Find Your Phrasebook

Hello writer. I see you have a character who would like to hold a conversation in another tongue. This page will help you figure out what language and dialect you need phrases in.

What species is this character?

  • Elf
  • Human (and Hobbit)
  • Dwarf
    • If they are speaking to a fellow dwarf, then they speak in Dwarvish. They do learn to speak the languages of outsiders, so select Human if there is any non-Dwarves present.
  • Orc
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Orcish.


What type of Elf are they?


What type of human or hobbit are they?

  • I dunno, just a human/hobbit.
    • Probably want to have them speaking Common tongue.
  • Just a random human or hobbit, with a Middle-earth style classical education!
  • One of the Rohirrim!
    • “Rohirric” was replaced with Old English in the books and movies. I don’t have an Old English phrasebook, sorry!
  • Westman, either during their time in Númenor or afterwards, in Middle-earth.
  • Woodwoses and Haradrim
    • Sorry, no phrasebook for their tongues either!


An Elf of Valinor

What Ethnicity or time-period is your Amanyarin elf in?

  • Pre-Fëanorean
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Quenya and the dialect Old Quenya.
  • An Exile, living in Middle-earth
  • A Vanyarin Elf
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Quenya and the dialect Old Quenya.
  • A Telerin Elf
    • Sorry, no Telerin phrasebook, yet!


An Elf of Middle-earth

What Ethnicity or time-period is your Middle-earth elf in?

  • A Nandorin/Lindarin/Avarin Elf
    • Sorry, not enough is known about these languages to make phrasebooks for them, alas!
  • An Elf of Beleriand
  • An Elf West of the Misty Mountains, after the destruction of Beleriand.
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Sindarin and the dialect Exilic.
  • An Elf of Mirkwood, after some of the Sindar fled there. The Sindar who fled there were primarily from Southern Beleriand, and they didn’t trust the Noldor or Galadriel. Their speech resisted Noldorin influences.
  • An Elf of Lothlórien, after Galadriel and some Sindar came there. These Sindar trusted Galadriel, because of her close ties to Elu Thingol, their king. Galadriel speaks the dialect of Doriath, and taught that dialect to the elves who followed her. The dialect of Doriath is the dialect with the most prestige attached to it.
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Sindarin and the dialect Doriathren.


A Classical Education

A classical education in Middle-earth likely involves reading The Silmarillion (in its original Quenya) and learning to speak in Sindarin well enough to use it in Court. What language are they speaking?

  • They are speaking Sindarin in the court of a Númenorian kingdom, or attempting to communicate with a Sindarin speaking Elf. They learned Sindarin from the Noldor, so their dialect is most similar to the Exilic dialect.
  • They are issuing a very important proclamation, speaking with a Noldorin Elf, or showing off that they can speak Quenya.


A Human of Númenor

The upper classes of Númenórean society are bi-lingual. What language are they using?

  • This character isn’t nobility. They can only speak Adûnaic, the language native to Númenor.
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Adûnaic.
  • This character isn’t nobility, and they have no classical education. They are living in Middle-earth, after the downfall of Númenor. They only speak Westron, also called the Common Tongue, which Tolkien replaced with English.
  • This character is part of the nobility, with a classical education.


An Exile of Valinor

Who is this Exile speaking to?

  • A fellow Noldorin Elf, or someone who can speak Quenya.
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Quenya and the dialect Exilic.
  • A Non-Noldorin Elf, or in the company of a Non-Noldorin Elf, or someone who can speak Sindarin.
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Sindarin and the dialect Exilic.
  • A human, who can’t speak an Elven tongue. They’d converse in Westron (the Common Tongue). Tolkien replaced Westron with English in his books.


An Elf of Beleriand

Assuming that this is before the destruction of Beleriand but after the appearance of the Noldor, where do they live in Beleriand?

  • The far North and along the shore of the ocean.
    • Alas, not enough is known of these dialects to make phrasebooks for them!
  • The West, intermingled with the Noldor or living in a Noldorin city/fortress
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Sindarin and the dialect Exilic.
  • Doriath, or Central/West Beleriand, not intermingled with the Noldor
    • When using the Phrasebook, select the language Sindarin and the dialect Doriathren.
  • The South-East (Ossiriand, Lindon)

Leave a Reply