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Discussing: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

In the film version of fellowship of the ring, Arwen first appears to Frodo after he's been stabbed by the Witch King. She says something to him which is translated in the subtitle as "come back to the light." What is the exact phrase in Elvish?

 

 

Re: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

What I've seen in various texts of the script is the phrase tolo dan nan galad. Near as I can tell, it's from the following... Tolo is the verb "to come" conjugated into the imperitive form. Dan is "back," according to the etymologies. Galad is the Sindarin word for "light." The strange one is Nan. My dictionary gives it as being "a wide grassland or a valley." Obviously, not what we're going for. I know of a word for "toward" that in Sindarin is an. So, it seems likely to me that the phrase is supposed to be Tolo dan an galad rather than what is above. This translation of the phrse into Sindarin is rather conspicuously lacking of the word "the." But in this case, galad refers to light as a whole, so using the Sindarin word for "the," i, would be rather redundant. Just my two cents on it, though. Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

Re: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

Thank you. That is very helpful. I bet the root word "an" is written as "nan" in this instance to help set it apart from the preceeding word, "dan." Kind of like how we use the article "an" instead of "a" before words starting with vowels. It helps keep the words from completely running togetther. That's just my guess. I apprectiate the help. Wordweaver

 

 

Re: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

I don't think so. That sort of a thing usually occurs when there's two vowel sounds in a row. Not so much as a separation for consonants like N. I think most people just misheard it and thought there was an n attached to an. Bado na siidh. Berz.

 

 

Re: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

According to the Gwaith i-Phethdain, the word nan comes from na, 'to, towards,' with attached -n from in, 'the.' Why they would use the plural definite article, though, is beyond me, unless they needed one with a consonant that could be used. -Aerlinnel

 

 

Re: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

That seems strange, though. Usually the mutation occurs on the word following in doesn't it? If anything a mutation like that would come out tolo dan na ngalad, it would seem to me. Which, I suppose would make it sound like tolo dan nan galad when spoken, but it wouldn't be written that way. As an aside... Anyone else find it strange how many synonyms there are for propositions in Sindarin? Or is it just me? Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

Re: What Arwen says to Frodo: come back to the light

I think you mean prepositions, not propositions, since a prepostition is a part of speech and a proposition is a ballot question or something we won't discuss in a general audience forum (look it up if you're wondering what I mean). As far as the phrase goes, when you pronounce it aloud, "tolo dan nan galad," flows more smoothly than "tolo dan an galad." It's a minor point but something Tolkien would probably have been concerned about. I listened again to the film sound track, and it definitely seems to fit what you said you found in the script. Thanks again, Wordweaver

 

 

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