S03E04 Script Discussion

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
My way to take it would be: Magic!

What Ibn Fadlan is doing in some months, Mablung achieves in a few minutes by conjecture of similar sounding words and maybe bits of telepathy. We could use subtitles to show how both parties comunicate with the other side and among themselves...

it would be fun if each side suspects the other side to be orcs...

rukhs is khuzdul
urku/urkō is OPrimitive elvish
Urc Nandorin, Orch Sindarin...

we could play with that... Norn could adress Beleg or Mablung and say something like "Urc" and they would speak with their company in a way like " These creatures speak a tongue alien to us but similar to how we spoke once... in the times of the great wandering"

Norn to other Dwarf: "They seem to be Elves, but of a strange kind. different from those we have met before.. i regocnize few words they speak..."

a few minutes later

Beleg: "I can relate to some words they use. I believe they had some contact with our remote kinsmen east of the mountains of which we knew they had stayed behind but have not heard from for long time.."

a few minutes later Beleg or Mabluing are already able to speak with Norn in an improvised, but effective manner...
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
In Stargate the Movie they also did it in a similar way. Not very believable for an Egyptologist, but maybe credible for elves..
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I am a bit confused here.

Everyone on screen will be speaking English, yes? (Except when the dwarves converse amongst themselves.)

So, what we are offering is a group of dwarves who don't speak English (or know only a few words of English), and one dwarf [Norn] who is able to speak to the elves. He can have a few weirdly archaic words thrown in, or some awkward phrasing, or a heavy accent - all clues to the audience that he's not a native speaker.



I know the Sindar speak Sindarin and the Nandor speak Nandorin. But we aren't writing our script in Sindarin, and are saving that for place names and key phrases and moments when there is a communication barrier on screen.

There *should* be a communication barrier of some sort, here, but Norn is meant to smooth that over. The idea that Norn will look like an idiot if he can't speak well is a valid concern, so I think we should work hard to avoid any serious faux-pas on his part. The other issue is that anything he says 'wrong' will be viewed as a mistake, not him speaking another slightly different elvish language. Do we have any particular examples of a word that is different in Nandorin than in Sindarin? That might help this conversation.

So, for example, if the trees around them are elm trees, the Nandorin word is 'alm'. The Sindarin word is 'lalf'.

Nandorin: alm Sindarin: lalf (elm)
Nandorin: cogn Sindarin: cu (bow)
Nandorin: galad Sindarin: galadh (tree)

We don't know much Nandorin/Silvan, so it's mostly a matter of conjecture as to how similar it would be to Sindarin, anyway. Sindarin's unique lenition rules are probably not duplicated in Nandorin, so the languages would maybe sound more different than they are. We're not going to hear Silvan again until the Second Age stories, so it's not like we're trying to teach the audience how to understand what is happening here.


One issue is that when you speak a foreign language, unless you are *very* fluent, your thoughts lose their nuance. So you say things very bluntly or awkwardly, because you don't know the details of what is implied by your word choice. How your listeners take to this depends largely on culture. If your speech is *very* bad, you will either be teased, or ignored, or smiled at like a fumbling child. My Spanish is not good enough to have a serious conversation about world politics, but it *is* good enough to play with a two year old. ("Where is it?" *hides toy* *child finds the toy* "There it is!") And yet, the people of southern Spain routinely told me how wonderful my Spanish was and that I should keep trying. Their culture is very encouraging, and not overly judgmental. I have not spent any time in France, but I am under the impression that if I were to try my badly accented French there, I would be replied to in English, with a clear, 'Please don't butcher our language like that' undertone. While I would probably feel the knee-jerk inclination to claim 'not all Americans!', it's true that most Americans are not accustomed to having to deal with foreign English speakers, so they often complain that they cannot understand someone because of the heavy accent...even if the person is speaking very good English.

So, we do have to decide how the Sindar will react to a dwarf who (mostly) speaks their language. Are they delighted to find that he knows how to speak to them and that they can (for the most part) understand him? Or are they repulsed that he is speaking their language with a harsh/unlovely accent? Or are they just completely baffled/puzzled? We'll have to show that reaction as part of the cultural exchange in this story.

