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William Welden

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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »

Helge Klåre Fauskanger wrote:

> Yeah, for instance because Peter Jackson found it embarrassing to
> publicly admit that they had been using a Ouija board to produce
> Elvish dialogue.

Can you imagine the ruckus if Tolkien _had_ been alive to assist?

Production Staff to Professor Tolkien: we require a Dwarvish translation
of the sentence 'Nobody tosses a Dwarf'. We are rehearsing this
afternoon for filming tomorrow, and would appreciate having it in an
hour or so.

Tolkien to Production Staff, after having been awakened at three in the
morning: (…well, I shudder to think…)

> May you be bothered to explain a potentially interesting metaphor? In
> particular, who's not having any clothes on this time? The
> Neo-Eldarin authors or those who judge their works?

I fall back on metaphor when rhetoric deserts me. Maybe one-hand-
clapping would be a better way to describe it. Or to paraphrase Princess
Leia: the tighter your grip, the more Elvish words will slip through
your fingers.

Oh. Damn. Metaphor again.

Okay, try this: we we're all looking for gems in a huge field, but are
chastised whenever we got too far from the center point of the field.
What's going on here is that instead of trying to find the gems we are
most interested only in guaranteeing that we are not the one who is
farthest away; but by doing so we only make it a lot less likely that
we'll find something.

Wait. That's a metaphor, too, isn't it?

Well, at least this one I can explain. The field is all the possiblities
for where Tolkien would have gone with Quenya. The center of the field
is the most likely form for any given word or device. The gems are the
compositions that he would eventually have made if given the time to
wait for the glaciers to descend once more on Bornemouth.

Tolkien was almost always surprising in his compositions. On the other
hand, anyone who focuses on what the most likely forms would be, is
actually tasking themselves with _not_ being surprising; and that pretty
much guarantees that they will come up with something other than what
Tolkien would have produced.

Here's where it all goes off-track: it's the assumption that Quenya
exists, and has guardians of grammar ready to rap knuckles. The authors
of New Elvish tiptoe around grammar and vocabulary whenever they are
uncertain. The result is fragile: it seems to have been sampled from a
language that is both awkward and sparse (the overuse of ú- is
symptomatic).

The Emperor's clothes, I guess then, are the rules of Quenya. We don't
know them. You don't know them, though almost everybody here thinks you
do. I don't know them, though some people think I've got a secret
stash. But the biggest myth is that Tolkien knew them.

And so the Emperor must be Tolkien. Tolkien didn't have a grammar of
Quenya. Do I have to be the one to say it? Tolkien didn't have a
grammar of Quenya. That means he had no problem moving the subject
inflections to the front or the back of the verb to see where they were
prettier. He had no problem creating a new root or replacing a word
which no longer appealed to him. In short, he had permission to play,
and it shows in his work.

I guess I'm suggesting that we take more risks; and give each other
more leeway to be creative in composition. Each of us has our own taste
in language, but we were drawn together by Tolkien's, so that together
it may be that we strike off in the right direction.

--Bill

PS. I don't mean to say that there haven't been gems. I have been
    brought to tears more than once by the elegance and beauty of
    compositions posted here.

 PP Anyone who is thinking about writing Quenya ought to read Carl's
    essay on the subject, which makes several important points that you
    won't find discussed elsewhere:
    http://www.elvish.org/articles/EASIS.pdf



[elfling ID#33746]
[original subject: Lotr Dialogue and Soundtracks]
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 05:00:00 PM by William Welden »
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Olga García

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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »

>  (Just below that extract there is a comment on the _Arphent Rían_
>  sentence that states that ending is doubtful in Sindarin).
>
Oops! I forgot to clarify one thing here: when I meant 'doubtful' on
that passage I referred to 'of doubtful function or meaning'. I hope the
matter is clearer now.

Cheers!

