Practice Exercises for Learning Sindarin

Practice Exercises for Learning Sindarin

PostAuthor: Lúthien » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:23 pm


Similar to the Quenya exercises written by Tuilinde, these exercises are based on the information in Thorsten Renk's Sindarin course Pedin Edhellen (download). Also here, we pay honour to all the effort put into this course and, of course, to the efforts of everyone who has made it possible to learn and enjoy the elven languages.

There is a certain amount of uncertainty and difference of opinions regarding some aspects of the Sindarin language. Therefore it is not always possible to be very specific regarding what is right or wrong. We made choices as good as we could, but that doesn't necessarily mean that other choices are wrong. Therefore, do double check and make your own choice. This will provide you with good practice as an added advantage :)

This is not a course, and on their own these exercises will NOT be enough for you to learn all you need to know. We hope that they will provide more practice for those who are using the Pedin Edhellen course (which is, to our knowledge, the only Sindarin course out there).
Because the vocabulary used in these exercises exceeds the words mentioned in Pedin Edhellen up to the paragraph mentioned in the exercise in question, you will need to use a Sindarin word list / dictionary. We generally stick to Hiswelókë's Sindarin Dictionary as found on Didier Willis' website. The Dragon flame and Hesperides applications use older versions of this list; and here you can find a new application using the Hiswelókë dictionary, albeit still under development at the time of writing.

Each exercise has a VERY BRIEF summary of the usage on which the exercise is based. More detail will be found in the full courses.
Feel free to ask questions; to make more sentences of your own and post them here; to point out any errors of mine you spot - there are bound to be some!

To avoid cheating, answers have been put in a separate topic :read:

Have fun!

NOTE: since these exercises will be based on Pedin Edhellen and follow its structure, I will give paragraph & page after the title of the exercise.
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PostAuthor: Lúthien » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:26 pm

In Sindarin there is no indefinite article. The definite article is i (singular) and in (plural). Articles are also genderless - like in English (the) or Dutch (de) and unlike in French (le, la) or German (die, der).

Using the word list or dictionary, translate the following english phrases into Sindarin -
a man; the son; the hill ; a tree ; the Sun ; the Telerin elf ; the gate ; a debate ; the holly-tree ; (braided) hair

- and translate these into either English or your native tongue:
in erain; in ion; sell; i aew; naug ; in edain ; in aew ; i aran ; galadh ; calad
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PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:31 am

As Luthien's introductory post explains, these practice exercises will broadly follow the sequence of topics in Pedin Edhellen, the Sindarin course by Thorsten Renk, whose outstanding work is again respectfully acknowledged. I am currently working through the course-book and recommend it to anyone interested in Sindarin study. Any mistakes or omissions are entirely my own, so if you notice something that should be amended or if you have a query, please reply via the 'Questions About the Exercises' topic. The answers are separately posted under 'Answers for Practice Exercises'.

Introductory notes:
• The genitive case denotes 'of', including possession.
• In simplest terms, the genitive can be formed by placing two nouns one after the other: the second is undersood to be in the genitive case.
• The genitive particles en (singular) and enan (plural) usually imply the definite article but can be indefinite, depending on context.

Part I ~ Translate into Sindarin:

1. daughter of a king
2. daughter of the king
3. daughter of kings
4. daughters of the kings
5. window of twilight
6. tower of the spider
7. sword of the Elf
8. swords of the Elves

Part II ~ Translate from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue:

1. aran edhil
2. aran in edhil
3. glam in yrch
4. aras enan erain
5. haudh en elleth
6. ylf miruvor
7. gîl glaw
8. rîs i aduial
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PostAuthor: Eryniel » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:15 am

Following up on Lúthiens and Huanarmos 'disclaimer': Any mistakes or omissions for these exercises are entirely my own. Please reply via the 'Questions About the Exercises' topic should you have a query or something need amending. The answers are separately posted under 'Answers for Practice Exercises'.

Introductory notes:
• Personal pronouns can be used to substitue nouns in a sentence.
• There are empathic and non-empathic pronouns that in English are expressed differently.
• Only singular empathic pronouns are known.
• The female/male plural forms are supposedly only used if a group is known as all-female/all-male.
• Presumably a form of 'to be' can be expressed with personal pronouns.

Part I ~ Translate into Sindarin:
1) he is a Dúnadan
2) are they orcs?
3) it is golden
4) they are half-Elven (female)
5) I am old (empathic)
6) it is a white flower
7) she is an Elf-maiden
8) are you the daughters of the king? (formal)

Part II ~ Translate from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue:
1) ho aras
2) ha gwend iaur
3) e ethir (empathic)
4) ci noeg
5) hy Haradrim? (male)
6) le noen?
7) mí edain en aran
8) hai edhil Imladris
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PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:43 am

Introduction: Sindarin has a number of forms of mutation, where the initial consonant in a word changes for reasons of grammar or phonology (the sound system of the language). Think of mutations as making the language more beautiful, not more difficult!

