It is that time of year again – time for the next Hobbit movie, a chance to escape back into the magical world of Middle Earth.
The first Hobbit film was too long, but it was also the first film I saw with both Finnish and Swedish subtitles, which provided a fun linguistic challenge. Especially when they were speaking Elvish.
Tolkien invented so many languages for his world, and the scripts to go with them; you can find them on this great website. For Tolkien, the languages drove the stories, rather than the other way round. Anglo-Saxon runes were the basis for writing Cirith, the language mainly used by dwarves. Tibetan script was the inspiration for the elf language Tengwar, though the language itself has two branches based on Finnish and Welsh.
This is what my full name looks like in Tengwar script (English letters transliterated):
You can do your own in Tengwar or Cirith with this wonderful online Rune Generator.
And if you’ve got the energy, you can transliterate this chat between an elf and a dwarf back to English: