Custom translations are thank-you gifts for donors. Here is information that you should have ready for translations.
Basically, I need to know three things:
- The full meaning of what I’m translating.
- The target language and writing system.
- The font you want me to use.
Before you start, please consult these two articles:
Basics of Tengwar for Tattoo Seekers
Basics of Tengwar for Tattoo Artists
The first step to translating your name is researching your name’s meaning. If you prefer to make your own meaning for the name, then we’ll use that instead. I have an article about some considerations for name-translations that you may find helpful: Challenges in Translating Names from Our World
The first step to translating a sentence is making sure I have a firm understanding of the quote. I’ll ask you questions if I have them. The most common things I ask about are little grammatical things, like how Elven languages have up to six words for “we” and at least two words for “you.” Sometimes I’ll ask about different approaches to a translation, since translating isn’t a one-to-one equivalency, and there can be multiple ways to communicate an idea.
About Target Languages
There are four language options: English, Quenya, Sindarin, and Adûnaic.
This means that you’re getting a Tengwar or Cirth transliteration instead of a translation.
A transliteration is the writing something with a different writing system instead of translating it into a different language.
The language of the Elves of Valinor, and of the Noldorin Exiles. It’s also used as a ceremonial language in the Númenórean kingdoms, like Gondor.
The Lingua-Franca of the Elves of Middle-earth. It’s also used as a language of the courts of the Númenórean kingdoms, like Gondor.
The language of the Númenóreans. This language has only a limited amount of vocabulary and grammar that is known, so the translation you request might not be possible.
About Writing Systems
Tengwar, General Use (also called Classical Mode when used to write Quenya)
This mode of Tengwar has the vowels as little marks over the tops of the consonants. You can see an example of this on the bottom ribbon of decoration on the title page of Lord of the Rings, or on the One Ring. It’s used to write English, Sindarin, Quenya, Black Speech, and Adûnaic.
Tengwar, Northern Variety/Mode of Beleriand
This is the mode of Tengwar that has the vowels as individual letters, not marks over the tops of the letters. You can see an example of this on the door of Moria. It’s used to write English and Sindarin.
This writing system is native to the Sindarin Elves, but was adopted by the Dwarves to write their own language. You can see an example of this on the top ribbon of decoration on the title page of Lord of the Rings, and the inscription on Balin’s tomb. It’s used to write English and Sindarin.
These are the fonts I like to work with. I have pretty much every Tengwar font available on the internet, but these ones I prefer for their beauty and readability.
Tengwar Telcontar by Johan Winge
Beautiful and easy to read, this elegant font is my all-time favorite. It looks like the band of Tengwar on the title page of Lord of the Rings, and it flows together beautifully.
Tengwar Annatar (Italic) by Johan Winge
Also beautiful and easy to read when not in Italics, this is the fandom’s all-time favorite. It looks like the tengwar on the One Ring, like Sauron’s personal handwriting.
Tengwar Noldor by Dan Smith
Sharp and angular, this stately font looks like a something from a Gothic text.
Tengwar Parmaite by Måns Björkman
Strong and elegant, this font is easy to read and looks like it was written by a deft Elven hand.
Tengwar Gothika by Enrique Mombello
Thorny and elegant, this is one of the classic early Tengwar fonts.
Cirth Erebor by Dan Smith
This is only game in town for Cirth. Luckily, it’s a good game. It’s beautiful, elegant, and strong.