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HomeTechweb developmentA Comparison of Quenya and Sindarin, J R R. Tolkien's Legends

A Comparison of Quenya and Sindarin, J R R. Tolkien’s Legends


Unless you’re a Lord of the Rings super fan, you’re probably not familiar with Quenya and Sindarin. These are two of the elvish quenya vs sindarin languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien for his fantasy world of Middle Earth, which is the setting for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Both Quenya and Sindarin are beautiful, poetic languages – but they do have some differences. Here’s a quick rundown of the most notable ones.


The first difference between Quenya and Sindarin has to do with their origins. Quenya is what’s known as a “High Elvish” language, meaning that it was spoken by the elves who lived in Valinor, the Western Paradise. Sindarin, on the other hand, was spoken by the elves who remained in Middle Earth after being exiled from Valinor.

As a result of their different origins, Quenya and Sindarin have some different sound systems. Quenya has more vowel sounds than Sindarin (18 compared to 11), while Sindarin has more consonant sounds (36 compared to 27). This is due to the fact that Quenya was influenced by Valinorean, which is a now-extinct language that Tolkien also created.


There are also some notable differences between Quenya and Sindarin grammar. For example, Quenya verbs always come at the end of a sentence, while in Sindarin, they can come either at the beginning or end. Additionally, Quenya uses far more noun cases than Sindarin – there are 7 in Quenya compared to just 2 in Sindarin.


There are some differences between the vocabularies of Quenya and Sindarin. This is to be expected, given that they developed separately over time. However, there are also some loanwords – words that were borrowed from one language into another – which can make it difficult to tell them apart at times. For example, both languages have words meaning “river” that was borrowed from Valinorean: Quenya has “ara” while Sindarin has “eder.”


There are some differences in how Quenya and Sindarin are pronounced. This is due to the fact that Quenya has more vowel sounds than Sindarin. For example, the Quenya word for “river” (ara) is pronounced with a long “a” sound, while the Sindarin word for “river” (eder) is pronounced with a shorter “e” sound. Moreover, Quenya words are typically accented on the first syllable, while Sindarin words can be accented on any syllable.

Writing Systems

Finally, there are differences between the Quenya and Sindarin writing systems. Quenya uses the Tengwar, while Sindarin uses the Cyrillic alphabet. The Tengwar is a phonetic alphabet, meaning that each character represents a sound, while the Cyrillic alphabet is an alphabet, meaning that each character represents a letter.


Whether you’re a casual Lord of the Rings fan or a hardcore Tolkien nerd, hopefully, this article helped you understand some of the key differences between Quenya and Sindarin – two of the most beautiful languages ever created! We hope this blog was helpful for you!



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