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Letter 239

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Letter 239 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


This (fragment of a) letter, dated July 20, 1962, was written to Allen & Unwin, concerning the Spanish translation of The Hobbit. Point of concern for Tolkien was the use of gnomos as translation of "Dwarves" and "Gnomes". He then tells he originally connected the word gnome to Greek wisdom, but abandoned it after it became used for pygmaeus ("pygmy") instead.

(This is the summary of Letter 239 as printed in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.)


The Spanish translation eventually used enanos for Dwarves; it is unknown whether the second suggestion was also followed.