Ariana (miabee023) wrote in high_elven,

translation check.

Hello -

I'm not sure if this is a usual thing to request, but I thought I might try anyway. My mother's coworker is a huge Lord of the Rings fan and recently got a tattoo done on her back of what I'm pretty sure is the White Tree of Gondor. She'd like to add the names of her children to it in Quenya, but she has no real experience in writing (or speaking) it. So, she was hoping I could help her in getting our translation checked. We used this site, which seemed pretty reliable, but it would still be nice to make sure.


These are the translations we came up with using that website. Do they look correct? (Taitumn is pronounced "tay-tuhm".) And I do apologize for my horrible writing, but I've never really done Quenya before.

Furthermore, does anyone know of a good, non-pixelated font that we could use for printing them out? We'd like to have them look as nice as possible, but all the fonts I've found so far are rather dreadful. Either that, or, if someone was willing to write them out beautifully for us, they would be the most amazing person ever and have our eternal gratitude.

Thank you!

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Wow, it's been a while...that said, that site does look decent, although I don't understand the distinction he's making between the two R characters ("red" v. "car" - he seems to be focusing more on the rhotacization of the vowel, not on any quality of the R itself) - the first one represents a trilled R, which you won't find in English, unless you're Scottish. The second R character is a standard English R.

Your transliterations look accurate; however, they are just that - transliterations. If you are really looking for Quenya "translations," I would go more for a phonetic spelling. By Quenya pronunciation rules, for example, what you have for Taitumn would be pronounced something like "tah-ee-tum-n." What I would do instead is take each name, write out the sounds of it (i.e. "tay-tuhm"), and then figure out the characters that represent those sounds.

This is what I came up with:

You'll see that it's mostly the vowels that have changed - I represented the "ai" of Taitumn with an E on a long-vowel carrier, for example. Also, in Harper, I put the A on another long-vowel carrier to get it off of the H (what you have in your version actually says "yarper").

I'm not sure what fonts you've been looking at, but there are a number of good ones over at The one I used is called Tengwar Gandalf.
Whoops - and I've made a mistake with Ezri. You were correct to put the E on a short carrier before the Z, rather than on top of it as I did.
Thank you SO MUCH. That's incredibly helpful. I wasn't sure about the vowel thing, but since all I've ever done is watch the movies (yeah, I own all the extended editions but I've never read the books, I'm a horrible person, I know), I wasn't even going to start trying to fiddle around with that. I really appreciate the help, and I will definitely check out those fonts.
I disagree with this transliteration.

1.) It has vowels over long carriers (things like undotted js). These are supposed to mean long vowels. Modern English has no long vowels. None. What we refer to as long vowels are actually dipthongs. The dots in "Ezri" and "Harper" should be over short carriers. The accent+carrier in "Taitumn" should be an accent+yanta. (Yanta is the thing you were using as an h earlier.)

2.) You can't transliterate Kedrik into Quenya mode. You just can't. In Quenya, you never say a D sound unless it has an n, r or l before it. What you've got actually says "Kendrik".

3.) Tolkien has an English mode. In fact, he has several. Writing English names in Quenya mode is just kind of silly unless you're writing other Quenya words, which you aren't.

Some of these are actually based on English spelling, not on English pronunciation. These are usually easier to work with.

If you download the Tengwar Annatar font family, you should be able to read these:

Taitumn 1nÕ1yt5 1hD1t&5
Ezri lk7` ,R7`B
Kedrik zl27`z z2$7zT
Harper 9n6qÊ6 96EqÊ6
He used the first set more often, but you might think the second set is prettier.
I DL'd those fonts, and I can't see the tengwar text =[
They have to be installed somehow. On a Mac, you can do this by doubleclicking on the font icon and then hitting the install button, or by putting the .ttf files in your Library/Fonts folder.

I have no idea what you have to do on a PC.
Thankfully I'm using a mac.

The are in the Library-Fonts folder,
but I went ahead an double clicked each individually anyway, and clicked "install", but even will all this, I still so naught of these wonderful letters in your comment =[

I'm using firefox - would that make a difference?
So am I and it shouldn't.

Um, here:
Oh thank you very much, I do appreciate you going out of your way, as that must be an image,
but it seems to work now! I was very excited to see the tengwar! I think I just had needed to restart my computer, for it works now ^_^
I am clearly woefully out of practice, and accept these corrections. However, why the different characters for R, and where did Tolkien present an English mode? (I'm working from the RotK Appendix E, where he specifically says, "There was of course no 'mode' for the representation of English.")
In most modes, Tolkien used both rómen (the y-looking thing) and óre (the n-looking thing) for r. Rómen is for the "trilled" r, and and óre for the weak untrilled r; in general, this means you use rómen if the next letter is a vowel, and óre otherwise.

Middle-Earth may not have had a mode for the representation of English, but Tolkien sure had one. For the tehta mode, see the titlepage to The Lord of the Rings, and also Letter #118 in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. For the full modes, you can see Aragorn's letter to Sam in Sauron Defeated and J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, and a bunch of stuff in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I've got some posts on this topic over on tengwar: here and here.