The voice actors were Fiona Jallings (female voice that struggles with R-rolling) and Adam Elliott (male voice brought in to roll R’s).
Sindarin has three different writing systems, so the sounds are written with all three.
- Cirth: which was used by the Sindarin elves, including those in Doriath and later the Woodelves. This is the writing system that Legolas and Thranduil would be familiar with.
- Tengwar, the Mode of Beleriand: which was used by the Noldorin Exiles in Beleriand and later on Eregion. This is the writing system that Elrond and his family would be familiar with.
- Tengwar, the Classical Mode: which was used by the Númenóreans and later the Gondorians. This is the writing system that Boromir and Faramir would have been familiar with.
cIv | ]=]F | `C=~C (A/Á/Â) Pronounce them /ɑ/, like the A is in the word “father”.
Recording features the words: Anc, Balch, Cân, Dâth, Fast, Glass, Hâdh, Iâ
bIñ | l=lF | `V=~V (E/É/Ê) Pronounce them /ɛ/, like the E of “better”.
Recording features the words: Êg, Le, Melch, Nêl, Pend, Rest, Sen, Têw
lI; | `=`V | `B=~B (I/Í/Î) Pronounce them /i/, as in the word “machine”. The Sindarin I also acts like the consonant Y before vowels.
Recording features the words: Inc, Brith, Cîl, Dîr, Find, Glî, Hîth, Lhîw
ðIò | y=yF | `N=~N (O/Ó/Ô) Pronounce them /ɔ/ as in the word “thought.”
Recording features the words: Ôl, Lô, Môr, Norn, Post, Ross, Sôg, Thôn
SIk | .=.F | `M=~M (U/Ú/Û) Pronounce them /u/ as in “brute”, in the front of your mouth. Make your lips in the shape of a kiss.
Recording features the words: Û, Tûr, Brûn, Cund, Drû, Gurth, Hûb, Iûl
øIùIý | i=iF | `×=~× (Y/Ý/Y) Pronounce them /y/ like the French U, as in “lune”. To make this sound, make your mouth in the shape of the Sindarin (I). Then, shape your lips the same way you shape “U” in Sindarin. Or, take the easy road out and use the Gondorian pronunciation, and say it “i” like the Sindarin “I” above.
Recording features the words: Ylf, Cyll, Ym, Gyrth, Lyg, Myl, Yr, Ryn
*Accents on vowels denote extra length on the vowels. Hold the vowels longer. In music this is shown with a tenuto (-) over the note. The circumflex accent (^) is held longer than an acute accent (´). In IPA, the Sindarin circumflex accent would be shown with (ː) and the Sindarin acute accent would be shown with (ˑ). The second one there is not an apostrophe (‘).
í | ]Ö | hD (AI) Pronounce this /ɑj/, as in the word “twine”.
Recording features the words: Aith, Bain, Cai, Fair, Gail, Haim, Iaich, Lain
& | ]l | lD (AE) Pronounce this /ɑɛ/, almost exactly the same at (AI) above, just glide into an (E), not an (I).
Recording features the words: Aes, Caew, Laeg, Mael, Naeth, Paen, Raew, Saer, Taeg
* | ]é | yD (AU) Pronounce this /ɑu/, as in the word “ouch”.
Recording features the words: Caul, Daug, Faun, Gaur, Haust, Iaun, Naug, Paur, Raun
* | ]é | yD (AW) Pronounce this /ɑw/, as in the word “owl”.
Recording features the words: Raw, Rhaw, Saw, Taw, Baw, Daw, Gaw, Iaw, Maw
J | lÖ | hF (EI) Pronounce this /ej/, as in “ray“.
Recording features the words: Eilph, Ceir, Fein, Feir, Gweith, Heir, Meil, Neil
õ | hl | lH (OE) Pronounce this /ɔɛ/, as in the word “boy“.
Recording features the words: Oeth, Boe, Coen, Doeg, Foen, Hoest, Loeg
L | .Ö | hJ (UI) Pronounce this /uj/, as in the word “gooey“.
