A collection of links and resources about Elvish in case you are unfamiliar with our community.
- Pronounciation Guides — Quenya (RealElvish, Julian Bradfield), Sindarin, Adûnaic
- Atanquesta (Tamas Ferencz) — A Neo-Quenya primer. [Currently experiencing technical difficulties, alternatively available here: Archive, Google Doc]
- RealElvish (Fiona Jallings) — Easy-access information including pre-made names and a phrasebook. RealElvish Academy also offers four courses Carpho/Teitho/Gelio/Nevio Edhellen that introduce you to (Neo-)Sindarin’s pronunciation, writing systems and grammar. Gelio Edhellen and Teitho Edhellen can be viewed as a Google Doc and a PDF respectively, but for the rest you need to create an account for the site.
- Eldamo’s basic grammar (Paul Strack) — Overview of the major features of Quenya and Sindarin grammar with links to more in-depth articles.
- Glǽmscrafu (Benjamin Babut, Bertrand Bellet) — Attested texts in Tolkien’s languages and some of the languages that inspired him with both audio recordings and transcriptions into other writing systems such as the Tengwar, Cirth or Futhark.
- Ni-bitha Adûnâyê (Thorsten Renk) — Course on Neo-Adûnaic. Note that since then the Adûnaic word for the language itself — Adûnayân — has been published, which supersedes Renk’s reconstruction Adûnâyê. Compare with Paul Strack’s analysis.
The Courses below are good, but outdated to some extend by new publications of source material:
- Ardalambion’s Quenya Cours (Helge Fauskanger) — Includes material up until Vinyar Tengwar 44 and Parma Eldalamberon 15 (2003). Unlike Atanquesta it goes into greater detail why it recommends the thing it does, so it is still worthwhile to read after you have gone through Atanquesta to understand the methods of crafting Neo-Quenya. (An Introduction and appendices are available here.)
- Quetin i Lambe Eldaiva (Thorsten Renk) — Includes material up until Vinyar Tengwar 49 and Parma Eldalamberon 17 (2008). Also, note that Renk prefers to use the paradigms that are closest to the publication of the Lord of the Rings while many others prefer to use the latest paradigms available.
- Pedin Edhellen (Thorsten Renk) — Includes material up until Vinyar Tengwar 49 and Parma Eldalamberon 18 (2010).
There are many other resources for beginners available on the internet, but generally they can’t be recommended: Usually they are part of fan sites that wanted to offer Elvish sections after the release of Peter Jackson’s movies and were compiled from earlier versions of the courses above often with an incomplete understanding of them. However, if you encounter a particularly promising-looking course that is not listed here, feel free to ask about it.
General Linguistic Resources
- Glossary of Linguistic Terms (SIL)
- International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) — Also available with sounds. For a more extensive explanation, see it’s Wikipedia page, to type IPA without additional software, take a look at this website.
- Thesaurus — very useful if the word you are looking for doesn’t exist in Eldarin.
- Abbreviations in Tolkienian linguistics — the systems of ELF, Eldamo, Arda
- Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon (Carl F. Hostetter, Patrick H. Wynne et. al.) — The journals that publish Tolkien’s notes on his languages (Errata).
- Tengwestië (Carl F. Hostetter, Patrick H. Wynne et. al.) — The online journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship.
- Eldamo (Paul Strack) - Apart from the collection of attested vocabulary that serves as a source for this lexicon, Eldamo also has articles on the historical phonology and grammar of Tolkien’s languages. A mirror is available at
- Mellonath Daeron — Website of the language guild of the Swedish fan association Forodrim.
- Sindanórië (Roman Rausch) — A site with articles on various topics including essays less explored languages such as Telerin, Mithrimin and Goldogrin an analysis of names from The Histories of Middle-earth and a comparison between natural languages and Eldarin.
- Tenguesta Goldorinwa (Rac_co.On) — A Neo-Quenya reference grammar, primarily concerned with presenting one possible coherent system (originally for a translation project of Alice in Wonderland). Note the non-standard spelling in this document, e. g. the site name would be represented as Tengwesta Ñoldorinwa according to the usual spelling conventions. A related project is the Quettasta Goldorinwa mapping out the semantic spaces of common English words and their Neo-Quenya translations.
- Ardalambion (Helge Fauskanger) — Articles on most of Tolkien’s languages as well as how they could fit together in a consistent framework of Neo-Eldarin.
- Parma Tyeplelassiva (Thorsten Renk) - Articles on various topics, mostly about grammar.
