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Eönwë 01-12-2009 04:44 PM

Tolkien and French...
 
...A bad relationship.

While re-reading the Appendix in ROTK, I came across this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Appendix E, Consonants
The ORcs, and some Dwarves, are said to have used a back or uvular r, a sound which the Eldar found distasteful

Now, I've read this before and understood that it was referring to the way r is pronounced in French. But now with my (slightly) increased knowledge of Tolkien and his works it seems that this was just one of his many jabs at the the French language.


So, basically, are there any other examples other examples of this sort of thing in Tolkien's works?





PS. Well, I did a quick search and found to my surprise that there didn't seem to be another thread like this.

davem 01-13-2009 12:33 AM

Humphrey Carpenter tells of an incident when he & a BBC radio producer took Tolkien to a French restaurant to discuss the possibiity of him (Tolkien) taking part in a programme. At the end of the meal Carpenter broached the subject & asked Tolkien if he'd be interested in doing the broadcast. Tolkien replied 'Why don't you take me to dinner & ask me.'

As we know, Tolkien never forgave the French for the Norman Conquest - hardly surprising when you see what William & his followers went in for when they took over
Quote:

From the Humber to Tees, William's men burnt whole villages and slaughtered the inhabitants. Foodstores and livestock were destroyed so that anyone surviving the initial massacre would soon succumb to starvation over the winter. The land was salted to destroy its productivity for decades forward. The survivors were reduced to cannibalism[4], with one report stating that the skulls of the dead were cracked open so that the brains could be eaten.A plague followed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrying_of_the_North

Rune Son of Bjarne 01-13-2009 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davem (Post 580949)
Humphrey Carpenter tells of an incident when he & a BBC radio producer took Tolkien to a French restaurant to discuss the possibiity of him (Tolkien) taking part in a programme. At the end of the meal Carpenter broached the subject & asked Tolkien if he'd be interested in doing the broadcast. Tolkien replied 'Why don't you take me to dinner & ask me.'

As we know, Tolkien never forgave the French for the Norman Conquest - hardly surprising when you see what William & his followers went in for when they took over

That is what happens when you rebell and do not make sure that your allies will stand by your side, instead of accepting a pay to go home.

Guinevere 01-14-2009 05:07 PM

In letter #213 Tolkien wrote
Quote:

....I like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking

Lalwendë 01-16-2009 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guinevere (Post 581155)
In letter #213 Tolkien wrote

That brings to mind a wee bit of ranting that happened in our house at around 7.15 today. There was a group of continental Europeans on TV saying unpleasant things about the British and the French man said something about how our fruit and veg is tasteless and bland...

...funny that. Our apples for one were perfectly lovely until the Golden 'Delicious' came to these shores...

I straight away thought about what Tolkien would have said and it might not have been very different ;)

Mithalwen 01-19-2009 07:56 AM

Master TGWBS would be far more up to date on both French and linguistics but having taken ages to perfect the rolled French R (in a language lab holding down teh tip of my tongue with a pen)..these days I only seem to use it when muttering "morrrrrrrrdorrrrrrrrrrr. Clearly either my French or my Elvish is wrong...;)

I think he may have been further prejudiced against France by some tragedy that unfolded while he was acting as a tutor on a trip there. I can't quite remember what.

Lalwendë 01-20-2009 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mithalwen (Post 581817)
Master TGWBS would be far more up to date on both French and linguistics but having taken ages to perfect the rolled French R (in a language lab holding down teh tip of my tongue with a pen)..these days I only seem to use it when muttering "morrrrrrrrdorrrrrrrrrrr. Clearly either my French or my Elvish is wrong...;)

I think he may have been further prejudiced against France by some tragedy that unfolded while he was acting as a tutor on a trip there. I can't quite remember what.

In Drout's Tolkien Encyclopedia it says that Tolkien went to France as a tutor to two Mexican boys, in 1913. Apparently he liked Paris and Brittany but he found French people 'vulgar' (wasn't this around the time of the fin de siecle and things such as the Folie Bergeres - which might well have been shocking to a provincial English lad!). However there was indeed a tragedy, one of the boys' Aunts got run down and killed in front of Tolkien!


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