Ok, first of all: NO! You won’t be able to learn how to speak the Tengwar language. No one will. Why???? Read below…
This post is a guide designed for all the people who are getting their very first contact with the languages developed by Tolkien.
So, below you’ll find quick facts for the beginners who honestly wants to learn more (and also for the geeks & nerds who brag about how expert they are and how fluently they can speak Tengwar)
Tengwar is not a language
This is such a basic thing. Something must be very wrong in Wikipedia, because lately so many people have popped up everywhere saying Tengwar IS a language. I got heavily cursed some days ago by unos cabrones when I corrected the later statement. It was so surreal their talk that a lot of my Twitter followers started to reply or retweet what we were writing on the matter.
Above you’ll have an example of Roman alphabet. Roman is not a language. People definitely don’t say “I speak Roman, I speak Cyrillic”. Nonsense! That’s exactly the case with Tengwar. It’s just the alphabet, not the language itself. How can one speak an alphabet? (i.e. a set of symbols arranged in any particular order or set and used for writing a language)
Elvish is not a language
This conception mistake is more common and less horrible than the “Tengwar language”. Actually, you must be wondering: “What? Elvish is a language! That’s what elves speak in the movies, right?” So, bear with me! Let’s think harder for a bit!
How many elvish languages are there? Only one? When someone says “I want to learn Elvish” which language is one referring? Quenya, Sindarin, Telerin, Vanyarin, Common Eldarin, Primitive Quendian…? You see: Tolkien didn’t create one language. He created a multitude! The term “Elvish” says NOTHING! It’s actually an adjective.
If you are lay to the subject, if you are new, you will definitely use “Elvish”, but after you stop and think for a moment…there’s no sense keeping such an inaccurate term which defines and determines no language after all. Ex.: “He speaks Chinese…Wait…Mandarin? Cantonese? What?”
Tengwar is not a code
So true! The name is Tengwar Alphabet, not Tengwar Code. There’s a famous search engine result called Starchamber that could not be worst to teach Tengwar alphabet. It lacks depth. It shows a shallow surface and only contributes to people writing wrongly with no awareness whatsoever how Tengwar really works.
Perhaps by its simplicity, this site has become famous and people really like it. I don’t know what happens. Kids are strange these days. They don’t put up with being corrected and they rather have something easy and wrong than enhancing their brain’s level a little bit.
Tengwar alphabet was developed phonetically! What really matters are the sounds and not the letters. That’s where this simple approach of Tengwar as a code, fails completely.
There are so many things that can be added to this guide. Those above are what I can come up with right now. When something weird, wrong and new comes up (oooo and I’m sure it will) I’m gonna add to make this post a 1st step to getting to know the basic concepts about Tolkien wonderful creations!