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Minas Tirith Forums » The Hobbit » How did Bilbo understand the Elves conversation? (Page 2)
Author Topic: How did Bilbo understand the Elves conversation?
The Flammifer
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quote:
The Elves far back in the Elder Days became divided into two main branches: The West-elves (the Eldar) and the East-elves {Silvan}. Of the latter kind were the most of the elven-folk of Mirkwood and Lorien; but their languages do not appear in this history {end of Third Age}, in which all the Elvish names and words are of Eldarin {Quenya, or Sindarin]} form.

In Lorien at this period Sindarin was spoke, though with an ‘accent’, since most of its folk were of Silvan origin.

Of the Eldarin tongues two are found in this book {end of Third Age}: the High-elven or Quenya], and the Grey-elven or Sindarin.

The Dunedain alone of all races of Men knew and spoke, an Elvish tongue: for their forefathers had learned the Sindarin tongue, and this they handed on to their children {end of Third Age} as a matter of lore . . .

The Exiles, dwelling among the more numerous Grey-elves, had adopted the Sindarin for daily use; and hence it was the tongue of all those Elves and Elf-lords that appear in this history.
- LotR, Appendix F (Emphases by Flammifer)

Quick Shots: Ba-doom-Boom!
quote:
The inscription on the West-gate of Moria gives an example of a mode, used for the spelling of Sindarin
- FotR, Appendix E (footnote)

“Ai na vedui, Dúnadan! Mae govannen!” . . . Sindarin
“Nor lim . . .” Sindarin
“A Elbereth Gilthoniel . . .”Beginning of Song sung at Rivendell – Sindarin
“Onen i-Estel Edain, ú-chebin estel anim.” . . . (Gilraen) - Sindarin
“Cuio i Pheriain anann! . . .” “Long Live the Halflings . . . “ - Sindarin
“Yrch” . . . Sindarin
Nuff!!

quote:
In Lorien, where many of the people were Sindar in origin, or Noldor, . . . Sindarin had become the language of all the people.

By the end of the Third Age the Silvan {East Elven} tongues had probably ceased to be spoken in the two regions that had importance at the time of the War of the ring: Lorien and the realm of Thranduil . . .
- Unfinished Tales

(And we are left with . . . . . . (wait for it) . . . . . Sindarin!) []

Are there contradictions or contentious passages, in pre- and post-JRRT published work? Yes!
Did the Mirkwood Elves and the Lorien Elves have a language barrier? Just possibly!
Dialect and accent may well come into play, which very well could have been the cause of Frodo’s inability to understand the Sindarin in Lorien.

I have lived my entire life in the northern U.S. Were I to venture into the deep South my favorite saying might well be . . . "Huh?"
After two years of High School Spanish I thought I had it conquered, until I went to Mexico where my favorite saying was . . . "Huh?" (Well, almost – more like "mas despacio".)

It is quite certain that the Elves of Lorien spoke Sindarin, albeit possibly with an ‘accent’ to ‘outsiders’. It seems quite certain (from above quotes) that the Elves of the Woodland Realm spoke Sindarin; although admittedly if we microscope each esoteric word and phrase, from any or all the pre- and post-JRRT work some contention may (er . . . my left foot - will) always exist.

But – for me:

Sindarin for all late Third Age Elves of Mirkwood and Lorien is the language du jour.

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Galin
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Well, in my opinion posting rather obvious and already agreed upon instances of Sindarin, and putting "Sindarin" in bold from various reference to the language, doesn't really add anything to the opinion Flammifer already gave, or make his or her opinion certain.

Of course one can claim that the West-elves spoke Sindarin, and the West-men spoke Sindarin too. And yes one can bold references to the Sindarin language. And?

And the East-elves (the Elves in question), and the Avari?

If things are so certain as Flammifer seem to think they are, when Tolkien actually considers the question at hand, why then does he even consider any scenario in which the Mirkwood Elves did not speak Sindarin?

Should I list the number of known Avarin dialects that are not Sindarin? Or should I bold references to the Avarin languages in all of Tolkien's papers or letters? What will that prove about the Mirkwood Elves specifically?

quote:
It seems quite certain (from above quotes) that the Elves of the Woodland Realm spoke Sindarin; although admittedly if we microscope each esoteric word and phrase, from any or all the pre- and post-JRRT work some contention may (er . . . my left foot - will) always exist.
Well we don't need a microscope to simply look at the passages I originally posted from Tolkien's pen. And as for the grammatical issues that Tolkien considered, well, they were important to Tolkien, again, when considering this question. And if those issues were why Tolkien decided to add his footnote, well others here might be interested in them.

