Tag Archives: Latin

While there is life, there is hope … in Quenya

While there is life there is hope in Quenya

NEW quote translated into Quenya!

MARCVS TVLLIVS CICERO’s paraphrased quote

(Requested by William Keating and answered in 79 hours with EXTRA features through X101)

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Filed under Elvish, History, Latin, Poem & Prose, Quenya, Tengwar Noldor

Þorn & ƿynn

ampersandEAs the previous post showed there was a time that Latin Alphabet had 27 letters. Yes, English was written with 1 additional letter, the &. (due to Latin influence). Now, before there was even a Latin influence to be accounted for something, there was Anglo-Saxon culture and their Runic Alphabet known as fuþorc to start with. FuÞorc! See? There’s already a different letter right there, right? Read below a little bit more about the history of our own alphabet and those 2 extinct letters…

Þorn & ƿynn

(thorn and wynn)

Our analysis start with  Old English. English was first written in the alphabet mentioned above, the Anglo-Saxon fuÞorc, also known as Anglo-Saxon. The Angles and Saxons came from Germany and settled in Britain in the fifth century. The region they inhabited became known as “Angle-land,” or “England.”


Eventually, Christian missionaries introduced the Latin alphabet, which ultimately replaced Anglo-Saxon. But for some time, the alphabet included the letters of the Latin alphabet, some symbols (like &), and some letters of Old English.

As Modern English evolved, the Old English letters were dropped or replaced.

(Our trusty alphabet isn’t the only part of language that has changed — October used to be the eighth month, and September the seventh.)

ye-olde-pizza-shoppeHere’s an example:  In Old English, a letter called “thorn” represented the “th” sound (as in “that”) in Modern English. In the Latin alphabet, the “y” was the symbol that most closely resembled the character that represented thorn. So, thorn was dropped and “y” took its place.

That is why the word “ye,” as in “Ye Olde Booke Shoppe,” is an archaic spelling of “the.”

The Old English letter “wynn” was replaced by “uu,” which eventually developed into the modern w. (It really is a double u.)

The letters “u” and “j” didn’t join what we know as the alphabet until the sixteenth century.







Filed under Alphabet, English, History, Latin, Old English

Quenya words ∈ world languages

Cesar Rojas

César Rojas Bravo!

Did you read the name above? Fine…now we can start our post!

Well, he’s the guy who brought the compilation you’re about to see to life! It’s a hell of an idea, and very interesting for the ones who love Quenya and languages in general (me….guilty :D). Read below and you’ll see that there is more in Quenya than meets the eye!

Hasn’t it ever happened to you, that when you come upon certain Quenya words, you realize the same word exists in your language, or in a language you are familiar with?
It has happened several times to me, so I decided to take Helge Fauskanger’s Quenya-English Wordlist and go word by word to find out which words have a meaning (not necessarily the same one, mostly not) in languages I am familiar with.
I found many words existing mostly in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan and Latin, languages I have some knowledge of. Thanks to Milla Leskinen, who helped me by identifying  words in Quenya that exist in Finnish, to Celebrinthal for identifying words in Polish, Japanese and German, among others, to Metaflora for Hungarian words, to Emma Flacking, for Swedish and Norwegian, to John Karpo for Greek and to Kastytis Zubovas for Lithuanian.
J. R. R. Tolkien knew Finnish and Latin, so Quenya words existing in these languages probably are not coincidences, whether they have the same meaning or not, but most likely, Professor Tolkien wasn’t aware of all the word coincidences we have found. I have not included the matches with the English language, since no doubt Tolkien knew if this Quenya word existed in English. Occasionally I used a dictionary to double-check the word’s definitions.
I first list the words in Quenya, followed by language and the meaning it has in it. I hope you enjoy it, and of course, if you read Helge’s wordlist and find words in languages not listed here, or words missing, or any corrections you would like to make, please contact me!
Finally, towards the end of the writing of this entry, I found an essay called “Similarities between natural languages and Tolkien’s Eldarin”, by Roman Rausch, in which you can find, among many other interesting things, a list of matches between Noldorin/Sindarin and Welsh and Irish, and a list of matches in other languages, but in which the meanings are very similar or at least related.
Is that it? NO….there’s much more! There’s the whole long list yet! Check for yourselves there, at his site, where the quote was taken from. HERE!
See? And yet once in a while, I still hear people say that Quenya is not real, it’s a fake language…..oh boy…..



