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"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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"there are Tolkien's latest thoughts, his best thoughts, and his published thoughts and these are not necessarily the same." — Tolkien's Legendarium
This article is non-canon.
This article is about the earlier version of Sindarin. For the dialect of Quenya spoken by the Noldor in Middle-earth, see Exilic Quenya.

Noldorin is an Elvish dialect from an earlier version of the legendarium, a precursor to Sindarin.


Kornoldorin (Old Noldorin) was the language of the Gnomes in Valinor. It was similar to Qenya, the language of the Lindar, but incorporated Solosimpin influence.

When the Gnomes came to the Great Lands with Fëanor, they mixed and intermingled with the Ilkorindi, the Dark Elves; similarly their languages, Kornoldorin and Ilkorin were fused and amalgamated, this was the origin of Noldorin.

External history

A celtic-sounding language spoken by the Gnomes/Noldoli existed since the beginning of Tolkien's mythology. In the first stage, it was called Gnomish quite similar to later Noldorin/Sindarin but also quite different.

It was revised through the following years. Noldorin, as was called during the 1930, was more compatible to Sindarin of The Lord of the Rings; this language appears in the Etymologies.

Noldorin with all its backstory existed even while Tolkien was writing The Lord of the Rings. The Elvish phrases and languages, while nowadays are known as Sindarin, were "Noldorin" in Tolkien's mind while he was writing them. It was only while writing the Appendices when he decided to retcon all the backstory and give Elvish a new history and name, and then the language was standardized as Sindarin.

The Etymologies Noldorin is so similar and compatible to Sindarin, that Tolkien consulted it while working on Sindarin, by "updating" in his mind the old words with the new data. This methodology is used even now by Elvish students when they need to "import" or "update" Noldorin words into Sindarin proper. This practice is often referred to as "Neo-Sindarin", to distinguish it from attested Sindarin.

Example of differences

For example Old Noldorin initial l-/r- became lh-/rh- in Noldorin respectively, however they remain the same in Sindarin. Also, the Old Noldorin diphthong ai becomes oe in Noldorin but ae in Sindarin.

Therefore according to the Etymologies, the Old Noldorin word raika evolved into Noldorin rhoeg but the very same word should be "updated" into *raeg to become Sindarin.