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Minas Tirith Forums » History of Middle-earth » I think the Elves should be officially referred to as "Quendi"...
Author Topic: I think the Elves should be officially referred to as "Quendi"...
Peter_20
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I've never been completely satisfied with the word "Elves".
It is a very misleading word, and Elves are not much like fairy elves at all.
Sure, they're "fair", but that's pretty much the only similarity they share.
I think the Elves of Middle-earth deserve their own title, and thus I'd like it if their name really was Quendi or Eldar, so that Sam, for instance, would go "what about the Eldar, sir?" or something similar.
Because let's face it, "Elves" were never supposed to be elves per se; it was a word Tolkien used because he couldn't find a better English word for the race, and even he himself wasn't satisfied with it.

I think it would be a great idea to refer to the race as Eldar, or simply Quendi (although I like "Eldar" better).
It has just the right sound, and officially it would fit the race perfectly (and Tolkien did do this to other races anyway, like the "Orcs").
The Men, the Dwarves - and the Eldar.

[ 08-23-2007, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Peter_20 ]

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Eluchil
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The problem with Eldar is its double meaning (the Elves, or only those of the Great Journey ?).

But in any case, I don't really understand your problem. After all, Sam never called the Elves "Elves". "Elves" is but the English translation of a Westron name []

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Galin
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Add Eldar 'West-elves' too.

According to The Lord of the Rings Eldar is 'further narrowed' to the Elves who passed Over Sea plus the Sindar (that is, West-elves). Hammond And Scull note: '(Elsewhere Tolkien equates Eldar with the High Elves (...) or defines the term more narrowly as 'the West-elves' in contrast to the 'East-elves'...)' H&S, RC

But anyway I think Elves is OK. Most people who participate in a Tolkien forum will know that while 'Elves' may not be the best of translations even Tolkien himself did not abandon it late in life.

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Peter_20
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Perhaps "Eldar" wouldn't be too great in Sweden, because "eldar" is the Swedish word for "fires". XD

Same goes for "valar", the Swedish word for "whales"!

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Mithcoriel
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For what it's worth, in German it was translated as "Elb", even though we also have the word "Elf/Elfe". The word "Elfe" ("Ehl-feh") is often used as practically a synonym for "Fairy", so by using "Elb" they really moved away from that a bit.
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Tigranes
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"Elb" or "Alb" is also an older form of "Elfe". It was probably resurrected (in German language) by Tolkien. Incidentally, "Alb" also refers to "Albtraum" (nightmare)...


quote:
"Ehl-feh"
That would be the Bavarian pronunciation though...

This would be the IPA transliteration of "Elfe": ['ɛlfə]
Contrast with "Elb" [ɛlb]

[/anal mode]

[ 07-27-2010, 01:21 AM: Message edited by: Tigranes ]

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Mithcoriel
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So, in english writing, how would you pronounce "elfe" then?

Yeah, I know Elfe and Elb have the same roots. But still, they kinda diverged from each other, and seem to mean two separate things now.

I mean, I heard in nordic mythology, the words for "elf" and "dwarf" were originally the same. That's definitely changed now, we see them as two different creatues.

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Roll of Honor pi
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Tigranes
[/anal mode]
[]


Mithcoriel
quote:
I mean, I heard in nordic mythology, the words for "elf" and "dwarf" were originally the same. That's definitely changed now, we see them as two different creatures.
I never heard this. Interesting...
Hey, what country are you in/from?

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Tigranes
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quote:
So, in english writing, how would you pronounce "elfe" then?
That's almost impossible to tell because English writing/proninciation is extremely inconsistent. In this aspect, it's actually the most difficult language I know.
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Roll of Honor Silmahtar
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Yeah, it's the whole "silent-e" thing in English. "Elfe" at first glance would simply be pronounced "elf". To get across that there's a 2nd syllable, it would have to be spelled something like "elfeh," which just looks weird... Maybe "elfa".
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Mithcoriel
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quote:
I never heard this. Interesting... Hey, what country are you in/from?
I'm from Switzerland.
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Mithcoriel
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quote:
I never heard this. Interesting... Hey, what country are you in/from?
I'm from Switzerland.
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