The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

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The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Quatermass » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:49 am

Okay, I dunno whether anyone will know the answer here, but I thought I'd throw it out there, especially to those who are major aficiandos of Tolkien's Middle Earth mythopoeia in general, and not just The Hobbit.

In the film, I noticed that there are at least two parts where the language used is untranslated. Towards the beginning, at Bilbo's house, Thorin yells something in Dwarvish to shut the arguing Dwarves up. The second instance is the chant in Quenya, Sindarin, whatever it is that Radagast is using to cure Sebastian the Hedgehog and drive the spiders away. Does anyone know the translation for either of these?
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:43 pm

The bit with Thorin would be officially untranslatable unless you're a dwarf as their language, Khuzdul is 'secret' and never taught to non-Dwarves (although the High Elves being clever clogs would probably be able to understand :roll: ). In the academic lexicon of ME Dwarvish is a very tonal language so a literal translation is likely to be along the lines of 'Shut the feck up!!!!!'

Radagast, like Gandalf and Saruman is a Maia, the 'angel' race of Valinor so it's most likely to be Quenya or from the original language of the Blessed Isles before the mortal races were in existence (for this purpose, including the Elves, since they can die, although they can reincarnate in the West). Could probably find out for you from some clever clogs on the Plaza but I'll have to find out what the dialogue is 1st... :think:
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:52 pm

Damn, I thought he was speaking hedgehog! :lol:
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby =Tamar » Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:02 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Damn, I thought he was speaking hedgehog! :lol:

Well, he might be. Do we know that hedgehogs don't speak Quenya?
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:00 pm

Not for a fact - and it would probably with a Quedgehog accent so not a very good dialect :P
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Quatermass » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:45 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:The bit with Thorin would be officially untranslatable unless you're a dwarf as their language, Khuzdul is 'secret' and never taught to non-Dwarves (although the High Elves being clever clogs would probably be able to understand :roll: ). In the academic lexicon of ME Dwarvish is a very tonal language so a literal translation is likely to be along the lines of 'Shut the feck up!!!!!'


I sorta gathered that, but I want a slightly more precise translation.

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Radagast, like Gandalf and Saruman is a Maia, the 'angel' race of Valinor so it's most likely to be Quenya or from the original language of the Blessed Isles before the mortal races were in existence (for this purpose, including the Elves, since they can die, although they can reincarnate in the West). Could probably find out for you from some clever clogs on the Plaza but I'll have to find out what the dialogue is 1st... :think:


I actually thought you might know the answer, Jan. I mean, you seem to be the major Tolkien aficiando here, and I thought maybe the languages might be your thing. After all, languages were Tolkien's thing too. :)

Actually, after a bit of Googling, I did find the relevant info on a website called Elendilion, which itself got the translation from a Hungarian Tolkien site. Thorin basically shouts "SILENCE!".

Radagast's chant is partially translated like this: "Now hear the words of my voice. Free the animal from this curse. Be its life renewed." (from Quenya) That would have been appropriate, if it weren't for Sylvester McCoy going cross-eyed. :lol:
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:28 pm

I've got a smidge of Sindarin Q - that's the language my RP characters would speak in most when not talking in 'Westron' which is supposed to be English only some canon Nazis say it should be Quenya for various arguable/spurious reasons (as Westron descends from twins Elrond and Elros, who would have been brought up speaking Sindarin, the lingua franca of Beleriand where Quenya was a proscribed language).

Sindarin is now fairly well researched HERE- there's even an online dictionary in English-French-German with additional source material in Gothic and Anglo-Saxon which respectively are the bases for the language of Mordor and of Rohan, the 'Old' Mannish language before Aragorn's ancestors invaded Middle Earth when their Island Empire emulated Atlantis :P That site's been invaluable for researching character names for random Elves. :lol:

Khuzdul, the Dwarf language is not so well-formed (with it conveniently being a secret language... :roll: ) but Tolkien largely based it on vaguely Nordic languages with lots of hard K's and Z's which largely turn up in place names like Khazad-Dum (Moria) and Kheled-Zaram (Mirrormere where Gimli took Frodo after they escaped from the Mines) :lol:
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby helyqblake » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:40 am

I think they really did it that way and it's meant not to be understood by us. :)
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Re: The Hobbit: A Question of Language...

Postby Leewerrey » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:21 pm

Damn it, Russian translators translated Thorin at Bilbo's house! He says 'Enough!' there. Very suspicious... :D
Dwarves in Russia?
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