The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 24 October 2013
  • Updates planned: 2


The tongue of the Nandor

The language of the Nandor, an offshoot of the Teleri who abandoned the Great Journey and settled in the Vales of Anduin. From these people the Silvan Elves of Lórien and Mirkwood were descended, and their languages were in part evolved from Nandorin (though with strong influences of Sindarin). The original speakers of Nandorin had no system of writing, and so written records are almost entirely absent, and by the end of the Third Age Nandorin as an independent language was effectively extinct.

Among the very few surviving Nandorin place names are two ancient names for the land later called Lórien, which was at one time known as Lindórinand ('Vale of the Land of the Singers') and later Lórinand ('Valley of Gold'). The later form is interesting as we have both Quenya and Sindarin versions for comparison: Laurenandë and Glornan, respectively. The similarity of Lórinand to Quenya Laurenandë suggests that Nandorin changed relatively little over time, at least by comparison with Sindarin, which evolved rapidly across the Blue Mountains in Beleriand.

A few further words survive, notably caras ('moated fortress') in Caras Galadhon, and certain historic names also seem to preserve Nandorin elements (such as Amroth and Nimrodel). In addition, a handful of words are preserved in The Etymologies (in volume 5 of The History of Middle-earth) but with these exceptions the language remains almost entirely unknown.

See also...

Elvish, Valley of Gold

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001, 2013. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.