And the suggestion in the already published text that the Silvan Elves of Lorien spoke a different tongue than Sindarin is hardly looking for something that isn't there. As said, even in WPP Tolkien himself notes the matter is confused in the book, and considers that the Silvan Elves of Lorien might have spoken Nandorin.

In any case we already know about Lorien, given the revised edition; not Mirkwood.

When you went to the deep south, did you ask for any translations of songs made by the English speakers there? But this matter of accent is really a dead end in any event, as in any case readers must accept that even Aragorn seems not to have understood the accent of Lorien, no matter the measure of its differences (or invent a reason why he appears included in those who did not understand the songs about Mithrandir)...

... which, in any case, concerns the matter of the speech of Lorien, not Mirkwood.

[ 09-15-2015, 02:47 PM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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The Flammifer
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My o my. We do take ourselves seriously do we not?

To pounce on the words of a contributor is seemly, but to leave those words behind and attack the writer personally is to tread from the path of enjoyment and join the pettiness of Orcdom. Who needs it? []

Might we dwell on these wise words from The Council of Elrond:
quote:
’Still it might be well for all,’ said Gloin the Dwarf, ‘ if all these strengths were joined, and the powers of each were used in league. . . .’ []
And on with the redundancy . . . []
quote:
Of the Eldarin tongues two are found in this book {end of Third Age}: the High-elven or Quenya, and the Grey-elven or Sindarin.
- LotR, Appendix F

quote:
In Lorien, where many of the people were Sindar in origin, or Noldor, . . . Sindarin had become the language of all the people.

By the end of the Third Age the Silvan {East Elven} tongues had probably ceased to be spoken in the two regions that had importance at the time of the War of the ring: Lorien and the realm of Thranduil . . .
- Unfinished Tales

(And we are left with . . . . . . (wait for it) . . . . . Sindarin!)
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Galin
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quote:
My o my. We do take ourselves seriously do we not? To pounce on the words of a contributor is seemly, but to leave those words behind and attack the writer personally is to tread from the path of enjoyment and join the pettiness of Orcdom. Who needs it?
Except that my post was about your latest argument, which (my post) does not leave your words behind -- as what you did was post references to Sindarin, put the word Sindarin in bold numerous times, and post instances of Sindarin! And yes those instances are obvious and already agreed upon, as Sindarin.

That's your argument? And bolding references to the word Sindarin, in my opinion, is just a tactic, to make it better seem like references to Sindarin are so numerous -- which even if so, won't prove that the Mirkwood Elves spoke it for certain anyway.

Your argument started out as:

Tolkien published that the Elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin (suggesting that you don't have to deal with anything posthumously published). And for evidence of that you provided a quote which seemed to back up your statement, until the greater context was posted -- in fact, in part, the very next sentence that followed your citation.

Then you posted that the Mirkwood Elves, East-elves, would "surely" learn Sindarin for converse because it was a common tongue, and yet it's the common tongue of the West Elves of course, and there is no surely about it for these East-elves when looking at all of Tolkien's own comments about this (anything raised here so far anyway).

Now your argument seems to be: look at all the references to Sindarin, or instances of Sindarin spoken by the West Elves, who we already know spoke Sindarin... so the East-elves of Mirkwood spoke it too.

I guess. I mean that appears to be your latest attempt, just a different way to try and suggest the same thing you appear to have already tried to suggest: that the West Elves and some West Men spoke Sindarin, and it appears in Lorien with an accent... and so the East elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin too.

Again, maybe.

And it's "noro lim..." by the way (words spoken to Asfaloth), not "nor lim". You mistyped another possible instance of the Sindarin imperative marker -o, strangely enough.

And in your latest post you're cherry picking a quote that agrees with your opinion, a quote I already posted along with others from Unfinished Tales and Letters.

[ 09-16-2015, 05:45 AM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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The Flammifer
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quote:
Your argument started out as...

Tolkien published that the Elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin (suggesting that you don't have to deal with anything posthumously published). {Already have – see posthumous redundancy below. [] }

And, ah, er, zooks, I never said that, nor did Tolkien. (I suppose you meant that “Tolkien published that some of the Elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin . . .” (Pre- end of 3rd Age.) (Oh, again using a bold form as you seem so enamored with same.)

