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Discussing: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Just looking for a little input. I'd like to (finally) get this story out, but I'm fussing over language, as usual... 1-My first draft of Towards the Sunrise found me creating a large number of Sindarin names for people, ships, places, and even things. Obviously I can't get around the first, but do the other occurences, generally speaking, bother or confuse people? Would you rather Aragorn sailed through the Gaerannon or the Sea Gate? Should the ship be the Feredir or the Hunter? 2-Are month names in Sindarin okay, and if so, would you prefer the English translation with it or at the bottom? 3-Do people like to know what names mean, or should I leave this out of the notes? 4-If anyone with some knowledge of Sindarin could tell me if these were passable, I'd much appreciate it. •Beraid Lond: "towers of the harbour" •galrád: lit. "light track"; intended as an M-e term for the vippefyr or swathe (from OE swaeth, "track") lighthouse. •Minas Sedryn: "tower of the faithful ones" •Gaerannon: "sea gate" •Balhorn: "impelled by the Valar" •Melambar: "fated love" •Nimhathol: "white blade" All comments appreciated! Thanks, Elemmíre

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Hello Elemmire, I can only speak from personal preference here, so it is only one person’s opinion. When reading a story that includes elvish terms or dialogue, (though I know it is not always possible) I like it best when the gist of the translation is given within the context of the story (along with footnotes for more specific translation). So, I would say use _Gaerannon_ only if a second occurrence using ‘Sea Gate’ can be close at hand. I would probably use the same guideline for the month names. The ship can be named _Feredir_, though one nearby reference to the meaning would be helpful. IMHO. For more opinions I recommend the thread entitled ‘Using ME languages in stories’ in this same forum. #4. suggestions – open to discussion: Beraid Lond: "towers of the harbour" _Beraid Lynd_: Adjectives agree in number with the noun they modify, so I think even here it would be plural, in spite of the fact that you mean ‘tower’ not ‘towers’. •galrád: lit. "light track"; intended as an M-e term for the vippefyr or swathe (from OE swaeth, "track") lighthouse. I see _râd_ as meaning a path or road. So maybe: _Galvarad_ - _gal-_ + _barad_ - ‘light-tower’ ? (b > v) •Minas Sedryn: "tower of the faithful ones" _Minas Hedryn_ : lenitition of the adjective following the noun (S > h). •Gaerannon: "sea gate" looks good to me •Balhorn: "impelled by the Valar" _Balanchorn_ - singular (Vala) or _Belainchorn_ - plural (Valar). There are few of Tolkien’s compound constructions that shorten either element, so I steer away from doing that in most cases. Again, lenition of the second element of the compound is in operation here. (h > ch) •Melambar: "fated love" _meleth amarth_ or _Melamarth_ or _Amarthvel_ (m > v lenition) There could be some debate about using the component _mel_ this way, but it seems to work well here. •Nimhathol: "white blade" _Nimchathol_: lenition of the second element of a compound. Also a couple of other possibilities: _Hatholfain_ (Hathol + fain) or _Hathollan_ (hathol + glân – with lenition G > zero, and shortening the long vowel in the final syllable of a compound). Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

"Beraid Lynd" rather implies there's more than one harbor. My vote on that one would be to run with "Beraid Lond." This is, after all, a noun phrase made up of two nouns rather than a noun and an adjective. My notes have numerous examples where making one noun in the phrase plural doesn't affect the other. "Galrád" in and of itself seems all right. But honestly, I'd just use "lighthouse" on that one. Maybe I'm missing the point of the name? ^^? I'd stick with "Minas Sedryn." To quote David Salo "Nouns modifying other nouns can usually be translated as "of ___," e.g. 'aran Gondor' 'King of Gondor.' They never undergo soft mutation." Since the phrase we're working with here follows the same pattern, I'd leave it as is, without the soft mutation from S to H. As for "Nimhathol." Watch word order, here. Syntax in Sindarin is rather like French in this case; adjectives come after a noun. The word order is "blade white" if you actually mean "white blade." Not only that, but there's at least eight different words for white depending on the kind of white you mean: Brassan - "white hot" Faen - "radient white" Fain - "white" Glán - "white" and I believe it's supposed to be an archaic version Gloss - "snow white" or "dazzling white" Interesting to note, this is the version that is found in "Aeglos," the name of Gil-galad's spear Nimp - "pale white" and it looks like the one you've used here Silivren - "glittering white" Uilos - "always white" or "ever white." My vote, therefore, would be to render the name as "Hatholos." This is "Hathol" + "gloss" dropping the G due to mutation and dropping the second S in following with the pattern established in "Aeglos." Just my two pennies. Go ahead and spend 'em or feel free to chuck them at unwitting Grelvish users. ^_^ Berz.

