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Old 01-09-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
Vaine
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Sting hin or chin?

I just noticed that CT refers to the Children of Hurin as Narn i hin Hurin in Silm and UT, but as Narn i chin Hurin in CoH. Do you think it was an unintentional typo? Or might there be several ways to write the word?
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:33 PM   #2
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As far as I recall, I believe the idea was that it is supposed to be chin, only later Christopher (or the Prof himself already? I don't know) decided that it is better to write it as hin, because English speakers might pronounce "chin" indeed as "ch", like, as in "charm" (or "chin" ). While it is supposed to be more like the ch as in, umm, well, Khand

(If somebody can help with more information and with better examples, please do so )
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:34 PM   #3
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Note that the title of the Narn is given as Narn i Hn Hrin in the published Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. This was an editorial decision by Christopher Tolkien which he later regretted, done only to prevent people from pronouncing Chn like the English "chin".
This from Tolkien Gateway. Where they got this information I am not sure - I scanned The Children of Hurin itself without finding any passage by Christopher related to it. Maybe it's in a revised Silmarillion? However, it is probably true, what Tolkien Gateway says.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:42 PM   #4
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Another site says:

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In LR:322, Christopher Tolkien confesses: "Narn i Chn Hrin...is so spelt at all occurences, but was improperly changed by me to Narn i Hn Hrin (because I did not want Chn to be pronounced like Modern English chin.)
Does LR mean Lost Road?
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #5
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So what you're saying is that hin is supposed to be pronounced as if there's a K in front of it? I never knew :|

I suppose this is why CT added the 'note on pronunciation' in CoH.

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Old 01-09-2009, 05:51 PM   #6
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Yes, that's right. I think the pronunciation is "Narn ee kheen Hoorin".
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:10 PM   #7
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Hmph. Well, does anybody know what is ch pronounced in, let's say, Latin? Or if you know any other language where it is. Words that come from different languages, and having ch in them, are anyway pronounced differently in English... Like, chalcedone. It is not supposed to be really k. But quite close to it. Well, how do you pronounce for example Marach, anyway? That's what it is.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:17 PM   #8
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It's not as simple as "Mare-ahk" with a hard K, is it? I picture the "ch" as having more (how can I explain?) character to it? I can hear it in my head but I can't pronounce it properly myself. I don't think it's a sound from English - more like German. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Well, the pronunciation guide in Children of Hurin says CH has the same value as Scottish loch or German buch.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:10 PM   #9
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It's like the sound in German Bach (as already noted).

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CH is only used to represent the sound heard in bach (in German or Welsh), not that in English church. Except at the end of words and before t this sound, was weakened to h in the speech of Gondor, and that change has been recognized in a few names, such as Rohan, Rohirrim. (Imrahil is a Nmenorean name.)
Return of the King, Appendix E

hn 'child' hn 'children', but the plural article triggers a mutation here > iChn 'the children'.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Beregond View Post
Well, the pronunciation guide in Children of Hurin says CH has the same value as Scottish loch or German buch.
Only when 'ch' is at the end of a word I recon.

I am norwegian and can pretty much figure how chin i supposed to sound. ( As C is always pronounced K in norwegian, U is always 'OO' etc etc)

After all, Tolkien got alot of inspiration from scandinavian.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:18 AM   #11
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If it was supposed to pronounce as K, why didn't Christopher change it to Khn instead of Hn? C was always pronounced as K in Elvish, but ch was a phone of its own.

I remember reading somewhere that at the end of the word ch pronounces as in German, and at the beginning rather just as H.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vaine
Only when 'ch' is at the end of a word I recon.
I would say Beregond's quote refers to all positions in Sindarin.

Also, JRRT notes that Rohan and Rohirrim represent Gondorian pronunciation. In Sindarin proper the words are Rochan(d) and Rochirrim for example (S. roch 'horse'). Gondorians weakened this sound to h in certain circumstances (as noted in Appendix E) and some altered word final ch to k (as noted in Unfinished Tales).

Some Gondorians said Rohan for S. Rochan and Ork for S. Orch.

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Old 01-20-2009, 08:19 AM   #13
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If it was supposed to pronounce as K, why didn't Christopher change it to Khn instead of Hn? C was always pronounced as K in Elvish, but ch was a phone of its own.
JRRT decided (while the LR was in galleys) not to use K in transliterating Elvish.* Latinate as he was, he assumed, optimistically, that readers would automatically understand that C is always 'hard.' He reserved K as a visual marker of non-Eldarin tongues: Khuzdul, Adunaic, Black Speech.

CT disagreed at the time (note that on The Map it was still "Kirith Ungol"), being perhaps more realistic, and years later in his own pronunciation guide emphasized "not Seleborn." But he wasn't going to violate the Rule.

*This rule didn't apply to certain names associated with the Valar: Tulkas, Melkor. This internally Tolkien explained (very late) as being because these names weren't Eldarin, but Elvish approximations of Valarin (tho' there's no justification in tengwar for the distinction!)- but externally, of course, because these early names belong to the foundational, Finnish-based layer, K being common in Finnish.
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