Monday, February 1, 2016

Pronunciation

Middle-earth is famous for being full with complex and difficult names.  There are so many different pronunciations by so many different people of so many different names that it can get extremely difficult very quickly.  After studying the guide for pronunciations in Elvish, I think I have a pretty good handle on how to pronounce most words.  A couple rules of thumb before we start:

-the emphasis in Elvish words (both Sindarin and Quenya) is generally on the second syllable, ex: Glorfindel is glor-FIN-dull 
-"c"'s always make a hard sound like a k, ex: kell-IH-born for Celeborn
-"ae" makes a sound like "I", ex: mEYE-glin for Maeglin
--for a full list of elvish pronunciation guidelines, see The Silmarillion appendices--

Okay, some words I am commonly asked about pronunciation:

Beleriand - bell-AIR-ee-and
Taniquetil - tan-ICK-wee-tell
Fingolfin - fin-GOLF-fin
Fëanor - fay-AH-nor
Finarfin - fin-ARF-fin
Turgon - tur-GONE
Fingon - fin-GONE
Maedhros - MY-thros (a rare exception where it only seems natural to have the emphasis on the first syllable
Isildur - I originally though it was izul-DUR, but I took another look at his name and its meaning and I am now thinking the movies probably got it right and it is ih-SEEL-dur
Caradhras - Everytime I hear this one in the movies they pronounce it wrong and in different ways, too! I am almost certain it is pronounced car-RATH-ras
Tirion upon Túna - yes, it is pronounced like the fish teer-EE-on upon TOO-na
Eärendil - ee-AH-ren-DIL 
Ar-Pharazôn - ar-FAIR-ah-ZONE
Tar-Minyatur - tar-min-YAH-tur

If there are any other names you have questions about or any pronunciation corrections, drop a comment.  Sorry I didn't post yesterday, it was a busy one for me.  Abarad!

4 comments:

  1. Good, I'm glad I've been saying Isildur correctly!

    I haven't commented here before, but your blog is very cool. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you've been enjoying it :)

      Delete
  2. Is there a specific rule about the letter Q?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of the sources I've consulted (The Silmarillion appendix and The Unfinished Tales) say anything about special pronunciation for Q, so I would say it should be pronounced like it is in normal English (i.e. Quenya= KWEN-yah, Quendi= KWEN-dee). Good question!

      Delete