Recording features the words: Uil, Muin, Nuin, Puig, Ruin, Sui, Tuiw, Brui
e | a | z (C), R | s | x (G), % | 8 | 8=i (S) These each are pronounced only one way, but since they are all sounds that we have in English, there won’t be recording for these. Pronounce them always /k/, /g/, and /s/, as in the words “cat”, “give”, “sell”.
z | ` | h=l (I) Before a vowel at the beginning of a word, (I) is pronounced /j/ and used as a consonant, as the Y in the word “yellow”. If there is an accent on the (I) you always pronounce it /i/, as you do for the vowel. If there is a consonant before it, (I) before another vowel doesn’t make it a Y consonant, it behaves like the vowel (I).
Recording features the words: Iaew, Iâl, Iaun, Iest, Io, Iôl, Iuith, Iûl
3 | e | e (F) Pronounce it like the F in “fun” unless it’s at the end of a word. At the end of word, say it as a /v/ as in the word “slave”. At the end of a word, it’s spelled differently as well: 4 | r | r
Recording features the words: Falf, Parf, Lâf, Gorf, Nef
f | 9 | 9 (-H, At the end of a word) It will be put at the beginning of the following word, but only if that words starts with a vowel. H’s at the ends of words are otherwise silent.
a | j | j (L) pronounce it as a /l/, as in the word “late”. When it comes between E or I and a consonant, or at the end of a word after E or I, it is pronounced /ʎ/, with the middle or tip of the tongue touching the palate behind the ridge behind the teeth.
Recording features the words: Lest, Pêl, Edhellen, Elbereth, Talan, Mallen, Alphirin
a | m | m (LH) Pronounce it /l̥/, a voiceless L. That means, you shape your mouth the same way that you would when making the L sound, but only air will come out, and it will sound a little like an H. This sound never appears within a word. If you see LH inside a word rather than as the first two letters in a word, then it is two separate sounds, L and H.
Recording features the words: Lhaew, Lhain, Lhê, Lhind, Lhing, Lhîw, Lhoss
@ | 7 | 7 (R) Pronounce it as an /r/; roll it as we sometimes do in the word “growl” If you can’t roll an R, like me, make an H sound with your throat closed a little. It should make a rolled A sound. It’ll be a little like gargling water.
Recording features the words: Rem, Grond, Parf, Môr
@ | u | u (RH) Pronounce it /r̊/, a voiceless R. That means, you shape your mouth the same way that you would when making the rolled R sound, but only air will come out, like a trilled H. This sound never appears within a word. If you see RH inside a word rather than as the first two letters in a word, then it is two separate sounds, R and H.
Recording features the words: Rhîw, Rhass, Rhosc, Rhûn
3 | e | e (PH) Pronounce it always /f/, as in the word “phone”.
t | d | c (CH) Pronounce it /x/, as in the name “Bach“. Say it in the back of your mouth, it should feel a little as though you are hocking a loogy, or gargling without anything in your mouth.
Recording features the words: Châdh, Bach, Roch, Chaew, Chwest, Melch, Orch
0 | 3 | 3 (TH) Pronounce it /θ/, like the TH in the word “nothing”.
Recording features the words: Thîr, Hîth, Thêl, Carth
! | 4 | 4 (DH) Pronounce it /ð/, like the TH in the words “the” and “blithe“.
Recording features the words: Adh, Dhaw, Dhant, Edhel, Ídhra, Galadhon
5 | o | o (HW) Pronounce it /ʍ/, as in the word “white”. It’s a really airy W. This sound never appears within a word. If you see HW inside a word rather than as the first two letters in a word, then it is two separate sounds, H and W.
Recording features the words: Hwand, Hwest, Hwind, Hwá
h | g | b (NG/Ñ) Pronounce these /ŋ/, as in the word “sing“. N’s before C’s are pronounced the same way.
Recording features the words: Anc, Ñail, Ñaur, Lanc, Ang, Lang, Inc, Ñôl
D | sP | xP (NG/ÑG) Pronounce them /ŋg/. When (NG) is between two vowels, pronounce it with both the N and the G, like in the word “finger”.
Recording features the words: i ñgelydh, Fangorn, añ gail, i ñgoer, añ gas, Tangada
The rest of the letters are pronounced as we pronounce them in English.
Where the stress falls
Stress is when a syllable is said louder and higher pitched than other syllables in a word. Primary stress (the loudest, highest syllable) is notated by having a (ˈ) before the syllable, and secondary stress (not as high and loud as the primary stress, but higher and louder than the rest of the syllables) is marked with a (ˌ) before the syllable.
Syllables are determined by vowel-sounds. There is one vowel or diphthong per a syllable. When looking for where to place stress, look only at the last three syllables.
