Continuation of Conversation under Greeting Forum

Discussion in 'Writing Workshop' started by jamercier, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. jamercier

    jamercier New Member

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    The language(s) in my book(s) are pretty fitting to those you outlined above, which is what I had figured, too, when I created them. I am trying to perfect my "elvish" language, which is the first language I started with. My dwarf language was the second language I created and was much easier to create because of it being a rough and heavy language; I am having difficulty with some of the grace of the elvish language because I based most of it loosely on Gaelic, and not all of the words are as graceful and flowing as I originally wanted... although, come to think of it, there are some words in my dwarf language that are relatively graceful :)

    All of the names of my characters, places, and ideas [faith/spirituality/titles] are in a created language because they all mean something [much like in LoTR]... The languages are Tęängríël (Silver Tongue) and Dërvyëth (Dwarf Tongue), the story is written with Tęängríël being the language of perspective, so it is already translated into English for the readers (except for the names and such).
    Here are some examples for you to give me feedback on whether they are easy to pronounce and also fitting of the type of language:

    {Tęängríël}
    1. Rhæ·älijá - A female phæríijël (star fairy) that is a secondary character in the story; named for her two amethyst crowns (one on her head and one on her staff).
    2. jüláïus (sing.); jülæí (pl.) - An elf of the Şæ·ḩár; also called a silver elf because of its fair features.
    3. jësüën - beautiful.
    4. Íræá·nÿn - The Tęängríël name of the land where the majority of the story takes place; means Land of Enchantment.

    {Dërvyëth}
    1. Krųnÿrn·thÿsörnür - A female vëldës’hëlkänën (star fairy) that is a secondary character in the story; named for her two amethyst crowns (one on her head and one on her staff). [This is a theoretical but rarely used translation of the Tęängríël name]
    2. hältįjä (sing.); hältįję (pl.) - An elf of the Vältäth äf'Ändlënth; also called a silver elf because of its fair features.
    3. jąënür - beautiful.
    4. Vältïl äf’Ąïnën - The Dërvyëth name of the land where the majority of the story takes place; means Land of Everlasting.

    Thanks for your replies and feedback :)

    Joshua
     
  2. Rob Darken

    Rob Darken New Member

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    Hi Joshua. Must say I am impressed by people that go to the lengths of concocting their own language.
    It is funny how we all tend to fall back onto stereotypes in fantasy rather quickly (I know I am guilty of it).
    i.e The tough Northman, tender emo elves etc. I suppose it is accepted by all people and easy for most to mirror to our real ife existence.
    Personally I found the elven/dwarve high fantasy a touch dated. Sure it was a great, but it has been done to death. I like authors who break the stereotypes, or at least bend them. For example Robert Jordan (RIP) and his Trollocs, who we all know are sort of orcish, but with a twist. A great variation on an older established theme. Then you have authors like for example Steven Erickson, who have created entire new breeds of people/creatures and totally broken the established mould (in a good way!).
    This progressive thinking, has in my eyes breathed some new life into a somewhat stagnant genre of late. Which is great for everyone.
    It is funny how everyone seems to be firmly rooted in the Tolkien school of thought, rather than some of the other writers of that era, like Robert E Howard and H.P Lovecraft. I guess it essentially comes down to a popularity contest, and what you have been exposed to. That said however I find that some authors have continued down the path opened by these two authors, i.e David Gemmell (RIP), Raymond E Feist (to a degree).
    I know this post is a bit of a ramble on several tangents, but the crux of the argument is that I believe that the world building involved in fantasy is awesome, however it can become boring when it is a variation on an already common theme (aka LotR).
    Hope that makes sense.
     
  3. Running Wolf

    Running Wolf Join the Madness

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    Hey, first of all my respects for making up languages! *bows*
    But then I'd have to say if words like those above would appear every other sentence I think I'd lay the book down pretty quickly (I'm being honest)
    That's simply because I am struggling with reading the words. I have to read it letter by letter and then I still don't know if I get it because of all the dots and hooks on the letters and my un-knowingness of how to pronounce them.
    But I guess if the readers are Gaelic or Norwegian they know how to pronounce the letters with the dots and hooks, which I as a poor German don't know.
    Tolkien I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) didn't have as many unknown letter I believe (and I still admit: I skipped the most long poems, I read them later online with a translation next to them)
    Galadriel, or Arwen, for example are two rather simple names and they still have grace in them...

    I dunno if that helps, I guess not... sorry. I tried inventing a language as well and I had all those foreign characters in there as well- and my readers didn't like it really, so I'm kinda marked that way.
    Now I'm just taking bits of Tolkiens language and modify them, so that they fit for my purpose. And since I'm not planning on ever making money with my story, that's okay :D
     
  4. jamercier

    jamercier New Member

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    Hello Rob,
    Thank you for responding and giving me feedback on my thread. In all honesty, the series that I am writing is not an elven/dwarf high fantasy, as you put it. The only similarities I claim to LoTR is the fact that Tolkien did create languages for the races in his books, as did I. And honestly, the language only was created because I was told by a linguistics professor at my college that to make the storyline more 'believable' and to give it more merit, the names of the places and characters in my book should be pulled from a similar language. The names of these places and people actually mean something other than a label, as did Tolkien's language.

    As far as the races go, mine are not like Tolkien's races whatsoever. And there are more variations. There are three different races of elves, but sadly only one race of dwarfs; there are 'nymphs' and faeries, though neither are your typical fantasy descriptions of these races.

    The themes in my book are not truly fantasy, either, but rather semi-allegorical being a scholar of Chaucer and CS Lewis moreso than Tolkien, not to mention a huge fan of Jos Whedon who wrote most of his episodes of Buffy in a very allegorical fashion.

    I am not sure if this clarifies much, though I hope it helps to point out the few similarities with anything LoTR


    As for Running Wolf's comments, the use of accents on the letters is a quick reference on pronounciation, so to speak, which is why they are used in most evolved languages. English is one of the hardest languages for people to learn because there are so many rules on pronouciation of the same letters in the exact same sequences, i.e., "loose" and "choose" or "lichen" and "listen"... in the first example, the 'oose' is pronounced as you would expect, but the 'oose' in 'choose' is pronounce as if it were 'ooze', well, you get my point, I think.

    Thanks again you two for the feedback. :)