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 Post subject: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses!
PostPosted: June 5th, 2015, 11:08 am 
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Máriessë! Nan Anna, ar merin parë Quenya. Ma meril parë?

I looked around and couldn't see an active Quenya thread, so without further ado, I thought I'd compile all I've found useful. This masterposts-of-sorts will be updated if I find anything worth adding.

What is Quenya?

Quenya is the most developed of Tolkien's languages as he laboured over it for years. It is based primarily in Finnish, but I found that it also resembles German quite a lot in pronounciation. In the context of the legendarium, it is spoken by the elves in Aman, the sacred lands to the west, and later by the emmigrant Noldor when they arrive in Beleriand. Here, it eventually becomes outlawed because of elven politics (see: we stabbed some people we shouldn't have). By the time of LotR, it is mostly a ceremonial language used primarily for religious purposes or important texts - sort of like we treat latin. And like latin, it is a language with a lot of cases and suffixes and in general some really interesting grammar.

You can listen to the Professor himself and decide if that sounds like something you want to speak.

Why would I want to learn it?

This depends a lot on what kind of person you are. With Quenya, you can
    *Connect with Tolkien's world in a different way. I can't overstate how strange it is to be able to say a sentence and think yes, this is how Feanor would have said it! There are many neat details about the world hidden in the words of Quenya. After learning some vocabulary you'll look differently at all the names encountered in the books.
    *Learn grammar in a fun way. It can be hard to find motivation for learning to understand gerunds or nominal clauses or what cases are, but I personally found it more exciting when it was presented in a way that involved elves. I'm not saying its a smart way to learn grammar, but you'll definetely pick something up along the way. And you'll be able to impress people with your knowledge about long words like "inflectional endings" and "antepenultimate syllables".
    *Interact with other fans. There's a community of Quenya speakers, and one of the good parts of learning a language that not a lot of people speak is that there are always some out there who are just itching to practice. Personally, I interact with others on tumblr, although I am sure something similiiar can be found on other sites - if not on this very forum.
    *Do it for the fanfiction. Nothing like slipping in a little correct elvish here and there to add some flavour.
    *Or do it because you like how it looks or because you feel like an elf when you speak it or because you like being able to write your diary in a language nobody else will understand... Or maybe, most importantly of all:
    *Do it because it is fun. You start with nothing and you end with a whole new skill.

Okay, but what can I read in Quenya?

Tolkien mostly wrote poems in Quenya, such as the Namarië (http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/namarie.htm) and the Markirya poem or this little thing about Varda. For longer texts, you may want to go to the fans - Parma Tyelpelassiva has a collection of longer poems and even short stories. Ainulindalenya is a tumblr-blog chronicling the translation of the Ainulindale from the Silmarillion into Quenya along with other texts, mostly LotR-related. There are also translations of several chapters of the bible and Tolkien's own translation of the Lord's Prayer if you're religiously inclined. Add to this various tidbits scattered about LotR and the Silm. More importantly this corpus will grow as new speakers and writers of Quenya contribute! If anyone has written something they'd like to have on the list, I'll be happy to include them.

I am seriously considering learning Quenya. How do I do it?

There are several sites that offer courses to follow. You can find one and stick to that or mix and match a little - depends on the person.

There is the Parma Tyelpelassi course. I'm being told that "it's more updated than the Ardalambion course and not quite so academic either." Comes in several different languages, too!

Personally, I used Helge Fauskanger's course. Fauskanger is probably the most knowledgeable person when it comes to Quenya still around, and this course is not light on theory. Each grammatical element comes with an introduction - it explains what a verb is, how an adverb functions etc. This is the best course if you want to know the language in depth. There are excersises after each lesson with answer keys so you can check your answers easily.
Speculation and sources are clearly makred. I recommend taking this one if you want to learn Quenya, and his main webpageis also a treasure of elvish info, from analysis of Quenya texts to compact Sindarin grammar.

