Reading and Writing in Elvish
I got this email from Corun Mcanndra and thought it was well worth passing on to the rest of you Tolkien fans:
I see that the current polling at the site is on languages and which ones people would be most likely to want to learn more about. The languages Tolkien developed have fascinated me since I first read the books while in Jr. High school in the mid 60s. I spent a great deal of time with my nose stuck in the appendices that dealt with the languages and had always
wanted more comprehensive information, but alas I was not a philologist as was the good Professor.
Well as it happened, while I was on a sojourn in England in 1978, I came across the answer to my dreams. I dicovered a book that had been recently published that dealt rather extensively with many of the languages of Middle Earth. It was found at Flood’s in London, and was out of print for some time. The book was called:
“An Introduction to Elvish, and to Other Tongues and Proper Names and Writing Systems of the Third Age of the Western Lands of Middle-Earth as Set Forth in the Published Writings of Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.”
Edited and compiled by J. Allan, et al.
A few years ago I found it again at a bookstore in Oxford called Thornton’s. For those who don’t know, Thornton’s is the pre-eminent seller of material related to Tolkien and many of the other Inklings who inhabited Oxford.
Now then, on to the best part. The book is in print again and can be acquired through Thornton’s online at the following address:
It is a thick book, packed with Elvish to English dictionaries for both the Eldarin and Sindarin styles and also complete writing systems for these as well as the Dwarf runes. There is even a small section on the Black Speech.It’s a marvelous reference and I recommend it highly.
And for those who wish to write letters to their friends in Elvish but don’t have a skill for calligraphy, you can get a truly remarkable and highlyd detailed font set for Tengwar script from:
You will definitely want to print out the manual to use this effectively as it makes use of just about every keystroke combination on your keyboard. You may also want to check out the Tengwar utilities link at the bottom of that page. Some of these are quite nice for writing in English and converting directly to the Tengwar font.
In closing let me say that I have no connection with Thornton’s of Oxford, J. Allen, or Dan Smith and I gain nothing but the knowledge that I have helped increase an interest into the languages of Middle-earth.
Well, that’s about all. I hope you enjoy these.
Sindarin”Posted in Old Spy Reports on January 5, 2000 by Tehanu