The Dúnedain
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Author:  Andúril [ July 12th, 2012, 4:04 am ]
Post subject:  The Dúnedain

Just hoping I put this in the right forum... Right, I have some questions about the dúnedain, and what connection they have to the elves (and the elvish language...), for those who might be able to answer me. I've always thought that Aragorn knew the elvish language because he was raised in Rivendell. And maybe that is true, but how ordinary was it among the rest of the dúnedain that they could speak elvish? The reason for my question is that when I watched Born of Hope (I don't know how much I've mentioned this movie the last few days... but it was great :innocent: ) everyone seemed to know how to speak elvish, and even did it in everyday conversations. And I seriously doubt that every single dúnadan was raised in Rivendell :goofy:
I know that the dúnedain was descended from the Númenoreans, and that they had some connection to the elves... I'm not really sure in this matter though. Have to read more x)

So to sum up, my question is: Did all of the dúnedain know how to speak elvish, or is it just something they used in Born of Hope? And if everyone knew elvish, how come?

Thanks to everyone who can answer :-D

Author:  Taurquende [ July 27th, 2012, 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Dúnedain

I'm by no means the best expert in Middle-earth history, but I know that the Numenoreans spoke a language of their own (Numenorean, oddly enough. :P). They are, however, partly descended from the elves-- Elros, their first king, was the brother of Elrond, except that he chose to be mortal-- and they fought with the elves against Morgoth. The island of Numenor was sunk under the sea after the corrupt Numenoreans attempted to lay siege to Valinor. A handful of Numenoreans who had not participated in the siege escaped to Middle-earth and became the Dunedain. I think it's fair to assume that given their close connection with the elves and their long life-spans that most of them learned elvish. Even if they didn't grow up in Rivendell, they probably would have had the opportunity at some point during their wanderings. I would think that among themselves they might of used Numenorean, though. (But the catch is Tolkien never developed Numenorean as much as he did the elvish languages. ;))

Author:  Andúril [ October 24th, 2012, 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Dúnedain

Oh I had totally forgotten about this thread xP

But thank you very much. Because of their close connection to the elves, it seems pretty reasonable for them to know elvish. I'll remember this piece of history... Thanks again :D

Author:  Elthir [ October 25th, 2012, 3:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Dúnedain

Appendix F generally reveals that: 'the Dúnedain 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 as a matter of lore, changing little with the passing of the years.'

In Numenor we have the Faithful of course, as noted in the thread already, who after the Downfall enriched the Common Speech with many words drawn from Eldarin tongues. In Of Dwarves And Men Tolkien described that the Adunaic of Numenor...

'... became worn down by time -- and by neglect. For owing to the disastrous history of Numenor it was no longer held in honour by the 'Faithful' who controlled all the Shorelands from Lune to Pelargir. For the Elvish tongues were proscribed by the rebel Kings, and Adunaic alone was permitted to be used, and many of the ancient books in Quenya or in Sindarin were destroyed. The Faithful, therefore, used Sindarin, and in that tongue devised all names of places that they gave anew in Middle-earth. (...) In some families, it is said, Sindarin became the native tongue, and the vulgar tongue of Adunaic origin was only learned casually at it was needed. The Sindarin was not however taught to aliens, both because it was held a mark of Numenorean descent and because it proved difficult to acquire -- far more so than the 'vulgar tongue'.

Of course this is early compared to Frodo's day, and the Common Speech spread (to greatly simplify the history in Middle-earth), but in a late letter, dated 1972, Tolkien explained:

'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 much greater than that of Lindon, Rivendell, and Lorien. In Gondor the generally used language was 'Westron', a lang. of the Numenoreans; but Sindarin was an acquired polite language and used by those of more pure N[umenorean] descent, esp. in Minas Tirith, if they wished to be polite (as in the cry Ernil i Pheriannath III 41 cf. 231, and Master Perian 160).'

JRRT, letter 347

Author:  Andúril [ October 27th, 2012, 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Dúnedain

Great thanks :D Really need to check out the appendices more.

Author:  Hanasian [ March 24th, 2017, 7:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Dúnedain

This is a good thread. I'm linking this thread to the Dunedain Ranger thread in Doriath!

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