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Grelvish...*shudders*... For a third opinion on "towers of the harbor," I think that the article en is generally used when the possessor is a definite, common article; cf. Cabed-en-Aras, "Leap of the Deer," Conin en Annûn, "Princes of the West," etc. I would translate "towers of the harbor" as Beraid e-Lond (taking into account the mutation that en itself undergoes, in this case). For "tower of the faithful ones," I would add the definite plural article in to distinguish the phrase from "tower of faithful ones," which is the literal meaning of Minas Sedryn; my translation, then, would be Minas i Sedryn. Syntax in Sindarin is rather like French in this case; adjectives come after a noun. The word order is "blade white" if you actually mean "white blade." Not necessarily; consider Mithrandir, "Grey-wanderer." I think Nimchathol would be a perfectly valid construction, although IMO, faen, gloss, or silivren would be better choices for describing a blade. -Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Thanks for the discussion Berz. And hi, Aerlinnel, good to see you here. #4. suggestions – revised: Beraid Lond: "towers of the harbour" OK, genitival rather than adjectival construction. Sorry for the goof. Aerlinnel, your suggestion of Beraid e-Lond sounds good to me. I am still trying to learn when it is OK to leave out the article and when it is not. •galrád: lit. "light track"; lighthouse. Yes, _ galrád_ is correct in form. Maybe _galadab_ - for ‘lighthouse’ ? However, I thought another culture might come up with a different name, thus the suggestion of _Galvarad_ - ‘light-tower’. •Minas Sedryn: "tower of the faithful ones" OK, again, sorry for my mistake. :Aerlinnel, I also like Minas i-Sedryn here – I think the usage pattern is starting to make more sense to me. As for "Nimhathol." Watch word order, here. Syntax in Sindarin is rather like French in this case; adjectives come after a noun. The word order is "blade white" if you actually mean "white blade." As Aerlinnel noted, that is true for typical sentence order - but it can be reversed for emphasis, and often is in compounds. In searching through the compound formations that Tolkien made there are plenty of examples that have the descriptive element first. Certainly the majority are put together in the same order as we would say them in English. Berz, I hadn’t heard that _ glán_ was considered archaic, do you have a reference? Tolkien used it in the essay ’The Istari’ which is found in UT) and attributed, I believe, to 1954. That reference did not seem to imply archaic usage. Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Ooh! Another Tolkien language geek! More sisters-in-arms! Woo! My hat's off to you, Aerlinnel! ^_^ I also like Minas i-Sedryn here – I think the usage pattern is starting to make more sense to me. Er... but then, what about "Henneth Annún?" If we went by that, it would come out to "Henneth-in-Annún." Boy, I thought I had this figured out. Now I'm just confused. @_@ In searching through the compound formations that Tolkien made there are plenty of examples that have the descriptive element first. Certainly the majority are put together in the same order as we would say them in English. True that. My mistake. Berz, I hadn’t heard that _ glán_ was considered archaic, do you have a reference? Tolkien used it in the essay ’The Istari’ which is found in UT) and attributed, I believe, to 1954. That reference did not seem to imply archaic usage. Well, it's not so much a referance, I guess. Maybe it should be considered more of an impression... I should clarify, I didn't mean archaic in Sindarin's external history, but its internal history. With two words meaning the same thing, it's generally considered that Tolkien meant that one had been in use in an earlier time in this history of M-e and had then fallen out of use and been replaced by the other. This happens with "elen" and "gíl," both meaning "star." I'd have to dig out my notes, but I believe "glan" was one of the words that Salo said this happened to. But, I made that note on a number of words during his lecture, so my memory might be failing me. I'll get back to you on it as soon as I can find the packet in my black-hole of a bedroom... Trevado na sídh! ^_^ Berz.

