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G-i-P Report: Complete analysis of the Sindarin dialogs!

Elendilion, a Polish website about Tolkien and Tolkienists, has about 100 articles in English (Westron). See them here.

Hungarian linguist, Cerebrum (of Parf-en-Ereglas website), has a Christmas (quen. *Eruontalë) gift for us all. Below you will find his analysis concerning the Sindarin phrases from the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Cerebrum, hannon le! Eglerio! Cuio anann, Mellon!


Lastannem i athrannedh i Vruinen.

Subtitle: ‚We heard you had crossed into the Valley.’
(lit.: ‚We heard that you had crossed the Loudwater.’)

lastannem: lasta- (listen) + –nn– + –e– + –m (pa.t. 1st p. pl. excl.)
i: that
athrannedh: athra- (cross) + –nn– + –e– + –dh (pa.t. 2nd p. pl. form.)
i: the
Vruinen: lenited form of Bruinen (Loudwater)

[Gandalf to Elrond:]

Mellonnen! Mo evínedh?

Subtitle: ‚My friend! Where have you been?’
(lit.: ‚My friend! Where have you gone?’)

mellonnen: mellon (friend) + –en (1st p. sg. poss.)
mo: *maw (where?), cf. A Gateway to Sindarin, p. 109
evínedh: e- + mín- (< *men- „go”) + -e- + -dh (pa.t. 2nd p. sg. form.)


Farannem ‘lamhoth i udul o charad. Dagannem rim na Iant Vedui. Nartho i noer, toltho i viruvor. Boe i annam vann a nethail vin.

Subtitle: ‚We’ve been hunting a pack of Orcs that came up from the South. We slew a number near the Last Bridge. Light the fires, bring forth the wine. We must feed our guests.’
(lit.: ‚We’ve been hunting Orcs that came from the South. We slew a number at the Last Bridge. Light the fires, fetch the miruvor. We must give food to our guests.’)

farannem: fara- (hunt) + –nn– + –e– + –m (pa.t. 1st p. pl. excl.)
’lamhoth: lenited form of glamhoth (orcs, lit. “the dinhorde”)
i: who
udul: u– + tol– (tul?) (pa.t. 3rd p. sg.)
o: from
charad: stop-mutated form of harad (south)
dagannem: dag– (slay) + –nn– + –e– + –m (pa.t. 1st p. pl. excl.)
rim: great number
na: at
Iant Vedui: iant (bridge) + medui (last)
nartho: imp. form of nartha– (kindle)
i: reduced form of in (the, pl.)
noer: pl. form of naur (fire)
toltho: imp. form of toltha- (fetch)
i: the
viruvor: lenited form of miruvor
boe: it is necessary
i: that
annam: anna– (give) + –m (pr.t. 1st p. pl. excl.)
*vann: lenited form of *mann (food)
a: reduced form of an (for)
nethail: pl. form of nathal (guest)
vin: lenited form of mín (our)

[Gandalf to Galadriel:]

Nae nin gwistant infanneth, mal ú-eichia i Chíril Lorien.

Subtitle: ‚Age may have changed me, but not so the Lady of Lorien.’
(lit.: ‚Alas, age has changed me, but (it) does not change the Lady of Lorien.’)

nae: alas
nin: me
*gwistant: *gwista– (change) (cf. Q vista-) + –nt (pa.t. 3rd p. sg.)
*infanneth: infant (> iphant) (aged, lit. “year-full”) + –eth (cf. prestanneth, Ivanneth)
*mal: but (cf. Q mal)
*ú-eichia: ú- (not) + *eichia- (change) (cf. Q ahya-) (pr.t. 3rd p. sg.)
i: the
Chíril Lorien: lenited form of Híril Lorien (Lady of Lorien)

[Galadriel to Gandalf:]

Ae boe i le eliathon, im tulithon.

Subtitle: ‚If you should ever need my help, I will come.’
(lit.: ‚If it will be necessary to help you, I will come.’)

*ae: if (cf. Q ai)
boe: it is necessary
i: that
le: you (acc.)
eliathon: elia– (help) + –tho– (< –tha-) + –n (fut. 1st p. sg.)
im: I myself
tulithon: tol– (tul-?) (come) + –i– + –tho– (< –tha-) + –n (fut. 1st p. sg)


G-i-P stands for Gwaith-i-Phethain, ‘The Fellowship of the Word-smiths’ or the linguistic website devoted to post-Tolkienian constructions in the “reconstructed” languages of Middle-earth [link].