- If the word is 1, 2, or 3 syllables long then the first syllable gets the stress.
- If it is longer than 3 syllables, the 3rd syllable from the end gets the stress.
- If the 2nd to last syllable in a word has one of these special markers, it gets the stress instead of the 3rd syllable from the end.
- Accents (Acute and Circumflex)
- Diphthongs (AE, AI, AU, AW, EI, OE, and UI)
- Multiple Consonants (This only counts if they come at the end of the syllable. They can be two of the same letter side by side. They could also be several different consonants next to each other. Remember that CH, DH, and TH only count as one consonant.)
We’ve covered above the basic sounds of Sindarin, now we’ll learn how the dialects differentiate from eachother in ways that won’t show up in the spellings of the words.
With the voice of Roandil (the male voice) and Fiona (the woman who can’t roll R’s to save her life).
This dialect was spoken by the Sindar in Beleriand before Morgoth and the Noldor arrived. Later it was preserved in Doriath, no doubt do to Melian’s Girdle which preserved and protected everything within. This dialect covers a long period of time, and has no influences from Quenya.
In Pre-invasion Sindarin; there are five sounds that we need to pay attention to. M, LTH, MPH, NTH, and NCH/ÑCH. These are pretty self explanatory. You can use the general Sindarin pronunciation section above to figure out the pronunciation of these.
At the moment Melian’s Girdle went up, Sindarin was in a moment of massive change. The dialects outside of Doriath have these sound turn into V, LL, MM, NN, and NG, respectively.
6 (M → MH) Pronounce this /ṽ/ as a nasalized V. Make a V in your mouth, but push the air through your nose like when you’re making an M. If there is a U before the MH, it also ends up nasalized.
Recording features the words: Lûmh, Samho, Mhen, Mheren, Mhae, Pedimh
a0 (LTH) Pronounced /l̥l̥/ the same as the LH above, but longer, ending the previous syllable and starting the next.
Recording features the words: Malthorn, Oltho, Toltha, Haltha, Doltha
63 (MPH) Pronounced /m̥;m̥/, a long voiceless M. To make this sound, whisper an M, like when you say “mhm.”
Recording features the words: Limphida, Tampha, Nimphida, Hampha, Blamphen
,0 (NTH) Pronounced /n̥n̥/, a long, voiceless N. To make this sound, whisper an N.
Recording features the words: Abonthen, Dantha, Cinthog, Antha, Fantha
ht (NCH) Pronounced /ŋ̊ŋ̊/, a long, voiceless Ñ. To make this sound, whisper an Ñ.
Recording features the words: Danchen, Bancha, Tanchada, Sonchen
This dialect was spoken by the Non-Sindarin Woodelves in Lothlórien and Mirkwood. It’s heavily influenced by their native language, Nandorin, and the dialect of Sindarin that they came in contact with, the Southern dialect of Beleriand. I’ve reflected their pronunciation differences in the names like Tolkien did, but not in the phrases provided on the website.
& (AE) Pronounce this like the Sindarin (E) above. This is why a&Rðac% (Legolas) is pronounced and spelled in the Latin alphabet with an E instead of AE.
This dialect was spoken in Gondor as a second language by Gondorian nobility. It’s heavily affected by their native language, Westron, and therefore it lacks certain sounds that their own language does. I’ve reflected their pronunciation differences in the names like Tolkien did, but not in the phrases provided on the website.
`×=~×(Y/Ý/Ŷ) Pronounce them /i/ like the Sindarin “I” above.
c (CH) Pronounce it like an (H) when coming before a vowel, thus the word “Rohan” instead of “Rochan”. Everywhere else, the (CH) becomes (C), thus “Orcrist” instead of “Orchrist”.
Recording features the words: Châdh (Hâdh), Bach (Bac), Roch (Roc), Chaew (Haew), Chwest (Cwest), Melch (Melc), Orch (Orc)
Note: I am using Northwestern American English, which anyone can tell you, is a little different from the rest of the world’s English. I tried to compromise by using IPA, but if some of the English examples still don’t make sense, let me know, and I’ll try to find a better word.
The Lord of the Rings (The Return of the King) – Appendix E
The Unfinished Tales – Cirion and Eorl – Note 49
The Silmarillion – Note on Pronunciation
Parma Eldalamberon #17: Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings – pages 131-134