Daniel S. Smith / dsmith@mc.com

Tengwar / Sindarin Language

(Classical Mode)

Tengwar Chart for consonants:

Primary Letters:

Additional Letters:


1) The long and short carriers are silent letters. They are used in conjunction with vowel symbols.

Tehtar Chart for Sindarin vowels:



1) In Sindarin, the a sound occurs so frequently, that it's symbol (three dots) is often simplified (to look like a circumflex) or if no confusion would occur, eliminated altogether.

2) All of the published Sindarin Tengwar inscriptions by Tolkien (that use tehtar) have used the acute accent mark for the e sound and the single dot for the i sound, but Tolkien also stated that the reverse could be equally valid.

3) Long vowels have the same sound as short vowels, the only difference is the duration of the sound. For example: the short u is as the u in brute, while the long u is as the uu in cool (English pronunciation).

Writing Sindarin with Tengwar (Standard Mode):

There are two ways to write Sindarin with the Tengwar letters, the Standard Mode and the Mode of Beleriand. At first glance the Standard Mode looks similar to the Quenya usage of Tengwar. But although the Sindarin and Quenya languages are related to each other, they often use different Tengwar letters to represent the same sounds. Also, in Sindarin and other languages that end most words with consonants, the Tehtar are placed above the next consecutive Tengwar letter. (Unlike Quenya where vowels are places above the previous Tengwar letter.) To read Sindarin/Tengwar script you would read each Tehtar vowel symbol, then the Tengwar letter below it (in a downward motion), before going on to the next Tehtar/Tengwar letter combination. For example:


Written in the style of Quenya (vowel over the previous consonant):

Written in the style of Sindarin Standard Mode (vowel over the next consonant):


Other than placement of Tehtar, and the different Tengwar phonetic value, this mode follows all of the same rules as Quenya. For example the Sindarin Inscription on the West Gate of Moria:

first line:

second line:

Could be transcribed (using the Sindarin Standard Mode for writing):

first line:

second line:

The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King, Appendix E
Arden Smith / arden@uclink2.berkeley.edu

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Last Modified: 11 August 1995