Olga



[elfling ID#33748]
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Olga García

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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »

Helge Klåre Fauskanger' wrote:
>
> Bill Welden wrote:
>
>
> > Suppose that they had gotten Tolkien himself to do the translation
 [For the movies]; but kept his participation secret.
>
>
> Yeah, for instance because Peter Jackson found it embarrassing to
Publicly admit that they had been using a Ouija board to produce Elvish
dialogue.  :)
>
Why not to use it for Doriathrin/Ilkorin? :-Ddddddddddddddd
>
> > PS. I cast the issue in this light because it goes to the heart of
What we do here. The standard by which Elvish compositions are judged
has an aspect of the Emperor's new clothes. This might begin to come
clear if somebody would put that standard into words.
>
The Emperor=USA?
>
>
> May you be bothered to explain a potentially interesting metaphor?
In particular, who's not having any clothes on this time? The
Neo-Eldarin authors or those who judge their works?
>
Listen Helge, I read on 'Elvish as She Is Spoke' Hostetter's opinion
about Neo-Eldarin ('it was quite Anglicized'), but I dunno if that is
what Bill tried to mean.

Cheers!

Olga



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« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 05:00:00 PM by Olga García »
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David Salo

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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »

Thorsten Renk wrote:
>
> Iiipitaka wrote:
>
> > And if you interpret athrad 'crossing, ford' as a gerund, which is
> > possible, then its plural ethraid certainly is attested.
>
> I would very much like to see your reasoning why this interpretation
Would come to one's mind at all, given that the word is listed
under both at and rat which very strongly suggest a compound of
these two roots.

   I don't take _Etymologies_ to be the be-all and end-all of Sindarin
   etyma.  Quite a lot of it is revised, and words of the same form
   sometimes turn up with different etymologies.  Interpreting 'athrad'
   as ath- + rad, though certainly Tolkien's original intention, is
   difficult to square with post-Noldorin versions of Sindarin, on
   account of:

1) The total suppression of ath- for 'across' in favor of derivatives of
   thar.  Although cited as a prefix in the Etymologies, it's not
   actually found in any other words than athrad and athrada-.  In
   addition, its form is difficult to justify in Sindarin terms, both in
   terms of form (it seems to correspond to Quenya atta 'two', but all
   the other Sindarin derivatives of reduplicated at-at show aphaeresis
   and no syncope, E.G. tâd, tad-) and of semantics (how do you get
   *directly* from a word for 'two' to 'on both sides'?) .
2) The problematic semantics of rad: it appears to be related to rath
   'street, way' but that is explicitly stated by Tolkien to be related
   to a root meaning 'climb' and is used for highly inclined paths, from
   the _raith_ of Minas Tirith to the _Cirith Forn en Andrath_ of the
   Misty Mountains.  And a ford is not an inclined way, but a level
   crossing over the shallowest part of a rivercourse.

It was and is my opinion, based on careful examination of the evidence,
that both parts of ath-rad, in the sense of 'cross-way' had become
obsolete; but _athrad_ remains in place names and is used extensively.
At the same time we see multiple uses of a root thar to mean 'across':
Tharbad, Thargelion, Athrabeth, Bronwe athan (sic: as I think, for
athar) harthad.  Athrad in the sense 'crossing' fits perfectly with
these forms.  A plausible explanation of developments (not necessarily
the only one) is that the marginal ath- was rejected; athrad was
retained; the root thar was generated *from* athrad; the rat root was
now free to be semantically modified (and avoided duplication of other
'go' roots like pat).  I suspect that 'tharbad' is the
element-for-element replacement of 'athrad' in its original form.

As for -ad forms having plurals: how plausible is it, really, that words
like eithad 'insult' or erthad 'union' would *not* have plurals? Why
should one assume them to be exceptions?



[elfling ID#33750]
[original subject: Lotr Dialogue and Soundtracks]
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 05:00:00 PM by David Salo »
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David Salo

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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »

Matthew Dinse wrote:
>
> Combined with the TolkLang message (not going into any further detail
> on that) where David listed Noldorin -g and -ch for 'you', my query is
> more of why he used -ch _instead_ of -G. We see doubling in the forms
> of -mme and -lle, both plural (though -mme was changed to dual), so
> _perhaps_ by extension out of the two listed _-ch_ would be the plural
> form, and _-g_ the singular?

