Learn to speak Elvish, the only way you’ll ever have anything in common with Orlando Bloom or Liv Tyler.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – It’s central England, not Middle-Earth, but one school is offering its students the chance to learn Elvish.
Youngsters at the Turves Green Boys’ Technology College in Birmingham are being offered weekly after-hours lessons in Sindarin, a form of Elvish invented by Lord of the Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien.
Educational co-ordinator Zainab Thorp hopes the classes help boost students’ self esteem. “The recent success of the Lord of the Rings films has increased the interest in learning Elvish,” Thorp says. “The children really enjoy it. It breaks the idea that education should be simply about getting a job.”
She says that Tolkien was an expert in ancient languages who developed two forms of Elvish. Sindarin was based on Welsh sounds and was more commonly used, while Quenya, which related to Finnish, was largely a ceremonial language.
“A couple of the boys are very into role-playing games. Knowing Sindarin is useful when giving orders to their Elvish armies,” Thorp says. “It’s also very useful if they want to go to university to study, as it involves looking at some of Tolkien’s old manuscripts. This develops some very complex skills.” Whatever works, right?