Elvish and other (real) languages
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Author:  Melilot [ March 17th, 2007, 2:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Elvish and other (real) languages

I don't know have you ever heard, that Tolkien has borrowed some words for example from Finnish for his languages. Tolkien read Finlands national epic Kalevala in Finnish, and he liked our beautiful language :)

In Quenya 'tië' is 'path'. In Finnish 'tie' means 'road'.
And 'otso' is 'seven', and in Finland is one name for bear. The Big Dipper has seven stars, and the Big Dipper is part of (as we in Finland call it) Big Bear.
Lemminkäinen is one character in Kalevala, and Tolkien has borrowed his name for number 23. I'm not shure, but I think that 'leminkainen' is Qenya (early form of Quenya).
'Halla' is also one word of Quenya (high) and it means 'frost' in Finnish.

Author:  Erythen [ March 17th, 2007, 6:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Tolkien loved the welsh language and then he came into contact with Finnish and described it as such "It was like discovering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before. It quite intoxicated me" (Letters:214) Having never had wine before I can't quite relate to this :confused: BUT chocolate would be a different matter :drool:. Anyway, if your interested in how Tolkien was influenced by the Finnish and Welsh languages please read the "Through the Welsh cellar door into the Finnish wine-cellar" section of Helge Fauskanger's essay "Tolkien's Not-So-Secret Vice" found here:

Finnish Phonology was the inspiration for Quenya Phonology, and likewise Welsh was the basis for Sindarin Phonology. I can't say much about Finnish/Quenya similarities (I've studied very little Quenya, though want to in the near future) but there are a number of Sindarin/Noldorin words what are very similar (if not having the same meaning) to welsh.

This article by Roman Rausch shows some similarities between real world languages and Tolkien's creations:

If you're not too interested in the article then just scroll about half way down and you'll find a listing of words that are similar between Welsh/Sindarin and Finnish/Quenya

Hope this helps :bye2:

Author:  Melilot [ March 18th, 2007, 10:34 am ]
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Thanks, that site was very useful! It is very nice to see, how much Tolkien has used Finnish. And I can tell that Finnish is very beautiful (and difficult!) language :D

"Not all those who wander are lost" translated into Finnish:

" Vaeltaja ei eksy jokainen". (Actually it is really: Not all wanders are lost, but it sounds better like that :) )

Author:  Melilot [ March 24th, 2007, 12:50 pm ]
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Yes, I'm from Finland :D Of course I am happy to help, but as I have said, Finnish is quite difficult ;) For example German has four different cases (I'm not shure, is that 'case' word right, but I mean nominative, akkusative etc.) BUT Finnish has those cases 15! (IF I remember right ;D )

But if you want know more, I think that Google can help, and I can tell a little, too :)

Author:  Nienor [ March 27th, 2007, 5:53 am ]
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And here I am struggling with German grammar. >.< Maybe I should give up all hope of studying Finnish now!

I have a copy of the Kalevala that my parents gave me for Christmas a year ago. I've not yet read it, because I want to be able to sit down and have large intervals of time with the book. I can't wait to give it a go, though.

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