Letter to Leila Keene and Pat Kirke
- Contents: Tolkien discusses the Common Speech and the adoption by the Dwarves of Erebor of the language of the Men of Dale.
- Authenticity: Very high
- Publication: The letter was first reproduced in an auction catalogue from Sotheby's in 1995. Christopher Tolkien included a description and excerpts from the letter in The Peoples of Middle-earth.
"... It was a sort of lingua-franca, made up of all sorts of languages, but the Elvish language (of the North West) for the most part. It was called the Western language or Common Speech; and in Bilbo's time had already passed eastward over the Misty Mountains and reached Lake Town, and Beorn, and even Smaug (dragons were ready linguists in all ages). ..."