The Children of Starchamber

Do you know Starchamber? If not, you’ll have the displeasure of getting to know it through this post!


As already shown here, Starchamber is a site where one can be misled to believe Tolkien is a jerk and dumb creator. Yes, I said it! Basically, what Starchamber does is: teach people wrongly how the Tengwar alphabet works under the wrong approach with the wrong symbols for it, combined with the wrong info of how the writing actually works. It’s like Depeche Mode’s song WRONG!

In essence, Starchamber mislead people and pretend they can learn how to write “Elvish” by simply substituting letters like a code. Ok…that’s not new around here, but here comes the thing:

Starchamber offspring! (a.k.a. Children of the Damned)

Children of the Damned

Yes, the damned thing is reproducing now! Not only that, the thing’s offspring is teaching others and “translating” names into Quenya AND Sindarin! How versatile huh? Shall we take a look?

For the ones who cannot read Quenya, it TRULY says: ëarrshwild (and that's NOT a Quenya word)

For the ones who cannot read Quenya, it TRULY says: ëarrshwild (and that’s NOT a Quenya word)

The most painful thing to me, personally, frankly, is to know that the person who asked the question now believes it’s written “Earthschild” above. Next step is getting a tattoo, can you imagine that? I can!

With a single word as “ëarsshwild”, that child of Starchamber broke 5 orthographic rules! Let’s count:

  1. Wrong tengwa for R
  2. Wrong doubling of consonant R
  3. Wrong usage of the tengwa for S (as there’s no tehta above it)
  4. Wrong position for HW. It can only come initially.
  5. Wrong consonant (D) ending a word. In Quenya, it can only be T, N, L, R, S

1 word, 0 meaning, 5 orthographic mistakes! Thank you very much Starchamber!!!!


It’s not over! Let’s check a name now. Shall we? Are you prepared for what its coming? Be strong:

For the ones who cannot read Quenya, it TRULY says: "ahlyë". It looks like a Quenya word, but IT IS NOT!

For the ones who cannot read Quenya, it TRULY says: “ahlyë”. It looks like a Quenya word, but IT IS NOT!

Now we face a deeper issue. Etymology. Names cannot be merely translated. In our current languages, a name means nothing, but in its origin, a name meant EVERYTHING! Through etymology one can compose a Quenya equivalent (instead of simply writing an English name using Tengwar Quenya Mode.) For the ones curious, HERE you can learn how Ashley is accurately composed into Quenya.


having considered all this, I beg you all: Ask this Tumblr this question:

Would you like to learn correctly Tengwar and Quenya?

With that question, please add any good source of your choice! Fauskanger’s, Renk’s, anything! Please! Join the campaign for an elucidated world!

Lazy internet minds are ruining what Tolkien left and disrespecting his beautiful minds by their own lack of understanding!



Filed under Drugs, Elvish, Guide, Linguistics, Psycho, Quenya, Sindarin, Tengwar, Tolkien

22 responses to “The Children of Starchamber

  1. Cillendor

    Stuff like this really annoys me. But I think with the “Earthschild” thing, I think what you perceived to be a second óre is actually a súle with a pathetically diminished stem. Still inexcusable, but at least it is a bit more readable in English that way.

  2. I kind of disagree with you, slightly. Why should “writing in tengwar” mean translating only? I can write my name using Latin or Cyrillic letters, Arabic, Kanji or whatever else, and I don’t need to translate it literally to do so. Why not Tengwar then?
    But yes, these guys are misleading people, and it’s really bad. Just the point mentioned above that discords with what I think.

    • Writing in Tengwar doesn’t mean that. Now, writing “Elvish” as those people use to refer to that, can mean so many things!!!! It can even mean a language like Forgotten Realms RPG’s:

      You can use any alphabet as you mentioned here, but all of them are not PHONETIC alphabets like Tengwar is, so here we have the basic distinction why Tengwar should not be picked up lightly without one realizing its Modes and its complexities.

      The same big mistake will happen if you take IPA alphabet and write your name using any symbol you fancy there (no matter how that works phonetically) in no matter what language you mean.

      • When writing in Japanese, you need to adapt the name because the language is very different from many of ours phonetically. You can do the same using Quenya Tengwar or Sindarin Tengwar, adapting to one of these languages and then writing down.
        Basically, you did the same thing when translating maps: if you couldn’t find the etymology, you just made it sound more natural for Quenya, didn’t you?

      • Yeah, but why not apply phonotactics to a name? That’s what I’m saying: you can adapt it instead of translating if you wish so.

        • Because of etymology. It’s not translation, it’s etymology. (and that’s the core of everything, not a sound adaptation to a current phonetic pattern, which changes by the way while etymology is rock solid unchangeable.)