Because as uncomfortable as I felt using a very poorly attested form, I
would have felt even more uncomfortable using a form that wasn't
attested at all.  Or to put it this way: if I were in doubt about
whether -est were a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person verbal ending in Middle
English, I'd rather go ahead and use it (even at the risk of mistakenly
confusing -est and -eth) than conjecturing a plausible 2nd person suffix
-es (<*-esi) that, it might turn out, didn't exist at all.  Of course,
I'd rather not be in that position at all, but I don't believe I had
reasonable alternatives; the style of the movie dialogue ended up being
rather crabbed as it was, on account of making numerous detours to avoid
grammatical gaps.

> As for the second note, the preterite was the only thing on my list
> that he did not respond to.

I wasn't sure what you were referring to.  If it's in regard to the
istas type preterite, to the best of my recollection that information
was not available to me at the time I was working on the film.



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Matthew Dinse

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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2006, 05:00:00 PM »

iiipitaka wrote:
>
> 'Matthew Dinse' wrote:
> >
> > As for the second note, the preterite was the only thing on my list
> > that he did not respond to.
>
> I wasn't sure what you were referring to.  If it's in regard to the
> istas type preterite, to the best of my recollection that information
> was not available to me at the time I was working on the film.
>

Sorry for not clarifying my statement. While the _mudas_, _erias_,
_istas_ is one that fits in the preterite category, I actually intended
to refer to 'A-infixion or strengthening of the root vowel' (to quote
CFH's Noldorin Past Tense article). In the suggested conjugations on
Helge's site I see both the weak -nt and the strong nasal infixion, but
not -s or vowel strengthening.

However, not using -s can be explained by believing _mudas_ was a noun,
and CFH's article on the Noldorin past tense wasn't released until
2003, after your work on the movies. So it wouldn't be entirely fair to
criticize not using vowel strengthening if it hadn't been widely known
at the time you were making the translations. In any case, I wouldn't
have wanted to be in your shoes, having to make translations for the
movies! So you would say you did the best you could, according to the
information that had been published _at the time_ of the translations,
rather than according to hindsight?

Regards to all,
M. Dinse



[elfling ID#33753]
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 05:00:00 PM by Matthew Dinse »
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Thorsten Renk

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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

> >  I would very much like to see your reasoning why this
> >  interpretation
> Would come to one's mind at all, given that the word is listed
> under both at and rat which very strongly suggest a compound of
> these two roots.
>
> I don't take _Etymologies_ to be the be-all and end-all of Sindarin
> etyma.  Quite a lot of it is revised, and words of the same form
> sometimes turn up with different etymologies.  Interpreting 'athrad'
> as ath- + rad, though certainly Tolkien's original intention, is
> difficult to square with post-Noldorin versions of Sindarin, on
> account of:

(...)

Thank you for the answer, I think you have valid points. If you argue
that the Etymology of _athrad_ used later has changed from Tolkien's
intention in the Etymologies, then the probability of the form being at
least derived from a gerund is indeed much higher.

> As for -ad forms having plurals: how plausible is it, really, that
> words like eithad 'insult' or erthad 'union' would *not* have plurals?
> Why should one assume them to be exceptions?


There are languages (like German) which do really well without
pluralized gerund, so I don't quite get your point.

I think one has to keep two things apart:

1) The gerund as a verb form which can (presumably) be formed for
   every verb
2) Nouns developed from gerunds.

I would be more at ease discussing this with German examples, but for
the sake of this list let me try to illustrate the point in English:

'Clothing' can have two distinct meanings (with the numbers the same
meaning as above)

3) 'The act of putting on clothes'
4) 'A garment' (I.E. 'that what you put on') (the catch here is that
   I don't know for a fact that this actually is derived from 1), but
   you get the idea).