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Er... but then, what about "Henneth Annún?" If we went by that, it would come out to "Henneth-in-Annún." Well, no, Henneth-in-Annûn would be "Window of the Wests," I think. Of course, that begs the question why it isn't Henneth-i-Annûn or en-Annûn...although there's something just evading my mind right now, some mention of the Sun and that Anor was generally used as a proper name, without the article before it. Perhaps that's what's at work here with Annûn. -Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

_Henneth Annún_, yes, puzzling. I agree. To my limited understanding at this time, it seems that most of the time if the English article ‘the’ is needed, then the genitival article _en_ or _in_ would be used. Exceptions would include when using ‘personified’ terms like _Anor_ and _Ithil_ and possibly words like _ Annún_. Thus we have _Minas Tirith_ ‘Tower of Watch’, but _Ost-in-Edhil_ ‘City of the Elves’. Yet, in the Silmarillion there are also _Bar-en-Danwedh_ ‘House of Ransom’ ; _Tol-in-Glaurhoth_ ‘Isle of Werewolves’, and _Haudh-en-Ndengin_ ‘Mound of Slain’ / _Haudh-en-Ninaeth_ ‘Mound of Tears’. Now this could be chalked up to the evolving nature of the language in either its internal or external history (or both). Or it may be that the rule is not so clear cut, and that either form could be correct and which to choose is more a matter of preference and clarity of phrasing. So I’m leaning towards _Sarn Dín_ ‘Stone of Silence’ and _Sarn Eden_ ‘Stone of Renewal’ for those two. But at this point I favor _Minas-i-Sedryn_ ‘Tower of the Faithful Ones’ and _Beraid-e-Lond_ ‘Towers of the Harbor’ for the others. Each one can be translated two (or in some cases three) ways. _Sarn Eden_ can be ‘Renewal Stone’ (adjectival construction), ‘Stone of Renewal’ or ‘Renewal’s Stone’. _Beraid Lond_ could be ‘Harbor Towers’ (adjectival construction), or ‘Harbor’s Towers’ or ‘Towers of Harbor’. _Henneth Annún_ might be ‘West Window’; ‘Window of West’ (personified?) or ‘West’s Window’ . Tolkien often approximated translations into English to get the English phrasing he wanted, so ‘Window of the West’ might be such a case. I don’t know if this helped any, but personally I expect there is some small degree of latitude in the translation and formation of genitival constructions. I shall be interested to see if this opinion changes as I learn more. : ) Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

it seems that most of the time if the English article ‘the’ is needed, then the genitival article _en_ or _in_ would be used. But in is not a genitival article as en is; it is the plural definite article, with genitivity being implied only by the word order: "City [of] the[pl.] Elves" for Ost-in-Edhil. -Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

OK, so then point is that technically its not, (and I certainly don’t want to give misleading information) but as far as we know, that's what is used for genitival constructions when plural is needed, right? Doesn’t it, in most cases anyway, serve that purpose? Or am I confused again? Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

