Page 1 (§§1-4)




§1 / §2 / §3 / §4¹


§1 / §2 / §3 / §4¹


§1 / §2 / §3 / §4¹

Paragraphs & Analysis


Eru engë, i estaina ná Ilúvatar Ardassë; ar ónes

minyavë Ainur, i ner i híni sanweryo,

ar nentë ósë nó ilúvë ontaina né. Ar quentes

ten, antië lindi lindalëo ten; ar epë se lindanentë,

ar neryë alassëa. Mal an anda lú er lindanentë ilya eressëa

hya uo Ainuli, talumë i exer hlarner; pan ilya er hanyanë

asta sámo Ilúvatarwa yallo túles,

ar handessë onóronto alálanentë lencavë. Er

illumë hlarnentë, tumna hanyanentë, ar alálanentë

vanessë a’rainessë.

And below I’ll give the exact translation, word by word, with all adaptations and synonyms in place, in order to enhance your understanding of how people manage to translate things to Quenya, even though it’s a vocabulary limited artificial language. So, 1st paragraph reads:


God there was, who called is Ilúvatar in Arda; and he created

firstly the Ainur, who were the children of his thought,

and they were with him before all created was. And he said

to them, to give melodies of music to them; and before him they sang,

and he was joyous. But for a long time only they sang each alone

or together few Ainur, at that time the others heard; for each only understood

the part of Ilúvatar’s mind whence they came,

and in knowledge of their brotherhood they continually grew slowly. Yet

always they heard, deep they understood, and they continually grew

in beauty and harmony.

Eru Ilúvatar mahalmassë

Now you can read the 1st paragraph closely in Tengwar as well as listen to it! Click on the image with the right mouse button and enjoy!

Time to continue with our analysis. Here I’ll present the 2nd paragraph, a short one (lines #11-15) about the introducing of musical themes by Ilúvatar. So, hear them singing now:



Ar marta ten ya Ilúvatar hostanë ilyë Ainur ar

quentes ten taura lin, pantië ten engwer túrë

ar elmendië lá atánies talumë; ar i alcar

mentë ar yestaryava pentë indo Ainuiva, sië

luhtanentë Ilúvatar epë ar nentë hlónilórë.

Ainur hroalórë indossë


And it happens to them that Ilúvatar gathered all the Ainur and

said to them a mighty melody, opening to them things (more) powerful

and wonderful than he had shown at that time; and the glory

of its end and beginning stroke mind of the Ainur, thus

they bowed Ilúvatar before and were noiseless.

This is the exact, word-by-word translation of the 2nd paragraph. As you can realize, there are some strange constructions when translated this way, but those kind of syntax is absolutely allowed in Quenya. For instance: there are no ‘more’ word to make the comparative needed in #2 of this paragraph. In Quenya, only ‘than’ is necessary to express the meaning intended. “They bowed Ilúvatar before” sounds awfully weird too, but it is permitted. I wrote that way to avoid the phonetic fusion of ‘luhtanente’pë’, which definitely wouldn’t sound that nice in Quenya.

Talking about what sounds nice in Quenya, it’s time to listen indeed to what is the §2 all about!


In the 3rd paragraph, Ilúvatar finally introduces his idea of composing a Great Music in which the Ainur will have special part, devising Ilúvatar’s will into song. So, here comes lines #16-21 in the Quenya version:


Tá equë Ilúvatar: ‘I lin yo anyárienyel,

merin sí ya caril indë rainessë Túra Lindalë . Ar

pan itintienyel Ilfirin’árenen, tanuval

túrelyar netienen lin sina, ilya sanwë

ar cururyanen, qui meris. Mal haruvan ar hlaruvan, ar nauvan alassëa yanen

le alta vanessë né cuivaina lindalessë.’

I Nárë Ilfirin


Then said Ilúvatar: ‘Of the melody that I have told you,

I want now that you make yourselves in harmony Great Music. And

since I have kindled you with Imperishable Flame, you will show

your powers “in (order to) adorning (with)” this melody, each with his thought

and his skill, if he wants. But I will sit and listen , and be joyous that

through you great beauty was awakened in music.’

That was the “word-by-word” translation of the 3rd paragraph. The only hard spot here was the verb adorn used in line #19. The verb is easy, (netya) no problem here. But besides being conjugated in gerund (which sometimes is confusing to distinguish in English) there is a instrumental function linked with ‘your powers’! So instead of just conjugating the gerund (netië) with dative suffix (netien) to express ‘in order to adorn’ or ‘in adorning’ (which would be a common construction in Quenya), it requires the INSTRUMENTAL case too, which wasn’t attached to ‘túrelyar’ due to phonetic reasons in this particular sentence. In the end, we get a verb in gerund and 2 case endings: netië+n+nen = netienen. It’s valid since Quenya allows case declination even in verbs according to its syntactical function. Gerund+dative, for instance, you see everywhere…but gerund+dative+instrumental…WOW!