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Kategorie wpisu: Filmy: Hobbit i WP, G-i-P Report, In Westron (English), Lingwistyka

42 Komentarzy do wpisu "G-i-P Report: Complete analysis of the Sindarin dialogs!"

cerebrum, dnia 24.12.2012 o godzinie 16:58

Ai, mellon nín, ú-moe le hannad. Sennui i ‚lass nín. 😉

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. This line: _evínedh: e- + mín- (iphant) (aged, lit. “year-full”) + -eth (cf. prestanneth, Ivanneth)_ should be rather: _evínedh: e- + mín- (< *men- "go") + -e- + -dh (pa.t. 2nd p. sg. form.)_.

cerebrum, dnia 24.12.2012 o godzinie 17:13

Btw, any idea about where the word _*mo_ may come from? I know that Salo used _*mas_ (where) in his book (Gateway to Sindarin), so the using of _*mo_ is a mystery to me.

I also don’t quite understand the using of _tul-_ (come) instead of _tol-_. It is because Tolkien changed the phrase _tôl acharn_ to _tûl acharn_ (cf. WJ/301)?

Kemmuel, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 7:45

I’m not a linguist but I’ve got the notion Salo has overfabricated some words. Especially infanneth – what for whas this -eth? Also why does he use two different words meaning the same in one sentence – gwista/eichia? Moreover I am not sure if we need so many versions of ‚to go’ since they are arbitrary interchangable.

cerebrum, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 12:59

Well, _-eth_ is a suffix for abstract nouns (cf. _prestanneth_ < _prestannen_ + _-eth_, _Ivanneth_ < _Ivann_ + _-eth_), since _iphant_ (< _in-fant_) is an adjective, and we have no specific sindarin/noldorin word for "age".

Btw, you're right, the using of two unattested words for "change" seems a little bit unnecessary, especially that there is an attested verb with very similar meaning, namely _presta-_. Moreover, if you remember, Salo already used this word in the LotR-movie (cf. _I amar prestar aen._).

I wonder whether the using of Quenya-influenced words (_*gwista-_, _*eichia-_, _*mal_, ) and archaic forms (_infant_) in this phrase could imply that Galadriel speaks Sindarin in a noldorin style.

Kemmuel, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 13:16

Thanks! Now, with your explanation it seems to make more sense :)

H.K. Fauskanger, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 15:25

I believe David has a good reason for using two words for „change”. *Gwista and *eicha- are the (unattested) cognates of Quenya vista- and ahya-. The first is transitive, the other intransitive!

Gandalf is saying that the years may have „changed” him” (transitive), but the Galadriel „does not change” (intransitive).

cerebrum, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 17:52

You’re absolutely right, I misunderstood the meaning of this sentence. I falsely thought that _i Chíril Lorien_ is the object of the second part of the sentence, i.e. „age (lit. age-fullness) does not change the Lady of Lórien.” That’s why I didn’t understand why an intransitive verb was used here.

So, the literally meaning of this sentence is in fact „Alas, age has changed me, but the Lady of Lorien does not change.”

cerebrum, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 18:14

And of course, Gandalf says it to Galadriel, not Galadriel to Gandalf.

Oh, embarassing… Sorry. :$

dreamingfifi, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 19:31

Hmmm… why is he still using „ae” for ‚if”? I thought that much firmer ground for reconstruction was KWI from VT49. Perhaps he was going for consistency between The Hobbit and LotR?

Kemmuel, dnia 25.12.2012 o godzinie 22:24

Taking the oportunity, I’d like to ask you, Lambengolmor, what then with the pair vista-/virya- (tr./intr.). They seem like siblings to me. Unfortunately I don’t know the context in which they (also ahya-) are attested, but is it possible that there is something more that differs them e.g. one means ‚change’ like transform, and the other like replace?

H.K. Fauskanger, dnia 26.12.2012 o godzinie 13:37

_Ahya_ comes from The Peoples of Middle-earth p. 397: _Manen lambe Quendion ahyane[?]_ „How did the language of the Elves change?” (Notice intransitive „change”.)

The forms vista and virya (meant to come from *wistâ and *wisjâ) are given in Parma Eldalamberon 17, p. 189, 191. They denote the transitive and intransitive verb „change”, respectively.

I guess David found it difficult to come up with a well-sounding Sindarin cognate of _virya_, so he went for a cognate of _ahya-_ instead.

Galadhorn, dnia 29.12.2012 o godzinie 23:58

And do you have an idea, Helge, where does Salo’s mo ‚where’ come from?

Findegil, dnia 30.12.2012 o godzinie 23:36

„The only known interrogative pronoun is _man_ ‚who?’, related to Quenya _man_ ‚who?’, or _mana_ ‚what?’. But by comparison with the demonstrative pronouns [hi ‚now’, sí ‚here’, ennas ‚there’], one can also reconstruct the words _!ma_ ‚when?’ and _!maw_ or _!mas_ ‚where?’ ” (A Gateway to Sindarin, p.109)

Presumably *_mo_ is the unstressed variant of *_maw_.

