Black Black Black…Speech!

Time has come to unleash the Orc inside of you!

In a time when people hypocritically (quoting dictionary: “saying that you have particular moral beliefs but behaving in a way that shows these are not sincere”) is talking about warm feelings, goodness, charity…and ho ho ho, merry Xmas…well I found quiet appropriate to share and stimulate my fellow elves to take a look at this fascinating site below about Black Speech, the language of Mordor.

As you may know, there are few corpora of Black Speech left by Tolkien himself. It wasn’t developed like Quenya. No, not by a long shot! So with the 2 or 3 sentences of attested Black Speech, you simply cannot speak the language! There’s nothing to study!


There’s still hope! Like me, some people made their own “project” and they tried to rebuild Black Speech as a whole, with grammar, verbs conjugation, the whole deal! Are you getting excited??? Wait! Not yet!

Do you see that? It’s the alphabet! Partly based on Tengwar, partly on Angerthas, it was pretty well done and they even created the fonts so you could write Black Speech properly.


let’s cut to the cheese! Here is what you need to talk like an orc, growl like an orc,…BE A ORC!


Uruks and the Black Speech

The word Uruk comes from the Black Speech and was used to describe the great soldier Orcs of Mordor and Isengard at the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth. The lesser orcs were called snaga or ‘slave’ in the Black Tongue. The Orcs were first bred by the Dark Power of the North in the Elder days. It is said that they had no language of their own, but took what they could of other tongues and perverted it to their own liking; yet they made only brutal jargons, scarcely sufficient even for their own needs, unless it were for curses and abuse. Theorcs being filled with malice, hating even their own kind, quickly developing as many barbarous dialects as their were groups and settlements of their race, so that their tongue, the Orkish Speech, was of little use to them in intercourse between tribes.

Ready to become an orc?

The diversity and mutability of the Orkish tongues was of course an obstacle for the Dark Lord using Orcs as his iron fist to subde the West. So for the purpose of efficient administration, Sauron took the time to devise the Black Speech for the purpose of controling his servants and vast armies.

It is said that the Black Speech was devised by Sauron in the Dark Years, and that he had desired to make it the language of all those that served him. Some say that he failed in that purpose, but we disagree with that assessment. If Sauron had regained the One Ring and been victorious in the War of the Ring, then the Black Speech would have become the Common Tongue of Middle-earth, much as the Westron or mannish speech was at the time of the end of the Third Age. Sauron was only just beginning to reassert his power in the world. The assertion that he failed in his attempt to make the Black Speech universal among his servants, comes from those outside the Black Gate of Mordor. Within the borders of the Land of Shadow, the Black Speech was the chosen form of communication between the many armies and minions of the Dark Lord.

After the overthrow of Sauron in the Second Age, this language in it’s ancient form was forgotten by all but the Nazgûl. When Sauron arose again, it became once more the language of Barad-dûr and of the captains of Mordor. The Inscription on the Ring was in the ancient Black Speech, while the curses of the Mordor-orc in the Third Age was in the more debased form used by the soldiers of the Dark Tower.

Do you find orcs too savage for your taste? Be a Ringwraith then!

The Black Speech flourished at the time of the fall of Mordor and was used as the common tongue among the many tribes and clans of Uruks that populated the Plain of Gorgoroth; from Udûn to Cirith Ungol to Barad-dûr. Without the Black Speech, it would have been impossible to have ordered the movements of such large forces in his war against the West. Sauron above all others, understood the value of order amid chaos, and so wanted to rule all of Middle-earth under the iron fist of the orc, ruled by the will of the Dark Lord.

What happened to the Black Speech after the fall of Sauron? In ever more debased forms, it may have lingered for a while among some of his former subjects. It is said the The Black Uruks of Barad-dûr still thrive in the Ash Mountains amid the ruin of the Dark Tower and are like a Shadow of Fear in that part of the world. Even today, it’s not wholly dead, for those who carry on the knowledge of the Black Speech of Mordor, keep it alive and give homage to the Shadow of Middle-earth.

Pick your tribe and let's head to the slaughter, you pushdug Uruk-glob!

1 Comment

Filed under Black Speech, Inside Middle-Earth, Linguistics

One response to “Black Black Black…Speech!

  1. Pingback: Khuzdûl….or “Quasi-Khuzdûl” | quenya101

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