Tolkien Gateway

Old English

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==External links==
 
==External links==
 
*{{WP|Old English}}
 
*{{WP|Old English}}
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*''[http://www.tolkiensociety.org/ed/study_a_s_1.html Old English in Middle-earth]'' at [http://www.tolkiensociety.org The Tolkien Society]
 
*''[http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/online/goth-saxon/bright-oe.html James W. Bright's Glossary of the Anglo-Saxon Language]'' at [http://www.jrrvf.com Jrrvf.com]
 
*''[http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/online/goth-saxon/bright-oe.html James W. Bright's Glossary of the Anglo-Saxon Language]'' at [http://www.jrrvf.com Jrrvf.com]
 
*[http://www.jrrvf.com/~glaemscrafu/texts/vieilanglais-a.htm Sound samples] of Old English verses related to Tolkien
 
*[http://www.jrrvf.com/~glaemscrafu/texts/vieilanglais-a.htm Sound samples] of Old English verses related to Tolkien

Revision as of 20:58, 23 March 2014

The Anglo-Saxon runes as used in The Hobbit

Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon, though J.R.R. Tolkien apparently avoided the term[1]) was the ancestor language of modern English. It was also the mother language of characters Ælfwine and Eriol.

Anglo-Saxon was typically written in a runic script before the introduction of the Latin alphabet.

Contents

History

Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at at Pembroke College from 1925 to 1945. He favored especially the Mercian dialect and was strongly influenced by Old English literature such as Beowulf.

In earlier notes concerning the The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, Tolkien commented that Old English was the only language the Elves of Eressëa could talk to Men, and that was how they talked to Ælfwine. The Elves learned Old English while living with Men in Luthany.

Tolkien wrote in Old English several texts of his legendarium, which he (fictionally) attributed to Ælfwine such as the Earliest Annals of Valinor; they were published more recently in The Shaping of Middle-earth and are commented and edited by Christopher Tolkien. These texts have been criticized because Christopher Tolkien did not provide a translation and they remain understandable only by Anglo-Saxon students.

In those works, Eriol gave several Old English names to several elements of the legendarium; in some of them, Tolkien attempted to imitate the Elvish sound and form, but with a new meaning. For example Angband is rendered as Engbend "cruel-bond", Balrog as Bealuwearg "baleful-monster" or Silmaril as Sigelmaerels (actually referring to the Nauglamír). At least one name, Mickleburg, survived in the published Silmarillion.

Anglo-Saxon runes were used on the Thrór's Map in The Hobbit to display the Cirth as used by the Dwarves.

Tolkien devised a Tengwar mode for Old English, for texts written by Edwin Lowdham in The Strange Case of Arundel Lowdham (DTS50 and DTS51).

Rohirric

For Lord of the Rings, Tolkien used several Anglo-Saxon names and words, which represented Rohirric, the language of the Rohirrim.[2] This simulated the archaic sense the Hobbits felt with the Rohirrim; Hobbits spoke Hobbitish Westron, represented in the book by English.

However the relation of Old English and English is not the same as with Rohirric and Westron, since the latter descends from Adûnaic, not Rohirric.

See also

External links

References

  1. T.A. Shippey (2000), J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, p. xii
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 144, (dated 25 April 1954)