Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

'Sindarin' is a Quenya Word: how the clan names make Elvish more confusing

Author: Darth Fingon
Nominator: pandemonium_213
2010 Award Category: Genres: Non-Fiction

Story Type: Non-Fiction : Length: N/A
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: A look at all the different names the Elvish clans use for themselves and each other.


Reviewed by: Russandol -- Score: 6

Now, I distinctly remember the times, well over twenty years ago, when I could not work out my Eldar from my Sindar, let alone the other elvish clans, when every Noldor of renown seemed to have a name starting with Fin- and I did not know which ones were supposed to be blond. Fortunately, I overcame part of the problem after several painful reads of the Slmarillion. Oh, what I would have given to have this article then! I would have saved myself from many headaches, I would have saved hours to be enjoyed doing something else, maybe even productive. At last, this is the concise guide to most types of elves you may ever wish to use (or find) in a Silmfic story, with all their proper denominations in all grammatical forms. Priceless, Darth!

Reviewed by: Fiondil -- Score: 5

Being an armchair linguist, I love essays that deal with the linguistics of Tolkien’s Elves. It’s also nice when someone else lays it all out nice and neatly as Darth Fingon does here. For anyone who wants to be “politically correct” when having a particular Elf of a particular clan refer to him or herself using the proper term, this essay is for you. And I like his approach to the question of Quenya or Sindarin – English. English is indeed always the safer bet, but it’s nice to have helpful essays like this one to refer to when you want just the right term to use for a particular Elf or Elvish clan. Good job!

Reviewed by: Jael -- Score: 3

Darth Fingon is an irreplaceable resource in Lord of the Rings fandom, and this scholarly piece illustrates why. It is best not to salt your stories with random Elvish, but sometimes it's inescapable, and at least now we can, by Eru, get it right. This one is worthy of copying to the hard drive of every serious Tolkien writer.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 3

[I should also admit that when people ask me whether they should use Sindarin or Quenya in a given scenario, my usual answer is 'English'.] I couldn't agree with you more. We'd have to assume for any given scenario that the elves would have spoken entirely in their own language, which is entirely translated into English. Why one would want to leave untranslated words roaming about a text, I'll never know. Thanks for an interesting scholarly article.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon -- Score: 3

The title of this handy article is certainly an apt one - I've always been confused by the varied names applied by Tolkien to the many clans and sub-clans of the Eldar. Darth Fingon elucidates the matter, in a brisk, informal but quite clear style that makes a complex matter of Eldar history and language seem far more accessible and comprehensible.

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 3

An excellent resource for those who write stories involving the Elves of Middle Earth who wish to use clan names appropriately from various points of view. Nicely and concisely laid out.

Reviewed by: Anna Wing -- Score: 2

A neat and useful summary of the different ways in which different kinds of Elves refer to themselves and to each other.