I was reading that many hundreds of thosands of people worldwide, now speak Elvish ...
In my opinion speaking Elvish is not possible -- the following articles explain in more detail what I mean by this, and what I mean by 'speaking' Elvish (Carl Hostetter's 'Elvish as She Is Spoke', the second link below, is more in depth than the FAQ concerning various points)...
Brego...thanks so much; nice to talk to you again....
Galin; I do take your point...you are absolutely right....I perhaps should have said that many people have a "working knowledge" of Elvish.....
Although this does raise an interesting point....presumably the elves must have have a workable spoken language; to enable them to communicate day to day, on a trivial level...?
Or did they use the Common Tongue?...but then, when they dwelt in The Blessed Realm, they must have had a workable day to day means of communication....??
(You see I take this world totally seriously,,,as do we all here on PT...)
Your ruminations on this would very interesting.....
Oh absolutely Alana -- generally speaking, within the conceit, Grey-elven was the living language of the Eldar in Middle-earth, used for daily communication in Frodo's day. Quenya could be spoken too of course (by some), but by this time (in Middle-earth) it had become more of a language of lore, or song, or employed for 'high matters' and so on.
In theory there were many Elvish dialects and languages, and the reader imagines these languages existed 'in full', just like we imagine there is much more to Entish or Westron than we actually see represented in the books.
The issue is external: Tolkien never tried to complete any of his Elvish languages so that they could be spoken by modern people (like Esperanto); and he was not against changing his mind about linguistic matters both great and small, but in any case he did put enough in print to make Middle-earth seem all the more real to the reader.
And yes, in general, when the Elves are 'speaking' English in the book (if one is reading an English translation that is), then they are imagined to be speaking Westron.
Wonderful thread Alana! I love it and I didn't know that anyone could speak Elvish or another fantasy language. I would like it very much. If any of PT members can suggest me a book or website to learn a bit of it, I would be very thankful. Elvish sounds so sweet, pure and calm.
I agree when you say that languages had an origin in cultures, folks, etc. but someone had to begin calling the things for a name. History is too long and I don't know much about this subject, but there are so many details in languages that you can create a story about it at least in your mind. I mean, I've learnt 4 different languages in a school, apart from the 2-mother-tongue languages I already speak, and it's very rewarding to find the nuances in words. It's beautiful to understand other languages with simple words but if you just do a small effort, you can discover how immense and fascinating a language is. Dictionaries are books full of wise when you read trying to understand the differences between similar words.
Yes, I know you are probably thinking: "Elbereth is nuts!" but you know, everyone of us has his/her hobbies...Hahaha.
Interesting links, thanks for them!
Galin, I agree. I don't think that anyone could speak Elvish. Of course - it would be awesome to be able to. But when it comes to speaking a foreign language there's a lot more than just knowing the right words, there's a lot of those unique mechanisms (not only in written form, but also in conversations, because real, regular conversations would also make an impact on the language) and we're incapable of knowing all of them simply because they weren't developed.
Yes, learning a new language requires time and the everlasting patience. I can understand people and express myself more or less in other languages but to master a foreign language is very difficult.
With respect to the dictionary I was joking, I find it very interesting and it really surprises me from time to time. How many words, even a native speaker wouldn't use or learn them in a lifetime!
I don't think I have time to learn Elvish actually because I have too many things to do, if I could tell... too many! But maybe later, with time I would be really pleased to learn some Elvish because it sounds pretty sweet and wise.
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