You can’t be a Tolkien geek without loving Elves! (Well…. I suppose you can. But it’s not natural.) So this little page will be an amalgamation of all things Elvish, whether it be language, trivia, discussion, memorabilia or otherwise.
A Quick Lesson On Elvish
First of all, “Elvish” isn’t a language. It encompasses several different languages including Quenya, Sindarin, Telerin, Noldorin, and about ten more. Of all these languages, Quenya and Sindarin are the only ones that you can really learn. The rest are just fragments and sparse phrases here and there. Quenya is more fleshed out than Sindarin but both have sufficient structure and vocabulary to function as languages on their own.
Sindarin is typically the speaking language, whereas Quenya is the written language, used for songs and poetry. Basically the difference between “Could you run to the store and pick up some milk?” and “Wouldst thou make thine way to the market and there purchase milk?” They both make sense but… you probably wouldn’t use the second one unless you lived a long time ago. (Just like Quenya was spoken long before Sindarin came around.) That being said, Quenya is much easier to learn than Sindarin because Tolkien liked it better, and therefore spent more time expanding it.
Now if you want to go learn one of these two, for real, just be aware that you’re going to need three things: Time, Motivation and Commitment. Otherwise I can promise you it’s not going to work out. Also, don’t go start learning from any old blog, and please please PLEASE do not go to YouTube for a tutorial! Here are some good in-depth links for legitimate courses.
Quenya course: http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/qcourse.htm
Sindarin course: http://sindarinlessons.weebly.com/
If you simply want a list of fun Elvish phrases to rattle off and impress your friends, these links will probably be more helpful.
Finally, speaking Quenya or Sindarin is useless unless you can pronounce it right! So here is a quick pronunciation guide compiled by yours truly.
It’s pretty much the rules that Tolkien laid out himself and should serve you well.