Galadhorn, dnia 31.12.2012 o godzinie 2:07

Findegil, thank you. :-)

S. Paldanius, dnia 31.12.2012 o godzinie 20:22

The German-based wordlist at http://www.sindarin.de lists the similar (attested) dynamic forms _taw, daw, do_ „to that place, thither” from PE19. (Echoing the „Old Noldorin” _tó_ given in Etym:389; q.v.)

Noldorin/Sindarin _-aw_ would certainly arise from a primitive structure paralleling *-â, *-âba, *-âmê, *-âsa, *-asû (etc.).

If one looked simply at Salo’s published theory, a pronominal adverb *_mo, maw_ would call to mind CE *mâse (cp. „Gateway”, pp. 108-9).

H.K. Fauskanger, dnia 02.01.2013 o godzinie 19:38

I asked David Salo about the analysis provided above, and while it is not absolutely accurate according to his intentions, he describes it as „not bad”.

Some of the points raised above: _Tulithon_ should according to David be _telithon_, as expected.

_Udul_ is fully intentional, the regular outcome of *_utûl-_. Compare Tolkien’s _agor_ „did” from *_akâr-_.

As for _ae_ „if”, David cannot now retrace his thoughts 20 months ago exactly, but he likes this form. He did consider the various options.

Mellonnen! Mo evĂ­nedh? ... and new Sindarin in The Hobbit ÂŤ Elvenesse, dnia 04.01.2013 o godzinie 16:37

[…] the mean time, the folks over at Elendilion have put up a G-i-P Report regarding the the Sindarin phrases spoken in The Hobbit, which is where I got the title for this post. I always find it exciting to hear and […]

Curunarmo, dnia 04.01.2013 o godzinie 21:30

Actually, I do not agree with the form „evínedh”. I would rather spell this thing as *evennedh < *avant < *bad-.

cerebrum, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 1:53

But if the connecting vowel -e- is used before the personal verbal ending how do you explain the i-affection? I mean what causes it here?

I think the 2nd p. sg. form of _*avant-_ would be rather just _*avannedh_ if you use -e- (and not -i-) as a connecting vowel. Or maybe you thought of the form _*evennidh_?

Btw, why do you think that _evínedh_ is not from _*men-_?

There is even a hint in PE/17:93 regarding to this: „But in Sindarin is found a ‚strong’ past tense formed on the analogy with verbs using intransitive -tă only in the present/aorist [as √MEN-, have as object, (in)tend, proceed, make for, go towards: menta-, but past tense mennē-, perfect emēnie: in Sindarin these were blended into a past tense form emēnē-]”.

Curunarmo, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 9:27

Maybe you’re right. In fact, I thought about √MEN- and it would seen, maybe, like *evennidh or *evennedh. Why did not I write about it – Valar know :)

Galadhorn, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 10:08

Dear Lambengolmor, I thank you very very much for your comments. We can learn so much from you.

I dream about full dialog lists in Neo-Orkish. And about other words and phrases in Khuzdul.

We have also one almost complete Quenya spell by Radagast.

Curunarmo, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 12:24

I heard something like „sië hlara ómo quettar: nai cuilelya envinyata”. Maybe there’s something before, but I couldn’t understand.

Curunarmo, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 13:30

And I am also interested in what Galadriel said to Gandalf. The first part of the sentence looks like „gwenwin i-lui…”, but what the last adjective or adverb is, I cannot say.

cerebrum, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 14:53

There was another sindarin sentence? Hmmm… It wasn’t on the list.

Well, I will try to check it next time I watch the movie. :)

So you say, Curunarmo, it is _gwenwin i-lui_ as „…times have passed”?

Curunarmo, dnia 05.01.2013 o godzinie 15:32

As I heard, yes. The last word must mean „long”, as it could be understood from the subtitles, but it sounded too unusual so I don’t know the spelling.

Eruantalon, dnia 07.01.2013 o godzinie 5:22

I’m sure I heard ‚nan imlad’ and not ‚i vruinen’ and Galadriel said ‚ae boe i le eliathon, im telitha’

Galadhorn, dnia 07.01.2013 o godzinie 9:44

Eruantalon, have you recorded it from the listening? It’s very interesting. There can be some differences between the script and the actual movie dialogs.

Eruantalon, dnia 07.01.2013 o godzinie 10:47

As for telitha (like ‚nan imlad’) I think thats what I heard. Can’t some one sneak in a cellphone and record the Elvish and put it online…

cerebrum, dnia 07.01.2013 o godzinie 16:32

Finally I could watch the movie in English yesterday, so I could check the Sindarin dialogues too. :)

Well, I’m not absolutely sure, but I think Galadriel actually says _gwenwin în únodui_ (lit. „countless years have passed”) in that scene we discussed. (Gandalf’s answer to this is _Nae nin gwistant infanneth…_).

gwenwin: pl. form of gwanwen (pp. form of gwanna- „depart, die”)
în: year(s)
únodui: countless, lit. „innumerable” (< ú- + *nod- + -ui; cf. PE/17:144)

Btw, Lindir definitely says _…i Vruinen_, and I’m also quite sure that Galadriel says _…im tulithon_ (_im_ is a little bit unemphatic) with "u" (and not with "e"), though it should be rather _telithon_, as Helge already mentioned above.

