Here is what I put together while away in Holy Week. It is a rough first draft designed to go into an A5 booklet, will require several vocabulary lists to go with it, and inevitably will need to be corrected where I've gone wrong! But I hope to have it useable by the time I go to Ironville in June to the Tolkien Fellowship school group. I can try it out on them and improve it before August.
Quenya Conversation Workshop
Meeting and Greeting
There are no Quenya words for 'Hello', you can greet someone important with Aiya! but this isn't appropriate for everyday meetings.
However it is possible to say 'Our meeting gives me joy,' 'Omentielva antëa nin alassë.' (for two meeting)
Use 'Yomentielva. . .for 3 or more
or 'I have joy to meet you,' 'Saman alassë véla lyë.'
or 'You have come in a time /hour of happiness.' 'Utúliel lumessë alassëo.'
All Elves have three names, and some may have four:
Essë the name which denotes their whole being;
Epessë an added after-name;
Amilessë the name their mother gave them at birth - guided by her intuition or foresight.
Cilmessë the name the Elf has chosen for himself / herself.
I suggest you use your Esse, and a Cilmesse if you have one. You can say, 'My name is...' 'Essenya ná. .ar Cilmessenya ná . . .' etc.
Friends and family can be introduced by saying,
'This is my friend. His name is..' 'Sin meldonya ná. Esserya ná. . . .' (Meldo = Masc. Melde = Fem. so Meldenya)
Professions can be part of your introduction:
'I am a weaver.' 'Nan vairë.' 'I am a builder' 'Nan samno.' 'I am a singer.' 'Nan nyello.'
Check the list of professions, etc.
Home / place of origin / recent abode.
Use the Aorist to talk about your original home:
'I come from Whitehaven.' 'Tulin Ninquelondello.'
Or 'My home is in Whitehaven.' 'Marenya ná Ninquelondessë.'
Use the perfect tense to show that you have just travelled from some other place: 'I have come from the Black Forest.' 'Utúlien i Taurë Morello.'
Check the list of countries, cities etc.
How Are You?
You can ask how someone is feeling - what their emotions are:
'What is your emotion?' 'Man felmelya?'
Or you can ask about their health:
'What is your body feeling?' 'Man hroafelmelya?'
'What is your brother feeling?' 'Man hroafelmë toronelyo?' (What is the body-feeling of your brother?)
Or how they are spiritually:
'How is your spirit feeling?' 'Man fëafelmelya?'
If you are asked, you can give a number of answers:
'I'm filled with joy.' 'Alassë nyë quantëa.'
'My heart is laughing.' 'Orenya lalëa.'
'I'm filled with pain.' 'Naicë nyë quantëa.'
'My joy has left me.' 'Alassenya avánië.'
'My brother is ill.' 'Toronya na hlaiwa.'
'I'm blessed, for the pain is passing.' 'Nanyë alya, an i naicë autëa.'
'I fear the things which will come.' 'Rucin natillon yar tuluvar.'
Check the list of other possibilities.
You can offer some good wishes:
'May you find joy / peace!' etc 'Nai hiruvalyë alassë / serë !' etc
'May the Valar watch your path!' 'Nai Valar tiruvar tielya!'
'May your pain fade!' 'Nai naicelya autuva!'
'May his sickness fade!' 'Nai quamerya autuva!'
Talk about the weather is usually expressed impersonally, though you could use phrases from the previous section to express your feelings about it.
'What will the wind bring?' 'Man tultuva i súrë?'
'What has come with the wind?' 'Man utúlien súrinen?'
'It's raining.' 'Ulya.'
'The sun is shining.' 'Anar síla.'
'Snow lies upon the land.' 'Lossë caitëa norenna.'
'Mist veils the peaks of the mountains.' 'Hísië tópa orontion aicassi.'
'Mist fills the river valley.' 'Hísië quantëa nan sirëo.'
'Clouds are gathering.' 'Lumbo hostëar.'
There are various forms which can be used:
'It is cold.' 'Ringa ná.'
'I'm cold.' 'Ringa nin.'
'The wind makes me cold.' 'Ringa nin súrinen.'
Eventually you may be able to be more poetic:
'Dark clouds are gathering and are travelling across the sky like great ships - a storm will come!'
'Lumboli hostëar ar lelyëar vilyassë ve altë ciryar - raumo tuluva!'
Elves are immortal - be patient when arranging to meet with them.
Here are some questions you might ask, using the locative to specify the time:
'At what hour will you return?' 'Man lúmessë entuluvalyë?'
