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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quenya Lesson 2 -- Nouns ("A", "The", and Plurals)

< Lesson 1

Lihan Taifun (teaching)
Shawn Daysleeper
Siwan Sandalwood

{There was confusion because the time was announced incorrectly. Then Lihan was detained in RL.}

Some Quenya words that might look familiar:

You don't need to memorize these. Just notice that you may have seen these in names before. So you may know a few Quenya words already.

Quenya    English                             Sindarin
aina              holy
alda              wide spreading tree         galadh
alkarë           glory, brilliance                aglar
alqua            swan                                   alf
Anar             the Sun                               Anar
anda             long                                     and
ando             gate                                     annon
anga              iron (metal)                      ang
anna             gift                                      ant
ar-                 royal, noble, lofty            ar-
aran              king                                    aran
Atan             Human                               Adan
cala               light                                    calad
cuia-             to awaken
eär                navigable ocean                gaer
él                   star                                      gil
Elda              High Elf                             (eledh = elf)
eressëa         isolated                               ereb
estel              hope, trust                          estel
fëa                 spirit, soul                          fae
fir-                 to die of natural causes    fir-
formen         north                                     fôr, forod
hyarmen       south                                    hâr, hair
ilúvë              the Universe, everything
Isil                 the Moon                             Ithil
kemen           earth, ground                     coe
lanta-            to fall                                    danna-
lassë              leaf                                        lass
lasta-             to listen                                lasta-
laurë              golden light, gold color    glor
lindë              singing, a tune                   lind
londë             entrance to harbor            lond
lossë              fallen snow, snow-white   loss
lótë                flower                                   loth
lúnë               blue                                      lhun
málo              friend                                  mellon
malta             gold (metal)                      malt, malad
mando           prison                                band
már                home, dwelling                 bâr
menel            sky, heavens, air
mórë              darkness                             môr
nárë               fire                                       naur
ndor, -nor     land, territory                   dôr
nén                body of water                    nen
nildo, -ndil   friend
nólë                knowledge, lore               golu
nórë               race, people                      nûr
númen           west                                   dûn
olor                dream, vision                   ôl
orko               orc                                      orch
palan             distant                                palan
quel-              to fade, wither                  pel-
rómen           east                                     rhûn
rondo            cave, arched roof             rond
saura             abominable, putrid         thaur
silma             silver-colored, shining   silef
sinda             grey, pale                           thind
sírë                river                                    sîr
soron            eagle                                   thôr
súlë               wind, breath                     sûl
tár/tári         high king/high queen
tasarë            willow tree                       tathar
taurë             forest                                 taur
telpë, telep  silver (metal)                    celeb
tir-                to watch                             tir-
tol                 steep-sided island            toll
vinya            new                                     wain
wingë           foam, crest of a wave       gwing
yávë             fruit

númen (west) + -nor (land) Númenor (a large island to the west of Middle Earth)
rómen (east) Rómenna (a city on the east coast of Númenor)
(However, “Rohan” comes from a completely different root, one meaning “horse”.)
palan (distant) + tir (to watch) → a device for seeing at a distance

Also notice that the Sindarin basic words are usually closely related to the Quenya. (The Sindarin grammar is however radically different. Are we going to have a class in Sindarin later? Let's survive Quenya first.)

Of words for “south”, the Sindarin Harad is more familiar than Quenya Hyarmen.


Repeat of the links for downloading dictionaries,
     (You have a choice of formats: rtf document, pdf, or html)
      The Ambar Eldaron pdf that Shawn is using is one of these formats of the same dictionary.

Repeating links for downloading fonts.
     Tengwar Quenya
     Tengwar Sindarin
     Tencele Latinwa is my favorite “fake Elvish” (English letters that look like Elvish).


Siwan Sandalwood: I had a question about the pronunciation. Is e always pronounced short? Like at the end of Alqualonde too? (almost like we would say "Alqualonda"?)

Speaking of pronunciation, if you try to write English in Tengwar letters, like we mentioned last week, you will soon notice that English has more vowel sounds than Quenya has vowel marks. Do the best you can. The writing won't be exact.


A” and “The”

A Quenya sentence nearly always has fewer words than the English translation, because a lot of the meaning is incorporated in word endings. Also, because so much of the meaning is carried in word endings, the order of words in a sentence is less critical than in English.

Quenya has no word for “a” or “an”. You don't say “a flower”, just “flower”.

You frequently leave out “the”, too, especially when it is obvious which one is referred to. You would just say “close door” (rather than “close the door”), and assume people know which door to close.

     á holta fenda!     close (the) door!       á (do it!) holta (close) fenda (door)
     á ulya limpë!       pour (the) wine!      á (do it!) ulya (pour) limpë (wine)

If you do want to make a point of “the” door, use i before the noun. (Sometimes “i” becomes “in” or “'n” before a word starting in a vowel; the usage is inconsistent.)
     parma     a book
     i parma    The Book
i” can also be used before a verb, to mean “the one who is (doing)” or “the ones who are (doing)”.


{Siwan attempts to open the font page in her browser, overloading her internet connection and crashing out of SL.}
Siwan Sandalwood wonders whether there are any quenya curse words for occasions like that ;)
Try this page, Siwan, or this one. :)

This might be a good place to insert the links to lists of reliable and to unreliable language sites.



Quenya has a lot more different kinds of plural, compared to English.
English has only “singular” (one) and “plural” (more than one) forms.
Quenya has “singular” (one),
     basic plural (“all the ~”, “~ in general”),
     partitive plural (“some ~”, “a group of ~”),
     “the (subgroup of) ~ previously mentioned”,
     and dual (“a pair of ~”).

For this week's lesson, we will stick to the most basic plural, the one that means "all the (somethings)" or (somethings) in general".

The basic plural (“all the ~”, “~ in general”) is formed by adding either -r or -i.
   -r after vowel except -ë
   -r after -ië
   -i replaces -ë
   -i after consonant

     Vala                   --> Valar (as a group)
     Atan (Human) --> Atani (Humans, in general)
     lassë (a leaf)     --> lassi (leaves)

Are all words that end in -r or -i plural? Most are, but not always.
     tári (high queen)
     Ambar (the World)
     ëar (sea)

Lesson 3     

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