Eruantalon, dnia 08.01.2013 o godzinie 7:19

It would seem that someone messed up the subtitles! Remember in TTT ‚A Eruchîn, u-dano faelas an hyn, an uben tanatha le faeles!’ was put as ‚show them no mercy! For no one will show you mercy!’

Rune-Keeper Radio » A Linguistic Analysis Of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, dnia 16.01.2013 o godzinie 9:17

[…] Analysis of the Sindarin dialogues. […]

Tolkien Brasil, dnia 02.03.2013 o godzinie 5:54

Para quem fala Português aqui está a versão desse artigo em nossa língua: http://tolkienbrasil.com/aprenda-elfico/aulas/05-falas-em-elfico-sindarin-do-filme-o-hobbit-uma-jornada-inesperada/

Gil-galad, dnia 10.06.2013 o godzinie 17:09

Does anyone know what did Galadriel speak to Gandalf before he said „age my have changed but not so the lady of Lorien”?

cerebrum, dnia 23.06.2013 o godzinie 13:30

Gil-galad: My guess was „gwenwin în únodui”, see my comment above.

Finrod, dnia 12.07.2013 o godzinie 6:13

Hello guys! Your passion of the elvish languages is nice to see and so helpful. I have something that’s klling me since a while. When Galadriel appears in the Hobbit, a female chorus sings « Ninquë silë misë nár, Nóna silmë andané». Unfortunately, the chrorus continues to sing but Galadriel and Gandlaf starts to speak and we do not hear very well the rest of the quenya words. However, we can hear it better on the Hobbit soundtrack but I’m not a expert. Does anyone knows what the female chorus is saying after
«Nóna silmë andané» ? Thanks !

H.K. Fauskanger, dnia 11.10.2013 o godzinie 16:52

Now that the scene where Galaldriel first shows up can be found on YouTube, I have been trying to determine what is actually said.

Cate Blanchett to my ear says „gwenwin în uludui”.

Ian McKellen answers: „Nae nin gwistant infaneth, mal u ichên i Chiril Lorien”

„Uludui” seems pretty meaningless. „Infaneth” is misaccented if this should be „infanneth” (McKellen stresses the first rather than the second syllable, but then this is the same guy who says „CAR-adhras” in the original movie, even though „Saruman” gets it right with Car-ADH-ras shortly afterwards).

I fear the actors may have mangled some of the lines. No way he says „eichia”. It is something like „ichên”, accented on the second syllable.

H.K. Fauskanger, dnia 11.10.2013 o godzinie 16:57

Listening yet again, perhaps it is not so much „infaneth” as „iffaneth” (iphaneth). Maybe David decided that the N should assimilate completely.

Ithildur, dnia 27.03.2014 o godzinie 15:26

Following what H.K. Fauskanger posted on 11.10.2013, we can notice that one Sindarin quote is missing from your „Complete” analysis. The quote is when Galadriel greets Gandalf, saying in the translation :

„It has been a long time.”

You give Gandalf’s reply, which starts by „Nae nin” but you forgot to indicate Galadriel’s initiation of the dialog. As H.K. Fauskanger has indicated, it seems to start by :

„Gwewin in”

In the FotR, Arwen says to Aragorn :

„Gwenwin in / enninath” = [They] departed the / long years.

Based on that, we can suppose that Galadriel says something similar to Gandalf, in order to indicate the passage of time since their last meeting. It makes sense, considering Gandalf’s reply.

Why has Galadriel’s line left out of the „Complete” analysis?

cerebrum, dnia 09.08.2014 o godzinie 15:52

Ithildur: Have you read all of the comments?

Ithildur, dnia 21.04.2015 o godzinie 19:09

cerebrum : No, I must admit with shame.

After having read all the comments, I believe that you offer the best hypothesis : Galadriel might be saying „Gwenwin în únodui” (= Departed years countless).

Thank you very much, cerebrum!

Mellonnen! Mo evĂ­nedh? … and new Sindarin in The Hobbit « Elvenesse – Everything Elvish, dnia 17.07.2015 o godzinie 22:41

[…] the mean time, the folks over at Elendilion have put up a G-i-P Report regarding the the Sindarin phrases spoken in The Hobbit, which is where I got the title for this post. I always find it exciting to hear and […]

Teri, dnia 05.06.2016 o godzinie 23:59

Świetnie, dzięki!

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