The most frequently seen form is the soft mutation, also called lenition. As the name suggests, it involves a 'softening' of the initial consonant of a word. There are several triggers for soft mutation, and this lesson deals with the first and most common: where a noun follows the singular definite article i ~ 'the'.

Other causes of soft mutation will be covered in succeeding lessons. You should note that some words have so called 'special mutations'. Those will be covered later as well. You may find it helpful to refer to the table of mutations in the Sindarin Reference section of this topic. Print out a copy and keep it handy.

When looking up Sindarin words in a dictionary, remember that the source word may be in a mutated form. In that case you will need to work back to the original noun form. The table of mutations can help you there, too.

The answers section for this exercise includes each noun in its original, unmutated form: e.g. i varad (< barad) means varad is the lenited or soft mutation form of barad ~ 'tower, fortress'. This will give you a flying start to Part 1. :)

Part 1: Translate the following into Sindarin.

1. the tower
2. the cloak
3. the oak
4. the maiden
5. the Dwarf
6. the sword
7. the Hobbit
8. the wilderness
9. the river
10. the wood/forest

Part 2: Translate the following from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue.

1. i venn (< benn)
2. i goth (< coth)
3. i dhraug (< draug)
4. i 'lîr (< glîr)
5. i chiril (< hiril)
6. i vereth (< mereth)
7. i barth (< parth)
8. i thrach (< rhach)
9. i hiniath (< siniath)
10. i dinnu (< tinnu)
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PostAuthor: Eryniel » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:07 pm

There are two main classes of verbs. They are named A-verbs and I-verbs. The I-verbs are ‘basic’ or ‘primary’ verb that we will deal with later.
The A-verbs are also called 'derived verbs' and are named for their stem ending with –a. They are formed from an archaic root by way of a so called verbal formation ending.
For now we will only use the present tense.

All verbs in Sindarin will take endings for both number and person appended to the stem to conjugate them. These endings are:
Verbendings.jpg (35.23 KiB) Viewed 9860 times

- The 3rd person singular form (he/she/it/ is identical to the verb stem
- There are two forms for 1st person plural 'we' in Sindarin: -m which is exclusive, meaning " we but not you,
and -nc wich is inclusive, meaning "all of us" including the person addressed.


verbexample.jpg (36.84 KiB) Viewed 9860 times

Part 1: Translate the following into Sindarin.

1. you (singular) fight orcs
2. they enter
3. we (exclusive) wander
4. it shines
5. the sun fades
6. night approaches
7. Aragorn and Legolas stay
8. I listen
9. you (plural) desire/want the jewel
10. z river flows impetuous

Part 2: Translate the following from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue.

1. groga i dhúath
2. vuianc
3. eglerion Arwen
4. maetham naugrim verin
5. awarthog i aran
6. groganc i goth veleg
7. berion i 'obel
8. taur gala orchal
9. northalir i roch
10. giliath sílar míriel

Little memory tricks:
- The ending for the courteous / formal form also ends with an 'l'
- The ending for the inclusive form also has the 'nc'.
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PostAuthor: Lúthien » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:46 am


- Both infinitive and imperative of A-verbs are formed by replacing the final -a of the stem by -o. Because they both look the same they need to be identified by context.
- The imperative form is identical for commands to one or several persons and in 3rd person can also be used to express a wish.
- The gerund for A-verbs is formed by adding the ending –d to the stem and refers to the action described by the verb. It’s a noun and corresponds to the English ‘-ing’ like in ‘the rising of the sun is early’ not to the participle like in ‘the rising sun is glaring’
- Presumably what would be a short infinitive like in ‘I hear him sing’ in English would be an infinitive in Sindarin, but for a longer infinitive like in ‘I would like to sing’ a gerund would be used in Sindarin.
- From what is known until now it seems gerunds in Sindarin can be used like regular nouns, but cannot be pluralized.

Part I ~ Translate into Sindarin:

1) I hear the birds sing
2) I would like to sing
3) dim the light
4) I look at the moon rising
5) he shall enter Rivendell
6) we (exclusive) hear a jewel-smith hammer
7) the king wants the troop to fight
8) flame light, Flee darkness
9) doth thou wanteth to enter? Or: Do you (formal) want to enter?
10) we (inclusive) want to sing

Part II ~ Translate the following from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue.