'What time will be our meeting?' 'Man lúmessë nauva omentielva?'
The replies are innumerable. Here are one or two:
'In Winter, in December I'll come.' 'Hrívessë, Ringaressë tuluvan.'
'Come to this place at sunrise.' 'Á tulë men sinanna i anaróressë.'
'When the moon rises.' 'Írë Isil orya.'
More precise timing is possible:
'At seven on the 6th [day] of March.' 'Otsëa lúmessë enquëa arëo Súlimessë.'
Check the list of times, days, months and seasons.
To help you learn the Quenya numbers, here is the song 'Ten Little Indians' translated into 'Ten little Dwarves'! It uses different words for Dwarf and Petty-Dwarf. We don't know if the Dwarves counted in tens - the Elves used twelves, but we'll make do with this for now.
Minë, atta, neldë naukoron, One, two, three little Dwarves
Kanta, lempë, enquë nornoron, Four, five, six little Dwarves
Otso, tolto, nertë nuxoron, Seven, eight, nine little Dwarves
Pitya-naukoron quain. Ten little petty-Dwarves
Quainë, nertë, tolto nuxoron, Ten, nine, eight little Dwarves
Otso, enquë, lempë nornoron, Seven, six, five little Dwarves
Kanta, neldë, atta naukoron, Four, three, two little Dwarves
Naukaliello min. From the Dwarven people, one.
Asking For Things
We have no words for 'Please', so we have to be polite in other ways. Elves have different pronouns for formal and informal situations. Be careful to use the correct one:
-lyë is formal -tyë is informal
To ask very politely you can say 'Couldst thou give me. . . ?' 'Ma nin antalyë . . . ?'
If you're asking a friend it becomes 'Ma nin antatyë. . . ?'
In a crisis when there isn't time to be polite it might become
'Give me. . !' 'Á nin anta. . .!'
If you're very thirsty and want your cup refilled you would say: 'Could you refill my cup?' 'Ma nin enquanta lyë/tyë yulmanya?'
And in general you can express your wishes by saying:
'I desire. . . ' 'Méran . . .'
You can give thanks by using 'Hantanyel!'
If you are asked for something you can reply 'Mára!' or 'Yes, I give!' 'Antanyë!' or even combine the two 'Mára, antanyë!'
I hope you won't want to refuse the request by saying 'No!' 'Vá!' or 'I won't!' 'Ávan!'
On the other hand if you haven't got what is wanted you can apologise by saying 'Forgive me.' 'Ánin apsene!'
Check the lists of food, drink, tableware, clothing, weapons etc.
Yes and No
If you are asked about a matter of fact you can answer by using forms of the verb to be, 'It is so.' 'Ná.' 'They are.' 'Nar.' etc.
'It isn't' 'Ua.' 'They aren't' 'Uar.' etc. or 'No.' 'Lá.'
You could repeat the question in the affirmative or negative:
'Did he fight well?' 'Ma mahtanes mai?'
'He fought well.' 'Mahtanes mai.' or 'Ua mahtanes mai.'
If you are asked about your intention to do something, you can say 'It is good.' 'Mára' ; 'No' 'Vá'; or 'I won't' 'Ávan' ; and offer an apology as before.
Asking for Directions
There are several ways of asking for help if you are lost:
'I want to find the path to. . .' 'Merin hirë i tië ......-nna'
'Where is . . .?' 'Massë . . . . ?'
'In what direction is . . .?' 'Manna . . .?'
The answer will include phrases such as the following:
'Go to the left / right.' 'Á lelya haryanna / foryanna.'
'Go towards the sunrise/sunset.' 'Á lelya anarórë/ andunenna.'
Here are some directions you might hear / use in a town:
'Go for two roads. You will find a big house. From the house go right towards the great gates.'
'Á lelya maller atta téranna. Hiruvalye coa alta. Enta coallo á lelya foryanna andondunna.'
The Beauty of the World
Elves love their world and talk about it together. If you see something special you can say, 'Look!' 'Ela!' 'Á cenë!' or 'Watch!' 'Á tirë!'
If you become more fluent you can describe things poetically as Tolkien did:
'Gold fall the leaves in the wind.' 'Laurië lantar lassi súrinen.'
or 'Clouds like towers gather in the sky.' 'Lumbor ve mindoni hostar vilyassë.'
'Horses swift as the wind' 'Roccor, lintë ve i súrë.'
You may want to tell them what you have seen:
'I walked under the trees and saw blue flowers.' 'Vantanen undu aldar ar cennen lotsi luini.'