Let’s LISTEN now §3 and the beauty of Quenya sounds…shall we?


Now all voices are ready to play the wonderful theme of Ilúvatar. Here comes the 4th paragraph where they began the melody and the beauty of Ilúvatar creation. Hearken the 1st Theme of the Ainulindalë!


Sië i ómar Ainuiva, ve ara nander ar simpar, ar simpinar

ar tumber, ar tingeror ar súlinder, ar ve ara únótimë ómali

lindië quettainen, yéser autië i lin Ilúvatarwa túra

lindalen; ar lamma ortanë oialë quaptalë lindion lanyaina

rainessë yanna lahtanë hlarië i tumbor ar i

tárië, ar i nórer Ilúvatarwa ner quanta oloirëo,

ar i lindalë ar i láma tentaner i

Cúma, ar úmes cumna. Ullumë Ainur acárië

lindaleli ve lindalë sina, ananta nes quétina ya er antúra

nauva carna epë Ilúvatar i ómali Ainuiva ar i

Híni Ilúvataroinen epë auremetta. Tá i linder

Ilúvatarwa nauvar tyalda téravë, ar queruvar Eäla talumë…

{End of 1st page. To be continued…}


Thus the voices of Ainur, like beside harps and pipes, and flutes

& trumpets, & ‘twangers’ & ‘windsongs’, & like beside uncountable voices*

singing with words, began to devise the melody of Ilúvatar to a great

music; and sound arose of everlasting exchanging melodies woven

in harmony whereto surpassed hearing the depths and the

heights, and the places of Ilúvatar were full of great flood

and the music and the echo directed toward the

Void, and it was not empty. Never Ainur have made

any music like this music, although it(‘s been) was  said that still greater

shall be made before Ilúvatar by the voices* of Ainur and the

Children of Ilúvatar after# end of days. Then the melodies

of  Ilúvatar shall be played aright, and turn into Being in the moment…

{End of 1st page. To be continued…}

This was by far the most difficult paragraph translated ever! It’s full of musical instruments and as such a specific vocabulary, certainly there would be some words that simply didn’t exist in Quenya. I was a bit lucky, because there is indeed pipes, flutes and harps in Quenya but viols and organs….no! I had to adapt with words deriving from twang and wind to describe the kind of sounds those “unknown” (in elvish culture) instruments would make.

Noteworthy too, it’s the use of partitive plural of ‘voices’ in line 2 & 10 to in fact denote ‘choirs’ (a part of a song made by voices, right? That was my thinking) and also I marked the word “after” because it’s very interesting how the Quenya epë  is used in both time and spatial relations. On line 10, for instance, there is “before Ilúvatar” meaning they were in front of him (thence spatial). Here we use epë to mean ‘before’. BUT on the line below, there is “after the end of days” meaning after the time of that particular event, so…we use epë too, however here it means “after”. Tricky, huh? Perhaps, but those kind of  singularities just adds to Quenya flavor! And what a surmounting flavor there is to taste!!

Let’s listen now to the end of 1st page. Here comes the 4th paragraph (part I):




33 responses to “Page 1 (§§1-4)

  1. Arnaud

    OK so in order to practice my tengwar, I took the Ainulindalë in Tengwar and translated it (well just the 1st paragraph) in roman alphabet (great exercice actually)
    But I THINK (just think, you’re the real expert here) I found some mistakes..? Or maybe it’s just language stuff that I haven’t heard of yet (but I think I read your website entirely)

    There is this bit “ar nentë ósë nó ilúvë ontaina né” and I think in tengwar you wrote “ná” instead of “né”…

    Then there is “pan ilya er hanyanë asta sámo Ilúvatarwa yallo túles” and I’m pretty sure you wrote “tan” instead of “pan”.

    Then there is “Er illumë hlarnentë” and I think you forgot the so you wrote “ilumë” and not “illumë”

    OK so these were the 3 mistakes I think I found… Then again you’re the expert and maybe I’m totally wrong!

