Elvish text on title pages

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Elvish text on title pages

Post#1 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:53 am

Did you guys notice those lovely Tengwar (and in some cases Cirth) writings on the title pages of many of Tolkien's books? Every Harper-Collins edition of HoME has Tengwar on the title page (the US edition doesn't though). The three LOTR books each have a bunch of Cirth runes at the top of the title page and some Tengwar at the bottom. There's also a bunch of Tengwar on the title page of the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales.

Anyways, it's been suggested on the TOlkien Society website that the Tengwar in the HoME series can be translated into English words, though with slight variances in spelling. So I tried doing that for the Treason of Isengard (Vol. 7), and here's the mumbo-jumbo I came up wiith:

Thess (This?) ae ** frest prat booch (book) laot talis ** lifenais hwerielo marner lirnd frame (from?) limb talo riaii lanole.

The "**" are for this one symbol I can't make any sense out of (it looks like the letters ando and anto superimposed upon each other...

And I tried translating the Tengwar at the top of the Silmarillion's title page. What I got:

** taldi ** frestang quin morogoth (Morgoth) dvlit ne medil irth ** ** limp mand vor pune hem for ** rikweporiets slemareld.


I searched online but I just can't find any translations of the text. URRRGHHH!!

All I found was the Tolkien Society's smug messgae that "it's a fun exercise for those intereste din the language....." GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR~

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Elvish text on title pages

Post#2 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:05 am

And the text I translated from Treason of Isengard is the stuff on the top of the title page, by the way...

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galin
Posts: 1369

Elvish text on title pages

Post#3 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:23 pm

This should help lead you down a different path I think...

Silmarillion transcription

'Slemareld' for 'Silmarils', for example, appears to show that you are reading some vowel diacritics in a different order, and your -ld here perhaps confuses lambe plus s-hook with alda as used in representing Quenya (a following s can be indicated by a hook extending downward). The variation of i and e aside, lambe plus 's-hook' helps your 'taldi' as well.

There are shorthand forms used for English 'the, of the,' for example, which I think are also throwing you a bit here.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Elvish text on title pages

Post#4 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:20 pm

I have used the two pagesof the Angerthas found in Appendix E of LotR to translate the Cirith letters at the top of the Ballantine paperback edition title pages into English and they just give the title of the book. I haven't tried translating the Tengwar at the bottom of these, but I surmise they probably do the same.
'Share and enjoy'

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Elvish text on title pages

Post#5 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:27 pm

You know, I just realized that I had been reading the Tengwar in the Quenya mode. I should have been reading it in English mode, of course, but I had no idea that such a mode even existed. It's just reading the vowels (tehta) BEFORE the consonants below them.. No wonder I was thrown off.

I'll get to translating it again and see what I get.

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Elvish text on title pages

Post#6 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:54 am

Wait, actually it doesn't make sense. The Treason of Isengard doens't even talk about Eriol! It's comprised of Tolkien's notes for the Lord of the Rings...

I guess the printers messed it up?

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Elvish text on title pages

Post#7 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:07 am

It's been aeons since I have come upon a quadruple post.

Thankee, Cloveress.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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Loss
Posts: 3691

Elvish text on title pages

Post#8 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:55 am

Really well translated Clover... You have been practicing :orcsmilie:

Without following the link, I tried to do a bit of my own translating, (Thanks for making a thread about it, I'd have never thought to try and read what it says :wiggle: ) I did refer back to the Appendix, but only about 3 times :orcsmilie::teacher::read:

But, I did have some trouble, I had the same translation as you... Then I remembered that CT had his own mode and did in fact swap the two tehta around, i and e... Which is why I always wondered why his translations always looked so different from the actual spelling, (he obviously thought that he deserved his own mode... He did after all do all that work to write out lengthy books from piles and piles of notes for us all...:orcsmilie: ) So then I did the translation again using his mode;

the talse of the first aje when morgoth dwelt in middle earth nd the elvse made wor upin him for the rekoveri of the silmarils

and the bottom part:

to which are appended the downfall of numenor nd the historí of the rings of powr nd the third age in which dhese talse kome to dheir end

So I would guess that for Unfinished Tales and his HOME series the same rule applies...

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Elvish text on title pages

Post#9 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:58 am

The link doesn't work on my browser, Galin... But thanks for telling me about the shorthand symbols for "the" etc. I googled them and found a key (phew)

Anyways, here's what the top part of the Silmarillion title page says:

The tale of the ferst age wen morgoth dwilt en meddle irth and the ilwed made wor upen hem for the riquoviry of the selmarills
which is, in modern English:
The tale of the first age when Morgoth dwelt in Middle-Earth and the Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils.

The bottom of the same page reads (by my translation):
to wech are appindid the downfall of numinor and the hestory of the rengs of powr and the therd age en wech thise talse kome to thier ind
which becomes:
To which are appended the downfall of Numenor and the history of the Rings of Power and the Third Age in which these tales come to their end.

And I also redid the top page of teh Treason of Isengard. It still looks like mumbo-jumbo, but it's better than what I had before:

thes es the ferst part of the book of the lost tales of ilfenisse whech ireol the merenr lirned from the ilves of tol irissi the lonele

It's obviously cut off at the end, but here's what I see it to be:

This is the first part of the Book of the Lost Tales of Elvenesse which Eriol the mariner learned from the Elves of Tol Eressea the Lonely {Isle}

However, the text continues at the bottom of the page:
esle en the wistrn osin and afterwards wrote en the goldin book of tavrobil. ahiren are told the tales of valenor from the musek of the aenur to the ksele of the noldore and the hedeng of valenor.
which becomes:
Isle on the Western ocean and afterwards wrote in the Golden Book of Tavrobel. Herein are told the tales of Valinor from the Music of the Ainur to the Exile of the Noldor and the Hiding of Valinor.

Now looking back on everything, I do remember that Tolkien said in the Appendix in ROTK that the symbols for "e" and "i" could be interchangeable. I think I got these two dreadfully mixed up during the first translations. But the whole thing still makes sense!

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Elvish text on title pages

Post#10 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:58 am

Here are some other texts I did just for fun:

From Unfinished Tales:
In this book of unfinished tales by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien which was brought together by Christopher Reuel Tolkien his son are told many things of men and elves in Numenor and in Middle-Earth, from the Elder Days in Beleriand to the War of the Ring and an account is given of the Druedain, the Istari, and the Palantiri.

The Book of Lost Tales Part I has the same thing as the Treason of Isengard (obviously the printer messed up and printed the inscription from BoLT I in ToI).

From the Lays of Beleriand:
In the first part of this book is Lay of the Children of Hurin by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, in which is set forth in part the Tale of Turin. In the second part is the Lay of Leithian, which is the gest of Beren and Luthien as far as the encounter of Beren with Charcaroth at the gate of Angband.

From the Shaping of Middle-Earth:
Herein are the Quenta Noldorinwa, the history of the Gnomes, the Ambarkanta, or Shape of the World, by Rumil, the Annals of Valinor and the Annals of Beleriand by Tengolod the Wise of Gondolin, with maps of the world in the Elder Days and translations made by Elfwine the mariner of England into the tongue of his own land.

From Morgoth's Ring:
In this book are given many of the later writings of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien concerning the history of the Elder Days from the Music of the Ainur to the Hiding of Valinor. Here much is told of the sun and moon, of the immortal Eldar and the death of the Atani, of the beginning of the Orcs and of the evil power of Melkor, the Morgoth, the Black Foe of the world.

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