Ufgh. Fantasy Languages.

I’m finally getting around to reading Inheritance, the fourth and final book in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle.

(I guess some of my reluctance comes from knowing that there probably won’t be much Eragon/Arya-ness [there never was, but that’s besides the point], neither will there be much Eragon-making-a-fool-out-of-himself-in-front-of-Arya-ness because, you know, he’s sort of more mature now that he has to focus on defeating Galbatorix.

Meh. I always feel nervous when I’m about to finish a series, that’s all. I think that the difference with Inheritance is that the last book came out when I was in sixth grade. I think. And that’s about four years ago. So naturally, my tastes in books have changed slightly. And it’s not as if I’ve reread the books. I guess I’m worried thay it might not live up to my expectations or have the same appeal to me as it did when I was eleven.)

But in any case, I am JUST NOW realizing that I have No Freaking Clue how the hell to pronounce ANY of the Elven and… Dwarf… ish… (Dwarfish? Dwar-fish? D-war-fish?? : P) ANY of the Elven and Dwarfish words. Like, I didn’t even realize that I was totally mispronouncing them in my head when I was younger because I was such a stuck up Know-It-All. But now when I actually look at the spellings and try to sound them out, I realize that I am utterly hopeless.

For instance: “onr” means “your” (“ono” means “you”). “Sé” means “may” as in “May I have that cookie?” And “sverdar sitja h’vass” means “swords stay sharp”, I believe in that order. So that means that “Sé onr sverdar sitja h’vass” means “May your swords stay sharp.” This, of course, is fine. I get that it’s a simple sentence structure just like English and I can even recognize common words like “sé”; what I don’t get is how you’re supposed to pronounce things like “onr” and “h’vass”!!

I suppose that’s not even a great example. Like. “Naina hvitr un böllr” means “Make round white light.” It obviously has to do with magic of some sort. But “nayy-na hib… hhhivv…? Hiv-it-aarrr… un WHAT?? Boooooo….. booooooooo…. MEH.”

Please note, I also have this issue with Tolkein’s fantasy language, too, so it’s clearly no fault of Mr. Paolini’s, merely of my own tongue and its incapability to make weird noises such as “öllr” and “nr” and “hv”.

Guliä waíse medh ono. Luck be with you. Sé ono waíse ilia. May you be happy.

~Ellen

BTW, I used to think (until today) that Shur’tugal, as in Dragon Rider, had the g and the t switched. So, like, Shur’gutal. Ufgh. So embarrassing.

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One thought on “Ufgh. Fantasy Languages.

  1. Look at it like Parseltoungue. Just make weird hissing sounds in your head and pretend that’s the actual pronunciation.

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