      • This is true. But what I’m saying is that there may be people who consider it important how their name sounds. That’s what we are used to in our world: you don’t translate names. For elves, it’s different. But I’m sure that if a none-related-to-Tolkien person had to live among elves, they would respect his/her wish and cultural tradition concerning the name. And this is when adaptation, or phonotactics, can help.
        Of course considering the etymology makes much sense! But it’s just not the way for everyone. Remember Curufin didn’t translate his name when he came to Endore, he just shortened it so that it could sound more Sindarin. 🙂
        After all, you are the master of your name, and if someone feels it’s important to keep the sounding…why not?
        …And it is mentioned somewhere, I think in “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar”, that an elf wouldn’t use a very convenient but ugly thing. What if to the name’s owner it’s translation seems ugly? And doesn’t he or she have the right to keep the one that seems beautiful instead?

        • Well, people who may favor phonetics over etymologies obviously got the order of importance wrongly. If it suits them well, ok, fine by me, but that’s not the real order of importance.

          Nobody translates names! That’s true! Etymology is not translation!!!!

          Believe me! Erunno was VERY ugly for me when I firstly discovered as the etymology of my name! NOW…it’s absolutely MY name and I love it!

          No name in Quenya is ugly. The beauty is in the ears of the listener, the eyes of the beholder. Time makes everyone used to his Quenya name if one wishes to bear it.

      • “Nobody translates names”—I’m sure you know what I mean. My name is of Hebrew origin but no Russian calls me Blagodat and you wouldn’t insist on calling me Grace just because we speak English now. If so, you would have to translate Erunno into English too…well, never mind. 🙂
        It’s personal what you say, Erunno. Not every dwarf thinks Quenya is beautiful, believe me. 😉 The Elves call them “hadhod”, and it’s not a translation but an attempt to make “Khazad” sound more elvish. Also keep in mind the example of Fëanor… a correct Sindarin version of his name would be Faenor, but for some reason only the “fire” part was translated.
        You speak about the REAL order of importance, but how can you claim you know the ultimate one? Etymology is in the foreground for you, for me, for the Elves, for Tolkien, but hey, we are not the only creatures in the universe, are we? Don’t be biased… People of our world often name their children just because the name sounds beautifully. Sometimes they don’t even check the meaning! That’s how it is for them, so why don’t respect their tradition?
        Just imagine me talking to an elf like that:
        — My name means “almarë” but please call me Anna.
        — No way! It means other thing in Sindarin, nothing to do with blessedness! Don’t be so stubborn, dear Almarë!
        Do you really believe..?

        • I’m not sure if you know what I mean when I said: “Nobody translates names”. Nobody does!!!! That’s not what etymology is about.

          Of course, English name are not like Russian names but can’t you see how Matthew, Erunno and Матвей are all related and connected through their origin? Once again, that’s not translation.

          I agree with you when you said it’s personal what I meant about Quenya. Well, it is. Quenya is beautiful and I feel sorry for those who personally cannot see that.

          Which elves call them hadhod???? Sindar? Well, we call them Naucor!

          I don’t claim I know the ultimate one. I just follow the logic of linguistics. Sounds are mutable in space and time. Etymology is not! The relation is the same as sand and bedrock! Each one builds a house wherever they want right! If people name their children after sounds…good!…(for them). That doesn’t change the truth that sounds (let’s repeat so perhaps we understand the logic) sounds are changeable, the origin is not, it’s something fixed in space and time.

          I respect any tradition but my respect doesn’t make me agree with them.

          Your example doesn’t make sense. Why would you present yourself in Quenya for a Sinda? He would take you directly to Thingol!!! That wouldn’t end nice for you!

      • Ah, and there’s something else… You say the etymology is important but…it isn’t. The Elves are very careful in choosing the name. They have certain customs concerning the name-giving… But it’s not the case here, sadly. So if parents gave their child a name randomly without bothering themselves by the meaning—who is it important to? How is it tied to one’s fate if it was not given for his/her personal characteristics? For an elf, the name can tells much about its owner. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work here in the same way. If you keep the sounding, at least it could tell that this is the combination of sounds that is liked by one’s family. :/ Alas, but that’s all we can get from it.

        • Once again, the tradition of others won’t change the irrefutable truths about . I guess you remember it by now, right?

          I am very aware humans are careless name givers, but that’s one more sloppy tradition mankind keeps until today! There are so many!

      • Well, there are cases when a name changes its meaning because it’s a homophone of something else in another language. But I understand that you mean that its initial origin cannot be changed—it’s just there.

