following translated into Sindarin:<BR><BR><b>The forest breathes and the wind whispers in the long grass.</b><BR><BR>In Sindarin, it reads:<BR><BR><b>I taur thuio a i gwaew ruitha nedh i a thar.</b><BR><BR>Could someone learned in the Elvish tongue, as learned as can be I assume, phonetically spell the phrase out? I would greatly appreciate it! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Keep in mind, however, that my translator wasnt' entirely sure if that is the truly correct translation of the phrase. He/She was uncertain in the part between, "...a i..." and "...gwaew..."<BR><BR>Thanks again Elvish Experts! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>-<b>Arion</b>
User avatar
Arion
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 867
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 12:50 am
Top

Postby Didi » Fri Aug 16, 2002 10:52 am

oh a c-cedille you mean <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> ç oh thx <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby Didi » Fri Aug 16, 2002 11:00 am

I taur thuio a i gwaew ruitha nedh i a thar:<BR><BR><BR>i gues it would be something around:<BR><BR>[i tauR þuio a i gwaew Ruiþa neð i a þaR] <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> (the þorn i used for the th because i dont know how to type the greek letter tètha which is used in the real IPA alphabet)
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby jallan » Fri Aug 16, 2002 3:01 pm

When Tolkien uses the Greek <i>chi</i> symbol in some of his writing in the <i>HoME</i> books, he means approximately the sound of the <i>ch</i> in Scottish <i>loch</i> and German<i>Bach</i>, the sound written [x] in IPA<BR><BR>The Geek chi with this meaning is standard usage in Indo-European historical lingustics and also in standard Latin letter transliteration of Avestan.<BR><BR>However in IPA the chi symbol is used instead for an uvular sound made farther back than [x].<BR><BR>Chi is often written as X when the proper Greek character cannot be displayed.<BR><BR>Similarly Tolkien's use of thorn (<i>þ</i>) is standard in Germanic philology for the <i>th</i> sound in <i>thin</i>. Sometimes historical linguists will use the theta for that sound in general but use the thorn in Germanic languages following traditional historical linguistic practice for Germanic.
User avatar
jallan
Rider of the Mark

 
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2001 12:39 pm
Top

Postby Didi » Sat Aug 17, 2002 8:31 am

yup but in ipa alphabet the theta is used
User avatar
Didi
Ringbearer

 
Posts: 10543
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 10:36 am
Top

Postby nami_chan » Sat Aug 17, 2002 2:59 pm

<i>Question: Is the accent on the first or second syllable in the word "Sindarin"? I heard Peter Jackson pronounce it with the accent on the second syllable (dar as in far), but it seems like it should be on the first syllable. Help, anyone?</i><BR><BR>He also says Queen-yuh<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><BR><BR>The stress is on the first syllable.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
User avatar
nami_chan
Shield Bearer

 
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 4:21 pm
Top

Next

Return to Language

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron