Just another brain-dead techie with views on everything under the sun!

Friday, November 22, 2002

Mind your language!

Ash nazg durbatulúk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

I managed to confuse people with that post yesterday! But as an old Hindi song goes... "... samajhne waale samajh gaye... naasamjhe woh anaadi hai!!" ;-)

Well... the cryptic sounding words mean the following...

One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them;
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

To those who still haven't figured it out, these are the words inscribed on the One Ring, the ring that is main protagonist of the great epic, The Lord of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a great linguist. He had a deep knowledge of languages, both modern and ancient. He was at home with such diverse languages as, English, French, German, Welsh, Finnish and old Norse. It is this fascination with languages that resonates loud and clear throughout The Lord of The Rings. Not only was Tolkien an expert at known languages, but he was also an expert in one other unique ability... the talent to create his own languages. He created languages such as Elvish (both, Quenya and Sindarin), Dwarvish(Khuzdul), Entish and the Black Speech. He wrote, "The invention of languages is the foundation. The 'stories' were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse". Wow!!

Consider the following points...
• Saruman's name derives from the Anglo-Saxon, or Old English, root "searu-" for "treachery" or "cunning."
• "Sauron" is linked to the Old Norse or Icelandic stem meaning "filth" or "dung" or "uncleanness."
• "Mordor" derives from the Old English word "morthor," which means "murder."
• "Middle-earth" is related to the name "middan-geard," which was the name for the Earth itself in Old English poetry and was considered to be the battleground between the forces of good and evil.
• Tolkien's High Elvish language, Quenya, was inspired by Finnish.

Fascinating, isn't it?! :-)

By the way, the lines that started this post, i.e. "Ash nazg..." are from the Black Speech. An example of Quenya, the language of the elves is, "Elen sila lûmenn' omentielvo", which means "A star shines on the hour of our meeting.". Another example that can be taken is from the Dwarwish language... "Khazâd-ai-mênu!" which translates to "The Dwarves are upon you!" in the language of the Men! :-)

Its just wonderful! ... the world of fantasy in The Lord of The Rings!!

Have you experienced it yet?! ;-)



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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.