Now that we have extensively had posts about Tengwar Fonts and now that I’m 0% sick as I was a couple of days ago, let’s take a look at the most debatable and popular Tengwar Mode of all…..ENGLISH mode!
As you may be aware, English is a language spoken by many many living creatures in the Milky Way. Among them, there are many who not only speak the language, but is fond of reading books in English. Not so surprisingly, those English readers (most of the time) enjoy reading Tolkien books (after all he’s pretty good). AND……..somewhere down the road, they fuse what Tolkien created with their own language, English. There we have it! Tengwar English Mode.
But that’s not new! Tolkien himself developed Tengwar English Mode. It was his mother tongue, so it’s only natural he would experiment his newly begotten alphabet with what he spoke on a daily basis.
Gondor…we have a problem!
Tengwar English Mode is crooked in its essence. Ok, let me add the words “in my opinion”, otherwise Morelen may have a stroke or something. What I mean is: Tengwar is a beautiful glove which fits perfectly and naturally right and left hands made of five fingers (i.e. Quenya and Sindarin), now…when you’re trying to fit that same glove in a cloven hoof….I think you got the picture. That’s Tengwar English Mode. It’s pretty good but, I don’t know….you know….
I, myself, started with Tengwar English Mode. A decade ago, at college. It was the introduction for me. It was what I learned first when I knew little about the real deal. When I realized there was more, there was Quenya; everything made sense and I never looked back. Do you wanna see it for yourself?
Below, I’ll share with you an interesting essay talking about the differences between Tengwar English Mode and Tengwar English Mode! (Wait, is there two now?) Yeah…kind of…..See? A five-finger glove for a cloven hoof!
Tengwar – General Use: English
“There are two distinct methods with which the General Use is applied to the English language. One method is to follow the spelling used in the Roman alphabet, transliterating the numerous peculiarities of English orthography with fair accuracy. The other is to reproduce each sound of the spoken language, letting each tengwa represent an English phoneme. The two methods have on occasion been referred to as orthographic andphonemic spelling, and these terms will be used here.
As Tolkien points out,
There was of course no ‘mode’ for the representation of English. One adequate phonetically could be devised from the Fëanorian system. The brief example on the title-page [i.e. DTS 5] does not attempt to exhibit this. It is rather an example of what a man of Gondor might have produced, hesitating between the values of the letters familiar in his ‘mode’ and the traditional spelling of English. [AppE]…”
Read more at the excellent source: http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_general_english.htm