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Thread: Accuracy of Sindarin in movie?

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I don't know much Sindarin so I don't know how legitimate. But I heard that a lot the Sindarin in the movie was made up by the filmakers. Is this true? and to what extent is it 'made up'? Is it made up as in reconstructed with educated guesses or did they just totally invent new words where they wanted them?

And then there's the Dwarvish in the movies. As far as I knew we only knew a handful of Dwarvish words, but in the movie they somehow sing songs in it, and Gimli somehow manages to apparantly talk about spitting on people's graves.
I don't think that it's made up... There is alot of information regarding the linguistics and such so it might be accurate...
As for the dwarvish, There are a few words yes but whit a quick search trough the net I managed to find a pagefull of dwarvish insults :P
Most (if not all) of the Elvish in the movies is all cooked up gibberish that had nothing to do with Tolkien.
Yeah, I'm afraid Vir is right. We can never have the real thing, so these made up neo languages are as close as we can get.
And I thought I was tough on Jackson's Neo-elvish! The Neo-Sindarin is not made up gibberish, but it depends on what one means by that, I guess, or by 'accurate'. A description of Neo-elvish itself might be the best answer.

Elvish as She Is Spoke

Carl Hostetter points out (in part of the FAQ on the same site as this link):

This is not to say that it is impossible or meaningless to compose sentences that so far as anyone now can tell conform to the exemplars and statements that Tolkien did make to a very high degree (for example, by relying only upon attested elements and derivational mechanisms, attested grammatical devices, and attested syntactic patterns that can reasonably be thought to belong to the same conceptual phase), but that is a far cry from being able to speak these languages, and cannot even justify a claim of "authenticity", since for any but the most trivial compositions it will remain exceedingly unlikely that Tolkien himself would have produced or countenanced the result himself.

For myself, I wonder why Jackson incorporated so much Neo-elvish while at the same time largely tossing out Tolkien's actual work. There's no real need to have done this, that I can see. Peter Jackson could have simply used Tolkien's actual Elvish, creatively worked into the films.

It seems to me it would have been easier, and cheaper, to incorporate the work that Tolkien himself decided was best for his story.
I have to agree with Galin about being better (and cheaper) to use the original Elvish conversations rather than substituting. Anyway, Sindarin I have studied very brief and I like Quenya more.

As far as I can say the conversations in Sindarin (whenever they appear) are well tended. The pronunciations are most of the time following Tolkien's instructions and here we have also to admit that Tolkien himself changed his mind of some constructions and ideas (even we have two different recordings of Namarie, but that is Quenya).

In the making of section of the DVD's there are interviews with a couple of Tolkien language specialist. One of them is interviewed here.  I thought that the movies did a great job in both structure and pronunciation.

They mispronounced Q. Earendil... a rather important example in any event.

Also I disagree with the film's chosen pronunciation of Sindarin short i, although I'm not sure everyone or anyone from the Editorial Team (the team working with Christopher Tolkien) agrees with me on that.

Carl Hostetter wrote regarding the film's Neo-elvish:


But this provides yet another example of how little appreciation Jackson had for the tone and "feel" of Tolkien's work. Yes, Jackson went to considerable length to include Elvish in the movie: but he did so mostly by _discarding_ Tolkien's _own_ Elvish exemplars -- which, please note, are almost entirely in the form of songs, poems, spells, and exclamations made in crisis or _de profundis_ that are used sparingly so as to punctuate the story and to not cheapen the effect of the Elvish -- and instead substituting for them long passages of made-up "Elvish" (however skillfully) constituting (mostly banal) _dialogue_ of the sort entirely _missing_ from Tolkien's own application of Elvish in his story (or anywhere else).

Carl Hostetter