1) dartho mí
2) anírar beriad
3) tirianc ungol
4) tírion aran maetho
5) delio adan
6) goston dannad
7) lastal i linnad?
8) athrado edhil i dhuin
9) drego gaurhoth
10) ho hartha leithiad mellon
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PostAuthor: Lúthien » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:50 pm


- Consonant mutations are alterations that occur in the first consonant of a word. They serve the overall sound of the language and help to make the words flow - which is important in Sindarin
- They can complicate learning the language: words in a text may start with another letter than what it is listed by (eg. in a wordlist)
- Consonant mutations can be divided in two groups based on what causes them to appear in a particular sentence:
-- Phonological mutations occur where two words meet: the ending of the first word influences the starting consonant of the second
-- Grammatical mutations occur because a word assumes a certain grammatical role within the sentence (noun, adverb, ...)
- A word can be mutated only once. When both sorts of mutation apply, phonological mutations prevail
- Consonant mutations can also be divided by their type - the sort of change they cause on the consonant. There are five types: soft, nasal, mixed, stop and liquid mutation (soft mutations is also called lenition).
- Grammatical mutations are always soft mutations (lenition). When you encounter other type, it can thus only be a phonological mutation.

We'll introduce the consonant mutations by type. Soft mutations (lenition) are by far the most common type. Here is a list of situations in which soft mutation occurs - note that this contains both phonological and grammatical mutations (taken from Pedin Edhellen):

1) A noun following the definite singular article i is mutated - i vess
2) An adjective which determines a noun and is in trailing position (behind that noun) is often mutated - parth galen
3) An adjective which precedes a noun may cause mutation on the noun - calen barth
4) An adverb written behind the verb it determines may be mutated - maethas veren
5) An adverb written before the verb it determines causes mutation for the verb - beren vaethas
6) A direct object (regardless if it is accusative or dative in English) is mutated - tirion venn
7) A verb directly following the subject of the sentence may be changed - Aragorn bada na Imladris - but - Aragorn aran Gondor pada na Imladris
8) In a compound word, the second element is often subject to soft mutation - Cirdan, Angmar

The individual consonants are changed when lenition is carried out as follows:

p-, t- and c- become b-, d- and g-:
pân (plank) → i bân (the plank)
tawar (forest) → i dawar (the forest)
calad (light) → i galad (the light)

b- and d- become v- and dh- :
benn (man) → i venn (the man)
daw (darkness) → i dhaw (the darkness)

g- vanishes:
galadh (tree) → i aladh (the tree)
glam (din) → i lam (the din)

h- ,s- and m- change into ch-, h- and v-
hammad (clothing) → i chammad (the clothing)
salph (soup) → i halph (the soup)
mellon (friend) → i vellon (the friend)

The combination hw- is changed into chw-:
hwest (breeze) → i chwest (the breeze)

The consonants f-, th-, n-, r- and l- remain unchanged:
fen (threshold) → i fen (the threshold)
thond (root) → i thond (the root)
nath (web) → i nath (the web)
rem (net) → i rem (the net)
lam (tongue) → i lam (the tongue)

The voiceless rh- and lh- possibly become thr- and thl-:
rhaw (flesh) → i thraw (the flesh)
lhûg (snake) → i thlûg (the snake)

but may (especially in later or mannish use) also change to r- and l-
rhaw (flesh) → i raw (the flesh)
lhûg (snake) → i lûg (the snake)

Part I ~ Translate into Sindarin:

1) the lord enters
2) a silver beech-tree
3) round a window
4) he walks fast
5) silently she knocks
6) he picks up a loaf of bread
7) Legolas waits long
8) summerfeast

Part II ~ Translate the following from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue.

1) i galad penna
2) gwend velui
3) ring hûl
4) cuio vae
5) maed vaetha
6) leutha vasgorn
7) gaul dhamma
8) calendill
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PostAuthor: Lúthien » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:40 pm


There's still something more to say about the soft mutation / lenition.
On top of what we mentioned above, there are also a number of particles, prefixes and prepositions which cause soft mutation.

The prefixes that cause lenition are:

ab-behind, in the rear of
adel-behind, rear (spatial)
am-up, upward
ath- / athra-across
beaccording to
di-beneath (abstract, spatial)
go-/gwa-together with
na-to, towards, at
nu-/no-under, beneath (spatial)
ú-(factua negationl)
av-/avo(negation of action, intention)

The prepositions that cause lenition are:

mi, viin, between (spatial)
na (before vowels also n’)to, towards; at
imbetween, (abstract or spatial)
abafter (temporal)
adelbehind, rear (spatial)
amover, onto (denoting height and movement)
beaccording to
dibeneath (abstract, spatial)
nuunder, beneath (spatial)
nefon this side of

Note that many or the prefixes also serve as prepositions.