As you realized, _eithad_ is translated 'insult', not 'insulting',
so at least here the meaning seems not primarily 'the act of delivering
an insult' but 'the thing delivered'. (As a side remark, _mereth
aderthad_ in sil is translated 'Feast of Reuniting' - can you clarify
where the translation _#erthad_ 'union' is taken from?)

So, to my mind a structure where 1) cannot be pluralized but 2)
can would be fine - consider German - here 'Beleidigung'
(insult) can realily be pluralized whereas 'Beleidigen' ([act
of] insulting) cannot.

One has also to consider the (probable) Quenya cognate of the _-ad_
-forms, I.E. the verbal ending _-ta_ seen E.G. in _caritas_ 'to do it'
. The Quenya form can be inflected for person, but there is no evidence
that it could be inflected for number or case. Indeed, that would
produce multiple clashes. Why should the Sindarin form have *in general*
a different property?

_Feredir_ pl. _Faradrim_ (lr:387) seems to be a good example of a
word developed from a Gerund - clearly the first part cannot be seen
as an inflected verb form any more - it seems to be a regular noun
inside a compound.

So this is in a nutshell my interpretation of the available evidence -
there are _-ad/-ed_ forms which allow to form infinitive/gerund verb
forms for every verb denoting the act of doing something, the
pluralization is an open issue. But in some instances there are full
nouns developed from these forms (not for every verb though) - these
behave presumably like normal nouns and there would be no reason why
they shouldn't have plurals.

* Thorsten



[elfling ID#33766]
[original subject: Lotr Dialogue and Soundtracks]
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 05:00:00 PM by Thorsten Renk »
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Thorsten Renk

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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

>  I guess I'm suggesting that we take more risks; and give each other
>  more leeway to be creative in composition. Each of us has our own
>  taste in language, but we were drawn together by Tolkien's, so that
>  together it may be that we strike off in the right direction.

I suppose I know what you mean - but to my mind what you write can
easily be understood as 'anything goes'. I don't think you would
accept *any* Neo-Elvish as 'valid'  (take as an extreme case the Grey
Company, while the language is loosely based on Tolkien's ideas, it
does away with core ideas) - so for the sake for curiosity - how large
should this leeway actually be? What is your definition of what is still
good Neo-Quenya and what isn't?

* Thorsten



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William Welden

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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

>
> > I guess I'm suggesting that we take more risks; and give each other
> > more leeway to be creative in composition. Each of us has our own
> > taste in language, but we were drawn together by Tolkien's, so that
> > together it may be that we strike off in the right direction.
>
> I suppose I know what you mean - but to my mind what you write can
> easily be understood as 'anything goes'. I don't think you would
> accept *any* Neo-Elvish as 'valid'  (take as an extreme case the
> Grey Company, while the language is loosely based on Tolkien's ideas,
> it does away with core ideas) - so for the sake for curiosity - how
> large should this leeway actually be? What is your definition of what
> is still good Neo-Quenya and what isn't?
>
> * Thorsten

I does raise a host of issues, doesn't it?

The first consequence, I hope, of giving up the notion of a (more or
less) definitive Quenya grammar is that the magnitude of what is being
attempted ought to become more apparent. If there are no rules to
follow, then we have to ask questions like how good Tolkien's instincts
about language were, how good his education was, how well he was
prepared specifically to give birth to (and then raise!) Quenya and
Sindarin, how many years he spent thinking about these languages; and
then finally the real question: how do I stack up next to him?

There's a big difference between trying to succeed and trying not to
fail. It's like Frodo's Quest: the risky approach will probably fail,
but the safe approach will, surely.

Your use of the term 'leeway' implies a single standard (or at least a
cluster of standards which give more or less the same result); but I
don't know of any statement of what such a standard might be (or even
of evidence that somebody has given the matter any significant thought).

