How to Translate Elvish Online

Elvish poetry

Many avid fans of fantasy novels by authors like J.R.R. Tolkien find themselves seeking out how translate English into Elvish. If you listen to some more enthusiastic fans, you might wonder whether or not they are talking about a real language. Elvish is obviously purely fictional, but it is based off a very long history and composed of a variety of dialects.

The Evolution of the Elvish Language

It doesn't make much sense to use an online Elvish translator unless you understand the foundation of the language.

Author J.R.R. Tolkien was not only an author but also a poet, professor of English language and literature, and a philologist. Philologists have a great love for language, studying history, language and works of literature. He also worked as a code breaker during World War II. Tolkien used this eclectic background to create the languages in his fantasy novels, based on influences from Celtic, Welsh, Latin, German, Greek, Finnish and even some Asian languages.

Website Resources

There are several websites that can assist you in learning and translating the Elvish language. Some contain words and other have full common phrases, location names and even insults. Other sites contain information on how to pronounce Elvish speech, which can seem daunting at first glance.

  • English-Elvish Translator allows you to type in any English word and it will return the Elvish translation. While the site appears to give you the option of translating both single words and phrases, the phrase translator is not operational. Still, this site is a useful look-up tool for single Elvish words.
  • Arwen Undomiel is a site for fans of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books and movies. The site has an Elvish section that includes a history of the language, a pronunciation guide, useful phrases, Elvish names and an extensive collection of links of Elvish language websites. While there is no translator option on this site, the pronunciation guide is definitely useful for the novice Elvish translator.
  • Realelvish.net is probably the most recent of all the sites listed and contains lots of information on Elvish, including a random name generator, phrase book, pronunciation guides, recorded scripts and word lists. You can also make free custom translation requests from the site owner. The site provides several translations for Sindarin and Quenya.
  • Ardalambion is a site devoted to the "Tongues of Arda" which includes all the languages Tolkien created, including Dwarvish and Orkish. There is a very comprehensive section on the grammar, words, pronunciation and history of several Elvish dialects, including Sindarin, Telerin (Sea Elves), and Nandorin (Green Elves).
  • Related to the Ardalambion site above, there is a Quenya course you can download as RTF files. These are designed for the absolute beginner to the Elvish language. The course includes everything you need to know on Quenya grammar, pronunciation, pronouns, vocabulary and more.
  • The one ring
    Parma Tyelpelassiva is loaded with texts, poetry, songs, vocabulary and grammar guides for the Sindarin and Quenya languages. The site name means "The Book of Silver Leaves." The first part of the web page is all written in Elvish, so you'll need to scroll down a bit to reach the English information. There are also some courses you can order and download on both Sindarin and Quenya.
  • Quenya 101 is another option for an Elvish course. This site focuses on just the Quenya language. Accessing the course requires a donation to the site owner. The course covers grammar, vocabulary, syntax and using full sentences with the aim for the user to become fluent in spoken Quenya. The site also has some informative quick guides on verbs, conjugations and the written Tengwar alphabet.
  • Sindarin Lessons allows you to view lessons on everything Sindarin, plus there's a helpful forum if you need help with translations. Reviewing the lessons can help the learner to do everything from creating English names to translating English into full Sindarin sentences.
  • A Taste of Elvish provides a list of vocabulary terms from Quenya (one of the other major Elvish languages in Tolkien's books) and Sindarin. The words are organized by types of people, family names, animals, plants, food, geographic terms and more.
  • The One Wiki to Rule Them All is a fan wiki site with information on all things related to Tolkien's works. There is an extensive Elven word list with a vowel pronunciation guide that's very easy to follow.
  • Fun Translations is a very helpful site with a translator you can use for the Sindarin and Quenya language. It functions much like Google Translate. Just type in your words or phrases and the site will provide the Elvish translation. It also has a Tengwar translator, which converts your English words into the beautiful script of the Elves. These translations can be saved as images since your everyday software programs won't be able to process the fonts. Not every word, including some common ones, work in the translator so you will need other sources to do complete translations.
  • Dan Smith's Fantasy Fonts for Windows enables you to write your translations in the Tengwar font on your computer. This site allows you to download the actual font files, as well as some other fantasy fonts such as Celtic lettering and knotwork fonts.
  • YouTube also has several videos where you can listen to the Quenya and Sindarin languages. These are helpful if you're having trouble with the written pronunciations. There are also tutorials on how write in the Tengwar Elvish script. Some good options include:

Smartphone and Tablet Apps

Several mobile apps are available to download that will translate words and phrases into Elvish.

  • Elvish Translator & Share (Android): This app translates English into Elvish into Tengwar script images you can share with others.
  • Elfic Elvish Translator (Android): Translate English phrases into Elvish Tengwar script and share on social media, as well as download the Tengwar font.
  • Runes - Elvish Translator (iOS): This translation app allows you to view names or phrases into Elvish and Dwarvish script.
  • Elvish Translator (iOS): Translate words and phrases into the Tengwar script, and save them as image files to make device wallpapers or simply download to your computer.

Common Elvish Phrases

To get you started, here are several common English words and phrases translated into Elvish.

English

Elvish

Hello

Suilad - or - Mae govannen

Goodbye

Galu - or - Namárie

Yes

Ná - or - Náto - or - Né

No

Û - or - Lá - or - Ui

Please

An ngell nîn

Thanks

Hantale

Man (Men)

Adan (Edain) - or - Nér - or - Hanu

Woman

Adaneth - or - Ní/Nís/Nisse

Child

Hén - or - Hína

Who

Mana

When

Na van - or - Má

Where

Manna - or - Mallo

What

Mana

Why

Am man - or - Selman mana

Red

Carnë - or - Caran - or - Naru

Yellow

Malen - or - Malina

Blue

Luin

Green

Calen - or - Laiqua

Black

Morë - or - Morna

White

Glân - or - Ninquë

Silver

Celeb - or - Silma

Grey

Mithrin - or - Sindë - or - Sinda

Day

Aurë

Month

Asta

Year

Loa

Spring

Ethuil - or - Tuilë

Summer

Laer

Fall

Yávië - or - Quellë

Winter

Hrivë - or - Rhîw

Place

Men

Good

Mára

Bad

Faeg

Beautiful

Vanya - or - Vanima - or - Bein

Big/Large

Úra

Small

Pitya

Young

Neth - or - Nessa

Old

Lar - or - Linyenwa

Friend

Mellon

Father

Adar - or - Odhron

Mother

Amil - or - Ammë - or - Naneth

Brother

Muindor - or - Tôr

Sister

Muinthel - or - Thêl

Mommy

Ammë

Daddy

Atto

Son

Yonya - or - Iôn

Daughter

Yelya - or - Sell

Family

Nosse - or - Noss

Wife

Vesse - or - Very - or - Bess

Husband

Venno - or - Veru - or - Benn

North

Formen - or - Forn - or - Forod

South

Hyarmen - or - Harad

East

Rómen - or - Amrûn

West

Numen - or - Annûn

Dog

Huo - or - Hû

Cat

Mëoi

I'm [name]

Im [name] - or - Nányë [name]

I don't know

Ú-iston

I know

Iston

I love you

Gi melin

I love [name]

Melin [name]

Thank you

Ni 'lassui

I am sorry

Goheno nin

Good Day

Quel re

I greet you/Greetings

Gi suilon

Getting Started with Elvish Translations

The best way to get started is to review the sites above and find the translator or course that works best for you. You should focus on either the Quenya or Sindarin language to start and learn the grammar rules. With some study and persistence, you'll be translating Elvish in no time!

How to Translate Elvish Online