The particle a / ah (and) also causes a similar sound change of initial consonants for the following word - although it is slightly different from soft mutation:

p-, t- and c- become ph-, th- and ch-:
tawar (forest) → galadh a thawar (tree and forest)
pân (plank) → thond a phân (root and plank)
calad (light) → dîn a chalad (silence and light)

l- and r- become lh- and rh-:
lam (tongue) → rhaw a lham (flesh and tongue)
rem (net) → nath a rhem (web and net)

Lastly, there is also the preposition o (about, concerning). This has the same consonant change pattern as a (and) and also causes an h- to be prefixed to the following word:
o (about, concerning)
siniath o Rhohan (tidings concerning Rohan)
trenarn o hedhil (a tale about elves)
peth o thawar (a word about a forest)

Part I ~ Translate into Sindarin:

1) you (singular, informal) sing after Arwen
2) Galadriel stops after Celeborn
3) he walks up a gorge
4) debate hint: 'word (that goes) across / on both sides'
5) according to Elrond's tale
6) a light shines down
7) battle beneath a cloud
8) we fight with Gondor
9) they look towards a building
10) a bed under a high roof
11) without bread
12) we (inclusive) walk through a gate
13) not good

Part II ~ Translate the following from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue.

1) avo abvinno Aragorn
2) padam adel 'Lorfindel
3) naur amlacha
4) athnallon chûb
5) be hiniath e-Legolas
6) ho dadguia orod
7) padon di 'iliath
8) gwarevion Gandalf
9) im na hîr
10) dartham nu vindon
11) pen bost
12) avlavro
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PostAuthor: Lúthien » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:40 am


Plurals in Sindarin are formed by changing the vowels of the word according to certain rules.
In Old Sindarin - and in Quenya - plurals were formed by appending an -i to the word, as can be seen in Quenya words like Quendi, Atani and Teleri.
This final -i influenced the preceding vowels in the word, causing them to shift towards the sound of this -i. This process is called i-affection or umlaut in English, and prestanneth in Sindarin itself.

In Pedin Edhellen, Thorsten uses the example of Old Sindarin aran - king, plural arani - kings.
The -i plural marker caused the other vowels to shift in sound towards the i, so that the plural became ereini.
Later on in its development this final -i would be lost, which would cause the vowels of the word to (slightly) shift back again to the third age form erain.
These remaining vowel changes, originally caused by the former -i plural marker, indicate the Sindarin plural.

Like almost all grammatical rules, we can summarise these changes in a number of rules (with, of course, also some exceptions). Note though, that this rule (and all other such rules) aren't the cause of these changes, or even the essence. They merely model an evolutionary process that took place over a long time, and as always in Sindarin, the most important motive for sound changes was / is "what flows most beautifully".

Here's an overview of the vowels change to form plurals, taken from Pedin Edhellen (note that the y is a vowel in Sindarin):

a in the final syllable becomes ai, in all other syllables e:
barad (tower) → beraid (towers)
aran (king) → erain (kings)

Somewhat exceptionally, if a final a is followed by -r-, -l- and an aspirated stop, i.e. a combination like -lph, -rph, -lch, -rch, -lth, -rth or -ldh, -rdh, the final a changes into e or sometimes ei instead:
salph (soup) → selph (soups)
gardh (realm) → gerdh (realms)
falch (ravine) → felch (ravines)
alph (swan) → eilph (swans)

e in the final syllable becomes i, in all other syllables it remains e:
edhel (elf) → edhil (elves)
hên (child) → hîn ( children)

i always remains i:
Ithil (moon) → Ithil (moons)

o in the last syllable becomes y (sometimes also e), in all other syllables e:
orod (mountain) → eryd, ered (mountains)
orch (orc) → yrch (orcs)

short u becomes y in any syllable, long û becomes ui instead in the last syllable:
tulus (poplar) → tylys (poplars)
dûr (dark) → duir (dark) (Pl.)

y always remains y:
ylf (drinking vessel) → ylf (drinking vessels)

the combination io becomes y:
thalion (hero) → thelyn (heroes)

the diphthong au becomes oe, this also holds for final -aw which is the same sound:
draug (wolf) → droeg (wolves)
rhaw (body) → rhoe (bodies)

the combination ie becomes i in the last syllable:
miniel (elf of the first house) → minil (elves of the first house)

all other diphthongs are unchanged: aew (bird) → aew (birds)

Of course also combinations of these rules are valid:
annon (gate) → ennyn (gates)
pennas (history) → pennais (histories)

Mudathanc! :) (let's do the work!) - congratulations! You have just discovered the secret hint in this message!

Part I ~ Translate into Sindarin:

1) days
2) knots
3) outer fences
4) letters
5) snowdrops
6) ents
7) doves
8) hearts (physical)
9) downs
10) snakes
11) sailors
12) needs
13) mortal maids
14) meats
15) debates

Part II ~ Translate the following from Sindarin into English or your mother tongue.

1) ethraid
2) erenerth
3) berith
4) elin
5) gildin
6) ethrynn
7) ylynn
8) suil
9) cyll
10) rŷn
11) fíryn
12) groe
13) eirin
14) aeg
15) gethryd
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