At one extreme, each of us will have a judgment of each composition we
encounter; but there are some people for whom Grey Company Elvish is
just fine! This standard is actually the standard I use -- but with
myself as the judge. What I want is *not* Elvish words strung together
in sentences; but more of the Experience of Elvish that I got from
Tolkien in the first place.

But my aesthetics are not universal; and for that matter don't even
match Tolkien's all that well. (Leave aside issues of who know more
about language!)

I was first hooked into Quenya by Frodo's greeting to Gildor and the
fact that in four words it expressed what in English required more than
twice as many. To this day, when I experiment with Elvish I am mainly
focussed on issues of semantics, pragmatics and grammar; and in
particular how different these can be from English. Tolkien himself
placed more weight on phonology, and rather liked English grammar.

So, conformance to the known grammar of Quenya is out.

'What would Tolkien do?' Is out, of course -- Tolkien would surprise us;
and none of us is qualified enough to understand him in any event.

'To each his own' doesn't allow us to use terms like 'valid' and
'leeway'.

I might challenge you in return -- can you put into words your notion of
what that standard might be? Your work has been exemplary and I would be
delighted to hear what you have to say.

My own solution may look like a free-for-all; but the compositions will
speak for themselves and perhaps, given our common background, will
contain a better-than-average share of gems which in turn will inform
subsequent work. Sort of like how languages really develop!

--Bill



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« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 05:00:00 PM by William Welden »
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Thorsten Renk

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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

With a little more time on my hands, I would like to get back to the movie dialogues. The original questions were:

> But has there been any discussion over the quality of the Elvish
> translations used in the movies? Are they generally accurate or have
> people observed obvious flaws?

To the first one I may say that I have not observed significant
discussion about the quality of the translations. The second one has, I
feel, been dodged in the discussion so far.

Halrhawrandir judged that ' for my money it is as accurate as can be.' I
don't trust blanket statements, and I would like to have
Halrhawrandir's money now, because, as Matthew wrote, there is a number
of questions to be raised. I was (and am) very glad to have seen David
answering to that list, and I would like in turn to step into this
actual discussion. But first let me fire off some ideas.

There are actually two questions which are not the same discussed in the
thread so far:

1) Are the Elvish dialogues in the movie as accurate as David could get
   them with what he knew then?
2) Do the Elvish dialogues reflect the best of our knowledge of Sindarin
   as we know it now?

The first question is primarily of interest for David (as he has to live
with what he has done), the second question is primarily interesting for
beginners (as they have to decide if they use the movie sentences as a
guide for their own attempts). I understand that the original question
asked as 2).

In the interest of a fair judgement, let me nevertheless address a bit
of 1) first. David writes

> Frankly, there were and are things that bothered me far more about my
> translations, but as the point of the exercise was not to produce
> 'what an elf would have said' (obviously impossible) or to mystically
> plumb the depths of Tolkien's soul, but to produce a plausible
> facsimile of Sindarin for the screen, which could be interpreted and
> understood by those who were sufficiently interested in the question,
> I can say, first, that I didn't lose a lot of sleep over it, and
> second, that it seems to have been successful in its aim.

If that was the aim, then it clearly did succeed. I suppose quite a few
people got hooked on the language when they heard it (I certainly liked
it a lot, not really knowing anything about Sindarin before I found it
quite fascinating to hear the intro spoken).

My problem now is that quite a few people take the dialogues to be
more than 'a plausible facsimile of Sindarin'. The reasoning goes as
follows: Peter Jackson surely hasn't hired just anyone to do the job,
so apparently this guy knows what he is doing, and so the translation
must be accurate since an expert did it, so we can use it as if it
were genuine (I fell for the same reasoning for a short while, some
time ago...).

