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Old 07-10-2005, 07:27 AM   #1
the guy who be short
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Learning Quenya - Discussion Thread

Aiya, neri ar nissi Atanion! Aiya, vendi ar hini Endoron! Aiya, ingolmor i lambeon Quendion!
Hail, men and women of the race of Men! Hail, maidens and children of Middle-Earth! Hail, loremasters of the tongue of the Elves!

Thus, in rather shaky and basic Quenya (the last sentence is liable to be flawed), I welcome you to the Learning Quenya Discussion Thread!

This thread is solely for those of us learning Quenya. If you are not learning Quenya with us, please do not post in this thread (unless you're a Mod, in which case, do whatever you want! ). Please also remember that we are all students at this stage, so do not ask us, publicly or privately, in this thread or any other, to act as a translation service for you, as we probably won't be able to!

Right, now that I've scared everybody else away, here's what the thread is for!

As you know, we are learning Quenya in our pairs, meaning we're more able to help one another out. However, something else that many people have requested is a place for us to share our experience of learning Quenya with others. And here it is, now that our number isn't entirely laughable.

This thread will be used for discussion of how we find learning Quenya, talking about things we find difficult, techniques we use to learn in pairs, etc. etc. It is meant to encourage us along the way, a larger group to share ideas with than just your Study Buddy.

The thread will not be used to discuss things like the appearance of Quenya in Tolkien's works, or the accuracy of the course, or whether standardisation is a good idea, or anything of that sort. Other threads can be created for this. It is simply another tool for the whole learning experience.

Existing Pairs:

Kath and TGWBS
dancing spawn of ungoliant and Lhunardawen
Encaitare (Alone)
Kitanna and Orominuialwen
Arwen Imladris and Esgallhugwen
CaptainofDespair and durelin
Joy (Alone)

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Old 07-10-2005, 09:20 AM   #2
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I'll start us off, then.

To everybody starting off, don't be disheartened by the length or complexity of lesson one - the following lessons are much shorter and far less complex.

It was a bit of a challenge comprehending aspiration and voicing and all the rest of it. Once you get past it (and not all of it is essential) the rest will seem easy as pie. I had trouble not aspirating my "t"s to begin with.

Something both Kath and I had trouble with is pronouncing "h"s. Fortunately, we classed all the different pronunciations and there were only about 5.

Another trick which I use is to copy and paste all the summaries of the lessons. When I'm not sure of something, I can quickly reference it by finding the piece of paper instead of having to start up the computer.

Finally, a useful source for Quenya vocabulary is, again, Ardalambion. I don't really trust other sites, and would advise people to stick to Ardalambion.
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgwbs
Something both Kath and I had trouble with is pronouncing "h"s.
My, that was the worst lesson for me the first time around, too! I only got a measly one point in the exercises. Hopefully I'll do better as spawn and I start this week. We'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:28 AM   #4
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Lhuna: I still haven't memorised all the "h"s. Whenever I find one I'm not sure of, I look back at exercise and find out how to pronounce it. The underlying theory behind this is that eventually they will stick in my mind.

How Kath and I learn:
A step by step guide
1) Both read the lesson beforehand.
2) Meet at pre-appointed time on Instant Messenger.
3) Discuss the lesson. What we found easy, what we found hard and whatnot.
4) Help one another and try to explain things to one another if one of us finds something hard.
5) Do the exercises together. One of us writes the answer to an exercise, the other verifies that they think it's correct (or, if not, corrects it).
6) Check the answers and celebrate.
7) Arrange next meeting.
8) If we catch one another online between meetings, we talk to one another, interspercing Quenya into the conversation. This means we can keep up to date with vocab.

