Guide for Adding Punctuation to the Tengwar and Cirth

I have left much of the punctuation off of the phrases, so that you can adjust the phrases to meet your needs. This will cover what can be removed, what can be added, and what to do when combining phrases.

Tengwar Punctuation

I left the tengwar transliterations without periods if they’re Latin-alphabet version also lacked a period, so if you want a period at the end, you’ll have to add one. You can also change the punctuation at the end if you like. Here is a (very basic) list of punctuation marks.

  1. = Comma/Semicolon
  2. Period
  3. À Question Mark
  4. Á Exclamation Point
  5. or \ Parentheses
  6. -= or -\ or ‐‐ Paragraph-ending periods
  7. =-= or =ˆ= Line-break/Decorative paragraph ender

Here is the punctuation in action!

First, let’s add a regular old period to this Quenya phrase:

I love you
Melin tye
t$jT5 1ÍRt$jT5 1ÍR-
Now with an exclamation mark:
t$jT5 1ÍR-t$jT5 1ÍRÁ

Now, when you want to put multiple phrases together, things get a little tricky. For the punctuation between phrases, you’ll need to put a space on either side of it. But, the punctuation at the end of the line doesn’t get spaces around it.

Let’s demonstrate this by putting together these Quenya phrases:

I am happy to meet you! It’s threatening to rain; come near the fire.
Nán alassea omenita le! Ulo úva; á tule náres.
5~C5 `CjE,R`C `Nt$5%1E jR Á `MjY ~MyE = ~C 1UjR 5~C7R8-=

Note that I also used a paragraph-ending period at the end.

What was included in order to be removed

Some of the phrases are designed to be combined with other things – like names or in some cases, other phrases.

Let’s look at one that has you insert a name, and another that has you insert another phrase.

Our names are ___ and ___. → Our names are Ambarussa and Ambarto.
Esselmar ___ ar ___ nár. → Esselmar Ambarussa ar Ambarto nár.
`V,Rjt#6 ººº `C6 ººº 5~C6-`V,Rjt#6 `Cw#7J,D `C6 `Cw#71H 5~C6-

I will teach you how to ___ + read Tengwar.
*Noltuvan le pá ___ + hentie tengwar.
5^j1UyE5 jR q~C ººº + 1RaT`V 1Rx#6-5^j1UyE5 jR q~C 1RaT`V 1Rx#6-

And, sometimes the combining is a bit more complex, with words that change depending on if there is a consonant or a vowel in the word besides them. This will all be explained in the “Literal Translation” section.

Here is a phrase where you have to add an Allative suffix to a place name. Let’s try one that ends in a consonant, and one that ends in a vowel.

Come to ___ + mar (home)/Ondosto
Á tule ___-(e)nna. → Á tule marenna. / Á tule Ondostonna.
~C 1UjR ºººŒ`Vœ5:#-~C 1UjR t#7F5:#- / ~C 1UjR `N2^81H5:#-

Now, in Sindarin, this can be a little different. Sometimes You will have the Parentheses, sometimes you will have a single Elven parenthesis › acting as a slash between two versions of the word.

Let’s look at a Sindarin phrase in two different Tengwar styles.

Legolas and Aragorn are our names. / Aragorn and Legolas are our names.
___ a(r) ___ in enith vîn. → Legolas ar Aragorn in enith vîn. / Aragorn a Legolas in enith vîn.
ººº ]Œ7œ ººº `6 l6`3 r`V6-
jlshj]8 ]7 ]7]sh76 `6 l6`3 r`V6- /
]7]sh76 ] jlshj]8 `6 l6`3 r`V6-
ººº `C›6D ººº 5% 5$3G r~B5-
jx$j^iD 6D 7Dx#6H5 5% 5$3G r~B5- /
7Dx#6H5 `C jx$j^iD 5% 5$3G r~B5-

Cirth Punctuation

Cirth punctuation is quite alien to us. There are no question marks or exclamation points, no parentheses… all there is is pauses indicated by dots. The more dots, the stronger the pause.

These pauses are also completely relative within a document. The most common uses are:

  1. No punctuation at all, only spaces (which is how I’ve left the phrases)
  2. I One dot = a space between words
    O Two dots = a comma/semicolon
    P Three dots = end of a sentence
    } Four dots = end/beginning of a paragraph
    IPI Five dots = Line-break

Here is the punctuation in action!

Let’s take a phrase without any punctuation, and add some! Note that not even commas are included.

Come, join us → Come, join us!
Tolo, govado ven → Tolo, govado ven!
8ðað Rð4c9ð 4b,8ðaðORð4c9ðI4b,P

Cirth punctuation doesn’t have spaces on either side like Tengwar punctuation does. Let’s put together a paragraph.

I give greetings to you. It’s overcast; come near a fire.
Dhe suilannon. Fân fanna Anor; tolo na naur.
}!bI%Lacdb,P3v,I3cdcIc,ð@O8ðaðI,cI,*@}

What was included in order to be removed

To mark where a name, word, or another phrase should be included, I used three single-dots in a row.

Let’s look at one that has you insert a name, and another that has you insert another phrase.

I’m called ___ + Iarwain
Im ___ estannen + Iarwain → Im Iarwain estannen.
l6 III b#cdb,[email protected]í,Ib#cdb,P

I want to learn about ___ + runes.
Aníron *geliad o ___ + hangerthas.
c,;@ð, Rbalc9 ð III + [email protected]%c,;@ð,IRbalc9Ið[email protected]%P

And, sometimes the combining is a bit more complex, with words that change depending on if there is a consonant or a vowel in the word besides them. This will all be explained in the “Literal Translation” section.

Let’s look at a phrase where the preposition loses it’s final consonant before another consonant.

I’m from ___ + Imladris/ Gondor.
Telin o(d) ___ + Imladris/ Gondor. → Telin od Imladris. / Telin o Gondor.
8bal, ðP9P III8bal,Ið[email protected]%P / 8bal,IðIRðdð@P

And that’s it! Enjoy!

List of Fonts