A Linguistic Analysis Of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Gwaith-i-Phethdain, or the Fellowship of the Word-smiths, is a part of the Polish website Elendilion.pl, run by our friend and Tolkien geek Richard “Galadhorn” Derdzinski. Since the early days of the internet when information was hard to come by and to share, he has led the effort in analyzing the languages in the Lord of the Rings films from 2001 through 2004, and beginning last year, he’s once again embarked on analyzing the languages in The Hobbit films.
To quote Richard:
The way to find the texts in the languages of Middle-earth was difficult. First of course was the careful and watchful hearing in the cinemas. Richard traveled far from Poland to Ireland to watch the movie 2 weeks before the Polish premiere. The first results were published thanks to the work of Miriam “Niranare” Simon of the German forum Mellyn Lammath and Cerebrum of the Hungarian website Parf-en-Ereglas. Then the international community of the Tolkien linguists with Helge K. Fauskanger (of Norse Ardalambion) and Andrew Higgins (of Elfling list) helped to find the detailed explanation of David Salo’s conlang forms.
The dialogues, together with lyrics and inscriptions, in the languages of Tolkien were created for the movies by David Salo, an American linguist. Richard’s analysis is a work in progress, continually updated based on suggestions from fans contributed via comments to his blog-style posts, and the results of his work on The Hobbit thus far can be found as follows:
- Analysis of the Sindarin dialogues.
- Analysis of the Quenya, Khuzdûl/Neo-Khuzdûl, and Orkish/Gundabad dialect of the Black Speech dialogues.
- Analysis of the lyrics in the soundtrack can be found here and here.
- Analysis of the runic inscriptions (scroll down to the section titled INSCRIPTIONS).
The analyses of the dialogues, lyrics and inscriptions in the Lord of the Rings films can be found at Elvish.org.
Elendilion.pl is also famous for the investigation of the oldest ancestry of the Tolkien family. This family name emerges for the first time in the mediaeval sources of the German Order in Prussia, in small village in today’s Poland, Tołkiny, cf. http://www.elendilion.pl/2010/02/02/tokiny-in-warmia-a-nest-of-the-tolkien-family-ii/
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