It works really well, actually. We've got to lesson 4 already.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:26 AM   #5
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You guys have got Encai and I beat. Due to me being rather busy right now, we've agreed to snail's pace for the next two weeks or so. We've both got the introduction and first five lessons downloaded and presumably started. Once I'm no longer insane enough to offer up my time modding (kidding.. it's worth it... game starts in five minutes), I'll have more time to sit in front of the computer doing other things.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
2) Meet at pre-appointed time on Instant Messenger.
Or, as is the usual way, try to meet at a pre-appointed time and then find that you have something else to do or your parents have chosen that particular moment to begin a 3 hour phone call and have to grovel later.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:37 PM   #7
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I've just realised I'm the only male who's even signed up to learn Quenya (I think). Why's that, we wonders?
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:03 PM   #8
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We thinks precious that it's because he has a strange fondness for languages (and is far too good at them in our opinion). He beats us at the exercises all the time - and we feel it is only a matter of time before he laughs at us for our inability to learn plurals!
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:48 AM   #9
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Hehe, Kath, you're doing fine at plurals!

But, really, is there any reason for the gender imbalance? Is Quenya more appealing to women? Are Elves too nancy for men? Is it just a coincidence?

Concerning poetry competitions: I've had a look, and you need to get up to lesson 5 to write anything decent (when lesson 5 is complete, students should understand present tense verbs, nouns and adjectives, which is enough for a basic poem). If not enough people get that far by September, the first poetry competition could be rescheduled for October.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:53 AM   #10
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The gender imbalance reminds me of my old Spanish class (fat lot of help that was... I'm going to miserably bomb my college proficieny test in about two weeks). There were about twenty of us... three guys.

And has anyone else noticed how torturously long the Introduction is?
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:06 AM   #11
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The intro isn't vital reading, Fea. I skimmed through it. The only thing of real importance was that some Quenya had been standardised (ie, "k"s turned to "c"s) because Tolkien changed his mind about spelling lots of times throughout his life. The rest is really babble.

Interestingly, in my German class, there were more boys than girls. German is usually thought of as quite a masculine language though.

French, usually thought of as feminine... I think there were a few more girls than boys.

I see Quenya as a feminine language. Maybe that's it.

Than again, maybe I'm pulling this all out of my donkey.

Summary of TGWBS's babble: Don't bother reading the whole intro properly Fea.
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:13 AM   #12
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I read the first third of it between Monday night and yesteday afternoon, and then I gave up. I hadn't really planned on finishing it any how, since my attention span is notoriously bad, and it's very long-winded and infused with big words. Also, I'll be away from home probably tonight, definately tomorrow (though no worries, my players, I'll get in a death post on WW6 before I leave), and I'll be quite busy Friday. I love when summer gets busy. Keeps me on my toes. Don't worry though, Encai, I'll get Lesson 1 read in between goofing off and shopping (hey, I didn't say what I was gonna be doing was important ).
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:17 PM   #13
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I just got back from a few days' vacation and Lhuna and I start our collaboration tomorrow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quenya course, Lesson 1
Since the Finnish language was evidently Tolkien's foremost inspiration...
...I'm having a breeze with the pronaunciation. It's just the length of the lesson that is killing me (or is it that horrible headache I feel coming?). Anyway, at this point I feel optimistic about the course. Can't wait until we can begin writing poems!
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Old 07-13-2005, 01:38 PM   #14
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Fea I would suggest you ignore the introduction unless you really want to read it. All it really does is give you a lot of conflicting information about the history behind Quenya and then tells you none of it matters because the course is going to do it one way and one way only.

spawn - just wait til you get to plurals!
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Old 07-13-2005, 02:02 PM   #15
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Skipping the introduction sounds like a fantastic idea to me... it downloaded to a length of 21 pages on my word processor, and I'm still only on page 8. I think I'll skim through the rest and the get straight on to Lesson One.
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Old 07-13-2005, 02:31 PM   #16
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Good idea, Enca.

Wise position, Kath.

Plurals aren't as hard as Kath makes out. She just has to cope with school at the same time, making remembering a little harder for her.