Another option would be heading over to The Council of Elrond. This course is less in-depth that Fauskanger's, and less throughough with regards to sourcing and speculation. On the other hand, the shorter lessons are easier to get into, and accompanying tengwar-lessons and excersises make it easier to learn tengwar at the same time. There are fun excersises such as crosswords and word hunts to be found on the site. There are also the usual post-lesson excersises, but you need to make an account to turn them in and get them checked. In my experience they either don't actually get checked, or it takes a really long time, but then you can head onto the more active forums for direct help.
If you find Fauskanger too dry and long-winded, you might prefer this course. It can also be used to get a feel for Quenya before switching to Fauskanger and/or as a supplement if you feel you need more excersises.

Quenya101 has most of the grammar content behind a paywall, but there are small courses for learning tengwar and pronounciation. There are also a bunch of translations of various names and sentences that you can use to practice reading or writing tengwar.

Note: I generally advice against using sites that present themselves as teaching Neo-Quenya. The grammar rules found on such a site will most likely be oversimplified, guesswork or incorrect compared to Tolkien's. (Neo-Quenya is basically an attempt at "steamlining" the language so as to allow the invention of new words and the writing of long texts - all well and good, but that means that Neo-Quenya resources are not to be relied on when learning about Tolkien's Quenya.)

What other resources are there?

The most important resource for aspiring elvish-learners besides the main course you're taking is the Elven Dictionary over at elfdict.com! Once you're used to it there's nothing like it. It'll take your english, sindarin or quenya word and translate it into the other languages with helpful extra definitions and sources! Seriously, learn to love this.

Most of elfdict is built upon Ardalambion's Quenya Wordlists. The words are pretty much the same as what's in elfdict, but if you're often without internet or prefer to turn your internet off while studying, this is very good. Just download the document and ctrl+F away! There is also a "reverse" wordlist where the words are written backwards. This is to make it easier to find rhyming words when writing poetry (and we can always use more pretty elven poetry, can't we?).

Also from Ardalambion comes a pronounciation guide - pretty nice to have bookmarked in case you forget how to pronounce something.

This pretty nice verb-conjugation chart may look intimidating, but once you're familiar with the language it ceases to become a monstrosity of suffixes and starts becoming pretty handy if you're pretty sure that that one verb is irregular, but you can't remember how...

http://www.elvish.org/ has a compilation of resources for the really nerdy only. This includes news about scientific journals, books about linguistics, background info and essays etc. Not really for learning the language, but good for background knowledge if you find yourself really interested in the process behind Quenya.

Aforementioned Parma Tyelpelassi is also on the nerdy side - lots of translation and linguistic stuff, mainly etymology. If you want to read an article about the evolution of the word "and" in elvish, this is the place for you! Once you're familiar with Quenya, you might find a few articles interesting.

There's also a Quenya subreddit but it's mostly people asking for translations when it's not being inactive. On the other hand, if you find yourself itching for some excersise, there are a lot of people who want their quotes translated.

Specifically for tengwar:
The Tengwar Textbook is a good resource on not only Quenya-mode, but all modes of tengwar.

Like for Quenya, there is also a Tengwar subreddit! This one's a bit more alive and you'll actually get some constructive criticism if you post, so if you're a reddit user this might be a good way to show off your cool tengwar skillz.

You can also find several fonts for writing tengwar on a computer; I personally like John Winge's Annatar although I don't know how I feel about it being named after Sauron...

Now what?

My own tips would be to take notes - preferably on good ol' fashioned paper. You'll remember better and have a nice notebook full of all the important rules when you're done!
Write and think and speak the language often. Just composing a sentence a day goes a long way.
Try not to feel to sad about not being able to understand what elves say in the films because you didn't learn "the right" elvish.
Write in this thread! Write in Quenya, write about Quenya, ask me questions about Quenya, discuss if it's a language worth learning, if neo-quenya is a good idea or just write something you think sounds nice and share it!

Nai paruval i lambë eldaron valimave.

May you learn the tongue of the elves joyfully.