        Aaaaalright, never mind anyway. I see we just don’t get each other’s points (or do but don’t accept). Basically, I agree with you but it just seems extremely weird to me to associate one with something he was never actually meant to be nor by family nor by himself. “Real names tell you the story of things they belong to…” If so, they don’t.

        Sorry if I said something that seemed very stupid to you. 😉

        • Homophones are just another fragile aspect someone who relies on sounds only must be concerned about.

          If one is associated with a name he actually didn’t mean to be due to one’s parents’ lack of knowledge, the fault is on one’s parents’, not on the etymology altogether. It’s there for hundred of years!

          And I agree: Real name tell you the story of things they belong (when one knows which story is being told at first place)

  3. Aiya meldo !! Manen nalyë?
    Eu concordo com o que você esta dizendo. Há muitos websites fornecendo informações erradas e dizendo que foram atestadas por J.R.R.Tolkien.
    Apesar que um estudante de Quenya lógicamente irá procurar saber a origem de tudo o que esta lendo.
    Meu conselho para estudantes novos é que estudem inicialmente usando livros até que tenham uma noção básica do assunto. Afinal… Obrigado por compartilhar !!!

  4. Why don’t you simply leave that person a message and tell them that they were misinformed on how tengwar works? You can always direct them to Omniglot.

    It is not very Fellowship-like of you to be mean. Yes, misinformation is annoying, but I’m certain that person means well at least…

    • Well, I simply left the person a message. Some people are just stubborn on the wrong path, you know.

      I am not mean, I am as straightforward as it can be. Just that. People tend to mistake that for rudeness, but essentially it’s the reader who has the power to attribute a rude or mean tone to a written text.

      If that person means well, in 3.5 seconds that person will stop and rethink what he or she is spreading.

  5. The thing that disappoints me most about these, is the underestimation of the complexity of what Tolkien achieved… he did not just create a simple cipher for the Latin alphabet, rather numerous languages and a versatile phonetic alphabet with which to write (some) of them. I mean, the mode presented that is presented there works fine as an English mode… and examples of similar use by Tolkien exist*, but the way it’s presented oversimplifies the process a lot. Tinco isn’t ‘the letter t’, it’s the Tengwar that represents the voiceless alveolar plosive, which in English is represented by the letter t. The distinction might seem nit-picky but it’s important in order to understand what exactly the Tengwar is.

    I studied languages at school, and to me it’s obvious that other languages are not just about having different words for things, and that other alphabets are not just ‘more exotic’ [bleh] ways of writing the same thing. But seeing a number of people make the same mistakes in assuming so (just looking up the equivalent words and stringing them together with English grammar) makes me think that maybe that doing so is normal. Most people doing these are just young fans, and want to have a bit of fun learning (which is great!) and it’s unfortunate that some people (talking about the starchamber guy, not the tumblr people – I fully believe that they’ve just seen that tutorial/similar and gone from there, none the wiser) go around spreading misinformation because they don’t care or think it’s good enough… (or perhaps they really don’t understand). The incorrect/oversimplified view is much easier, and so it persists and is taken up more readily.

    The more I learn Quenya, the more I think that writing English in Tengwar is weird. I mean you don’t write English using the Japanese alphabet? People learning a language often (in my experience with Japanese, anyway) write the language they are learning in their native alphabet (writing Japanese in the latin alphabet is called ‘romaji’) to aid with understanding until they become more fluent in their reading of the new alphabet (I now find it harder to read Japanese in romaji than hiragana/katakana/kanji). So it would make sense for a (hypothetical) native Tengwar reader to write English in Tengwar, just like it makes sense (from a learning perspective, not just a practical one) to write Quenya or Sindarin in the latin alphabet but not so much the other way around.

    *shrugs* Need a “tengwar is not a cipher for latin” stamp.

    *According to Amanye Tenceli there are four examples from Tolkien writing an Quenya-syntax English mode, one for orthographic writing (DTS 68) and three for phonemic writing (DTS 39, DTS 58, DTS 70).

    • “Underestimation of the complexity Tolkien achieved” VOILÀ…..with these 6 words you summarized all my bottled up feelings towards mediocre pools of info such as this infamous Starchamber!

      I love to the core your way of thinking and arguments presented here! Highlights to the notion of writing English with katakana/hiragana/kanji which makes no sense at all! After I learnt Quenya, I NEVER EVER looked back to the in my opinion “crooked” English Mode. Surely, Tolkien himself used and wrote English Mode; but the beauty lies in the native thing. For beginners, English Mode may seem mildly good, but the real solid food comes later, with the real original deal!

      As said before, Almárë…I am in love with your brain! 😀

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