So, the question how close this 'plausible facsimile of Sindarin' is to
Tolkien's ideas is to my mind illuminating and highly relevant, and if
David had no higher aim than to do something plausible, I'd invite him
not to take any critique of the lines personal - there is no shame in
not anticipating additional knowledge released later, neither is there
shame in not reaching the ideal  'what an Elf would have said', it is in
fact quite normal for any Neo-Sindarin composition. The problem in
discussing the movie lines (in contrast to discussions about
translations posted in this list) is often that the underlying reasoning
by David is never published (for those who don't have it, his boot
'Gateway to Sindarin' also contains the summary of his conclusions
rather than the reasoning they are based on). So - we have to guess in
the discussions. And in guessing, we may do injustice to forms for which
we guessed wrong, but this is David's choice to change it or to accept
the injustic
e.

David's book, to my mind, is a very different matter. It is published
by a scientific publishing company, its style is very scientific and for
all outward appearance it claims to contain scholarly work - so it must
in my view be measured by the standards of scientific work which are
considerably more strict than the standards in judging Neo-Sindarin
compositions.

Thus, I'd like to keep the two things apart.

> But when certain reviewers literally can't find one positive thing to
> say about _Gateway_, one has to suspect that this is just criticism
> for the purpose of criticism.

Certain reviewers to my knowledge have never written a full review but
just treated aspects of the book, so that may explain the imbalance.
Furthermore, I see criticism for the purpose of criticism still not as
invalid as long as the points criticized can be proven true. The fact
that a particular person a doesn't like b has no relevance for the
question if b made a mistake or not, and to pretend otherwise just
distracts from the question if something is wrong or not. Which is the
relevant point for judging a scientific publication.

So, let me now address some of David's statements:

> Things like the use of aen, go, -ch, ae, are the kind of innovations
> that one comes up when working with a language that is missing some
> necessary component parts.

_Aen_ is used quite often in the lines, given that it is a highly
uncertain (though impossible to ffalsify or verify) construction. I
count it 4 times in the Gwaith Movie Dialogue Survey
http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/movie.htm for the first movie. The question
may be allowed if it is really necessary to use this construction so
often, as Helge pointed out already, _I amar prestannen_ would be well
understood and would be much less controversial.

As for _?go_, the element is mentioned as derived from wo in wj:367.
However, there you find as derivative of wo: 'In the prefix _gwa-, go-_
'together, co-, com-' In the following paragraph, only ever the prefix
is mentioned. We learn that in Quenya the element did not yield an
independent word. For other primitive elements in the same essay,
derived prefixes *and* prepositions are mentioned. The reader of Quendi
and Eldar does get the impression that _go-_ is meant to be a prefix
only, not a preposition. So, do we need an 'innovation' that seems to
go against Tolkien's intentions?

As for _-ch_, clearly there are two groups of 2nd person elements based
on consonants _k_ and _l_ - the difference being in all likelihood
formality or singular/plural. Yet elements from the two consonants are
mixed, consider Arwen to Aragorn: _ú or le a ú or nin. (...)Renich I lú
I erui govannem?_ Should we consider this use consistent? Is there an
idea to the pronominal table which forces this particular choice?

So, to my mind at least three of the things mentioned are not the kind
of thing that 'one comes up with' necessarily - it seems to me that in
these cases a 'better' solution in terms of more consistency with
attested statements could have been achieved if desired - at no
additional cost.

I always wondered if _Anirne hene beriad I chên lîn._ 'She wanted to
protect her child' is a mistake by David or by Gwaith - clearly _lîn_
is 'your' not 'her'.

I could go on for a while, but I have written quite a lot already. Like
any Neo-Sindarin translation the movie script is full of forms which are
at least questionable and would warrant a discussion and a pointing out
of the underlying assumptions/contradictions/uncertainties.

If there is interest, I would suggest to do this discussion
systematically (and specifically invite David to participate) - I think
everyone could learn from the exercise.

* Thorsten



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[original subject: Lotr Dialogue and Soundtracks]
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 05:00:00 PM by Thorsten Renk »
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Falcon

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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

Thank you very much for your post.  I personally would be very
interested in a lengthy and organized discussion of this topic.

