Tolkien Translations
J.R.R. Tolkien.

OK, I confess: not only am I a dodgy sometime medievalist, but I'm a Tolkien fan as well. But rather than unleash yet another collection of links, movie trivia, and dogmatic rants about Balrog's wings, I'll make only a couple of strange and esoteric linguistic offerings ....

First up, there's a translation of the last two paragraphs from the "The Siege of Gondor" in Middle English. But not just any Middle English! I've attempted to use the Middle English of Ancrene Wisse. Tolkien had a particular interest in the dialect of Middle English used in Ancrene Wisse, and produced an edition of the text for the Early English Text Society (Ancrene Wisse: MS. Corpus Christi College Cambridge 402, Early English Text Society 249, London/New York/Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962). I kind of wondered what Tolkien's prose would look like when translated into this dialect, so I picked a favorite paragraph to try a translation.

The other piece offered here is an online electronic edition of a recently discovered :) Old English manuscript that appears to contain a version of the well-known "Ring Verse" in Old English. And not just any Old English! ;) The text (perhaps 10th-century :) seems to be using a dialect of Old English similar to the Merican dialect of the Vespasian Psalter. Moreover, the text is not just a straight prose translation of the original "Black Speech" verse, but rather an adaptation into Old English alliterative vers. Very exciting :)

Alan Stanier has a web page listing translations of Tolkien's work. I've got El Hobbit and El Señor de los Anillos myself :)

Disclaimer!The rights to Tolkien's writings are held by HarperCollins in the UK and Houghton Mifflin in the US. I hope the short passages quoted and adapted on these pages may fall into the category of "Fair Use", though I but I dare to think ol' J.R.R. would have been delighted by the spirit of these pieces (if not by my clumsy use of Old and Middle English!).