Well, you heard spawn. Anybody having trouble, go pester her! Oh, and spawn - as I said, lesson 1 is ridiculously long (it's like the intro all over again ). After that, they're a lot shorter.
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:54 AM   #17
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spawn, I knew there was a reason why I wanted you as my buddy. I think this is going to be oh-so-much-easier for you. Then you can help me out when I'm stuck.
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:18 AM   #18
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By the way, for those of you using IM, Kath and I devised a shorthand. As English keyboards don't have accented letters unless you memorise the ALT + Number combinations, we've replaced them with double letters. e.g. á becomes aa. This works because Quenya never has two of the same vowels in a row.

It's very handy and speeds things up. Which is only really an issue using IM.

When you're not using IM, please use full letters. It's much prettier. There a list of the ALT + Number combinations on the FAQ page.

Also, about the diaresis you sometime find on words like Eärendil, Kath and I ignore them altogether as they are only for pronunciation purposes for us poor English-speaking sods. I leave them off when writing in Quenya as they have no real purpose presuming one knows their pronunciation.
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by the guy who be short
I've just realised I'm the only male who's even signed up to learn Quenya (I think). Why's that, we wonders?
Pardon me? What am I, chopped liver?

Anyway, so far as I know, I don't have a study buddy, but I'm going to try to start up again on my own. If I ever get up the gumption to print off the exercises (again - they're so freakin' long!), I'll start up in earnest. Right now, they're just on my compy at home, so I'm stuck with only looking at them when I'm home.

But, I'm pysched about going at it again! I mean, I'm old enough to remember the good old days when we still had the Language forum! Anything to get that back is a good thing in my book.

-LR.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:44 AM   #20
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Sorry Lúmen! I thought you might be male, which is why I added "I think" in brackets.

About study buddies - I looked at your stats, and it's quite hard to match somebody up with you because you've completed the entire course already, so it will be mucheasier for you to pick it up again. Also, you could only use PMs, which are quite restricted. However, if you want to get a buddy sorted out quickly, just PM anybody you'd like to go with and ask them (though if you do pair up, let me know!). I suppose you'd be more able to help people out, seeing as you'd be able to pick up the course more easily.

About the language forums - I don't think we'll see a return, even if more people display interest in joining. However, eventually we may have several threads running (other than the poetry competition ones).

Oh, and welcome (back?) to the Downs!
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:49 AM   #21
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Now, now, you are causing me pressure. But of course I'll help if I can and if you want me to. Though I have to confess that I'm a bit lost with the h's, too. I haven't done the "h's" exercise yet. The "accents" one was much more comfortable!

Here's something for those who are not sure, how to pronaunce the vowels. Click. There are audio files for some words and separate vowels. As far as I'm concerned, they should be correct and accurate. Only the last sentence at the bottom sounds somewhat weird (incorrect?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lúmen
Anyway, so far as I know, I don't have a study buddy, but I'm going to try to start up again on my own.
Aww, but you have us all spurring you on here!
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:21 PM   #22
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Pipe

Actually, I would be willing to use emails, but unfortunately I won't have IM access till I return to school this fall. I've really only got access to the Net at work, which is kinda stinktastic.

Oh, well. Such is life.

-LR.
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:25 AM   #23
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Aiya, nissi ar vendi... ar Lúmen.
Hail, women and maidens... and Lúmen.

Two quick notes. One is that Kath and I have got lesson 5 done (Woo!) so we're now at the stage where we can actually compose sentences. More or less a post to say "Go us!" than anything else.

Also, due to excessive amounts of vocab to learn, I've just created a document of all the vocabulary and printed it off to use at my pleasure. Together with the page of lesson summaries, I can more or less revise properly when not at a computer, which is very handy.
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:16 AM   #24
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Good idea, tgwbs. I wonder if we'll get to memorize all those words.

