Tolkien Gateway

Entish

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{{quote|It takes a long time to say anything in Old [[Entish]]...|[[Treebeard]]}}
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{{quote|It takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish...|[[Treebeard]]}}
  
The sonorous, rumbling and ancient language of the [[Ents]], a language quite unlike those used by [[Elves]] or [[Men]]. Entish was a slow and thoughtful language for a slow and thoughtful people, in which words and names told the story of the things they described. This is perhaps part of the reason for the Ents' shyness about names, considering their own Entish names to be private things only to be told to trusted friends.
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'''Entish''' was the slow, sonorous, rumbling and ancient language of the [[Ents]], very alien in nature to [[Elvish]] or [[Mannish]]. Entish was a slow and thoughtful language like its speakers; words and names told the story of the things they described. This is perhaps part of the reason for the Ents' shyness about names, considering their own Entish names to be private things only to be told to trusted friends.
  
Ents are not hasty creatures, they take their time; even their language is "unhasty". In fact, their language appears to be based on an ancient form of [[Common Eldarin]], later enriched by [[Quenya]] and [[Sindarin]], although it includes many unique 'tree-ish' additions. There are actually two different languages:
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Their language appears to be based on an ancient form of [[Common Eldarin]], later enriched by [[Quenya]] and [[Sindarin]], although it includes many unique 'tree-ish' additions. There are actually two different languages:
  
* Old Entish. Originally, the Ents had a language of their own, described as long and sonorous; it was a tonal language (like Chinese). It is unknown if a non-Ent could even pronounce Old Entish correctly: it was filled with many subtle vowel shades, and was very longwinded. Only Ents spoke Old Entish; not because they kept their language a secret, as the Dwarves did with Khuzdul, but because no others could master it. It was quite an alien language to all others. The Huorns and trees of Fangorn forest could understand Old Entish and converse with the Ents and each other with it. The only extant sample, ''a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lindor-burúme'', the word for ''hill'' (or possibly even just part of the name of a specific hill), was described as a very inaccurate sampling. Even the Elves, master linguists, could not learn Old Entish, nor did they attempt to record it due to its complex sound structure. The grammar structure of Old Entish was also quite bizarre, often described as a lengthy, long-winded discussion of a topic. There may not even have been a word for ''yes'' and ''no'': such questions would be answered by a long monologue on why the Ent in question did or did not agree with the Ent who asked the question. The Ent Quickbeam was regarded as a very "hasty" Ent for answering a question before another Ent had finished: the end may only have been another hour away. Ents as a rule would say nothing in Old Entish unless it was worth taking a long time to say. For everyday language function, they usually resorted to "New" Entish.
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Originally, the Ents had a language of their own, described as long and sonorous; it was a [[Wikipedia:tonal language|tonal language]] with many subtle vowel shades, and very longwinded. It is unknown if a non-Ent could even pronounce Old Entish. The [[Huorn]]s and trees of [[Fangorn forest]] could understand Old Entish and converse with the Ents and each other with it. . Even the Elves, master linguists, could not learn Old Entish, nor did they attempt to record it due to its complex sound structure. The grammar structure of Old Entish was also quite bizarre, often described as a lengthy, long-winded discussion of a topic. There may not even have been a word for ''yes'' and ''no'': such questions would be answered by a long monologue on why the Ent in question did or did not agree with the Ent who asked the question. The Ent [[Quickbeam]] was regarded as a very "hasty" Ent for answering a question before another Ent had finished. Ents as a rule would say nothing in Old Entish unless it was worth taking a long time to say. For everyday language function, they usually resorted to "New" Entish.
*"New" Entish (Never named as such in the text). Due to contact with the Elves, the Ents learned much from them. The Ents found the Elvish language Quenya to be a lovely language, and adapted it after their fashion to everyday use. However, they basically adapted Quenya vocabulary to Old Entish grammatical structure. Thus, unlike Old Entish, the individual words of "New Entish" that characters such as Treebeard spoke were easily translatable. However, in context they formed lengthy run-on sentences of redundant adjectives that could still stretch well over an hour in length. For example, when Treebeard essentially wanted to tell Merry and Pippin, "There is a shadow of the Great Darkness in the deep dales of the forest", he literally said in New Entish "Forest-golden-leaves, deep-dales-winter, forest-many-shadowed, deep-valley-black". Unlike Old Entish, a non-Ent conceivably could speak "New" Entish. Even when speaking the Common Speech, Westron, Ents fell into the habit of adapting it into their grammatical structure of repeating compound adjectives used to express fine shades of meaning.
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The [[Elves]] taught much the Ents. The Ents found [[Quenya]] a lovely language, and adapted it after their fashion to everyday use, and its vocabulary to Old Entish grammatical structure. The individual words of were easily understandable, although they formed lengthy run-on sentences of redundant adjectives that could still stretch well over an hour in length.  
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Even when speaking [[Westron]], Ents fell into the habit of adapting it into their grammatical structure of repeating compound adjectives used to express fine shades of meaning.
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==Examples==
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*''A-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lindor-burúme'', the word for "hill" (or possibly even just part of the name of a specific hill); described as a very inaccurate sampling
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*When [[Treebeard]] essentially wanted to tell [[Merry]] and [[Pippin]], "There is a shadow of the Great Darkness in the deep dales of the forest", he literally said "Forest-golden-leaves, deep-dales-winter, forest-many-shadowed, deep-valley-black"
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
*[http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/entish.htm Entish] in [[Ardalambion]]
 
