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Tengwar Charts for Quenya:

Below is a table containing the Tengwar letters and their Quenya values:

Primary Letters:

Additional Letters:

Note:
1)Technically, anna does not have the value y when used in the Quenya mode; y is represented by anna + "following-y" tehta (or ). Anna is not used by itself in the published Quenya texts.
2)Although this letter is part of the standard set of additional letters, it is not used for writing Quenya language texts.
3)The long and short carriers are silent letters. They are used in conjunction with vowel symbols.


Below is a table containing the Tehtar symbols and their Quenya values:

Note:
1)In Quenya, the a sound occurs so frequently, that it's symbol (three dots) is often simplified (to look like a circumflex) or if no confusion would occur, eliminated altogether.
2)All of the published Quenya Tengwar inscriptions by Tolkien have used the acute accent mark for the e sound and the single dot for the i sound, but Tolkien also stated that the reverse could be equally valid.
3)Long vowels have the same sound as short vowels, the only difference is the duration of the sound. For example: the short u is as the u in brute, while the long u is as the uu in cool (English pronunciation).


Writing Quenya with Tengwar:

Writing Quenya with Tengwar is relativity easy, just remember that Tengwar is a phonetic alphabet. Words are written exactly as they are spoken. Typically the Tengwar (consonant letters) are written first, then the Tehtar (vowel symbols) are written above the appropriate consonant. In Quenya, and other languages that end most words with vowels, the Tehta is placed above the previous Tengwar letter. To read Quenya/Tengwar script you would read each Tengwar letter, then the Tehtar vowel symbol above it (in an upward motion), before going on to the next Tengwar/Tehtar letter combination. For example:

If a word starts with a vowel sound (and there is no previous consonant letter in the word) then a "Carrier" symbol can be used. Carrier symbols do not represent a sound, but rather provide a symbol for vowel marks to be placed upon. There are two different standard Carrier symbols; the "Short Carrier" and the "Long Carrier". The Short Carrier looks like the undotted letter "i". The Long Carrier looks like the undotted letter "j". The Long Carrier is used with "long" vowel sounds. If two or more vowel sounds appear consecutively in a word, the Carrier symbol should be used when there is no consonant in the appropriate location. For example:

Normally, "short" vowels are represented by a single Tehtar symbol above a Tengwar or Carrier symbol. But "long" vowels can be represented several different ways; long vowels can be written as two Tehtar above a single Tengwa, two Tehtar above a single Short Carrier symbol, two Tehtar above two Short Carrier symbols, or one Tehta above a single Long Carrier symbol (preferred); as shown below:


There are no examples in the books: "The Hobbit" or the "Lord of the Rings" of Quenya written with Tengwar letters. But early in the book "The Fellowship of the Ring" Frodo uses a Quenya phrase to greet Gildor the elf:

This phrase could be transcribed as:

Notice that in the word "lúmenn'", the under-bar/tilde which is used for the long (or double) "n" consonant sound.

Sources:

"The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien
Volume I, "The Fellowship of the Ring"
Houghton-Mifflin
ISBN 0-395-27223-8

"The Lord of the Rings" by J. R. R. Tolkien
Volume III, "The Return of the King", Appendix E
Houghton-Mifflin
ISBN 0-395-27221-1


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Last updated: November 2, 1999
Copyright © 1995-1999 Daniel Steven Smith
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