Quenya is a language invented by J.R.R. Tolkien and used in his
books, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Quenya is also known as Qenya or High-Elven, and its grammar is similar
to Finnish, with some similarities to Greek and Latin. The phonology
is based on Finnish, with lesser influences from Latin, Italian and
Spanish. Tolkien compiled the "Qenya Lexicon", his first
list of Elvish words, in 1915 at the age of 23, and continued to
refine the language throughout his life.
Within Tolkien's Middle Earth, Quenya is the most prominent language
of the Amanya branch of the Elvish language family.
Tolkien also created a number of different alphabets to write his
languages - Tengwar, or Feanorian letters, is the one which appears
most frequently in his work, and is used to write Quenya, and other
languages he invented, such as Sindarin and Black Speech. It has can
also be used to write English and other languages.
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.
Tengwar is written is a number of different ways known
as "modes". For example there is a Quenya mode, a
Sindarin mode and several English modes. The phonetic values
of the consonants (tengwa) and the ways vowels are indicated
varies from mode to mode.
Vowels are indicated by diacritics (tehtar) which appear
above the consonant which precedes them (in Quenya mode) or above
the consonant which follows them (in Sindarin mode). When vowels
stand on their own or come at the beginning of a word, the diacritics
appear over a special vowel holder. Long vowels are always attached
to a vowel holder.
Consonants are doubled by adding a wavy line below them.
When followed by a vowel, the letters /s/ /ss/ and /r/ are
written with the tengwa silme nuquerna, esse nuquerna
and rómen respectively. Otherwise these letters are
written with the tengwa silme, esse and óre.
When the letter /s/ follows another consonant it can be written
with a little downward hook.
Tengwar: Quenya mode
The short vowels symbols (tehtar) are written on the short vowel carrier (telco) when they appear before a consonant. When after a consonant they appear on the consonant that preceeds them.
Long vowels are either written with the long vowel carrier (ára) or on the consonant that preceeds them with a vertical line underneath
The letter hyamen is used for initial h and hy sounds
The letter halla is only used in front of lambe and romen to write hr and hl sounds.
The letters yanta and úre are only used for diphthongs
Silme nuquerna and áze nuquerna are used when a vowel is attached above them rather than silme and áze
Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?
An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met,
ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar!
Nai elyë hiruva! Namárië!
Farewell. Galadriel's Lament in Lorien
Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls
beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble
in the voice of her song, holy and queenly.
Who now shall refill the cup for me?
For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies
on the foaming waves between us,
and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.
Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!
Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!