    And also, there’s this “exer”. I didn’t know the ‘x’ tengwar so I wrote calma-silmë but when I read your translation (to correct my mistakes) I noticed that there was a ‘x’ tengwa, but it’s not in the tengwar alphabet you gave us (well I don’t think so… maybe I didn’t see it)
    And last thing the “a’rainessë”. I didn’t know about the apostroph so I didn’t put it and then I saw you wrote “ar rainessë”. It’s probably just a language thing that I haven’t heard of yet, but I’d like to understang it!

    SOOO thaaaank you for the Ainulindalë in quenya you did an amazing job I’m very grateful I learnt tengwar thanks to you and you’re amazing
    And again, about the ‘mistakes’ I noticed, I’m not sure, you tell me! 😀


    • Very well done, Arnaud!!! I just have to laud you!

      You’re a good observer and you caught those 3 mistakes!!! (Damn those elvish copyists….)

      Everything is corrected now (check them there) and here are some answers for your inquiries:

      There’s no actual tengwa for X. X is a rendition in the Roman Alphabet for what in Quenya is C accompanied with S, so…. /ks/ which is one phonetic rendition of letter X. See? This CS is written the way you saw in Ainulindalë, a calma with a short hook underneath it.

      What you saw in “a’rainessë” is a Roman alphabet rendition which Quenya allows it. I myself use it very very scarcely. The thing is: You may join words which end and begin with the same letter, like the example “ar rainessë” > “a’rainessë”. Both ways would render the same thing in Tengwar though as there’s no rendition for the ‘

      Got it?

      Well, as you can see, those are some of the things you will get deepened in 1st Class course. There are so many more details.

      Thank you so much for your observing eye and the thirst for learning! A pleasure to have you here!

  2. All Girl Massage

    This design is spectacular! You most certainly know how to
    keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I
    was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.

    Too cool!

  3. Pingback: Learning Tengwar | My Modern Quill

  4. I am Hispanic and I’m doing just this project, truly, I congratulate you on this, and I compared my translation to Quenya with it and is quite similar, except a few things I guess it’s because I’m doing the text in Spanish even I need to write in tengwar, in that I’m still not very good in the process

  5. Llyrianna

    I can’t wait to tear this whole website brick by brick and learning all the beautiful and miraculous stuff you have here. You are truly my hero, of course just a bit behind The Professor. I imagine it like this: Hot summer, a nice finnish cabin beside the lake, tea, me and your crazy, crazy website. Those two months could be the happiest of my life x) Keep up the good work, I am so happy that people like you exist 🙂

    • Wow, Llyrianna…..thank you so much for the kind words! I’m really really thankful! You have no idea how good such encouragements like yours are and how they motivate Quenya101 to keep up helping people in their “elvish quest”.

  6. Filip Markebo

    I LOVE IT! thank you so much for doing this, keep up the good work (y) 🙂

    But i have some constructive criticism: I don’t know who does the reading of the quenya Ainu Lindalë, but that person can definitely improve his pronunciation, just one example is Ullumë. Here it sound like Úlume, and there are a couple of more things that could need improvement.

    Aside from that, this is just AWSOME, I can’t tell you how much i want the full translation into Quenya as a “mini-book” or something once its done( it could be like, the first park in quenya( using Tengwar), the second part in Quenya as well( but in latin writing) and then one last part where its in english( ofc. using the latin alphabet once again :))).

    Just AWSOME! (y) 😀

    • Ullumë has the same tonic syllable as does Úlumë, that’s why you’re listening them much alike.

      I’m glad you enjoy the work and your enthusiasm is what keeps me going on and on! Who knows if one day we may have a book published in Quenya like the format you mention here, huh? That would be super awesome!

      • Filip Markebo, aka. Roccorendil

        I have to respectfully dissagree, you should be able to hear a distinct difference in those two sounds. Ullumë should sound kinda like [UL+LUMË] and Úlumë should sound like [UU+LUMË].

  7. Lauro

    This is quite good. I shall memorize it.

  8. Taz

    Wow. This is… breathtakingly cool. I’m amazed at the time and skill this must have taken. :O

    I found a couple of helpful words though, for terms you had to invent things for. According to the Council of Elrond’s Quenya word-list, which is pretty comprehensive, there are viols in Quenya (well, violins and violas. They’ll do): salaquintil is a violin, and salquin is a viola. No need for twangers! Also “quilda” is “quiet, hushed, still”, which might work for “silent.” in §2.

    • Thank you, Taz! It really takes much time and patience I should say to translate bit by bit from English to Quenya. As you can see, there are some words pretty tough to adapt into Quenya.

      I liked a lot your “quilda” suggestion. It fits very well and I can see clearly its composition from the noun quildë. It makes sense. The viols stuff, well I’m not that sure. You know, I have already seen some doubtful things on that Council of Elrond, that’s why I’m pretty careful to follow it blindly without double checking.