Well, no, Henneth-in-Annûn would be "Window of the Wests," I think. Whoops. Typo. Meant "i" rather than "in." Stupid itchy N-finger... Even so, "Window of the Wests" would come out to "Henneth-in-Ennyn" anyway. Gotta mutate the vowels in the plural noun. But, having more than one western direction just seems silly. ^_^ some mention of the Sun and that Anor was generally used as a proper name, without the article before it. Yup. The Sun and the Moon both have a Maia in them, steering their courses through the sky. In honor of that, "Anor" and "Ithil" are both treated as names in Sindarin. But at this point I favor _Minas-i-Sedryn_ ‘Tower of the Faithful Ones’ I'm actually starting to lean toward this form as well. Especailly if the context of the story makes the locale in question some sort of monument to The Faithful as a people. *lightbulb* Waitasec... that puts a whole new spin on it... The "-ath" form of the plural, which is used mainly when talking about a whole people rather than just some of them. It is from whence comes the difference between "Periain" and "Periannath." "Periain" refers to a bunch of Hobbits while "Periannath" refers to all the Hobbits in existance, as a people. Thus, when talking about all of The Faithful as a people, it would come out to "Sadronnath." So, if that was the context you wanted, perhaps the name would come out to "Minas-in-Sadronnath?" Otherwise, it's entirely possible to be talking about a group of The Faithful, but not all of them. In which case, it would be "Tower of Some Faithful Ones." "Minas Sedryn." You're either talking about all of them or you're not. I can't believe I forgot all about the "-ath" form. *sigh* I think I'm going to go lie down for a while... Bad na sídh. ^_^ Berz.

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

What about -rim, which specifically denotes a "people"? Of course, I'm not exactly sure how you would go about adding that to Sadron...or if it's even appropriate in this case, if it would mean something like "People of the Faithful" rather than "Faithful people." Sigh...this tiny phrase has gotten to be more trouble than it's worth, hasn't it? -Aerlinnel edit: Oh, and I think that it would still be Minas-i-Sadronnath if we were to use that form, because of the phenomenon of nasal mutation with the article in.

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

"-rim." Oif, another one I completely spaced. Musta gotten out of bed too soon... My guess on that, while not actually looking up anything, is that the "-rim" suffix is used when talking about a people of a specific place. IE we have Rohirrim (refering to Rohan), Haradrim (refering to Harad), Galadhrim (refering to Caras Galadhon), etc. Just a guess, though. As "Sadron" isn't a place, I think "-ath" would be the more appropriate suffix in this case. And you're right. It would be "Minas-i-Sadronnath." That follows the pattern established in "Ernil-i-Periannath," after all. Again, I had my itchy N-finger. Not only nasal mutation, but I think once we start talking about the people as a whole, it lapses back to the singular particle. Either way, it should be "i." Bado na sídh. ^_^ Berz.

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

the "-rim" suffix is used when talking about a people of a specific place. Yeah, I think you're right on that. Not only nasal mutation, but I think once we start talking about the people as a whole, it lapses back to the singular particle. Not so -- Pippin's title was Ernil i Pheriannath, due to nasal mutation caused by in + initial consonant p. While it really makes no difference in the case of initial s, since that doesn't mutate at all and the plural article takes on the appearance of the singular, it's worth keeping in mind that that did come from original in. -Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

I thought nasal mutation changed P to B. Or was that soft mutation? For the love of the Rumil, where are my notes!?! Bado na sídh. ^_^ Berz.

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

I thought nasal mutation changed P to B. Or was that soft mutation? yep. (at least under HKF/Ardalambion theory) p>b for soft mutation and mixed mutation p>ph for nasal, stop and liquid mutations. Personally I think that _Minas i Sedryn_ is still the best choice here. Using the collective plural is a viable alternative and would, of course, be quite correct; but I don’t see it as really necessary. I think the plural sounds better than the collective and carries the meaning adequately. Just my opinion though. Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Use of Sindarin in stories, and, are these translations correct?

*shrug.* At this point, it's a matter of personal aesthetics, I guess. My vote would go to "Minas-i-Sadronnath." I have doubts about how readers would fain to pronounce "Sedryn," as I've heard the Y all too often pronounced as an E (I swear, if I hear one more person pronounce Eryn Galen as "eren geilan" I am going to scream!). But, most of all, I like the way that "Minas-i-Sadronnath" looks in text. It just looks... cool! Well, anyway... Bado na sídh! ^_^ Berz.

 

 

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