Tolkien gesture: Russian on-line translator adds Elfin to language list for writer’s birthday
On January 3, Tolkien would have turned 124 years old. To celebrate, Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex, has launched on-line translations into Sindarin - a language the writer created and used in his fantasy works, including The Lord of the Rings.
Although Tolkien – a philologist and university professor - invented several languages, Yandex chose the so called ‘Grey-elvish’ Sindarin for its on-line translator service. It currently translates text into 66 languages, including English.
The Yandex team say they are reaching out to Sindarin specialists and Tolkien fans to enrich their data.
Sindarin is the language usually referred to as the ‘elf-tongue’ or ‘elven-tongue’ in The Lord of the Rings. Fans started attempts at writing in Sindarin back in the 1970s. Back then the corpus of published Elvish was just a few hundred words.
Tolkien had a profound love for languages and started inventing his own while still a teenager, but he never intended to make his creations complete enough for full-blown conversations. Some of the dialogues in the film adaptations by Peter Jackson, for example, had to be enriched by new words, which were composed by David Salo, a language expert.