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  1. Freebooter's Avatar
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    #1

    Best book for Sindarin including Tolkien's latest......?

    Hello all,
    I know that Tolkien changed and worked on his Sindarin over his lifetime. What would be the best book to buy for learning and studying Sindarin which is the latest form of Sindarin after all Tolkien's updates and upgrades so to speak?
    Thanks,
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  2. There is, unfortunately, no really simple answer to any of your questions! Tolkien tinkered with Sindarin his whole life, but it was sort of a matter of gradual evolution rather than a number of discrete stages. He did change the name of the language (from Goldogrin to Noldorin to Sindarin), but this only marks out the broadest phases.

    It's also difficult to really learn to speak any type of Sindarin, since there are gaps in our knowledge. Some parts Tolkien simply never invented, while other things haven't been published yet. There's a project going on to publish most of Tolkien's Elvish writings, but it's progressing chronologically, so most of the very latest Sindarin is still unpublished.

    Unfortunately, there's also not one single perfect book or resource to point to. There is David Salo's Gateway to Sindarin, but that presents more of an idealized version of the language that Salo made for use in the movies (where they needed something more standard than was available from anything Tolkien himself gave us). You can certainly use it, but take it as a starting point only. Much older, but probably better in its way, is Jim Allan's Introduction to Elvish, which covers Tolkien's invented languages as known in the late 70's. Now very out of date, but still insightful, and not a bad place to start.

    For a fuller list of the options, with commentary, you could look at this PDF from the Tolkien Society: https://www.facebook.com/download/86...ist%204-14.pdf
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  3. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #3


    I also second Jim Allan.
    The incarnate mind, the tongue and the tale are in our world coeval.

  4. Melahny_oftheWoods's Avatar
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    #4
    Hey Lord of the Ringsdo you know about any Quenya books? I've been using councilofElrond as a resource to learn Quenya and it's really good. But I was wondering if there were any more resources and books you could point me to? Quenya has more context than Sindarin doesn't it?
    "Through darkness one may come to the light" - Gelmir, Unfinished Tales, ​Tolkien.

  5. Freebooter's Avatar
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    #5
    Thank y'all. It is interesting. I thought that various scholars, etc, had more or less completed or near completed Sindarin into a functional language. I think Star Trek's Klingon is pretty complete.

  6. Melahny, yes, Quenya is in some ways better sketched out and a bit more systematically understood - but it's fundamentally the same sort of situation as with Sindarin. Jim Allan's book also has information on Quenya, and you might look at Helge Fauskanger's course on Ardalambion. Fauskanger presents one version of a standard Quenya - it's a pretty good course, but again, to come up with a consistent language the course is a bit artificial.

    Freebooter, it depends on what you consider 'real' Sindarin to be. A lot of people (including myself) tend to regard only what Tolkien himself invented as 'proper' Elvish. But other people, most notably David Salo, have gone beyond what Tolkien left us to try to 'finish' the language, and create a more standardized version. If that's what you're interested in, then you might take a look at Gateway - but you should probably be aware that a lot of people won't consider that 'real' Sindarin (that sort of thing is often called Neo-Sindarin). Klingon is a different case, because it's original inventor actually 'finished' the language himself, and produced an 'official' standard version for public use. The same also goes for Na'vi and Dothraki - it looks like making a language for a movie/TV show really encourages standardization (Salo, as well, came up with his Neo-Sindarin while working on the LotR films).
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  7. Freebooter's Avatar
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    #7
    I too value Tolkiens on workings with it more, but it is neat that some are trying to complete it so to speak. I have heard of people conversing in Klingon at ST conventions, etc. It would be neat to for that to be the case with Sindarin. Is there enough of Tolkien's own invented elvish to converse in, even if brokenly? Just curious.

  8. There is enough of Quenya in existence to be able to converse in it; there is practically no aspect of Quenya grammar of which we wouldn't have information available, and the existing vocabulary goes into the thousands - the trouble is sometimes (or rather often!) we even have conflicting data which are very difficult to convert into a cohesive system; and there is still new material to be published. If you hang around internet fora like this, or sindarin.de, or Elfling, or our Google Plus community devoted to Tolkien's languages, you will see just how much discussion and debate and speculations is still going on about various bits and pieces in Quenya, let alone Sindarin. Therefore, in my opinion, it would be silly to go for a book like Allan's Introduction to Elvish - it is hopelessly outdated by now.

    Concerning Sindarin, Salo's book was a huge undertaking, and its analysis of phonetic changes in the development of Sindarin from Primitive Elvish is priceless, but it's difficult to be used as a grammar book to actually learn the language. And again, new material has been published in specialized journals since the publishing of Salo's book.

    Your best bet with Sindarin, I think, is to look at Fiona Jalling's website, http://your-sindarin-textbook.realelvish.net (when it is back online, currently it's giving me an error when I try to access it); Fiona is working really hard to keep it updated with all the new material as it is being published.
    Last edited by Atwe of Aglardh; 08/Sep/2015 at 10:03 AM.

  9. Freebooter's Avatar
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    #9
    Thank you very much Atwe! I will check that site out.

  10. Freebooter's Avatar
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    #10
    I clicked on that link you posted Atwe, and it worked. I am there and readint the introduction.

  11. Hanasian's Avatar
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    #11
    I will 'third' Jim Allan's Introduction to Elvish. I got this book when it came out (around the same time as the Silmarillion) but never put it to much use.
    Found it recently in a pile of books I had saved in the attic at my folks house, which is now my brother's house, and gave it a bit of a read. It's well written.
    Annalist, Physician, & Historian
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  12. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #12
    A big caveat on all this discussion: http://www.elvish.org/articles/EASIS.pdf
    The incarnate mind, the tongue and the tale are in our world coeval.

  13. Yes -- that essay should be essential reading for anyone looking at Tolkien's invented languages!
    It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.

  14. Finduilas Faelivrin's Avatar
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    #14
    I've got An Introduction to Elvish by Jim Allan and The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth by Ruth S. Noel. Both are interesting for looking up specific words, but neither would help you be fluent - if that's even possible. I enjoyed reading the background information in the books.

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