But also consider the scene in Out of the Silent Planet when Ransom tries to serve a 'translator' for his travelling companion (it would be inaccurate to call them friends - he was kidnapped and stuck on a spaceship by this guy). They're on Mars, a land with several different species of intelligent life and no Fall, so there's a huge cultural gap. But the issue is that when Ransom 'translates' the speech, the bad intentions of his companion are much more obvious and manifest than when he was simply speaking in English.

Norn's command of elvish (and thus of English) shouldn't be perfect. But any differences we include to account for the 'Nandorin' side of things will simply suggest to the audience that Norn is bad at speaking, not that he is speaking yet-another-language fluently. That is how it will read on screen in the absence of explanation, and so explaining it would take some time and be a bit awkward as we have not seen the Nandor since they were part of the Sindar. Meaning, even if he establishes that he learned the language from the Nandor, we (and the Sindar) won't realize that the Nandor are speaking a different language.


As for the Spanish/Portuguese thing, I can point out that Pope John Paul II spoke Spanish, but not Portuguese. For his trip to Brazil, he wanted to give all of his homilies in Portuguese, so he decided to learn the language so he could do so. It took him four weeks to learn enough Portuguese to deliver speeches in it.

Four weeks.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
David Salo HAS developed neo-Nandorin , based on JRRTs few Nandorin words and Ilkorin. One COULD use that language and subtitles...
or just not use subtitles.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
David Salo HAS developed neo-Nandorin , based on JRRTs few Nandorin words and Ilkorin. One COULD use that language and subtitles...
or just not use subtitles.
The problem being that Nandorin does not sound like a language an English speaker could figure out. Since Mablung will be speaking English, it doesn't work.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
That doesn't solve the problem. If Mablung is speaking English, how is he at all parsing a language which sounds nothing like English, and is obviously unrelated?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, we need a way for the dwarves and the elves of Beleriand to communicate.

We know that the dwarves are not going to teach their language to an outsider.

Therefore, the dwarves must learn the language of the elves of Beleriand.

For that reason, in this episode, we require that Norn, our translator dwarf, be capable of speaking Sindarin. He will need to serve as the translator for Azaghal, king of Belegost, in the negotiations with Thingol, and then he will need to travel to Doriath as an ambassador. What is up for debate is his backstory of how he learned Sindarin. We can make him fluent in Nandorin and Sindarin, but we *cannot* have his meeting with Mablung be the first time he has ever encountered Sindarin. The plot does not really have time for him to learn that language here and now.


Of course, we require that the dwarves learn Sindarin, without the Sindar learning of the dwarves. So, how did Norn come by his knowledge of their language? That is the question. Since we will soon be re-introducing the Green Elves, it is desirable to tease their existence just over the mountains in this episode. However, if another explanation of how he could have learned this is possible, then we don't need him to have learned from them. We know that Eöl, who is one of the Avari, is currently studying with the dwarves at Mount Dolmed. We also will show Eöl in Doriath with Thingol's people. And so, there is some transfer there. Maybe some other elf of the Sindar has joined the dwarves for some reason (safety?) and not returned to Doriath to tell the other elves of what they have seen. So, maybe Norn has met another elf prior to Mablung, and is happy to be able to speak with this new elf after having already spent years learning Sindarin.


We have no need to introduce the language of the Nandor in this episode. What we need is for Norn to be fluent in Sindarin. In other words, we need to write dialogue where Mablung and Norn discuss things in English on screen in a way that makes sense. The only subtitled/foreign language should be the dwarvish talk-amongst-themselves scene. There can be nuance and detail and misunderstandings that further the story of the cultural exchange of two different peoples meeting for the first time. For instance, Norn could first try to speak Nandorin to the elves, and they recognize a word and repeat it back to him, prompting him to switch to Sindarin. That is tricky to pull of when they're speaking English rather than Sindarin, but there should be a way to work a nod to Nandorin into this scene in some way, if we want to.

But if we don't like Norn knowing Sindarin because of the Green Elves, then we need to think of another way for him to learn Sindarin, not work out how this dwarf who knows Nandorin will now learn Sindarin five minutes after meeting the Sindar.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
It sounds like we're really talking past each other. You're looking for some pretty deep details to be in the outlines that would honestly be more the realm of a dialect coach. Also, I think you are seeing our original version as too simple, while I'm seeing yours as too complicated, when in fact they aren't really all that different.