- Tolkiendil (various) — Hosts linguistic articles from I·lam Arth, Otsoandor and Miðgarðsmál
- elm (Ales Bican) — Articles on the Atalante Fragments, the Merin sentence, Quenya’s s-case and a guest article on a Tengwar spelling for Quenya with implicit a’s by David Salo.
- Studies on the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Harri Perälä) — “Are High Elves Finno-Uguric?” and a tutorial on writing with Tengwar fonts.
- Lambenórë (David Giraudeau) — various articles and indices to the Parmar Eldalamberon.
- Middle-earth Science Pages (Andreas Moehn) — Linguistic articles available on the Internet Archive: the Etymology of the Atani languages, An Interpretation of the Names in the Line of Elros and Lalaith’s Guide to Adûnaic Grammar
Archives of Previous Commuinities
- TolkLang — An archive of the TolkLang mailing list (1990-2013) with partial mirrors of the lists Lambengolmor (2002-2010, the messages 11nn-22nn are not properly archived) and Elfling (1998-2012).
- Tolkien List Search — Searchable Archive of TolkLang (1990-2013), Lambengolmor (2002-2019), Elfling (1998-2019), Elfscript (1999-2007) and Elfscript2 (2007-2017). Unlike the TolkLang mirrors, this archive does not contain the message numbers for other lists than TolkLang itself.
- G+ LoME Archive — Searchable archive of Tamas Ferencz’s Google Plus community “Languages of Middle-Earth” (2012-2018).
- Mellonath Daeron Indices of Tengwar and Cirth Specimina (DTS & DCS) — An index to all known examples of Tolkien using those scripts.
- Index of Significant Samples (Chris McKay) — Reproductions of attested Tengwar Texts (up to 2004) with a computer font.
- Amanyë Tenceli (Måns Björkman) — Articles about the Tengwar and Sarati.
- Tengwar Primers (Per Lindberg) — Guides for writing Quenya, Sindarin and Swedish in Tengwar.
- The Tecendil Handbook (Arno Gourdol) — An introduction to writing with Tengwar in the General Mode for English and Sindarin, the Mode of Beleriand and the Classical Mode for Quenya.
- Full Tengwar Modes for Modern English (Ronald Kyrmse) — with a table of attestatiouns for each sign.
- Phonetic Tengwar modes (“Mach” J. Wust) — Overview, Two phonetic “full writing” modes, A phonetic tehtar mode.
- The Letters of Middle-earth (Ostadan) — An introductory article about Tengwar, Cirth and the runes of the Hobbit.
- Tengwar Numerals (Christopher Tolkien, Quettar) — A report about Quenya numerals (PDF, PostScript). Those numbers however don’t agree with the ones we see Tolkien using in the King’s Letter (analysis).
- Free Tengwar Font Project (“Mach” J. Wust, John Winge) — A project to develop smart Tengwar Computer fonts and to strive for their standardization.
- Glǽmscribe (Benjamin Babut, Bertrand Bellet) and Tecendil (Arno Gourdol) — Automatic transcribers into Tolkien’s writing systems. Even though they are both quite good, they can not pick up on every subtlety that needs to be considered by themselves. If you don’t have a good grasp on Tengwar yourself, check your transcriptions here or in one of the other discussion groups.
And What About Books?
Most books published on Tolkien’s languages are problematic in some ways.
- An Introduction to Elvish (ed. Jim Allan) — Very solid analysis of what was available at the time. However since it was written before even the Silmarillion was published it is now severely outdated. (Review: Fauskanger)
- Basic Quenya (Nancy Martsch) Solid for its time, but contains a few questionable choices such as excluding forms that were not published during Tolkien’s lifetime, which limits the corpus considerably. (Review: Derzhanski)
- The Languages of Tolkien's Middle Earth (Ruth Noel) — This book contains many avoidable errors even for its publication time and thus can’t be recommended (Review: Gates)
- A Gateway to Sindarin (David Salo) Very in-depth and technical grammar of Sindarin, obviously the result of extensive studies. However Salo at times alters the evidence too freely to fit his theories and erases most of the external chronology of the language by silently updating Noldorin to Sindarin. (Reviews: Renk, Ballet, Hostetter, Wynne)
- A Fan’s Guid to Neo-Sindarin (Fiona Jallings) — The only book on Sindarin that currently can be recommended. (Rewiew: Rosenfelder)
German books: unfortunately, those can’t be recommended either: