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View Full Version : Quenya and Esperanto:what is cool and what sucks



AlisaGoldielock
11-01-2005, 11:37 AM
Let"s delibarate on Quenya and Esperanto and find out what language is cooler.

Haldatyaro
12-02-2005, 03:40 AM
Quenya is real, A language of a noble race, not some base and vulgar lingua franca... ;)

I know very little about Esperanto, and I'm not going to get into its functions, but aesthetically, Quenya is IM not-so HO far superior. Quenya has a better internal linguistic aesthetics precisely because Tolkien wasn't creating a "common tongue", but a high language around which his Eldarin legends would take shape.

Esperanto is to Quenya what a toaster is to a bakery.

Hammersmith
12-02-2005, 05:21 AM
Quenya is real
Um...no it's not. :rolleyes:

e.Blackstar
12-02-2005, 07:12 PM
I realize that I should probably know this, but what's "Esperanto"? *feels estupido*

Hammersmith
12-02-2005, 10:51 PM
I realize that I should probably know this, but what's "Esperanto"? *feels estupido*
An artificial language
Wikipedia is your friend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto) :)

e.Blackstar
12-03-2005, 01:10 AM
Oh my. How very strange.

Haldatyaro
12-05-2005, 11:19 PM
Um...no it's not. :rolleyes:
Psst! See that little winking face? Looks like this: ;) ? It means I'm joking...

Hammersmith
12-05-2005, 11:34 PM
Psst! See that little winking face? Looks like this: ;) ? It means I'm joking...
Oh yeah? Well see that eye-rolling face? It looks like this: :rolleyes: ? It means I'm nervous that something's unstable above me and threatening to fall, but the smile indicates my cheery nature and willingness to let things happen as they do.

Haldatyaro
12-06-2005, 05:28 AM
Oh yeah? Well see that eye-rolling face? It looks like this: :rolleyes: ? It means I'm nervous that something's unstable above me and threatening to fall, but the smile indicates my cheery nature and willingness to let things happen as they do.
That, or a need to inject a thread with insightful commentary. The topic is about comparing Quenya to Esperanto. If you've nothing valuable to add, I understand.

Hammersmith
12-06-2005, 05:35 AM
That, or a need to inject a thread with insightful commentary. The topic is about comparing Quenya to Esperanto. If you've nothing valuable to add, I understand.
Ouch :(
That hurts.

As I see it, Quenya's value would mainly be to someone who is either extremely gripped by Tolkien's books (unhealthily so, maybe, but that's subjective) or a serious scholar of linguistics. It's not made up off the top of his head, but is (as I understand) a mix of Finnish and Welsh, a slavic and a celtic language. As far as I know Esperanto is mainly an Indo-European language in its construction, so I suppose the two have similarities in that they're both based in actual languages and created for varying purposes, whereas they differ in that Esperanto probably isn't actually as complex as Quenya.
And at first glance the topic starter hasn't maintained much interest in her thread. I felt a harmless jab back at you might not be too distracting :p

Haldatyaro
12-06-2005, 11:14 PM
Actually, Quenya is more of Tolkien's invention, and less an "adaptation" of an existing language, than you might think. And it was largely done to please himself, to give his stories a linguistic backdrop. He writes in Letters:
The archaic language of lore is meant to be a kind of 'Elven-latin', and by transcribing it into a spelling closely resembling that of Latin (except that y is only used as a consonant, as y in E. Yes) the similarity to Latin has been increased ocularly. Actually it might be said to be composed on a Latin basis with two other (main) ingredients that happen to give me 'phonaesthetic' pleasure: Finnish and Greek. It is however less consonantal than any of the three. This language is High-elven or in its own terms Quenya (Elvish).


It's not made up off the top of his head, but is (as I understand) a mix of Finnish and Welsh, a slavic and a celtic language. I'm not sure about the slavic influences, and I've never heard that mentioned before, but as for the Celtic or Welsh, you're probably thinking of Sindarin. Same letter:
The living language of the Western Elves (Sindarin or Grey-elven) is the one usually met, especially in names. This is derived from an origin common to it and Quenya; but the changes have been deliberately devised to give it a linguistic character very like (though not identical with) British-Welsh: because that character is one that I find, in some linguistic moods, very attractive; and because it seems to fit the rather 'Celtic' type of legends and stories told of its speakers.

Unlike Esperanto, Quenya was not a language devised for the purposes of communication. You cannot be fluent in Quenya, nor have a casual conversation. Esperanto was engineered to be a language most readily apprehendable to (mainly) Europeans, and to faciliate the establishment of a universal lingua franca.

Quenya, OTOH, is a language that a pure creation of its own time and place, one obviously limited in its development since its creator is long gone. Within the context of Tolkien's work Quenya certainly is real as a conlang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conlang) -- it serves as a hint, a reminder, a reckoning of the path Tolkien took on his own road to creating his legendarium.

Quenya is work of art. Esperanto is pure function.

Hammersmith
12-06-2005, 11:44 PM
I'm probably thinking Sindar. I know that it's a blend of Welsh (a celtic language) and Finnish (a slavic language). My mistake.

e.Blackstar
12-06-2005, 11:46 PM
*sneaks in and hopes not to get sniped at*
This is all very interesting. However, may I suggest to Haldatyaro that you lighten up a touch? 'twas merely a joke on good Hammer's part; and you did start it. ;)


Quenya is work of art. Esperanto is pure function.
Also, so that I can at least pretend to contribute to the function of this thread: Quenya is indeed beautiful and artisticly formed, but in itself, Esperanto could be seen as a work of art. It all depends on the definition of 'art', of course, but it must have taken absolute ages to come up with syntax, grammer, spelling, et cetera, for a whole new language, no matter what it's based on. Therefore, both languages, I'm sure, took an equal amount of work, and are equally valuable. It's not like either is very valuable to society: one a made-up language spoken by a few hundred thousand or so, and the other an equally made-up language spoken by a couple hundred nerds on forums like this. :D

Haldatyaro
12-07-2005, 12:08 AM
I'm probably thinking Sindar. I know that it's a blend of Welsh (a celtic language) and Finnish (a slavic language). My mistake.
Finnish isn't a Slavic language, nor was it used as inspiration for Sindarin. That was Quenya, as I mentioned earlier.

Hammersmith
12-07-2005, 06:13 AM
Finnish isn't a Slavic language
Yes it is ;)

Walter
12-17-2005, 11:15 AM
Now that I've learned in this thread that Wikipedia is my friend I'll give it a try (though I'm usually not overly enthusiastic about knowledge management by Google and Wikipedia):


Finnish is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family and is classified as an agglutinative language. It modifies the forms of both noun and adjective depending on their roles in the sentence. It has a reputation for being difficult to understand and learn. This is mostly because there are few languages closely related to it, making the vocabulary unfamiliar.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_language
Finno-Ugric, I'd like to add, is a subset of the Uralic languages.


The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavic_languages

Well, not bad for a start, but I'd still prefer the somewhat more extensive articles about Uralic and Slavic languages in the Encyclopædia Britannica. But it should settle the issue whether or not Finnish is a Slavic language...