Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It happens sometimes when you're a geek...

So today I happened to do a Google Image search for

namarie tengwar

"Namárie", of course, is the Quenya (Tolkien's "high Elvish" language) word for "farewell", but more importantly in this case it is a commonly used title for a poem that Galadriel says in The Fellowship of the Ring. Tengwar is the Elvish script invented by Tolkien. Basically, I was looking for an image of the poem written in tengwar. Because that's what I do sometimes.

The top result for this search was from Wikimedia Commons. That page also happens to be the top hit for a regular (web) Google search of the same terms. The second top result and several other top hits use this same image. However, I was shocked to find that this image--the first, seemingly most authoritative one someone would find when looking for "Namárie" written in tengwar--has an egregious error! It is missing an entire word!

I am loathe to reproduce it, but for the sake of education I will put it here.

Bad example from Wikimedia Commons. DO NOT USE THIS ONE!

You see it, right? Appalling! I mean,

Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of,
And Summer's lease hath all too short a date...

Seriously! OK, for those of you who don't see it (our minds do tend to fill in missing words we know should be there, right?), it's missing the word "lumbule", or "shadow", at the end of what appears to be the shortest line in the poem (but it shouldn't be! It should have lumbule there!). It makes me so mad that this is the top search result. It must be fixed!

Luckily, the third hit for my search yielded this lovely image by Danny Andries that does not omit any words (you can see "lumbule" at the beginning of the line just above the center point of the first yellow leaf on the left):

Very pretty. Though he does make a few stylistic "corrections", such as writing "sindanóriello" and "hísie" with súle insted of silme, which is kind of snobby, going into way more technical detail than I would be interested in myself. Man, what a geek.

If you need a refresher, the non-tengwar text of the poem and its translation can be found here.


Angel said...

Sweet Roddenberry's Ghost!

This is by FAR the geekiest thing I have ever witnessed. I am in shock and awe of you. I...I may bow to you though you can't see it happen.


Eleni said...

Haha, really? Come on, there must be loads of people who can read the Quenya version of Namarie written in tengwar. Somewhere... Hiding...

But thanks :) I just noticed I lost a blog follower (I do have some followers that I'm pretty sure never actually read my blog anyway, so I'm not surprised). Hopefully I didn't get too geeky for them!

Ruth said...

Now I don't feel so bad about talking about Klingons in my politics class. Madam, you have outgeeked me. :)

However were I a Tolkein language geek, I'd be just as pissed with you. I get that way about French already.

Eleni said...

It's not like I'm mad because they got a little vowel marking wrong. It's a whole word. Inexcusable ;)

Hezabelle said...

You are by far my favourite nerd, now.

Eleni said...

Aw, thanks, Hez! I am sincerely honored. Seriously, you just made my day :D

Amber said...

I loved this.

If I ever decide to get a tengwar tattoo, I'm going to have you proof it before I go into the shop.

You're awesome.

Eleni said...

Thanks :)

Did you know the actors in the Fellowship got tattoos of the word "nine" in tengwar? All nine except for John Rhys-Davies, but his short stunt-double got a tattoo instead.

If you ever got one, of course I'd be happy to proof it, though there are different styles of writing with tengwar and, as I admitted, there are certain technicalities that I don't know (yet).

Ambiguous Geek said...

Damn. I wish I had spent more time learning elvish. I can't recognize any of that anymore.

Eleni said...

Anymore? Aha, so you at least have a start. Time for a refresher :)