Last edited by Curufine on June 12th, 2015, 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 5th, 2015, 12:37 pm 
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Hey, first off let me say welcome to the forum! It is great to see you here and excelent to find anothr who knows so much about Tolkiens language. Excelent post as well, by the way!

I had started learning Qurnta back in highschool but most of that is gone. Since I have tried a time or two here on the forum to start a thread for learning elvish. Just never did keep going.

I have always wanted to learn the language but languages are hard to me. I would love to discuss here on the forum, learn words and incorperate them into scentences etc... Just need some one to do it with. I think that would be the hest way for me toblearn.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 6th, 2015, 1:08 pm 
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Languages are hard ;_; but so far I've had sucess with promising myself that I'd sit down for just 5mins of Quenya related stuff each day. Then if I have the time I can study a little longer, but just making it a habit worked out pretty well for me.
In personal news I've made it to the end of my course :bounce:
I've used this cheap notebook for note-taking and answers so far. The inside looks like this:
Image
But I quite like this bit of calligraphy(?) that I wrote and attached to the inside cover:
Image
I'm planning to retire it in favour of a new one so I can clean up my notes and make it all more aesthetically pleasing. (And to reward myself for making it this far!)

I also have a question someone else might want to weigh in on: How would one go about constructing a word for "to ride" (as in "riding a horse") in Quenya?
We know that the sindarin verb has the stem "nor-" and that there is a Quenya word for "rider" - "roquen" which means "horseman" or "knight". It seems to me that you either have to go and do some serious sindarin studying to find out what a possible Quenya equivalent of "nor-" would be or derive something from "roquen" - but what and how? A list of Quenya endings gave me the possible verb-endings "-ya" and "-ta"...
Maybe it could be derived from "rocco" ("horse") like "roquen" seems to be?
Maybe something like "roceya"/"roqueya"/"roceta"? I'm completely new to constructing words but I'd really like this for a translation I'm doing - I'd like a second opinion here.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 7th, 2015, 1:19 pm 
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Cool. :) that is a lot of motes, and love the calligraphy. 5 minutes a day sounds like it might work well I may have to tey that if I have the time.


Now this would be the kind of discussion I think would help me. It makes me want to look stuff up and that is the type of studying that seems to stick with me. Unfortunately I do not have my quenya dictionary on hand or on my phone so cant look much up right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 10th, 2015, 8:44 pm 
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Curufine wrote:
I also have a question someone else might want to weigh in on: How would one go about constructing a word for "to ride" (as in "riding a horse") in Quenya?
We know that the sindarin verb has the stem "nor-" and that there is a Quenya word for "rider" - "roquen" which means "horseman" or "knight". It seems to me that you either have to go and do some serious sindarin studying to find out what a possible Quenya equivalent of "nor-" would be or derive something from "roquen" - but what and how? A list of Quenya endings gave me the possible verb-endings "-ya" and "-ta"...
Maybe it could be derived from "rocco" ("horse") like "roquen" seems to be?
Maybe something like "roceya"/"roqueya"/"roceta"? I'm completely new to constructing words but I'd really like this for a translation I'm doing - I'd like a second opinion here.


√ROK seems to be related to "horse": roquen is from *rokokwên, a compound of words for "horse" and "person". Normally I would think that verb endings like that would be suffixed to a verbal root itself (though there are some causatives like "whiten" ninquitá- which have suffixes attached to adjectives), though I would have to reread Parma Eldalamberon 18 for the nitty-gritty of word derivation and root structure.

If, hypothetically, √ROK were a root you wanted to derive a verb from (meaning aside, just talking phonetics), either *rokta- or *rokya- would be likely (there's some difference between suffix usage depending on whether the verb is transitive, intransitive, or causative), and the former would develop into *rohta- in later Quenya, and the latter would become *rotya-. More information on "Quenya Verb Structure" will be found in the just-published Parma Eldalamberon 22 (to follow "Noun Structure in #21), though my pre-ordered copy hasn't arrived in the mail yet (it usually takes a while).