Anyways, have you noticed that most of us are joining Werewolf VII? Lhuna - spawn , tgwbs - Kath, Fea - Enca, Kitanna - Oromin...will we get any studying done at all? Maybe we could require at least one Quenya word in each post throughout the game.

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Old 07-21-2005, 01:54 PM   #25
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Good plan Lhuna! Just randomly or as part of an actual sentence?

Oh and whoever said they were having trouble with H's I have a quick version that might help.

If the 'h' is at the front of the word it is said like the 'h' at the front of 'high'.

If it's in the middle and before 't' it is said like the sound at the end of 'loch'.

If it's in the middle and after 'i' or 'e' it is said like the german word 'ich'.
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:12 PM   #26
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My problem, Kath, is that much like the pronunciation difference between the names "Aaron" and "Erin", my dialect doesn't allow for differences in "h"s as you name them.
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:31 PM   #27
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Ok well for the after i or e one there is another option but it's a little more confusing. Think of the word you and then say it out loud. Now do it again but try to put an air breath with an h sound in front of it stop the word after the first sound you make. That is the sound you are aiming for.
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:49 PM   #28
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Good plan Lhuna! Just randomly or as part of an actual sentence?
Of course the word would have to be relevant.

Like: "(insert name here), if you're not a werewolf, then we're all a bunch of roccor" or something like that.

(That was not exactly the best example, was it? )

But if everyone agrees to the rule, how can we make sure that we all follow it?

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Old 07-22-2005, 03:49 AM   #29
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The 'h's

Fea ~ an h at the front of the word would be pronounced normally, unless you have a really weird accent (yes, I know you have no accent, but still...)

The 'h' sound called the ach-Laut or the 'h' in 'loch' is pronounced as a hard 'ch.' Imagine Eomer saying it in his Scottish accent. It's also common in German.

The 'h' sound in 'ich' called the ich-Laut doesn't occur in English. It's hard to explain, it took my German teacher quite a while to explain it to us, but it's sort of... more hissy than the other 'ch' sound. *Finishes lamely*

I learnt all this but never memorised where to use each one.
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Old 07-22-2005, 04:52 AM   #30
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Quote:
But if everyone agrees to the rule, how can we make sure that we all follow it?
Well just say that each post has to have one Quenyan (?) word in it. It could be anything just as long as it fits in a sentence. I don't know how you could enforce it though except make threatening noises at anyone who didn't
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:56 AM   #31
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Och aye, one might end up hissing ich-Laut at ye, if ye aren't careful.

Now... *reviews personal accent/dialect*

We drop the "t"s at the end of most words... they're replaced with an almost throaty "h". Actually, that's true for most consonants unless we in the area make a conscious attempt not to (except for Geoff, because he insists that the proper pronunciation is alu-MIN-ium... you can guess where he hails from originally). Many vowels are dropped because they, quite frankly, are unnecessary.

An example of someone speaking locally for me would be.

"Hey, are you going out tonight? What movie are you guys seeing? Oh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is hilarious."

becoming

"Hey, you go-n ow t'nigh? Wha movie are yeh guys see-n? Oh, Charlie 'n' the Chok-li Fact-ry is hilarious."

As you can see, locally, we have little reverance for letters that don't necessarily need direct pronunciation. The theory, I think, is that it's the thought that counts more than the "t"s or "g"s. It looks harsh written phonetically, but spoken, it's a fairly swift-spoken but soft rendition of the language. No harsh [consonant] edges to worry about.

And it's fantastic for us locals (a little tough to follow if you're not used to quick English.. poor exchange students...) but it makes it tough for us to learn foreign languages where every letter has a use.

And those crazy "h"s... they're more of a breath than they are a sound. *out-breath*'lo is the rough sound of "hello". Hence my troubles.

