The History of Sindarin
Sindarin is a language spoken by the Grey Elves in J.R.R. Tolkiens books. The grey elves are the one who speaks this language in particular but is also used by other groups of elves. Sindarin went through a few changes from the first to the third age in Middle Earth. The version from the third age is one considered the most modern one and will be the one taught on this website.
Vowels in Sindarin are short except for the "í". The pronunciation of these vowels is almost always the same no matter where you find them in a word. However, it's important to note that the vowel's duration increases when an accent mark is used.
- u = pronounced "uh"
- e = pronounced "eh"
- i = pronounced "ih" (but if placed at the beginning of a word or in front of a vowel the sound is a hard "y")
- í and î = pronounced “ee”
- a = pronounced "ay"
- o = pronounced like "o", but short
- y = In Sindarin a vowel, and pronounced "ooo" or "uuu"
Quiz - Vowels
Which vowel is pronounced like "eh"?
Diphthongs are the combination of two letters which makes a single sound. For these diphthongs the stress is on the first element always
- ai = pronounced "aye" ("hi")
- ui = pronounced "eeoo" ("sueing")
- ae = similar to "aye" ("eye")
- ei = pronounced "ay" ("Hey")
- au = pronounced "ouw" and sometimes "aw" ("crowd")
- oe = pronounced "oy" ("toy")
Quiz - Diphthongs
Which diphthong is pronounced like "ay"?
Most of the consonants in Sindarin are pronounced as in English except for a few examples. Some consonants requires you to vibrate your vocal cords meaning they are voiced consonants. Lastly, double consonants are pronounced with a longer sound.
- "C" and "Ch" are pronounced "K"
- "Dh" = pronounced "th"
- "f" = pronounced "v" when used at the end of a word
- "G" = pronounced like a hard "g"
- "I" = pronounced "I" with vibration
- "Ih" = pronounced "I" without vibration
- "ng" = more pronounced in the middle of a word rather than at the start or end.
- "ph" = pronounced "f"
- "r" = pronounced rolling or trilled
- "rh" = pronounced "r" without vibration
- "s" = pronounced without vibration
- "th" = pronounced without vibration
- "v" = silent if it appears at the end of a word
- "hw" pronounced "W" without vibration
Quiz - Consonants
What is meant by "voiced consonants"?
Now that you finally know how to pronounce every word you'll encounter in Sindarin you can rehearse some phrases that you can use in your everyday life.
- Ai! = "Hail!"
- Mae g'ovannen! = casual "you are well met"
- Mae l'ovannen! = formal "you are well met"
- Êl síla erin lû e-govaned vîn = "A star shines on the hour of our meeting
- Novaer = "farewell"
- Galu = "Good luck"
- Boe i 'waen = "I must go"
Ni 'lassui (thank you).