Kirsten

'Thorsten Renk wrote:
>
>
> If there is interest, I would suggest to do this discussion
Systematically (and specifically invite David to participate) - I think
everyone could learn from the exercise.
>
> * Thorsten
>



[elfling ID#33771]
[original subject: Lotr Dialogue and Soundtracks]
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 05:00:00 PM by Falcon »
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David Salo

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« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

Thorsten Renk wrote:

> If there is interest, I would suggest to do this discussion
Systematically (and specifically invite David to participate) - I think
everyone could learn from the exercise.

   I have no problem with people discussing or criticizing movie-Elvish
   -- that is, in a sense, what it's there for, though not in the sense
   that it was ever intended to be a textbook on the language -- but
   it's not a subject which I find terribly interesting. I would say,
   however, that critiques based on wwtd ('What Would Tolkien Do'),
   based as they must be on individual and idiosyncratic attempts to put
   oneself in the mind of a person who's not available to defend
   himself from having various views attributed to him, is not a solid
   mode of argumentation.  More to the point, perhaps, it escapes from
   both the realms of linguistics and of textual criticism into a realm
   of fantasy where anybody can say anything he or she pleases. That's
   not a ground on which one can really have an intelligible discussion;
   saying 'Tolkien didn't think like that' is an appeal to revelatory
   knowledge.

   The 'she wanted to protect her child' line should have been:

Aníra hene beriad I chen ín

    But through errors for which I am responsible didn't come out
    quite that way, for which I apologize.  It would have been nice if,
    once lines I had written had been selected for shooting, I'd had a
    chance to review them before they were actually filmed; but the
    system didn't work like that, and so any errors which arose in the
    initial proposals ended up being irretrievable, unless I
    accidentally happened to notice an error fairly soon after the
    original production. Organizing the very large body of material I
    produced was quite difficult until *after* the movies were
    released, because I very frequently had no idea what scene I was
    translating for or how it related to the rest of the movie, seeing
    only 1) the lines that needed to be translated, 2) the names of the
    characters.  Knowing The Lord of the Rings backwards and forwards
    didn't help, as many of the scenes with Sindarin dialogue have no
    parallel in the book.  Of course I frequently asked for more
    information about the scene, but I didn't always get it -- and for
    all I know, when the scene was shot, its exact placing in the movie
    (or if it would be used at all) wasn't certain.  Some of the lines
    I translated don't appear in the movies; some appear, but in
    English rather than Sindarin.



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[original subject: Lotr Dialogue and Soundtracks]
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 05:00:00 PM by David Salo »
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David Salo

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« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

Thorsten Renk wrote:
>
> So this is in a nutshell my interpretation of the available evidence
- There are _-ad/-ed_ forms which allow to form infinitive/gerund verb
  forms for every verb denoting the act of doing something, the
  pluralization is an open issue. But in some instances there are full
  nouns developed from these forms (not for every verb though) - these
  behave presumably like normal nouns and there would be no reason why
  they shouldn't have plurals.

    I don't think we actually have a disagreement on this question, so
    I don't have to add anything except to say, I agree.



[elfling ID#33778]
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« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 05:00:00 PM by David Salo »
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« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »

Matthew Dinse wrote:

> So it wouldn't be entirely fair to criticize not using vowel
> strengthening if it hadn't been widely known at the time you were
> making the translations.

    In my book (P. 118) I discuss a couple of examples of what I call
    ablaut past tenses (E.G. daul from delio) from Etymologies, which I
    certainly was aware of when working on the movies; but they were by
    no means so prominent as to make me feel justified in innovating new
    forms based on them.

> In any case, I wouldn't have wanted to be in your shoes, having to
> make translations for the movies! So you would say you did the best
> you could, according to the information that had been published _at
> the time_ of the translations, rather than according to hindsight?

     I should say *nearly* the best I could.  Obviously there were some
     errors due to carelessness which ought not to have seen the light
     of day, and for which I take responsibility.  But of course I based
     my translations on things that I knew or could reasonably guess at,
     not things which were not known to me.



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