Discussion in 'The Languages of Middle-earth' started by AlisaGoldielock, Nov 1, 2005.
Let"s delibarate on Quenya and Esperanto and find out what language is cooler.
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.
Um...no it's not.
I realize that I should probably know this, but what's "Esperanto"? *feels estupido*
An artificial language
Wikipedia is your friend
Oh my. How very strange.
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: ? 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.
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
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:
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:
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 -- 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.
I'm probably thinking Sindar. I know that it's a blend of Welsh (a celtic language) and Finnish (a slavic language). My mistake.
*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.
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.
Finnish isn't a Slavic language, nor was it used as inspiration for Sindarin. That was Quenya, as I mentioned earlier.
Yes it is
Finnish a Slav(on)ic Language???
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):
Finno-Ugric, I'd like to add, is a subset of the Uralic 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...
Separate names with a comma.