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Thread: Words' Pronunciation

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You should pronounce the words the way JRRT wrote in the appendices to LOTR how to pronounce it.
I always pronounced Smaug like the English word "smog"
Saruman I always pronounced like "sour-mon" (SOW-er-mon)
I don't know Arcorma, when I first read the books I came up with my own way of pronounce the names and words, and only recently bothered to check JRRT's pronounciations.
Okay here are my normal wrong-headed pronunciations: Smog, SOW-roo-man, SOW-ron, GAUL-um, Gill-GAL-lad, Gand-awlf, and worst of all Toll-ken.

:elfembar: Being from the unwashed hinderlands and not finding Appendix E until after I had completed reading The Hobbit and the main body of the story as presented in the three volumes of LotR. By which time my mind had brainwashed itself and I am stuck with these mispronuciations. I really have to work when speaking in public trying to remember what's correct per Appendix E.

Now I really do know it is Toll-keen and GOND-all-v. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
GOND-all-v? That's a typo yes? Or am I reading it all wrong? I probably do.
It's GAND with the A like the last A in Anna

For me as an non-english person, it's hard to follow and help here, as I'm not used to English pronounciations beeing described in English. Especially since there seem to be two ways to say every vowel.. If the o in Grondys GOND is like the o in gopher, then it's wrong. If it is like the o in come, which is more like the scandinavian a, then it's right. I am not experienced enough in English to see what the logic sound would be.
Juggling Smilie
Smaug is pronounced Smoug.
Gollum is GOHL-lum
Gil-Galad is Gihl - GAH-lad
Mindolluin is Min-DOL-luin
Saruman is SAH-roo-mahn
Sauron is SOW-rohn
Haldir is HAHL-dihr
Gandalf is GAND-ahlv

Grondy, your Sauron and Gil-Galad are correct.
Peredhil's pronunciations make sense to me. The O in that Gond was a soft o as in gone, but Gand like in grand is grander.

See, I'm still learning; I've fathomed the depth of my ignorance and am now working on its breadth. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Just wanted to say how great it is that I can read most of Tolkien's words and pronounce them just the way they're written (according to our grammar, anyway!).

I think it should be Gandalf rather than Gandalv.

I haven't been thinking about it since 1970, as I only started reading the books a few years later.
Yes that trailing "F" in Gandalf should be pronounced as a "V".
May I ask why?
That does sound odd to me. Gandalf isn't an elven name, it is Westron. So the rules of Appendix E doesn't apply.

What I do know is that Tolkien got the name Gandalf from the Norse poem Volusp’ (along with all the dwarven names). So in the Norwegian translation of LOTR ++, Gandalf is written Gandalv (as it is in Volusp’: Norse Gandalfr = Norwegian Gandalv, and alfr/alv= elf). English translations of Volusp’ has used "Gandalf", as far as I have seen.

Gandalfr/Gandalf/Gandalv means wand/magic staff + elf.
I agree Amarie.

Perhaps confusingly enough, while Gandalf is taken from an Old Norse list, Tolkien imagined it to translate some Westron name. I think the first paragraph of Appendix E should thus include the name Gandalf (thus -f not -v). Also Tolkien does pronounce this name himself on tape (or CD for more modernized folk), and it sounds like -f to me in that instance.

I also have the CDs now Smile Smilie
Neat, Amari’ and Galin!

Me thinks this un-cosmopolitan American (meaning Grondy) should stay out of language discussions, for he can't even speak the Queen's English Properly. Orc Grinning Smilie
I'm no trained linguist myself, but I stumbled upon Roman Rausch's opinion recently (who looks to be a linguist, or a linguist in training at least, and is the host of Sindan’rie on the web in any case).

Gandalf is not Sindarin, but Old Norse where f stands for the voiced sound /v/. However, I don't think that one has to pronounce it this way. It would only be necessary if one spoke genuine Old Norse, but Gandalf is meant to be an adaptation of a name from the language of Dale into Westron, translated by Old Norse and English respectively. Since an average speaker of Westron would know about as much of the language of Dale as a modern speaker of English about Old Norse, I'm quite sure it is safe adapt this name into English.

There is also a recording of Tolkien reading a passage from LotR in exitence and I believe he also pronounces a voiceless /f/.

Roman Rausch

This seems to try to account for Gandalf being Old Norse (Old Norse used to translate names hailing from Dale for example), and also account for the statement in Unfinished Tales that 'Gandalf' is supposed to represent a Westron name.

The explanation makes enough sense to me, though it does go a bit beyond Tolkien's own explanation.

For myself, generally speaking, I don't think every instance related to the translation conceit has to fit its expected place: for example, while Tolkien borrowed orc from Old English -- which might indicate it should be a translation of a word used by the Rohirrim for instance -- I think JRRT imagined it as an actual Westron word rather (at least going by author-published sources).
As to my pronounciations of Tolkien-related words, I'm afraid that all of them are the way that they are pronounced in the movies.
Did PJ get most of these right? 'Gandalf', according to the above, was said correctly - but does anyone know of names or words that weren't right?
Hmm, well I remember the mispronunciation of Earendil in the films -- by Cate Blanchett, who forgot a syllable...

... for an example that I recall easily enough at the moment, anyway.