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Guide To Learning Quenya


Ok, I have written this in response to the many emails I seem to be writing about which ways are the easiest to learn Quenya. I hope that this answers some of your questions, if you would still like to ask questions after reading through this short guide, feel free to email me at Right, onto the guide...

Quenya / Sindarin... Whats the Difference?

If you are new to Elvish, you may be wondering about Quenya and Sindarin, and how different they actually are.

Basically, Quenya is the oldest of the 2 tongues, and is used by the high elves of the west (beyond the sea in the west), and is the closest to the oldest tongue.

Sindarin is the newer form of elvish used by the Grey elves of the Middle-Earth. Sindarin is often seen as being slightly more poetic than Quenya, but I have done very little work with Sindarin, so I cannot vouch for that..

How Can I Learn Quenya? / What Resources Are Available?

Well, the first thing to realise, is that learning Sindarin or Quenya is no different to learning any other 'real-world' language. Its not just a few sentences that were written in Tolkiens books, they are actual languages which were developed, and they have their own unique points and writing styles. Still not put off? Good! Well, basically, there are 2 main methods of learning / finding out more about Quenya, and they are the internet and various books.

Quenya on the Internet
I have tried to include a list of all of the Quenya sites that I can find on the internet related to learning the Elvish Tongue. However, there is a surprising lack of links that actually detail the learning of the language, until recently that is. Thanks to Helge Frauskanger, the author of the wonderful Ardalambion Site, there is now a course available online to aid with the learning of the language!

The Course can be found here:

Unfortunately, I have only had chance to view small parts of the course so far. I intend to look at it more deeply a short time in the future. However, I have heard from a few people that this course is very complete, in-depth, and large. I think it focusses slightly less on the vocals of the language, and more on the writing of the language, but again, I am unsure of this.

If this course if not enough for you, then Appleyard wrote a paper on the Language, and this is also a very in-depth and detailed look into the language. I have included a zipped version of the HTML page on my file page, and you can download it directly by clicking here.

I must confess, I think that these are the only major resources for learning Quenya as of yet, but they are definately sufficient, only they are perhaps both a little complex to start with for beginners.

Books About Quenya
I only actually own 1 quenya book. From what I have heard it is the most detailed about the language, and is probably the best book available on Elvish. However, there are some parts of the book that have been superceded by the Silmarillion book, so it may be worth getting hold of a copy of that one too.

Anyway, the Quenya book that I got was called

"An Introduction to Elvish and to Other Tongues and Proper Names and Writing Systems of the Third Age of the Western Lands of Middle-Earth as Set Forth in the Published Writings of Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien " -By Jim Allan.

For more information and reviews, here is a link to the book on Amazon.

Finally, you mustn't forget the usefulness of the Appendices in the Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion. They both contain some very interesting information on Quenya, and are both books that can be used for basic reference as well as for their story.


Well, I hope that this is useful to some of you - if you find any errors in this, or if you have some comments on the resources I have detailed herein, please send me an email at the above address! I am always interested in peoples comments.