However, you're in luck. Though Tolkien translates Sindarin Noro lim in LotR as "Ride on," in documents published in PE17:18, he more literally translates it as "run swift", noting that noro is the "imperative form of stem nor- 'run' (of men and animals using legs: not of fluids etc."

nor- was also the Quenya form, with Tolkien giving norne for the past tense on p. 58. However, what you would most be interested in is his elaboration upon the base √NOR on p.168:

"NOR-, run (or leap: of animals, men, etc.). Quenya past tense norne, S nor-, preterite onur; Q norta-, make run, specially used of riding horses or other animals: as onortanen rokko; I rode a horse, or with ellipsis of object, nortanen, I rode. S northa-, cf. north, a riding, a race (of people running), a charge or gallop. [Note curious accidental approach of words for race with sense kindred, Q nóre, race, tribe, people, S nos(s) : Q norie, norme, race, running.]
nōre for (o)nō-se/re."

You may be interested in David Giraudeau's wordlists; he has been writing up PDFs going over a good amount of the vocabulary in some editions of Parma Eldalamberon, focusing on Quenya (though he wrote up one for the Sindarin corpus in PE17 as well). They are thorough, and highly detailed, though not containing every word found in each issue. For example, PE21 contained a dizzying amount of noun declension charts from earlier Qenya, showing Tolkien's ideas on case suffixes changing through each paradigm. Instead of cataloging every single word and all of its various declensions, Mr. Giraudeau displays the singular, plural, and dual forms (when given) of the Q(u)enya words found therein, sometimes quoting forms/cognates in Common Eldarin and Noldorin or Sindarin when appropriate.

So far the PDFs he has released are:
Sindarin in PE17
Quenya in PE17
Qenya in PE12
Q(u)enya in PE21

I have been working on writing up word indexes for Parma Eldalamberon issues (19 is done, and 18 started, with 22 as a priority once it arrives ... 13 and 17 are on hold or cancelled), though you may not be interested in those because while they list every form of every word in every language given in each text, they are merely the words followed by page number: a reference index, and not a glossary.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 11th, 2015, 11:07 am 
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Hantanyel! Sin istan telya i quentelë.
That was a lot more than I had hoped for! I had a feeling I was on the completely wrong track, so thank you a lot for that. :)
Construction of words and all the rules about phonetics and such is one of the areas where I don't know anything, but I'd like to dwelve more into that some time. I'm going to have some time off from now on, so I'm planning to a) write up this sketch of a quenya poem I've got lying around (it's only four lines, but it rhymes and all and b) look into those extra notes/addenums from Parma Ardalambion.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 11th, 2015, 11:25 am 
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Well, i am terriblybover my head in this conversation but I am going to keep following because I think I will at least learn a little. Lol

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 11th, 2015, 12:07 pm 
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Aiya! Essenya Almárë hya meneldilmë (parnen Menel, erma hya nóti 'istamar'essë ar nanyë nisse, ta meneldilmë). Cennen i sarmë Curufinëo 'tumblr'enna nómë sino. Apáriën Quenya apa loar atta'r perta.

Cáran 'natsenómë' Quenyo. Tan acáriën nat ya vista Quenya sarmi 'Latin'ello Tengwannar. (Nas sís!)

Quettar 'rincessen' vinyë ar uar hírinë i quettaparmassen!

And English:
Hi! My name is Almárë or meneldilmë (I studied the heavens (i.e.: space), physical matter (i.e.: physics) and numbers (i.e.: maths) at university and I'm a woman, so astronomeress). I saw Curufine's post on tumblr about this place. I've learnt Quenya for two and a half years.

I'm working on a website about Quenya. For that I have made a transcriber (lit. thing that changes Quenya writing from Latin to Tengwar. (It is here!)

Words in 'quotes' (lit. flourishes) are new and are not found in the dictionaries!

Also, you should link the Parma Tyelpelassiva course- it's more updated than the Ardalambion course and not quite so academic either. Your other links to Parma Tyelpelassiva need to be updated too as the site has moved.

I also have my tumblr for Quenya related things, http://meneldilme.tumblr.com/.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 12th, 2015, 12:49 am 
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Gosh.... everybody knows elvish. lol

Great to meet you Meneldilme! It is great to see some new faces, especially those who can add so much to this topic!

Welcome to AU and I do hope you enjoy your time here! The site looks pretty cool, I will defenitely have to check it out some more when I have some spare time.

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 12th, 2015, 12:03 pm 
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Yeah, welcome :)
Consider the OP updated. And I found out that I actually followed your tumblr already!
A tengwar transcriber seems like a worthwhile project - maybe then wel'll see just a few less mixed-up modes or double consonant mistakes or what-have-you :P I wonder how many people are running around with misspelled tattoos...
Tengwar anecdote: I paint porcelain as a hobby, which means I make bowls and plates and stuff like that. A year ago or so I started on a tea set with small plates, cups, various other things etc. And I made a pretty flowery design because I wanted to make it "elvish" looking - like something you'd find in Rivendell. I then wanted to add some tengwar to it and, given I didn't think I'd actually start learning quenya for real nor remember much about it in a year's time (boy, was I wrong!), I just chose the tengwar that I thought looked best when painted around the edge of a plate.
So now when I actually use that set people and people ask what that symbol means, I wish I could say that "it means light in elvish" or "It's the first letter of my name" or something. I could lie - it's not like anyone else would find out - but I know that it just means "rd".
Just "rd".


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 12th, 2015, 12:44 pm 
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I mean there are plenty of transcribers out there - none of which are perfect. My motivation is that I want to be able to "live" convert on my website - people search the database and the transcriber will print the results in Tengwar as well as the Latin alphabet.

I plan for my site to have a complete verb database with full conjugation and examples. And I want to make supplementary learning materials for the courses - more exercises, flash cards, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 15th, 2015, 1:20 pm 
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What transcriber would you recomend as the most reliable?

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 16th, 2015, 2:37 pm 
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I think this one is the best. But as always, it's not perfect so have someone check out any transcriptions that are important.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 16th, 2015, 5:52 pm 
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Thanks. :)

I will check it out. At this point I can cross reference anything I transcribe with my dictionary to see if it lines up. I just do it for fun not for anything important. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 17th, 2015, 9:26 am 
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So I'm not really finding my... motivation to finish any experimental poetry, but I did find a collection of Quenya Knock-knock jokes fromthis tumblr, so... that's something.

Tarnan sé andelya.
Man tarna?
Ta.
Ta man?
Taman ló máryal Iluvatar.

(I stand at your door/gate
Who stands?
It
It who? / Taman, meaning a thing made by crafting
A thing crafted by Iluvatar)

Tarnan sé andelya.
Man tarna?
La.
La man?
Lá, Elda nan!

(I stand at your door
Who stands?
No
No who? / laman? meaning an animal?
No, I am an elf!)

Tarnan sé andelya.
Man tarna?
Ar.
Ar man?
Laqueni, hequanye.

(I stand at your door
Who stands?
And
And who?
Nobody except for me)

Tarnan sé andelya.
Man tarna?
Ó.
Ó man?
Ó ná óman, tancavë.

(I stand at your door
Who stands?
Ó
Ó who? / Óman, meaning vowel
Certainly, O is a vowel.)

Tarnan se andelya
Man tarna?
A
A man
Ná, nan aman!

(I stand at your door
Who stands?
A
A who? / Aman, meaning blessed
Yes, I am blessed!)
(One could also add "nás mara sa cenelyes" - "it is good that you can see it" - emphasizing that yes, I am blessed with wealth and beauty :innocent: )
I made the last one myself, idk if you could come up with more.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's Appreciate Quenya - Resources and help for courses
PostPosted: June 17th, 2015, 2:27 pm 
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Yeah, there are a ton of errors there. For one, the "tarnan" should be táran. And why use "i stand at your door" instead of "knock knock"... "petë petë".


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