"As you wish"

Octoburn

Active Member
My wife and I have been aiming to get matching tattoos at some point. We batted around a lot of ideas, but eventually we combined two of our loves to have "as you wish" (from the Princess Bride) in elvish (I'm leaning towards Sindarin).

I did find someone has already asked this in a couple of places, but decided to ask here before actually taking the leap.

What is the proper form of the phrase in Sindarin? If we do it in Sindarin, should we use more elvish script, or Daeron's runes?

Opinions and suggestions welcome!

(This was the one place I found it answered; but I am skeptical of trusting a single source:
https://www.reddit.com/r/sindarin/comments/gz9b7v )
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Like all such questions, there is likely more than one correct answer. I will attempt my own translation without looking at the one you found, so you will have something to compare it to.

I'll start with the verb. I would consider the meaning of "wish" here to be 'desire,' and there is a well-known attested Sindarin verb for desire. It appears in the King's letter (Aragorn wrote a greeting to Sam and his family that Tolkien gives us in Sindarin).

So, wish = desire = aníra-

Next, the pronoun. 'You' here is both singular and familiar. It is the subject of the verb. So, you would use -g as the ending on the verb to express this.

Anírag = you desire

Now how to add 'like/as' to this? Celeb = silver, and Celebrin = like silver...but that's for a noun, not a verb. Quenya has ve, meaning 'as, like'...and it is possible Sindarin has the same as be. (Also based on the King's Letter)

Be Anírag = As you desire

We do not need to worry about mutation, because the verb begins with a vowel.

That's what I come up with, anyway. Now, to go check your source....

Edit: I suppose I should list my sources...

Sindarin verb for "desire": https://eldamo.org/content/words/word-549462809.html
Sindarin pronouns: https://www.elvish.org/gwaith/ce_pronouns.htm#sindarin
Sindarin grammar (including mutation rules): https://folk.uib.no/hnohf/sindarin.htm
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, so, I was initially puzzled by that response. Veri is Quenya for wife. So not Sindarin and not a verb. But of course there is a soft mutation here, so the word (before the be got involved) was really beri or meri. I assume it's meri, since mer- in Quenya is wish/desire. I am not familiar with that Sindarin verb, so I can't tell you the source or meaning of it, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. It looks like it is derived from the root: ᴹ√MER “wish (for), want, desire”. I am a bit puzzled why someone would use a form derived from the primitive roots and adapted into Sindarin, when Tolkien gave us a word in Lord of the Rings-style Sindarin that fits? I must be missing something.

Also, I will note that the reddit response uses the same endings in the link I gave above to express 'you' - but with different meanings! I would have gone with '-ch' myself if I didn't check that chart.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Okay, I am still confused by the pronoun situation. My first inclination (based on Ardalambion) was to go with '-ch' ending to indicate familiar singular you in the nominative case. Then, I checked the site linked above, which seems to indicate that should use the '-g' ending, and changed my answer. But, this was put together by the same person, and again indicates '-ch'! (Isn't learning Sindarin fun?)


So, uh?

Can I switch my answer to

Be Anírach

?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
As to how to write that out...again, you will have options!

So, assuming you choose 'Be Anírach' (you don't have to), you could then decide how to write it out.

Tengwar, for Sindarin, in Classic Mode, would look something like this:

1656638225178.png

Tengwar for Sindarin in the Mode of Beleriand would look like this. You'll note that the vowels each get their own letter in this mode, and this was specifically developed for writing Sindarin (probably by the Noldor in Beleriand in the First Age).

1656639357864.png


If you want to go with Runes, there are different styles of Cirth as well.

The 'original' or oldest version is Daeron's Runes (Angerthas Daeron). Based on the neat correlation between this system and Tengwar, it was likely developed after the introduction of Tengwar to Middle-earth. But it was (of course) invented by Daeron of Doriath, so it was first used to write Sindarin.

1656640067741.png

Angerthas Moria was developed by the Dwarves in the Second Age. Here's the sample text in that style - only minor changes in some values. Angerthas Erebor, from the Third Age, would not show any differences with this sample (probably - you could knock the middle bar off the n).

1656640472166.png


So, basically, when choosing which writing system to use, the idea is to pick a style that looks nicest, because this is the artwork you will be looking at. On that note, you will want to use a real font to show your tattoo artist, not what I managed to scratch out with my finger on a touchpad in Microsoft Paint! These samples are to give you an idea only.

Resources:
Cirth: http://fan.theonering.net/~rolozo/tengwar/cirth/
Tengwar: http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_beleriand.htm
 
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Gilruin

New Member
@MithLuin I’m a bit late to the party, but I would like to clarify the -ch/-g pronoun situation:

The subject ending for informal singular you is -g, e. g. in PE17/132 Tolkien lists cerig, galog as the 2nd person singular forms for car-, gala-. Ryszard Derdzinski wrote his Sindarin grammar in 2002, when -g as a suffix wasn’t known yet. The assumption that -ch is “you” was based on the Túrin wrapper’s untranslated ar·phent Rían Tuor·na: man agorech? *“And Rían said to Tuor: What have we done”, where the assumption at the time was *“What have you done?” (VT50 published the Túrin wrapper with an analysis of pronominal forms in 2013, but the phrase was known earlier, leaked by David Salo). For an analysis of pronoun forms current with the publications, take a look at Eldamo‘s grammar articles.

At least if you subscribe to the common theories, this should be anírog, A-verbs swap their -a to -o- before -n, -g, -l, -f, -ð. This happens because they used to end in long ā which developed to o/ó in Sindarin normally, but before a consonant cluster like -kk > -ch or -kw > -b the ā would have shortened and remain a.

Tengwar, for Sindarin, in Classic Mode, would look something like this:
The Classical Mode is exclusively attested for Quenya, I assume you mean the General Mode. With that ch would be written with hwesta instead of harma/aha, since the entire k-series uses the quessetéma in this mode.
In the Angerthas Daeron you missed the long í in aníron and picked the wrong ch: in the Cirth table in AppE Tolkien uses a somewhat unusual writing convention, ch is meant to represent the first sound of English church, whereas the sound of Scottisch loch/German Bach/Sindarin ch is indicated by kh, which, even more confusingly is not the same thing as Khuzdul . Here you want the second variant, cirth #20.
Writing Sindarin in the Angerthas Moria or Erebor doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea to me from a lore perspective, but I suppose it’s possible.

Now of course I don’t know why Elaran prefers *mer- over aníra- here, but I have a guess: a common theory for the etymology of aníra- is that it contains some base form *íra- “to desire” from √IR prefixed with an “to, for”, creating the transitive “to desire something”. I assume that since there is no explicit object stated here he wanted to play it safe by choosing an intransitive verb (though I‘m not sure if I agree, this seems to be a construction that can take transitive verbs as well, “as you wish” is implicitly something like “as you wish it to be”?).
 
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