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Old 02-09-2003, 04:50 AM   #1
doug*platypus
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Tolkien Elves to Eldar?

When the Professor wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, he had no idea what an incredible phenomenon they would become. Although concerned by their being seen as similar to the elves of Shakespeare and others (which were little more than pixies), he gave the Elder Children the name Elves.

Eldar was an alternative name (meaning as you know Star-People, the name that Orom gave them in their own language), but this was not used for fear that something completely new would distract and discourage readers. At the time when it was written this may have been true (although the Morlocks and Eloi of H.G. Wells were examples of creatures that did do well), but in today's world pretty much anything goes.

Should Elves (assuming this were possible) be corrected to Eldar throughout Tolkien's works? Or possibly in a Revised Silmarillion, with the name Elves in the other books being attributed to their hobbit authors?
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Old 02-09-2003, 06:47 AM   #2
Inderjit Sanghera
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I think Eldar should only be used to describe those who went to Aman.

Whilst we are on the point on name changing.

What about Faenor or feanor, since we will be using the Sindarnized names, and Faenor was the correct Sindarnized spelling.

It alos seems odd to me that Maedhros, when translating Maitimo would use the S letter instead of the P, so soon after his fathers death. Anyone know why?
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Old 02-09-2003, 09:00 AM   #3
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Eldar only applies to the Elves who at least started upon the great journey.

JRRT himself often referred to Elves as a whole race, even after the designation of Eldar became [ more or less fixed].

As for changing Feanor, JRRT left it that way because he wanted to reflect the Beleriandic/Sindarin 'filter' if you will through which all of the tales of the First and prior ages came. Feanor was the way his name was spoken in beleriand, even though, ironically enough, it was probably only done so after he died.

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Faenor was the correct Sindarnized spelling.
yes but if I recall correctly, it was not what was ever used.

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It also seems odd to me that Maedhros, when translating Maitimo would use the S letter instead of the P, so soon after his fathers death. Anyone know why?
nope
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:43 AM   #4
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It alos seems odd to me that Maedhros, when translating Maitimo would use the S letter instead of the P, so soon after his fathers death. Anyone know why?
Because it is not P to S but rather __ ('thorne') to S (IIRC). The shibboleth was also a Quenya issue not a Sindarin one.

[ February 09, 2003: Message edited by: Tar Elenion ]
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Old 02-09-2003, 09:13 PM   #5
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Welcome to the project, doug*platypus.

Concerning Elves: it may be interesting to speculate on whether Tolkien, if he had known how popular his works would be, would have used 'Elves'. He very well may have; certainly, when he abandoned 'Gnomes' he must still have thought that 'Elves' was somehow acceptable. Or he may have decided that it should be left as 'Eldar' or 'Quendi'.

However interesting this speculation may be, it is not our concern. This project is not aimed at improving in any way the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is beyond the scope of the project to effect a change such as Elves>Eldar.

As it is also beyond its scope to alter Feanor to Faenor. Moreover, as Lindil points out, 'Feanor' is indeed what Curufinwe Feanaro was supposed actually to have been called in Beleriand. So in this case, it is not merely a question of presentation, but of content.

Tar Elenion is quite right in saying that the change with which the Shibboleth is concerned was 'th' (or 'thorne') to 's', and was an issue specifically related to Quenya. Note that 's' already existed in Quenya, separate from the 'th' sound. Indeed, one of Feanor's chief complaints against th>s was that it eliminated the distinction between those two sounds. This is why sometimes 's' is spelled with the 'silma' tengwa, and sometimes with 'thule'.
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Old 02-10-2003, 03:54 AM   #6
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1420!

Thanks. I never thought about moving to the Projects, but well, here I am. And already I've posted outside their scope! Maybe this question would have been better off in the Books Forum, but I think that it should (should, mind!) get some more intelligent responses here.

Yeah, I thought that Eldar were only the elves who started the Great Journey, as opposed to the Avari, but the name translates as star people - oughtn't it be applied to all the Elves?

How the #%$@ do you pronounce the character? Is it like a throaty th, in the opposite to dh, or what?!

I am reading The War of the Jewels at the moment. It appears that JRRT was going to split what was published by CT as The Silmarillion, into The Annals of Valinor (by Rmil), and The Annals of Beleriand (by Pengolod). Fanor would appear primarily in AV, and I think that for consistency his name would have been left unchanged for his brief appearance at the start of AB. I don't think Pengolod would have wanted to confuse his readers.
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Old 02-10-2003, 04:50 AM   #7
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" ought't it apllied to all the Elves?"- origanlly posted by Doug Platypus

No. Eldar was only applied to those who went on the journey, Doug. If you want a collective term for all Elves, (apart form Elves, obviously) use Quendi.

[ February 10, 2003: Message edited by: Inderjit Sanghera ]
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:47 AM   #8
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Doug:
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Thanks. I never thought about moving to the Projects, but well, here I am. And already I've posted outside their scope! Maybe this question would have been better off in the Books Forum, but I think that it should (should, mind!) get some more intelligent responses here.
It's always good to see people interested in the project. And don't worry about posting outside its scope - better too many ideas than not enough.

