A translation service for an imaginary language!

A translation service for an imaginary language!

Today, new technologies allow us to access to translation service of imaginary languages, such as those invented by the great writer Tolkien.

Do you tend to hear about technical translation? Or financial translation? Well, today, we will dive into the world of imagination. You might be surprised to hear that the most popular search engine in Russia, Yandex, has just launched its online translator of Elvish. And yes, the sky’s the limit as far as fans are concerned!  This free online translation service explained that the initiative had was launched as a tribute to the great J.R.R. Tolkien, in order to commemorate the 124th anniversary of his birth on January 3, 1892.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the father of the Elvish languages

Tolkien was a British author who achieved international renown thanks to his saga The Lord of the Rings, preceded by The Hobbit. A professor of English and writer, he is today considered the father of the fantasy novel, as he introduced children and adults into an extraordinary world of dreams and adventures. He began to craft the three-volume epic adventures of Frodo the Hobbit in 1954, primarily for his grandchildren to enjoy. For this work, he invented not only several languages but also a script called Tengwar.

A translation service to help people speak Sindarin

One of the imaginary languages invented by Tolkien is called Sindarin and it has long fascinated linguists and philosophers alike. Yandex researched Elvish manuscripts in order to lead the most committed fans of this saga into the heart of the imaginary world of Frodo and his diminutive companions. Thanks to the online translator, we now have the opportunity to translate Sindarin into Russian and vice versa, a first in the world of translation!

Jonathan Ronald Reuel Tolkien created many other languages, although Sindarin and Quenya are the most successful, and interestingly, both are based on animal sounds. He also drew inspiration from Finnish, Welsh and Old Norse to create his own languages.

Translating an imaginary language online is quite an art!

Translation from Sindarin was a major challenge for the free online translation service, which undertook highly detailed work in collaboration with professional translators. The company reports that it had to hire “people who speak Sindarin fluently” with extensive language skills. Long hours of reflection about this kind of technical translation finally produced a positive result: now, thousands of fans use it to translate words in order to improve their Sindarin.

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This article has been written by Sarah

Sarah has learned languages all around the world, travelling to Africa and Australia as well as Latin American countries. She has a Bachelor’s degree in communication and joined the Cultures Connection team after a gaining experience with an Argentine tourism company.