Filed under Countries, Elvish, Finnish, Geography, German, Guide, Italian, Latin, Linguistics, Portuguese, Quenya, Spanish, Tolkien

Ad Mortem Festinamus Quenyanna


So…. I’m enjoying medieval poetry translation. This time, let’s go with……Latin! This song, Ad Mortem Festinamus, is part of the  Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (“Red Book of Montserrat”), a 14th century book containing medieval songs, located in the Monastery of Montserrat, located in Spain. This song belongs to a special genre of art named Memento mori (“Remember your mortality”…..totally not Elvish, huh?), that has exactly this purpose: to make you remember you’re a mortal being.

This song’s name means “We rush into death”….. no explanations needed, I guess.

It also has been recorded several times recently. For instance, I know Qntal’s version, which doesn’t please me so much, and Gothart’s, that is fantastic. So, I present you, Ad Mortem Festinamus Quenyanna!

Ad mortem festinamus

Quenya Version

Merin tecë i ulco Ambaressë
rucin i lúmello autuva ve vanwa
I lúmë utúlië cuivien
I cendelessë qualmeva,
I cendelessë qualmeva.

I sinta coivië tuluva mettan,
Qualmë tulë arrato nó polil savë,
Nancaris ilqua
ar umis órava,
ar umis órava.

Nalvë rimpa mir qualmë
Ámë hauta úcarë.
Ámë hauta úcarë.

Qui umil nanquerë ar nal ve hína,
ar umil vista coivielya,
úval tenta, ve alassëa,
i Aranië Eruva,
i Aranië Eruva.

Talumë i hyóla lamya, Aurë Namiéva
utúlië. I Námo tana immo
ar canas hínalyar Aranieryan,
mal i húna Angamandonna,
mal i húna Angamandonna.

Nalvë rimpa mir qualmë…

Original Latin Version

Memento_Mori25Scribere probosui de contemptu mundano
ut degentes seculi non mulcentur in vano
iam est hor surgere
a sompno mortis pravo
a sompno mortis pravo

Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur
mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur
omnia mors perimit
et nulli miseretur
et nulli miseretur

Ad mortem festinamus
peccare desistamus
peccare desistamus

Ni conversus fueris et sicut puer factus
et vitam mutaveris in meliores actus
regnum Dei beatus
regnum Dei beatus

Tuba cum sonuerit dies erit extrema
et iudex advenerit vocabit sempiterna
electos in patria
prescitos ad inferna
prescitos ad inferna

Ad mortem festinamus…

And, for those like me that can’t read Latin:

English Version

I want to write of the evil in the worldcementeriodelaRecoleta-Buenos Aires
lest the time should pass unused.
The time has come to awake
in the face of death,
in the face of death.

The short life soon will end,
death comes faster than you would believe.
It destroys everything
and has no mercy,
and has no mercy.

We rush into death,
let us refrain from sinning,
let us refrain from sinning,

If you don’t turn back and become like a child
and you don’t change your life,
you won’t go into, as a happy one,
the Kingdom of God,
the Kingdom of God.

When the trump resounds, Judgement Day
has come. The judge appears
and calls the chosen ones to his Kingdom
but the damned to hell,
but the damned to hell.

We rush into death…


Hope you enjoyed it, namárië!




Filed under Art, History, Latin, Music, Poem, Quenya, Tengwar

“In foramine terrae habitabat hobbitus”

“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit…”

There are great news for Tolkien and Linguistics fans! Some days ago it was announced that a Lingua Latina version of The Hobbit will be published in September! The famous opening phrase will be the one on title of this post (did you think I translated that?). Its nice to see that the book is translated into this language. The one that inspired the Professor so much in the creation of Quenya. It also happens to be that, this year, The Hobbit celebrates its 75th anniversary. A great tribute, don’t you think? It will be called Hobbitus Ille (it sounds great!), and the author of the translation is Mark Walker. The book is already announced in Amazon, and can be pre-ordered for £11.69. Now, I’m really eager for September to come, and put my hand on this jewel of Linguistics. Thank you Mark, for this contribution to us all!

For more information, here is the news article.



Filed under Hobbit, Latin, News, Tolkien