Need a translation for a Gandalf quote

Discussion in 'The Languages of Middle-earth' started by LOTRMegan, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. LOTRMegan

    LOTRMegan New Member

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    Hi!
    I want to get a tattoo of Gandalf's quote 'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us' in elvish font. I keep finding different versions of it, and I'm wondering which one is accurate! Here are some images I have found: if someone can tell me which one is accurate, or send me an image of the accurate way to write it, that would be great. I would like it in sindarin, but quenya is fine as well. I just want it to be accurately translated.
    Here are the links I have found: https://i.imgur.com/SjjRK9e.png https://quenya101.com/poem-prose/g/ https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/423197696224751596/

    Thank you! :)

    LOTRMegan
     
  2. Arquen

    Arquen New Member

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    Can't help with Sindarin translation unfortunately, but from the links you provided, the imgur and pinterest ones are just the quote written in English, using tengwar. However, the quenya101 has got the quote translated into Quenya, and written in tengwar obviously.

    As for the transalation itself provided there: "Ilya horyas men carë úvië ná i carë lúmenen yan me ná antaina": Literal translation is "All that it compells us to make decision [about], is that [what] to do with time that to us is given." Looks fine to me, but I've got couple points:

    The verb horya- looks kinda strange to me, because horya- means "to be compelled" as in intransitively (at least that's what it means according to dictionary). I would prefer to use either mauya- (to be necessary) or ora- (to urge). It would then be "Ilya mauya men carë..." or "Ilya ora men care..."

    Also, after "Ilya", I believe there should be at least "i" ie "that": "Ilya i..." = "All that..."

    Another thing is that there is actually no word saying "what" in "what to do with time...". Can't really say much in this regard as relative sentences are kinda blurred to me. What do others think? Maybe just a word "mana" = "what?"

    As for the last part: lúmenen yan me ná antaina, the "yan" seems fishy, because it's dative and this pronoun refers to "time" and not "to us". So I think it should just be "ya" : "lúmenen ya më ná antaina."

    The whole thing would then be "Ilya i ora men carë úvië, ná mana carë lúmenen ya më ná antaina." If you want that in tengwar, go here http://3rin.gs/tengwar/?q=Ilya i ora men carë úvie, ná mana carë lúmenen ya më ná antaina.&font=parmaite&mode=classical&height=null&language=null

    I am by no means an expert on Quenya and these are just my thoughts, that I would like to discuss with those who are more competent.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

  3. LOTRMegan

    LOTRMegan New Member

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    Hey Arquen!
    Thank you so much for your answer! :) It makes a lot of sense. I would really like to see what other people say about it. Do you know why there are so many different versions of the same sentence? Why is everyone writing it differently? Can't everyone agree on a translation, or is it that there is more than one good way of saying it?
    By the way, I tried using your sentence in the same translator, but in tengwar italic (I want it in italic for my tattoo). Weirdly, the letters come out differently, as you can see here : http://3rin.gs/tengwar/?q=Ilya i or...ight=null&mode=general-use&language=undefined

    Do you know why? Is it still accurate?

    Thank you!
     
  4. Arquen

    Arquen New Member

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    You're welcome.
    There are different translations because more versions can be correct. Same situation as when you translate into any language; there are always synonyms: words like "to have" and "to possess" are different, but have more or less the same meaning. As long as the translations are grammatically correct, it doesn't really matter which one you use. If you're asking about different versions in the links you provided; those two I mentioned, imgur and pinterest, are not even translations but transcriptions. Which means the sentence is in English, just written in elvish letters (tengwar). Think of it like this: imagine if you wanted a Russian quote, but instead just used English words written in cyrillics.

    The italics version is different, because you selected a different mode. The mode for general use is best suitable for english and Sindarin and the Classical mode is for Quenya. Sindarin and Quenya use same letters, but have slighty different rules for vowel placement (the dots and curls above the letters), which is why they look different. This should be the correct Quenya mode in italics: http://3rin.gs/tengwar/?q=Ilya i ora men carë úvie, ná mana carë lúmenen ya më ná antaina.&font=annatar&mode=classical&language=undefined&height=null
     

  5. LOTRMegan

    LOTRMegan New Member

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    I understand a lot better now! Thank you so much! It looks amazing as well, so I'm really happy about that! I definitely want to learn a form of elvish one day, it's so beautiful. I'll just wait to have one or two other opinions before getting it tattooed haha!

    Thank you again, so much!
     
  6. Colsonf

    Colsonf New Member

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    Did you ever get the tattoo? I want to get the same one!