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  • Is this translation correct?

     beelzebub updated 1 month ago 2 Members · 3 Posts
  • beelzebub

    Petitioner to the Council : 2 posts

    Hi there,

    I want to get an elvish tattoo with the first the lines of the the poem/song “The Road Ever Goes On”:

    The Road goes ever on and on

    Down from the door where it began.

    Now far ahead the Road has gone,

    And I must follow, if I can.

    While rummaging arround pinterest I randomly found exactly the elvish version of these lines. (See picture)

    Is this Tengwar in the Sindarin-mode?

    But as i am not that versed with Tolkiens languages and dont want to rely on one single random picture from the internet, I thought that here I maybe could find someone who is more knowledgeable about this very subject and can confirm that this translation is correct (or not)!?

    Link to the picture: https://postimg.cc/kD9XFbmq

    Dec 25, 2021 at 12:48 am
  • Gilruin

    Petitioner to the Council : 5 posts

    What you have found there is a transcription of the English poem in Tengwar: The first sign is a shorthand for “the”, the second word spells out r-o-a-d etc., so it’s still English, just written in a different writing system, not a translation into either Quenya or Sindarin. That’s however what I would recommend for a tattoo anyways, because it looks pretty but avoids the headaches an actual translation would face: Some of the English phrases are highly idiomatic (e. g. “to go on and on”) or touch on areas of debate (e. g. Tolkien kept vacillating on the exact shape of the words “in front of” and “behind”, which version fits best with everything else?). Everyone who makes Neo-translations has a stance on these topics and I could attempt a translation of the phrase with our current knowledge, but since Tolkiens notes are still being edited and published, my theories might turn out wrong, which would be unfortunate for something as permanent as a tattoo (BTW, that happened to the translations for the movies as well: They were excellently researched in their time, but with our current knowledge every line would need at least one change, so it’s not like my point is just a theoretical concern). A transcription on the other hand is very likely to stand the test of time and Tolkien himself did those fairly often actually, so it’s not like they are inferior to a “real translation”.

    That said, they made some spelling errors in my opinion, I’d recommend this transcription. (Play around with the fonts, except Tengwar Formal, it has alignment issues, but don’t change the mode dropdown)

    Hope that I could help and nai lye hiruva airëa Amanar!

    Dec 25, 2021 at 4:37 am
    • beelzebub

      Petitioner to the Council : 2 posts

      My fault, of course I mean transcription, not an actual translation! 😅

      And yeah like this its way easier and more secure that its correct (eventhough nobody else will be able to read it anyways).

      But your answer and this tool are really helpfule (I’ll definitely use it quite often from now on). I already searched for something like that but had not found anyting yet.

      Thanks a lot!

      Dec 25, 2021 at 9:12 am
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