Lilla - my own poem written in Sindarin about dance

Gil-Galad #2621
Gil-Galad has redacted their comment.
Gilruin #2622

I have not spent much time thinking about your poem, though from a quick glance it suffers from the same problem, but your new year’s wish glassui gwain idhrinn suffers from the same problem and it is easier to demonstrate it with that: The funamentan point is that Sindarin is a language, not a code or cipher and it can (and usually does) differ from English in all the ways that other languages like Italian, Icelandic, Sanskrit or Japanese do. To illustrate that, let’s go through a translation of ‘happy new year’ step-by-step:

  • You identified the words correctly: glassui ‘happy’, gwain ‘new’, idhrin(n) ‘year’ (Well, oe can make arguments about the conceptual validity of idhrin in Tolkien’s later writings, but that’s beside the point)
  • Now English places the adjectives before the nouns they modify. Sindarin doesn’t, instead they usually come after it: first idhrin, then gwain, then glassui.
  • Sindarin has a fature called soft mutation that makes certain consonants soften in places where there once has been a vowel that would have triggered this softening. One of the circumstances where this is (usually) the case is in such adjective chains, so the phrase wouldn’t be **idhrin gwain glassui, but idhrin ‘wain ‘lassui (one of the effects of soft muation is that g vanishes).
  • This now means ‘(a) happy new year’. But does it capture what you want to say? Consider for example this situation from the hobbit:

    “Good Morning!” said Bilbo, [...]

    “What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

    “All of them at once,” said Bilbo. “And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain.”

    In this case Gandalf did that to mess with Bilbo and taken aback he responds with “all of them at once”, but that is of course on what he actually meant, the standard assumption in English is variant 1. However other languages don’t need to have the same reduced phrase, so it can’t hurt to make it more specific and say no ‘lassui idhrin ‘wain (allen) “may the new year be happy (to you)”.

Now you may think that this is overly pedantic, but consider what a Sinda might produce for English just applying Sindarin grammar: ?“be chappy year new” (h → ch is another effect of soft mutation). That’s definitely not a even remotely correct English sentence.

I would suggest to take a look at our Links & Resources or at least read the grammar overview on Eldamo to get familiar with the ways in which Sindarin differs from English.

gilruin , Gilruin

Gil-Galad #2630

Thanks for the help Gilruin, will remember