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Discussing: Rohirric phrases?

Rohirric phrases?

Hello all-
Like many writing stories set in Rohan, I have used the couple of phrases that I've been able to find that Tolkien wrote in Rohirric, and then I've sprinkled regular Anglo-Saxon liberally through my story for color.

My question is: are there hidden phrases that Tolkien wrote in Rohirric that are translated? I'm scanning Vol VIII of HoME and saw something that looks Rohirric-ish but not "fully-baked," you might say, and not translated. Or, is there an easy-to-find listing of the actual Rohirric words that JRRT made up/used like there is for Elvish? Or is it really just like Dwarvish, in that there are so few phrases that there's no need for compiling them?




Re: Rohirric phrases?

Argh! I have to write this to remind myself, but in Unfinished Tales (I *think*), there is mention of a Rohirric word in one of Christopher Tolkien's notes to the battle at the Isen. Now I curse the fact that I'm at work and can't get to it. *fumes quietly*

My guess is that there really is no 'functional' Rohirric, at least not in the way we have functional Quenya or Sindar. The only way to get at it would be to hypothesize sound changes from the few words found in the hobbit dialects, which are related to Rohirric (but admittedly estranged by hundreds of years of separate development.) But even then, it's only the reader's guess, not Tolkien's word.



Re: Rohirric phrases?

Helge Fauskanger has a page devoted to all of the "various Mannish tongues" on Ardalambion; that gives you an idea of just how little is known for sure on non-Westron speech. For your reading pleasure, everything he's written on Rohirric:

In LotR2/III ch. 6, when Aragorn and Legolas were approaching the Golden Hall of Rohan, Aragorn recited a poem in an alien tongue. "That, I guess, is the language of the Rohirrim," the Elf commented, "for it is like to this land itself; rich and rolling in part, and else hard and stern as the mountains. But I cannot guess what it means, save that it is laden with the sadness of Mortal Men."
We don't know much genuine Rohirric, for in LotR, Tolkien rendered it by Old English: He tried to reproduce for English readers its archaic flavour in relationship to the Common Speech (itself represented by modern English - but it must be understood that Rohirric was not the ancestor of the Common Speech the way Old English is of modern English). Thus, names like Éomer and phrases like ferthu Théoden hál are not transcriptions of the actual words used back in the Third Age. Nonetheless, a few words of genuine Rohirric have been published. Appendix F informs us that trahan means "burrow", corresponding to genuine Hobbit trân "smial"; the language of the Hobbits had at some point in the past been influenced by Rohirric or a closely related language. Another example is Hobbit kast "mathom", corresponding to Rohirric kastu. The word hobbit itself represents the actual Third Age word kuduk, a worn-down Hobbitic form of Rohirric kûd-dûkan, "hole-dweller" - itself represented by Old English holbytla in LotR.

After the publication of The Peoples of Middle-earth we have a few more words. According to PM:53, the frequent element éo- "horse" (in Éowyn, Éomer etc.) represents genuine Rohirric loho-, lô-, evidently a cognate of the Elvish words for "horse" (cf. Quenya rocco, Sindarin roch) - demonstrating the influence of Elvish on the Mannish tongues. Éothéod, "Horse-folk" or "Horse-land", is a translation of genuine Rohirric Lohtûr. The Sindarin name Rohan corresponds to the native Lôgrad (in Old English version Éo-marc, the "Horse-mark"). Théoden represents tûrac-, an old word for "king" (cf. the Elvish stem TUR- referring to power and mastery; LR:395).

According to UT:387, the actual Rohirric word for "wose" (wild man) was róg pl. rógin. (The plural ending -in is also known from Doriathrin, so this may be yet another testimony of Elvish influence on the Mannish tongues.) Cf. also Nóm pl. Nómin in the language of Bëor's people (Silmarillion ch. 17).



Re: Rohirric phrases?

Ahhh, that just scratched a huge itch for me! The UT excerpt was exactly what I'd been scanning for a few minutes ago... Ardalambion was my next resort if I couldn't find it =)



Re: Rohirric phrases?

Excellent help, all of you!! Many, many thanks. I suppose for Tolkien it really did all go back to Elvish in one way or another, which I suppose would make sense.

Thank you again! Guess I can keep plumbing through my Anglo-Saxon dictionary...



Re: Rohirric phrases?

Thank you again! Guess I can keep plumbing through my Anglo-Saxon dictionary...

I can think of worse fates ;-D

... says the Anglo-Saxonist...



Re: Rohirric phrases?

I'm just not OCD enough. Anglo-Saxon is good enough for me. On that note: Instant Old English, courtesy of Englisc.



Re: Rohirric phrases?

If you're looking for the meanings of OE words, you should check out the Bosworth-Toller Anglo-Saxon Dictionary. If you click on the ruler to the right of the page, the page indexes will be displayed to the left of the page, making the dictionary easy to search. ~Nessime



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