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Yéni únótimë

Yéni únótimë

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Tue May 11, 2010 12:42 pm

Can someone kindly shed light on the proncunciation of these words, please?

In asking this I confess to failing the 'rustic' test, which is mentioned in this delightful footnote to LOTR Appendix E:

" A fairly widespread pronunciation of long é and ó as ei and ou, more or less as in English say no, both in Westron and in the renderings of Quenya names by Westron speakers, is shown by spellings such as ei, ou (or their equivalents in the contemporary scripts). But such pronunciations were regarded as incorrect or rustic. They were naturally usual in the Shire. Those therefore who pronounce yéni ûnótime 'long-years innumerable', as is natural in English (sc. more or less as yainy oonoatimy) will err little more than Bilbo, Meriadoc, or Peregrin. Frodo is said to have shown great 'skill with foreign sounds'. "

By happy chance I came across a recording of Tolkien himself reading from the canonical Galadriel's Lament (I like that description from Findegil!). Alas, I find it still indistinct at the crucial moments where the word yéni occurs. I hear something approaching "in-yar", but cannot be at all sure. If someone can help I would love to know the correct pronunciation.

It is interesting, too, to reflect on just where Frodo gained his skill, since presumably Bilbo was his principal source. Gandalf seems to have spent all too little time with him, and that not devoted to language lessons. Is anything known of how Frodo came to display these (as well as so many other superlative) qualities?

With thanks in advance,
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Re: Yéni únótimë

PostAuthor: findegil » Thu May 13, 2010 1:23 pm

Huanarmo wrote:By happy chance I came across a recording of Tolkien himself reading from the canonical Galadriel's Lament (I like that description from Findegil!). Alas, I find it still indistinct at the crucial moments where the word yéni occurs. I hear something approaching "in-yar", but cannot be at all sure. If someone can help I would love to know the correct pronunciation.


This must be recording that Tolkien made in August 1952 while staying with his friends George and Moira Sayer. At that time LOTR was still unpublished, and Tolkien was subsequently to make a few slight changes to the text of the Lament before sending it to the printers. That's why the recording has inyar instead of yéni and únóti nar ('are without count') instead of únótime.

It is interesting, too, to reflect on just where Frodo gained his skill, since presumably Bilbo was his principal source. Gandalf seems to have spent all too little time with him, and that not devoted to language lessons. Is anything known of how Frodo came to display these (as well as so many other superlative) qualities?


My guess is that it was mainly a natural talent. And judging from Gildor's remark that Bilbo was a good master, perhaps the latter's preaching was better than his practice. In addition Frodo seems to have been a fast learner, so he probably benefited a great deal from his stays in Rivendell, Lothlórien and Minas Tirith.
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Re: Yéni únótimë

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Fri May 14, 2010 6:02 am

Hantanyel, Findegil.

It's very kind of you to explain these things, which I'm sure are far from common knowledge. I appreciate it.

Having acquired reading glasses a year ago, I'm relieved to know a hearing aid won't be needed for a while yet. 'Inyar' is definitely what I heard.

Natural talent is a nice explanation too. It was remiss of me to underestimate the value of Bilbo's tutelage.

Márienna
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Re: Yéni únótimë

PostAuthor: Elros » Sun May 23, 2010 10:44 am

Huanarmo wrote:Can someone kindly shed light on the proncunciation of these words, please?


To return to the original question (which, as far as I can tell, has not been answered). Using a phonetic rendering similar to Tolkien's in the footnote, I guess a fair approximation is yeheni oo-naughty-meh.
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Re: Yéni únótimë

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:39 pm

Many thanks, Elros.

When talent is in short supply, it is marvellous to have all this expert guidance. I'm grateful.
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