Sindarin Lesson 1. Sindarin was inspired by Welsh. It is an inflected language, meaning that verbs take different forms according to who is doing the action. It also has consonant mutation, which means that the first letter(s) of a word sometimes change. When you learn where and how they change, you will find that far. THE ARTICLES Like Quenya, Sindarin has no indefinite article like English 'a, an'; the absence of a definite article indicates that the noun is indefinite: Edhel = 'Elf' or 'an Elf'. The definite article, 'the', is i in the singular: aran 'king', i aran 'the king'.These examples might just as well be Quenya. In an untranslated text in The Lays of Beleriand p. 354 we find the phrase ir Ithil.
In this first lesson you’ll learn how to write the six vowels of Sindarin and we’ll use them on one consonant. The other consonants will follow in the next lessons.
Tolkien gave each tengwa a name and a number, and this is the first one:
So it is the tengwa with number 1, its name is ‘tinco’ and it represents the sound ‘t’.
Note: ‘tinco’ is a Quenya word as the names of the tengwar are always in that language (and the words tengwa and tehta are in fact also Quenya).
Sindarin has 6 vowel sounds (we’ll meet the diphthongs in a later lesson). In the mode of Gondor each of these sounds is denoted by a different symbol called a tehta (plural tehtar):
In the mode of Beleriand we write each vowel as a separate letter (like in English):
How To Speak Sindarin Elvish
Write these Sindarin tengwar in Latin letters: mode of Gondor:
mode of Beleriand:
1. THE ARTICLES
Like Quenya, Sindarin has no indefinite article like English 'a, an'; the absence of a definite article indicates that the noun is indefinite: Edhel = 'Elf' or 'an Elf'.
The definite article, 'the', is i in the singular: aran 'king', i aran 'the king'. These examples might just as well be Quenya. In an untranslated text in The Lays of Beleriand p. 354 we find the phrase ir Ithil. If this means *'the moon', it would seem to indicate that the article takes the form ir before a word in i- (to avoid two identical vowels in hiatus). However, since this theory was first advanced a new relevant example has been published. The Sindarin Lord's Prayer includes the phrase i innas lin 'your will' or literally *'the will of yours'. Here we do have i, not ir, even though the next word begins in i-. Moreover, the word for 'Moon', Ithil, seems to count as a proper name in Sindarin, so we would not expect it to take any article at all. Some therefore think the ir of the phrase ir Ithil is not a variant of the definite article 'the', but has another meaning.
Unlike Quenya (and English), Sindarin has a special plural form of the article, in. 'Kings' is erain (formed from aran by vocalic umlauts, see below); 'the kings' is in erain.
In both the singular and the plural, the article may appear as a suffix appended to prepositions. This suffix has the form -n or -in. Thus the preposition na 'to' becomes nan 'to the'. Ben 'in the' or more literally *'according to the', a word occurring in the King's Letter, seems to be a preposition be 'according to' - not attested by itself - with the suffix -n for 'the'. (This be would be the Sindarin cognate of Quenya ve 'like, as'.) The preposition nu (or no) 'under' becomes nuin 'under the' (as in Dagor-nuin-Giliath 'Battle under the Stars', a name occurring in the Silmarillion, chapter 13). When the article occurs in the form -in, it may trigger phonological changes in the word it is appended to. Or 'over, on' turns into erin 'on the', the vowel i umlauting o to e (via ö; 'on the' must have been örin at an earlier stage). The preposition o 'from, of' appears as uin when the article is suffixed, since in Sindarin earlier oi becomes ui (cf. Uilos as the cognate of Quenya Oiolossë). One might think that the ending -in added to prepositions corresponded to the independent article in for plural 'the', so that words like erin or uin would be used in conjunction with plural words only. But the King's Letter demonstrates that this is not the case; here we find these words used together with singulars: erin dolothen Ethuil 'on the eighth [day] of Spring', uin Echuir 'of the Stirring' (month-name). Presumably -n, -in suffixed to prepositions represents an oblique form of the article that is used both in the singular and the plural. - In some cases, the normal, independent article is used following an independent preposition, just as in English: cf. naur dan i ngaurhoth *'fire against the werewolf-host' in one of Gandalf's firespells. Dan i 'against the' is not replaced by a single word, sc. some form of dan 'against' with the article suffixed. Perhaps some prepositions just can't receive a suffixed article, or perhaps it is optional whether one wants to say nan or na i(n) for 'to the', erin or or i(n) for 'on/over the', uin or o i(n) for 'of/from the'. We don't know.
The genitival article: Sindarin often expresses genitival relationships by word order alone, like Ennyn Durin 'Doors (of) Durin' and Aran Moria 'Lord (of) Moria' in the Moria Gate inscription. However, if the second word of the construction is a common noun and not a name as in these examples, the genitival article en 'of the' is used if the noun is definite. Cf. names like Haudh-en-Elleth 'Mound of theElf-maid' (Silmarillion ch. 21), Cabed-en-Aras 'Deer's Leap', *'Leap of the Deer' (UT:140), Methed-en-Glad 'End of the Wood' (UT:153) or the phrase orthad en·Êl 'Rising of the Star' in MR:373. Cf. also Frodo and Sam being called Conin en Annûn 'princes of the West' on the Field of Cormallen. (This genitival article sometimes takes the shorter form e; cf. Narn e·Dinúviel 'Tale of theNightingale', MR:373. See below, in the section about consonant mutations, concerning the various incarnations of this article and the environments in which they occur.) Only infrequently does the normal sg. article i replace e(n)- in genitival phrases, but in the King's Letter we have Condir i Drann for 'Mayor of the Shire'. But in the plural, the normal pl. article in is normally used even in a genitival construction, cf. Annon-in-Gelydh 'Gate (of) the Noldor' (UT:18), Aerlinn in Edhil *'Hymn (of) the Elves' (RGEO:70, in Tengwar writing). However, there are examples of the explicitly genitival article en being used in the plural as well: Bar-en-Nibin-Noeg, 'Home of the Petty-dwarves' (UT:100), Haudh-en-Ndengin 'Hill of Slain', or *'of the Slain Ones' (Silmarillion ch. 20). This seems to be less usual, though.
In many cases, the articles cause the initial consonant of the following word to change. These phonological intricacies are described below, in the section about consonant mutations. The article i triggerslenition or soft mutation of the following noun; see below. The final n of the article in is often swallowed up in a process called nasal mutation; the n disappears and the initial consonant of the noun is changed instead. On the other hand, the nasal of the suffix -n or -in, 'the' appended to prepositions, apparently persists - though it seems to trigger what we tentatively call mixed mutation in the following word.
The articles are also used as relative pronouns; cf. Perhael (i sennui Panthael estathar aen) 'Samwise (who ought to be called Panthael)' in the King's Letter, or the name Dor Gyrth i chuinar 'Land of the Dead that Live' (Letters:417 - this represents *Dor Gyrth in cuinar, an example of nasal mutation. Dor Firn i Guinar in the Silmarillion ch. 20 employs singular i as a relative pronoun even though Firnis plural; the reading Dor Gyrth i chuinar from a very late letter (1972) is to be preferred).
Sindarin Lessons Weebly
It will be noted that Tolkien sometimes, but not always, connects the Sindarin articles to the next word by means of a hyphen or a dot. This is apparently optional. In this work, when not quoting the sources directly, we connect the genitival article e, en 'of the' to the next word by means of a hyphen (since it would otherwise often be hard to tell apart from the preposition ed, e 'out of'), but we do not hyphenate the other articles.