The Ultimate Elvish Tattoo Collection

This is an important post! It’s a warning to everyone who thinks to get some “elvish tattoo”.  Think twice, thrice, 264 times before you get a tattoo in a language or alphabet you don’t have enough knowledge to read by yourself. Here it’s a compilation of wrong tattoos. It will be updated constantly when a tattoo pops up deserving to be part of this collection. It’s a tragedy when someone who truly wishes to pay a tribute to Tolkien and his work, has a gibberish tattoo permanently inked on one’s skin. I weep for them! On the other hand, it’s really  funny to mock  those who want to show off how nerdy and well skilled in elvish they are with their “only-an-illiterate-elf-would-read-that-because-it-makes-no-sense” tattoo. So, please…whatever your motivations are to get something tattooed in Tengwar, please check A LOT before getting it. Perhaps learn a little bit how Tengwar works. It’s not hard. Quenya101 can help you to learn it! Behold now the ultimate elvish tattoo collection (the freaking bad ones):

What is wrong?

The common mistakes are:

  • Getting any Tengwar font and typing it thinking Tengwar would work exactly like the Roman alphabet displayed in the computer keyboard. The end result are always something like “sdghtrwfeyuhjk”. Surprisingly, people tattoo that!
  • Confusing Tengwar Modes and getting a tattoo for instance, in English with the writing rules of Quenya, Sindarin or any other language. It’s a detail, but it makes a whole difference. E.g.: instead of Fernando in Spanish, one might get Frenand o. People don’t pay attention to details and get them tattooed!
  • Choosing a Tengwar font (the worst for the job: Tengwar Gandalf) and not observing the tehtar positions for that particular font. There are some variations among Tengwar fonts. They are very small sometimes, but to the literate eye, they are clear to observe, they are right there! It’s lik ty pin g th is wya. See? People get tehtar weirdly positioned and have them tattooed all the time!
  • Paying someone to supposedly write something in elvish when clearly this someone has a very limited knowledge! Would you like to spend $30 to get some gibberish elvish writing and tattoo it? With our dear Starchamber site, YOU CAN! People spend money on that and they get tattoos without realizing the joke is on them!

So,

…the golden rule is: LEARN before you get something tattooed! ASK someone who really knows what one is tolkien about! RESEARCH thoroughly in sources with linguistic credentials. There are many Tolkien linguistics studies who can be checked BEFORE you get some ink you’ll regret for the rest of your mortal life! I wish you all a healthy and well decorated skin!

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126 Comments

Filed under Art, Elvish, Quenya, Sindarin, Spanish, Tattoo, Tengwar

126 responses to “The Ultimate Elvish Tattoo Collection

  1. Jurika Shani

    I doubt if anyone can actually rely on anyone for a perfectly accurate translation or reliable resources to “study” Elvish, before sticking a tattoo. I would say, just try your best and look for correlations of translations from multiple sources. Then your intended phrase or word in beautiful Elvish will be stunning nevertheless. Who cares if it is the correct translation anyway? Because who REALLY knows? Even if, some self-proclaimed pro might anyway ridicule you 😉 I am getting one next week, doing my best to find the right depiction. Jokes on me? Nah – can’t wait!

  2. Marlou

    Tattoo06 could actually be Arabic, though written in a very stylish free hand (and the first and second letter -right to left- should be written connected to eachother) and I can see why this could be confused with Tengwar font. If this were meant to be Arabic it reads H-e-ta, for example Heata. I have just started
    my first Elvish course, so I don’t know what it spells or should spell in Tengwar -yet 😊.

    I see some similar letters between Elvish and Arabic which is one of the reasons I want to study Elvish and Tolkien, to see if he was influenced by the Arabic language or writing for example.

    Greetings Marlou

    • Well, Tengwar was influenced by Arabic and Hebrew when it comes to vowel positioning as diacritcs on the consonants. I love this feature so much!!!

  3. Lei Sulin

    I know Tengwar Original English mode…….the shortest of these bad tattoos seems to simply say “hot” in correct Tengwar…..it appears twice, once on the back of someone’s hand (someone also wearing a blue bracelet). So I’m wondering what was the defect in that case?

    • Not using the elvish alphabet to write an elvish language (even though there are different modes as Tengwar is a phonetic alphabet). It’s subjective though. I just don’t see sense in writing English using the Arabic, Cyrillic, Devanagari (or Tengwar) alphabet.

  4. Pingback: Elvish Tattoo Guide | Quenya101

  5. Michael

    How do you spell out Jesus Christ in elvish?

  6. Kim Nijboer

    Hi. I was wondering if you could help me with the translation of the name Eowyn. Would like to get a tattoo of that name.
    Thank you!

  7. alyssa

    Hi! I’m looking to translate english to quenya to tengwar (more accurate, yes?) the english phrase is “not for the last time” which I have gotten to “lá an métima lúmë” can you translate that to tengwar? or would a simple tengwar translator be accurate enough? thank you!

  8. Atena S

    Im too scared to send a picture of mine… Im scared it will say “jgihaighakhgjkahgjh” or something… lol

  9. Ben Jeffrey

    I know this isn’t a request section but I’m simple looking to spell Ben in quenya, however, I am not very familiar with the structure and I am not sure if my translation is correct. Could you possibly refer me to a link to help me out? Thanks,
    Ben

  10. Courtney

    Do you have photos of tattoos done in correct sindarin

  11. Helping out

    I agree, some of these are very wrong. But guys you need to do the research. The link above that shows how to use ‘Tengwar’ is pretty bad considering that it is generalising does not take into account the 2 Quenya styles, as well as the old and new Sindarin, the old and new and modified english modes and the black speech mode. There are MANY fonts created by TOLKIEN himself. And depending on whether you are writing in english (with Elvish letters) or Quenya or Sindarin you should research further than this page.

    • The link above follows all knowledge on the matter made available so far by Tolkien Estate.

      Please enlighten me with the “2 Quenya styles” you mention.

      Concerning Sindarin, English and Black Speech: the link NEVER EVER states that its purpose is to teach other Tengwar Mode than Quenya Mode.

      I though you have read the page there in order to express to vividly your opinion on the subject here.

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