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Old 05-04-2004, 04:59 PM   #1
Sauron_the_Abhorred
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Tolkien Questions on Pronunciation

I just wanted to know the pronunciations of the words Smeagol and Numenore. Is Smeagol Smee-gol, or Smay-uh-gol,

Is Numenore Nu-men-ore-ay or Nu-men-ore?
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:12 PM   #2
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Smeagol

Hi Sauron. I think it's definetely Smee-gol because that's how they say it in the movie. I'm not sure about the Numenore. But I've never read the books sooooo.... I probably don't know as much as someone who has read the books. :-)
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:24 PM   #3
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Shield Ah well

Tolkien nearly always hardly without exception had the e and the end of words pronounced. So it would be Nu-men-ore-ay.

I was thinkin since the e in Smeagol is accented the same way as in Theoden, it would me Smay-uh-gol. And just because they pronounce it in the movie a certain way does not mean it is correct. I happen to know for a fact that they pronounce Earendil wrong in the movie.
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:36 PM   #4
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Tolkien

I thought you were only supposed to pronouce the "e" at the end if there were the two dots over it. So it would be "nu-me-nore".

But is it 'LE-go-las' or "le-GO-las'?
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
I think it's definetely Smee-gol because that's how they say it in the movie.
Yeah, but they also pronounced Eärendil, eh-ren-deel.

I assume by 'Numenore' you mean Númenórë, the Quenya name for Numenor. It was pronounced Noo-meh-noh-reh in Quenya (this is a rough pronunciation guide... there are subtle guidelines about how to pronounce vowels in Elvish which are too complicated to explain here). 'Numenor' is roughly pronounced Noo-men-oar.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:38 PM   #6
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Tolkien

Okay, just checked Appen. and the final "e" is ALWAYS pronouced, and OFTEN (but not consistently) has the two dots over it.

And in continuation of my other question: I really asked the question rhetorically. There's no doubt in my mind it's 'LE-go-las.'
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:35 AM   #7
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_Sméagol_ is actually modernized Old English, which is why you can either choose to use the OE pronunciation rules (ea begins with the sound of e and glides towards the back of the mouth, giving a sound not unlike that in 'bared, Baird'; éa is similar but beginning with the vowel é); or modernize according to the way those sounds changed into the form they have now.
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Old 05-05-2004, 05:51 PM   #8
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So how do you pronounce Eärendil?
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:03 PM   #9
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In my rough estimate:
Ey-(rhymes with "day")-ah-ren-deel

This is kind of like Americans trying to roll the R in Spanish- it is imprecise... As Angmar said, Elvish vowels are pronounced slightly differently than English vowels.
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Old 05-06-2004, 05:58 PM   #10
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Question Ea and Eo

It says in the appendices on LOTR "On Pronunciation" that Ea and Eo in elvish are ALWAYS pronounced as two syllables. It is E-ar-en-deel. In the movie they say something like Ear-en-deel. That's is wrong, so jsut beacsue they say it a way in the movie does nto make it right.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:53 PM   #11
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I always thought when pronouncing Earendil, the E and the A kind of blended. So it would be pronunced in "elvish prose," if there is such a thing, as:

yar-en-deel

(of course with a hard "R" and a tiny accent of an E sound before the Y)

correct me if I'm wrong!
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:11 PM   #12
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I always pronouncedit as a kind of subtle ayr-en-diil
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:41 PM   #13
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I have a friend who is trying to teach himself correct pronunciation of Elven names and he want to know how Feanor is pronounced: He pronounces it Fay-AH-nor while his brother says it's Fay-An-or
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Old 05-07-2004, 06:02 AM   #14
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The pronaunciation of Eärendil: all the vowels are pronaunced separately ->" E" like in the word "there" (the first e), "ä" like in the word "father" (the ä only being short), "r" is always (or at least very often) trilled in Elvish, "e" in the same way as the first one and "i" like in the word "machine". If I recall right the accent (or what ever it is called) is in the very beginning of the word -> EÄrendil.
I don't know if you understood my confusing explanation at all but I tried my best. The pronaunciation in Elvish is the same as in Finnish if that helps you . There are quite good directions in the appendix and of course here: http://move.to/ardalambion
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:20 PM   #15
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Look in the back of Return of the King, in Appendix E; there is a lot of help on pronunciation.
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Old 05-19-2004, 11:19 AM   #16
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Being as much of a nerd as I am, I'm currently learning Elvish. So perhaps I can help a bit. This is how these names should technically be pronounced, though naturally people slur words and sounds together. Stressed syllables are in all caps.

Smeagol= SMAY-uh-gol

Numenore= Noo-meh-NOR-ay or Noo-meh-NOR-eh

Legolas= LEh-go-las

Eärendil= Ay-eh-REN-dil (dil being pronounced more like 'deel')

Feanor= FAY-eh-nor

If you would like the specific rules for pronunciation, let me know. There are reasons why the stress falls where it does.
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:14 AM   #17
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Tolkien

Suliad, Mellyn nin. Lle quena i'lambe tel' Eldalie? Amin n'rangwa edanea!

Okay, I can tell many people are confused here, so I have come to help. I am a tolkienologist, almost fluent in elvish, and have read the books 10 times (almost 11). One thing I have learned about elvish, both Sindarin and Quenya, is that most words are painfully literal in their pronunciation. Even in the movies. If you can recall in FOTR, at the Door of Durin at Moria. Frodo asks what the elvish word for 'friend' is, and Gandalf says "Mellon", but the way he says it, there are 2 beats on the 'LL'. So he put a beat per letter. Anyways, lets move on...

