Public Warning: O.M.G. in Quenya

Recently, I stumbled upon an expression created by (I don’t know exactly who) who supposedly would mean “O, my God!”. Alright, cool. That’s something handy to create and compose in Quenya. You may use it a lot, mainly here in the internet.

But here’s the deal: according to the one who created it, OMG = YIE (Yé inya Eru)

Yé…what? Yes, Yé inya Eru. Anyway, let’s research together what that 3 words mean!

According to the ultimate source in Tolkien knowledge and Quenya vocabulary compilation, Quettaparma says:

 yé (1) interjection “lo!” (VT47:31), also occurring in Aragorn’s exclamation when he found the sapling of the White Tree. (Compare yéta-.) Also in the ejaculation yé mána (ma) = “what a blessing” or “what a good thing!“ (VT49:41). The more literal meaning would seem to be *“behold the blessing!”

 (2) conj.? “what is more”, also yëa(VT47:31)

[ (3) = ye #3, q.v.]

[ye (3), also prep. “as” (VT43:16, struck out; in the text in question Tolkien finally settled on sívë, q.v.)]

Ok, so we assume the only meaning possible here, #1. Keep tracking! Yé = lo! Now second word:

 inya (1) adj. “female” (INI)

inya (2) adj. “small” (LT1:256; this “Qenya” word may be obsoleted by # 1 above)

Uh-uh….problems arise here. Inya as an isolated word means NOTHING. There are 2 meanings, both adjectives, one is abandoned and they don’t make sense in the composed expression “Yé inya Eru”. Last and easiest word is:

 Eru divine name “the One” = God (VT43:32, VT44:16-17), “the One God” (Letters:387), a name reserved for the most solemn occasions (WJ:402). Often in the combination Eru Ilúvatar, “Eru Allfather” (cf. MR:112). GenitiveEruo(MR:329, VT43:28/32), dative Erun(VT44:32, 34). The adjectival formEruva “divine” (Eruva lissëo “of divine grace”, VT44:18) would be identical to the form appearing in the possessive case. Compound nouns: Eruhantalë“Thanksgiving to Eru”, a Númenórean festival (UT:166, 436)Eruhin pl.Eruhíni “Children of Eru”, Elves and Men (WJ:403; SA:híni, cf. Eruhîn inLetters:345), Eruion *”son of God” (or “God the Son”?) (VT44:16),Erukyermë “Prayer to Eru”, a Númenórean festival (UT:166, 436),Erulaitalë “Praise of Eru”, a Númenórean festival (UT:166, 436)Eruamillë“Mother of God” (in Tolkien’s translation of the Hail Mary, VT43:32, see also VT44:7), EruontariEruontarië other translations of “Mother (Begetter) of God” (VT44:7, 18)Erusén “the children of God” (RGEO:74; this is a strange form with no plural ending; contrast the synonym Eruhíni.) #Eruanna and #erulissë, various terms for “grace”, literally “God-gift” and “God-sweetness”, respectively (VT43:29; these words are attested in the genitive and instrumental case, respectively: Eruannoerulissenen).

Jackpot here! That’s absolutely correct, right in the spot. Eru = God!

After the analyzed points, one can ask: How can I say OMG in Quenya then?

A, Erunya!

And here’s the analysis:

 a (1) vocative particle “O” in a vanimar “O beautiful ones” (LotR3:VI ch. 6, translated in Letters:308); also attested repeatedly in VT44:12 (cf. 15): A Hrísto *”o Christ”, A Eruion  *”o God the son/son of God”, a Aina Fairë *”o Holy Spirit”, a aina Maria *”o holy Mary”.

&

nya pronominal suffix, 1st person sg. possessive, “my” (VT49:16, 38, 48), e.g.tatanya *”my daddy” (UT:191, VT48:17)meldonya *”my [male] friend”(VT49:38)meldenya *”my [female] friend” (Elaine inscription),omentienya *”my meeting” (PE17:68)tyenya “my tye” (tye being an intimate form of “you”), used = “dear kinsman” (VT49:51, 56). This ending seems to prefer i as its connecting vowel where one is needed, cf. Anarinya“my sun” in LR:72, so also in hildinyar “my heirs”. It was previously theorized by some that a final –ë would also be changed to –i– before –nya, but the exampleórenya “my heart [órë]” indicates that this is not the case (VT41:11).

Careful, lil’ elves….you know….All that glitters is not gold

6 Comments

Filed under Linguistics, Quenya

6 responses to “Public Warning: O.M.G. in Quenya

  1. Huh. When I saw “Yé inya Eru” I thought that there’s something wrong.
    By the way, as I saw, the word “enya” is oftenly used in the meaning of “my” among Russian quenya speakers (I have no idea why). So this isn’t correct?

    • I’m afraid it’s not. Look, Quenya is a synthetic language, it tends to join together a lot of suffixes to achieve its final meaning. It happens in case declination for instance and with pronouns too.

      The word you said here, enya means this:

      enya < endya adj. “middle” (EN). Compare #endëa.

      I've already seen some "language vices" like Spanish people greeting "Alassëa lómë" (=happy night) instead of Mára lómë (=Good night) and now if Russian people is using enya meaning 'my', that's definitely wrong. Maybe it's the source in which Quenya knowledge was disseminated at first place. That's something I'm always warning people here. Careful with your sources. Study Helge Fauskanger's extensive grammar analysis. Internet is full of wrong sources.

      • Ok, thanks.
        Actually I have noticed that for example Russian Quenya (if we could call it so!) differs much from English Quenya.
        It’s because we get here a chain of translations: Quenya – English – other language – Quenya again. I think it isn’t very good…
        It is so that if you want speak Quenya, you must learn English first. Just because it’s Tolkien who invented it, and he was an Englishman.

        • I tend to agree with you. Perhaps that’s exactly what happens! Another language in the “chain of translations” may disturb the proper rendering of the Quenya sentence. Even though, it’s noteworthy to say that English is not the key for a better understanding and dominion of Quenya. Quenya grammar answers itself and to it, one must stick if one wants to translate sentences or common greetings into the elvish language.

      • Yes, of course English is not the key. But the best materials about Quenya are in English.
        Reading some Russian information about Quenya I noticed a lot of phrases like “Aorist can be compared with English Present Simple”, “th pronounces as in English think” and so on. Because we just don’t have anything like this… For example, definite article “i” – there’s no articles in Russian at all. But if you know about English articles, that’s much easier to understand.
        Sorry if my explanations aren’t clear enough, I just don’t speak English very good, so it is a bit hard to me…

        • Oooo very good! Don’t worry, you explained perfectly clear! I agree with everything that you said! The more you know about languages (not only your mother tongue) it helps you to understand Quenya! If you’re just limited to your mother tongue (even if it’s English for instance) you won’t grasp all the tiny details about Quenya grammar, as Tolkien wasn’t bound to one language only, he was a master in the matter.

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