As it’s known, there is no online Quenya translator (that I am aware of, at least). Quenya is an artificial limited language and that poses double extra toughness for one to create such resource. I’m very happy about that as there are too many people pretending to know something about “elvish” with an online translator….I think you can picture the hell it would be.
But I digressed. I mentioned online translators here due to the resourcefulness of the ones available right now. Google Translator, the most famous, I guess; gives you the opportunity to listen many languages spoken by native people. That’s an A+!
Now, here’s the trick: Which pronunciation would be closer to Quenya? For advanced students, that’s quite easy to answer, but let’s ride together and rate each language based on their phonetics. The word to be used as example is: Eärendil. The number of stars stand for how close that particular pronunciation resembles Quenya itself.
(While you read this guide, go to http://translate.google.com type Eärendil and listen each language mentioned below! A cool and easy tool to aid you with phonetics)
Awful! Nothing to do with Quenya. The only letter that sounds like Quenya is the D in Eärendil. Basically, English teaches you how NOT to pronounce Quenya!
Ouch! French may sound fancy but not for Quenya. We got only the DI in Eärendil sounding decently, the rest, oh no!
Surprise, surprise! I know nothing about Czech but the sound is quite good for Quenya. We got the RENDI nailed in Eärendil.
Well, I have already heard a bit of Turkish and it definitely doesn’t sound like Quenya. Some phonemes are close though and here we got REN in Eärendil.
Uh-uh, not Danish! Again, there’s only the D in Eärendil, nothing more.
Almost Swedish! Well, ALL phonemes are there, but the stress is not good. It falls in the last syllable and that’s weird (i.e. wrong) in Quenya!
Which countries Eärendil will visit next? Which ones will his Quenya ear be fond of? Stay tuned and don’t miss our next episode of….
Eärendil around the World!