Okay, lets start with Smeagol: we must remember that 'Smeagol' is NOT elvish at all. It is only the anglicized equivalent of 'Trahald' (which is what Gollum's friends and family REALLY called him). Smeagol, in turn, is pronounced "smee-gol", according to that language.

Next up is Feanor and Earendil...these two are one and the same, both having the "ea". and with the accent mark over the 'e', that would make the pronunciation "ey-AH-ren-dil" and "FEY-eh-nor" (the 'EY' in 'FEY' is like that in 'Hey')

'Legolas' is pronounced "LEH-goh-las" and 'Numenore' is pronounced "Nu-meh-NORR-ay" with extra stress on the 'R'.

Also, many people do not know the correct pronnunciation of 'Elendil'. It is pronounced "el-EN-dee-il", breaking the 'I' into two parts, also with the stress on "EN" instead of the before-thought "DIL".
Hopefully this makes some issues clear! Namaarie!
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:39 AM   #18
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The Encyclopedia of Arda is an excelent source for pronunciations. They seem to be pretty acurate and show some good research into Tolkien's works and other languages for their pronunciation guides. Though I did notice that their pronunciation of Smeagol is different from the two ways it is normally pronounced.

I say we just hold a seance - call up Tolkien's ghost - and ask he to clarify everything we have disgrepensies (sp?) over. I don't know. These arguments have been going on for decades and I don't know if we'll ever come to complete agreement.
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:22 PM   #19
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Something about your claim you're a Tolkienologist doesn't rhyme with using Grey Company Elvish.
Also your explanations differ in instances from the sources such as Appendix F.
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:19 PM   #20
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Pipe

Okay, you seem very knowledgeable, Sharku. And I am sure we can agree that there is no single correct dictionary of the Elvish language avaliable, correct? Well in that case, I have chosen the closest one I can find. And no matter what you say, my research has proven Grey Company has the most authentic dictionary avaliable on the internet. I have been studying tolkiens works for decades, and these explanations can be proven using the books and other works and manuscripts of Professor Tolkien and his son, Christopher Tolkien.
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Old 06-08-2004, 01:59 PM   #21
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From the Ardalambion site (link given above) here is:

Elvish Pronunciation Guide

with audio examples.
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:04 PM   #22
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Are you Frodo2968 sure about the pronaunciation of Eärendil? I don't meant to offend anybody or doubt anyone's knowledge but I was quite sure about Eärendil's pronaunciation which slightly differs from your view. In Quenya there are certain diphthongs, groups of two basic vowels pronounced together as one syllable: There are three diphthongs in -i (ai, oi, ui) and three in -u (au, eu, iu, though the diphthongs eu and iu are quite rare). So there isn't such a syllable as "ea" (which we already knew since there are the two dots above that "ä").

Next quote is from Ardalambion: "Quenya vowels are pure. For people who want to pronounce Elvish vowels with some degree of accuracy, Tolkien recommended Italian vowels as a model. Speakers of English have an ingrained habit of blurring many vowels, especially when they are not fully stressed; hence in a word like banana it is typically only the middle A that comes out as a "proper" A-sound. The two other A's, that are not stressed, are typically made to sound like a blurred, obscure "reduction vowel" that linguists call a schwa (from a Hebrew word for nothingness; English textbooks sometimes prefer the spelling "shwa"). But in Quenya all vowels, in all positions, must be clearly and distinctly pronounced; any tendencies to "blur" them must be strongly resisted."

Anyone who agrees with this can find the pronaunciation directions for the rest of the vowels from my previous post or more likely from the Ardalambion's Quenya course.

[edit: sorry pio, I posted cross with you...since your link is there, there's no need for my explanation but I'll let it stay anyway ]
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:33 PM   #23
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I just pronounce the way the names sound the most beautiful to me.
Basically I turn around the english way of pronouncing things. I make the A not sound as in the word say but the way they say the A in the spanish alphabet. ( I don't do that for Aerendil though) and I make the e not as in eat but as the e in end.

I don't really care if I don't pronounce them completly correct, I will probably learn elvish someday anyway.
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:29 AM   #24
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Pipe Eärendel

The umlauted 'a' in Eärendil indicates that the 'a' be pronounced separately from the 'E'. This name has its ultimate origin in a line from the Old-English Exeter Book: "Eala Earendel, engla beorhtest ofer Middangeard monnum sended", and retains the Old-English pronunciation in its later form.
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Old 06-12-2004, 06:44 PM   #25
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I've always wondered how Gríma is pronounced..."grima" or "greema" or "grime-ah"... I assume it's Old English.
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:46 PM   #26
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Question

Welcome to the Barrow-Downs, Carnimírië!

Grima, is pronounced grEEma.

I had a question on the Silmarilion. I know you have to pronounce both Ns in Yavanna, but how? Is the second a long?

Also, is Feanor pronounced fAY-a-nor or fEE-a-nor?
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Old 06-14-2004, 01:53 PM   #27
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Thanks, Arwen Evenstar

I'm no expert on the subject of pronunciation, but for what it's worth I always pronounce Fëanor fay-a-nor. I hope that is correct, seeing as he's my favorite character
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:01 PM   #28
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Thumbs up

I though Feanor was probably pronounced fay-a-nor, but I needed a second opinion. Thanks, Carnimírië!
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Old 06-21-2004, 03:44 PM   #29
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Silmaril

Quote:
I know you have to pronounce both Ns in Yavanna, but how? Is the second a long?
Instead of ya-VA-na, one would hold the 'n' sound a bit longer, like ya-VAHN-na. I hope that helps.
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