      Accuracy is the #1 here and I triple check all sources not coming from Tolkien directly.

  9. Dieter Bachmann

    You probably know that parts of this text have been translated at least three times before, by Craig Marnock in 1991, by ‘vanlin680’ in 2000
    and by Ryszard Derdzinski
    I think now would be the time to collect all considerations of grammar and vocabulary that have been put into this over time, so they are not simply lost in the depths of the internet, and so that the next person trying this will not have to start from scratch once again.
    I don’t think anyone has translated quite such a portion as you have yet, but as you say, the exercise becomes more and more doubtful as you have to make up words for “viols and organ” and the like.
    I would really be interested in a close transcription (explaning grammar and word derivation) of your text.
    best regards

    • Well, those two links you showed me have so many mistakes, I quit reading at the 2nd line. On the other hand, Ryszard Derdzinski had done a beautiful job, and it’s certainly my #1 inspiration when I decided to render the whole Ainulindalë into Quenya.

      How do you conceive this “collection of all considerations…” you talk about here?

      I really wouldn’t use the word “doubtful”, but as deeper and deeper you go, words tend to be more “adapted” instead of “doubtful”. I don’t and no one has to “make up words” for anything. It’s all a matter of using synonyms, solid adaptations and working with words’ etymologies. There is nothing about making up words.

      As you aware, this kind of project takes a LOT of time! A close transcription as you want, is a possible thing but very very time consuming. I have so many things to attend to online and offline that I’m afraid I wouldn’t have the proper amount of time to dedicate to a transcription of a full analysis word by word. Of course, if you got some amount of Quenya knowledge, you can easily perceive the words employed in the text, when an adaptation is needed, when etymology does its job and so on and so forth.

      There’s already available the literal English text of Ainulindalë where I exemplify how the Quenya text would look like closest to its meaning.

      • Dieter Bachmann

        well, if you don’t like the expression of “making up” words, let’s say “finding” words. Of course, Tolkien himself “found” Quenya words as long as he was alive. So, I suppose, any Quenya text not by Tolkien will have to make up its mind which period of Tolkien’s life it is based on. Also, as the Ainulindale was supposed to be written in “archaic Quenya” (” Primitive Quendian”), you can really begin etymologizing stuff and try to come up with a text closer to the “Proto-Eldarin” suggested by the Etymologies. In any case, any translator of any text into Quenya will be forced to make a lot of decisions, and what I am saying is that it would be nice to have these decisions available as a sort of critical apparatus. I am saying this exactly because I know how much work it is to do something like this, and it would be a pity to throw away most of the work done to arrive at the final text.
        But of course, because Tolkien is dead, nobody can “find” words for “viol” and the like if there is no unambiguous way to come up with words not explicitly glossed by Tolkien, and no two translators will come up with the exact same solution. Nobody today has a copy of Tolkien’s mind available, so translating stuff into Quenya basically means you are second-guessing what Tolkien *would* have decided if he had done the translation. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but of course no amount of ‘solid adaptations and working with words’ etymologies’ will result in a single correct solution.

        • No, it’s not about “making up” nor “finding” words. It’s about adapting and composing through etymology.

          Tolkien as the single creator of the language was the ONE who created words anyway he wanted (once again not about “finding” nor “making up”) with his great ingeniousness.

          Quenya, as known today, is studied with all material available from the late period of Tolkien’s life. Early material is quite distinguishable from the different features the language presented and because of that, the term Qenya is used instead. (I thought you knew that anyway)

          I find interesting your argument about the decision making process involved in such a translation as Ainulindalë and perhaps that would be reason #1 if any detailed analysis would be published in the future. That’s a very good strong argument! I liked it.

          No two translators would come up with the same adaptation! That’s an absolute truth! That’s why the importance of achieving the most accurate possible. Translators can compose different things with certain levels and degrees of etymological accuracy. That’s where lies the quality of the translation of a language with such limited vocabulary.

          Nobody is trying to guess what Tolkien would write or what would be in his mind. One who translates things in Quenya is just working with the tools Tolkien gave. Just that. I am absolutely sure, any fan working his way with Quenya translations will never ever try to supplant Tolkien himself as the source of ALL!

          Translation and adaptation through etymology is not about “a single correct solution” but perhaps “multiple accurate ways” of doing it.

  10. Wow… I thank you so much for this, it is amazing.

  11. Iluë

    Just wow. This is incredible !

  12. Jenna

    This is… amazing. Thank you for doing this.

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