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  • Updated 28 November 2018
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High Speech

The language of the Eldar in the West

The Ancient Speech of the Eldar, known in their own tongue as Quenya. This was the common language of the Eldar who dwelt in Aman, known as the High Speech because it was spoken by the Elves who lived in the land of the Valar beyond the Sea. When a great part of the Noldor returned from the West into Middle-earth, they brought their High Speech with them. Thus in Middle-earth it was commonly known as the High Speech of the West, or the High Speech of the Noldor.

At the time of the Return of the Noldor to Middle-earth, Elu Thingol was the King of Doriath and Lord of Beleriand. When Thingol learned of the acts of the Noldor in their journey out of Aman, and especially their slaying of his own kin at Alqualondë, he barred the use of the High Speech throughout his realm. Thus it was used only among the Noldor themselves, and ultimately became a historical language in Middle-earth, preserved only by scholars and loremasters. Meanwhile, Thingol's own tongue of Sindarin remained the pre-eminent form of Elvish east of the Great Sea.


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  • Updated 28 November 2018
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