Tengwar   Tengwar

Origin

J.R.R. Tolkien created many languages throughout his life. He wrote in one of his letters that the tales of Middle-earth (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, etc) grew from these languages, rather than the languages being created for use in the stories.

Tolkien also created a number of different alphabets to write his languages - Tengwar, or Feanorian letters, is the one which appears most frequently in his work. The way the vowels are indicated in Tengwar resembles Tibetan and other Brahmi-derived scripts.

Notable features

Used to write

A number of different languages of Middle-Earth, such as:

Quenya, Qenya or High-Elven, the most prominent language of the Amanya branch of the Elvish language family. Tolkien complied the "Qenya Lexicon", his first list of Elvish words, in 1915 at the age of 23 and continued to refine the language throughout his life. It is based mainly on Finnish, but also partly on Greek and partly on Latin.

Sindarin, the language of the Grey-elves or Sindar. Tolkien based Sindarin on Welsh and originally called it gnomish.

Sylvan, Westron, etc

Tengwar can also be used to write English, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, Esperanto and a variety of other languages.

Quenya mode

Consonants
Quenya consonants

Sindarin mode

Consonants
Sindarin consonants

Vowels (same for Quenya and Sindarin modes)
Quenya vowels

Vowel placement
Illustration of how Tengwar vowels are placed in Quenya and Sindarin modes

Extra Tengwar

These letters are used for Tolkien's other languages, such as Black Speech, and also in English mode.

Extra Tengwar for Black Speech and other modes

Punctuation marks

Tengwar punctuation marks

Numerals

Tengwar numerals

Tengwar numerals are written from right to left.

Pronunciation of Quenya

Pronunciation of Quenya

Quenya pronounciation provided by Joshua Boniface

Sample text (Quenya)

Sample Quenya text in the Tengwar alphabet

Transliteration / Translation
Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo / A star shines on the hour of our meeting

Sample text (Sindarin, Beleriand mode)

Sample Sindarin text in the Tengwar alphabet

Transliteration

Ennyn Durin aran Moria: pedo mellon a minno!
Im Narvi hain echant. Celebrimbor o Eregion teithant i thiw hin.

Translation

Gate of Durin, King of Moria, say friend and enter!
I, Narvi made them. Celebrimbor of Eregion drew these signs.
(inscription on the Gate of Moria)

Tengwar pages

Main Tengwar page, Tengwar for English, Tengwar for Hungarian, Tengwar for Portugese, Tengwar for Scottish Gaelic (1), Tengwar for Scottish Gaelic (2), Tengwar for Spanish, Tengwar for Latin American Spanish, Tengwar for Welsh

Tolkien's alphabets and languages

Cirth | Sarati | Tengwar, Quenya & Sindarin) | Uruk Runes | Tolkien-related links | Books about Tolkien's invented languages | Tolkien's books in various languages

Fictional alphabets

Ancients' Alphabet, Ath, Atlantean, Aurek-Besh, Cirth, Daedric, D'ni, Dragon Runes, Futurama Alien Alphabet, Gargish, Gnommish, Golic Vulcan, Halo Covenant alphabet, Hylian syllabary (Old), Hylian syllabary (Modern), Hylian alphabet, Klingon, Kryptonian, Marain, Matoran, Romulan, Sarati, Standard Galactic Alphabet, Tsolyáni (Tékumel), Tenctonese, Tengwar, Utopian, Visitor, Zentlardy


Learn Chinese Characters with the Omniglot Chinese app | Language Jobs at Jobseeker.co.uk
Hosted by Kualo