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Yeah, I thought that Eldar were only the elves who started the Great Journey, as opposed to the Avari, but the name translates as star people - oughtn't it be applied to all the Elves?
To which Inderjit replied:
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No. Eldar was only applied to those who went on the journey, Doug.
Well, to be quite precise, Doug is half right. The term 'Eldar', 'Star people', was originally, prior to the Great March, applied to all Elves. However, when the first sundering occurred, the term 'Eldar' was used to distinguish those who set out from the 'Avari', 'The Unwilling', who refused. Subsequently, 'Eldar' was used only to refer to those that had set forth, and 'Quendi' was the generic term for Elves.

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How the #%$@ do you pronounce the character? Is it like a throaty th, in the opposite to dh, or what?!
It's simply the unvoiced 'th' sound, as in 'thorn', 'thought', or 'thunder'. In Old English that sound had its own letter, which has since fallen out of use. Old English also had a letter called 'erdh', which represented the voiced 'th' sound in 'then' or 'there'. In Modern English this has, of course, become 'th' as well; in Sindarin it's spelled with a 'dh' - Maedhros, Caradhras.
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Old 05-27-2003, 07:25 PM   #9
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Wasn't that kind of shaped like a "d" with a curve at the top and a little dash through the curve?

I was also wondering, how is the "p" with a long stem pronounced? I don't know how else to describe it.
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Old 05-28-2003, 10:28 PM   #10
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Tolkien

Finwe, I believe the characters you are referring to are thorn (looks like a weird p) and esh (, this except with a slash at the top of it... it may not come out right on the Downs). Both are part of the Northumbrian and Mercian writing systems usd in Anglo-Saxon literature and both have a th sound to them.
I think these were the characters you were referring to at least.
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Nope, it didn't come out right. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]

[ May 29, 2003: Message edited by: Scott ]
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:13 PM   #11
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That's quite all right. Thank you for your help!
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But Melkor also was there, and he came to the house of Fanor, and there he slew Finw King of the Noldor before his doors, and spilled the first blood in the Blessed Realm; for Finw alone had not fled from the horror of the Dark.
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Old 05-29-2003, 08:54 PM   #12
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I was at my local library tonight and while I was on my break from harassing the pages there [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img], I read up some more on the thorn and esh (I also found it as eth...?) signs. And basically, some interesting side notes on them are that the thorn sign was derived from a very popular runic sign and the only reason it and it's counterpart were stricken from English writing was because when the first printing presses were being made on the continent, there was no font for them. In it's (for the thorn, the more popular of the two) place, a "y" was added. So when you see "ye olde inne", or somehting of the sort, you should be saying "the" olde inne. A bit off topic, I know, but pretty interesting.
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Old 05-30-2003, 08:26 AM   #13
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Ah, I remember reading that in the book, The Magical Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien or another companion book. That would make a lot of sense.
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Old 06-02-2003, 02:20 PM   #14
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The Elves in Scandinavian and Icelandic folklore are tall, therefore, Tolkien's use of 'Elf' is appropriate and should not be changed to Eldar (or any other word).
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Old 06-02-2003, 11:05 PM   #15
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Although you certainly are entitled to your own opinion, I think that that one might be formed on a bit too narrow of a thought pattern. Even though Tolkien's works were built largely off of folklores, probably including that which you mentioned, the world he created is his own and word interpretations should probably be confined to the context of his world.
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Old 06-03-2003, 12:24 AM   #16
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The original question was "Should Elves (assuming this were possible) be corrected to Eldar throughout Tolkien's works?". I am merely stating why I think Tolkien's works should be left as is.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Inderjit Sanghera
It alos seems odd to me that Maedhros, when translating Maitimo would use the S letter instead of the P, so soon after his fathers death. Anyone know why?
Aiwendil posted: 'Note that 's' already existed in Quenya, separate from the 'th' sound.'

Yes, and to add a bit, note too Maitimo's Quenya nickname Russandol, part of which hails from Common Eldarin russ (Sindarin ross). Feanor was against altering to s, and so objected to Serinde for erinde, but he would have been OK with Russandol or Ambarussa, which gave -ros in Maedros and Amros in Sindarin.

The form that goes with the Shibboleth idea (a combination of Nelyafinwe's Mother-name and his epesse meaning 'Copper-top', referring to his coppery hair) is Maedros. Maedhros represents a different etymology -- or did, at least, as a form of this name at the time of Etymologies meant 'Pale-glitter' (although Maedhros appears in note 15 in any case).

The Shibboleth reads at one point: 'The s was certainly used in Beleriand by nearly all the Noldor*' (footnote 15). And this note 15 reads: 'It is not even certain that all Feanor's sons continued to use after his death and the healing of the feud by the renowned deed of Fingon son of Fingolfin in rescuing Maedhros [> Maedros] from the torments of Morgoth.'

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Old 07-10-2009, 09:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Scott View Post
I was at my local library tonight and while I was on my break from harassing the pages there [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img], I read up some more on the thorn and esh (I also found it as eth...?) signs. And basically, some interesting side notes on them are that the thorn sign was derived from a very popular runic sign and the only reason it and it's counterpart were stricken from English writing was because when the first printing presses were being made on the continent, there was no font for them. In it's (for the thorn, the more popular of the two) place, a "y" was added. So when you see "ye olde inne", or somehting of the sort, you should be saying "the" olde inne. A bit off topic, I know, but pretty interesting.
As a little aside, "eth" or "edh" is the correct name of the letter. "Esh" is the symbol which looks like the integral sign in Calculus, and is used in the IPA to represent the voiceless postalveolar fricative (as in Sharky).
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