And my “cherry picking”: There are only so many cherries on this tree, eh? []

As I stated above I don’t care to get personal with these postings as they rarely (never?) end well, and an “agree to disagree” usually becomes the finality. But comes a point where defense must rear its ugly head. []

As for the rest of your rambling (out of context, words in my mouth, personal) scath . . . eew; and picking out a single o typo, perhaps one needs look in the mirror at his own mistypings (I won’t mention sentence structure . . . Oops, just did). []

And continuing on with the redundancy for those who care to add 2+2: (Of which I am one, desiring to have things clear and in order (preferably with seven signatures in red ink).
quote:
Of the Eldarin tongues two are found in this book {end of Third Age}: the High-elven or Quenya, and the Grey-elven or Sindarin.
- LotR, Appendix F

quote:
In Lorien, where many of the people were Sindar in origin, or Noldor, . . . Sindarin had become the language of all the people.

By the end of the Third Age the Silvan {East Elven} tongues had probably ceased to be spoken in the two regions that had importance at the time of the War of the ring: Lorien and the realm of Thranduil . . . {As we are or WERE (from the OP’s original posting) talking of the end of the T.A..}
- Unfinished Tales

(And we are left with . . . . . . (wait for it) . . . . . Sindarin!) []
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Galin
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quote:
Galin wrote: Your argument started out as... "Tolkien published that the Elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin..."

The Flammifer responded: And, ah, er, zooks, I never said that, nor did Tolkien. (I suppose you meant that “Tolkien published that some of the Elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin . . .” (Pre- end of 3rd Age.) (Oh, again using a bold form as you seem so enamored with same.)

You essentially began with this argument in my opinion. You responded to my initial post (in 2015) by saying: "In fact ALL Elves spoke a form of Sindarin in the Third Age."

Which includes the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood, and later in the same post you quoted, as if in support of this, a section of Appendix F, which reads: "The Exiles, dwelling among the more numerous Grey-elves, had adopted the Sindarin for daily use; and hence it was the tongue of all those Elves and Elf-lords that appear in this history. (your bold) And then you said: "May I hope we have no disagreement, as I choose, whenever possible, to stay with the author published works?"

As if you had proven, with something Tolkien himself had published, that the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood spoke Sindarin.

quote:
And my “cherry picking”: There are only so many cherries on this tree, eh?
So do you agree that you're cherry picking passages that agree with your opinion, leaving aside others that don't?

quote:
As for the rest of your rambling (out of context, words in my mouth, personal) scath . . . eew; and picking out a single o typo, perhaps one needs look in the mirror at his own mistypings (I won’t mention sentence structure . . . Oops, just did).
Heh, I only mentioned that typo because of the coincidence with the very marker that Tolkien found problematic. As for the rest of these claims about any of my posts, I disagree.

quote:
And continuing on with the redundancy for those who care to add 2+2: (Of which I am one, desiring to have things clear and in order (preferably with seven signatures in red ink).
Yet your 2 plus 2 there is selecting quotes that appear to add up to your opinion, notably including the Unfinished Tales quote (the last quote in your last post). Is that how you arrive at so certain an opinion?

[ 09-16-2015, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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Galin
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Letter 347...

quote:
"It may be noted that at the end of the Third Age there were prob. more people (Men) that knew Q., or spoke S., than there were Elves who did either! Though dwindling, the population of Minas Tirith and its fiefs must have been greater than that of Lindon, Rivendell, and Lorien**...

Author's footnote: **The Silvan Elves of Thranduil's realm did not speak S. but a related language or dialect.

JRR Tolkien, December 1972

To add the Third Age context to this very late passage, which I already referred to earlier in the thread.
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The Flammifer
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quote:
Letter 347...
"It may be noted that at the end of the Third Age there were prob. more people (Men) that knew Q., or spoke S., than there were Elves who did either! Though dwindling, the population of Minas Tirith and its fiefs must have been greater than that of Lindon, Rivendell, and Lorien**...

Author's footnote:** The Silvan Elves of Thranduil's realm did not speak S. but a related language or dialect.

JRR Tolkien, December 1972

quote:
By the end of the Third Age the Silvan {East Elven} tongues had probably ceased to be spoken in the two regions that had importance at the time of the War of the ring: Lorien and the realm of Thranduil . . .
- Unfinished Tales

Hmm, does anyone else notice that we have a language problem here for those poor Elves?

Letter 347 states that there were more Men than Elves that spoke Sindarin at the end of the Third Age.

Yet U.T. states that the Silvan tongue “probably ceased to be spoken . . .” at the end of the Third Age.
Has Tolkien misspoken in this Letter as it seems at odds with the U.T. passage that says Silvan had “probably ceased to be spoken” at the end of the Third Age.

Whoa! No Silvan or Sindarin! Had the Elves been completely infiltrated with Westron? What’s left? Quenya maybe? (Naw!)

From: East Bight | Registered: Jun 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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