Oh, and just for good measure... me? An accent? Never... 's you lo-h with yer pretentious ways of sayin' things tha's go-h the res-h o' the worl-h in 'n uproar. You know... it's a darned good thing that spelling of English is [almost] universal or we'd be in trouble. In conclusion... did my post have a point? I'm not so sure. I think my point was to poke fun at hissing, to explain why I can't tell the difference between consonants, and to garner pity for the poor gal trapped in a world where an "h" is an out-going breath.
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:39 AM   #32
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I've thought of an all-important question: what is the nationality of the guy who wrote this tutorial? Because I'm having trouble with pronunciation and when I read the words he gives (examples being "for" and box" to help with [size=2]ó) it occurs to me that I pronounce the "o"s in those words differently. But then it occured to me that to try and explain the differences would make zilch sense to an English English speaker.[/size]

I mean... for me, "box" rhymes with "rocks". But since I'm sure it does also for all of you, it's a bad example. The best way of stating the difference is that "box" sounds like "bah-ks" whereas "for" sounds like "foe-er". And these are two very different sounds. Ah versus oh. So... is [size=2]ó ah or oh? And then there's those darned follow up sentences. I say the words he gives aloud several times, finally think I've got it right, and the next sentence proceeds to tell me that under no circumstances should I be saying it like that.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:32 AM   #33
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So basically Fea, you're screwed unless you can get an audio version of how these thigs are supposed to be said.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:35 AM   #34
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You got that right. Nevertheless, on I plod.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:37 AM   #35
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Didn't someone on one of the thread actually have an audio version? It might have been on this but it might have been on the original sign-up thread.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:20 AM   #36
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Quote:
So basically Fea, you're screwed unless you can get an audio version of how these thigs are supposed to be said.
But we can't let you to be "screwed", now can we? From Ardalambion:

"H is pronounced [x] (German ach-Laut) before t, unless this combination ht is preceded by one of the vowels e or i, in which case h is sounded like German ich-Laut. Otherwise, h may be pronounced like English h; the digraphs hy and hw however represent ich-Laut and unvoiced w (like American English wh), respectively. The combinations hl and hr originally represented unvoiced l, r, but by the Third Age, these sounds had come to be pronounced like normal l and r. "

And some audio samples for the assiduous student. Examples: thúle (archaic), silme, formen, halla, aha, Mahtan, tehta, hyarmen, hwesta

ps. Lhuna and I are moving on to the exercises of lesson 2. We're catching up!
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:53 AM   #37
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Thanks Spawn.

Since our meet-up time got screwed up last week (she had to work and I had to play ) Encai and I are doubling up today on lessons one and two. So we're catching up also.
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:25 PM   #38
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Tolkien Speaketh!

I'm quite wary of external sources 'n' courses, as I think the Ardalambion course is best researched. Feel free to do so yourself, though.

Now, I have found a recording of Tolkien reciting the Namarie poem. You can save it to your computer, it is free, and the best imaginable source of information of pronunciation! Enjoy.
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Old 07-23-2005, 11:07 AM   #39
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Thanks for the link, TGWBS!
Quote:
I'm quite wary of external sources 'n' courses, as I think the Ardalambion course is best researched. Feel free to do so yourself, though.
Yep, it's good to be rather sceptical due to the huge amout of junk that floats around. I edited my last post replacing the H-instructions with a quote from Ardalambion. I think the fellow in the audio sample pronounces the words right, though.
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Old 07-27-2005, 07:39 PM   #40
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I just made a post looking for a study mate, hope this will make me finish the course, which I left halfway through last time, due to having an insane French teacher, who made me think I had enough with three languages at school without a fourth at my spare time *sigh*
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I've thought of an all-important question: what is the nationality of the guy who wrote this tutorial?
The Ardalambion course is made by Helge Fauskanger, the linguistical mastermind of the Norwegian Tolkien Union. It's a long time since I studied Quenya now, but I remember that I didn't have too much trouble with the pronounciation, probably because of this. And of course, as Helge says, Quenya is inspired by Finnish, a language that pronounces most letters the same way as Norwegian.
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