*[http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/entish.htm Entish] in [[Ardalambion]]

Revision as of 17:10, 17 August 2013

"The wise will stay here and hope to rebuild our town..." — Master of Lake-town
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"It takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish..."
Treebeard

Entish was the slow, sonorous, rumbling and ancient language of the Ents, very alien in nature to Elvish or Mannish. Entish was a slow and thoughtful language like its speakers; words and names told the story of the things they described. This is perhaps part of the reason for the Ents' shyness about names, considering their own Entish names to be private things only to be told to trusted friends.

Their language appears to be based on an ancient form of Common Eldarin, later enriched by Quenya and Sindarin, although it includes many unique 'tree-ish' additions. There are actually two different languages:

Originally, the Ents had a language of their own, described as long and sonorous; it was a tonal language with many subtle vowel shades, and very longwinded. It is unknown if a non-Ent could even pronounce Old Entish. The Huorns and trees of Fangorn forest could understand Old Entish and converse with the Ents and each other with it. . Even the Elves, master linguists, could not learn Old Entish, nor did they attempt to record it due to its complex sound structure. The grammar structure of Old Entish was also quite bizarre, often described as a lengthy, long-winded discussion of a topic. There may not even have been a word for yes and no: such questions would be answered by a long monologue on why the Ent in question did or did not agree with the Ent who asked the question. The Ent Quickbeam was regarded as a very "hasty" Ent for answering a question before another Ent had finished. Ents as a rule would say nothing in Old Entish unless it was worth taking a long time to say. For everyday language function, they usually resorted to "New" Entish.

The Elves taught much the Ents. The Ents found Quenya a lovely language, and adapted it after their fashion to everyday use, and its vocabulary to Old Entish grammatical structure. The individual words of were easily understandable, although they formed lengthy run-on sentences of redundant adjectives that could still stretch well over an hour in length.

Even when speaking Westron, Ents fell into the habit of adapting it into their grammatical structure of repeating compound adjectives used to express fine shades of meaning.

Examples

  • A-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lindor-burúme, the word for "hill" (or possibly even just part of the name of a specific hill); described as a very inaccurate sampling
  • When Treebeard essentially wanted to tell Merry and Pippin, "There is a shadow of the Great Darkness in the deep dales of the forest", he literally said "Forest-golden-leaves, deep-dales-winter, forest-many-shadowed, deep-valley-black"

External links