The Mellonath Daeron often get requests from people who want to learn the elvish languages and for translations and transliterations for things like tattoos, names and ring inscriptions. While we are delighted at the growing interest in Tolkien's languages and writing systems, we regret that we no longer have the resources to answer all requests in the detail they deserve.
However, most requests are about similar things, so here is a list of suggestions that may be helpful and can improve your knowledge on the subject.
First, forget Ruth Noel's book The languages of Middle-earth. It is full of errors and pretty much useless. For details, see the critique by Irene Gates.
Second, much information on the Web is wrong. The trick is to know where to find the good stuff! Here follows a list of reliable sites:
Start at Ardalambion. We also recommend Parma Tyelpelassiva. Bot sites have extensive information for the Elvish student. Note especially the Quenya and Sindarin courses!
German readers will find the 890-page book Das große Elbish-Buch by Helmut W. Pesch full of up-to-date and fairly accurate information about the major languages of Middle-Earth, including both grammar and dictionaries, plus the Tengwar for Quenya, Sindarin and German.
You need some good dictionaries! These are the best for Quenya and Sindarin:
Learn how to write with the elvish script Tengwar!
Good tengwar fonts:
For answers of a more general nature, see the FAQ lists of
To get in touch with other Tolkien language fans:
Keep in mind that these are all secondary sources, so they are likely to contain errors. Donīt forget to look at the primary sources, i.e. Tolkien's own writings! Here are a few useful lists:
This should get you started on the right track. We hope this answers your questions, at least in part. If you need more directions, see our Links page. Our best wishes for your studies, and if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to write to us!