I, of course, understand that Portuguese and Spanish are not different dialects of the same language. But I do know native speakers of both who have been able to converse with each other without the same level of difficulty as say, a French speaker and a Spanish speaker. The tricky thing is that our actors are speaking English, which has no such analogue. The Scotsman and the Cajun are pretty much the closest approximation I can think of, except our elves are speaking a relatively normal dialect. I'm ok with having Norn speak a heavily accented English, possibly with some Old or Middle English pronunciations (still recognizable to the audience, at least through context). Throwing in Sindarin words would be weird, because than we have our dwarf speaking more elvish than the elves. This is just something that would have to be done very, very carefully, or it is going to seem odd or foolish. I would likely leave specific choices of how to handle the matter up to dialect coaches and the director, rather than trying to figure it out completely here.
I only wrote the details of how it would sound on-screen, because I though that was what you were asking me for. I'm also trying to use extra detail to avoid any misunderstanding. I agree that the outline itself will contain a less detailed description.

I have tried to base everything I wrote on what has been discussed on the Season 0 and 1 podcasts and discussions, and on the compromise that you, Haerangil, and Brian Dimmick suggested here on this thread. I have strived to write only things that were discussed and suggested by other people about language and not to go against those compromises in any way. I am really trying as hard as I can to compromise. I have reduced Nandorin to a mere dialect almost identical to Sindarin, represented on screen by an only slightly archaic dialect of English which will present almost no difficulty to the audience. I wasn't thinking they'd use Sindarin words, I suggested using the very same type of archaic English dialogue which Tolkien himself used in several of his writings. When Tolkien uses archaic English, it does not make him (the narrator or poet), nor the characters who speak that way, look stupid or ignorant. It makes them look archaic.

I am trying as hard as I can to compromise, and answer all of your requests and questions. But it seems like no compromise I suggest is acceptable, even when I comply with your requests. I am getting frustrated.

I still do not think that asking (and offering) to compromise is unreasonable. I do not understand your responses.


one of the dark-haired dwarven guards answers back in accented Sindarin.
Mablung is curious how Norn learned his language.
These are the phrases that give me such very great difficulty and extreme discomfort. They go too far for me. These particular phrases, these strong statements that explicitly say that the Nandor speak Sindarin itself, instead of Nandorin. I am willing to compromise with scripting Nandorin as a dialect barely different from Doriathrin Sindarin, that Mablung can learn in just a couple of days at most, despite my significant discomfort with that. That is the compromise, suggested by you and Haerangil on page 1, which I have accepted and consistently tried very hard to respect and adhere to. But the above explicit statements, posted first by MithLuin and then restated by you, are not a compromise from my point of view. The way it looks to me, explicitly stating that the Nandor and Sindar speak identical languages simply ignores my concerns, and is not "similar" to anything I have suggested. I do think my concerns are legitimate and valid, especially on a matter so important to Tolkien himself.


We spent several hours working this out, and there have been other discussions related to the language problem over the past couple of years.
I do know this because I watched those Season 0 and 1 podcasts and read those discussions some time ago. Perhaps I missed something (I often do!) but as far as I could tell, I didn't hear or read a Final Decision from the Hosts that all Elves have to speak Sindarin as their native language, that Nandorin (and/or Quenya) do not exist and are banned from SilmFilm. On the contrary, several Noldorin and Vanyarin and Ainu characters have been given Quenya names in the script outlines for Seasons 1 and 2. Olwe and Elwe are basically Quenya in form as well, not Sindarin. To me, that meant that it is acceptable to the Hosts to acknowledge the existence of Quenya. I also know that in Season 2, the Nandor were shown leaving the Great March before the Sindar came to Doriath, before the Sindar and Teleri separated from one another, and that the Nandor did not come from Doriath and are not a group of Sindar in SilmFilm. Denethor is a Nandorin name, not a Sindarin name. So it does not appear to me that it violates Professor Olson's Final Decisions to acknowledge the mere existence of Nandorin and the Nandor people, in some form.

Nick, I do care what you say and think, and respect your opinion, and care what the Hosts say and think. When I try to guess what you are thinking and ask, "am I interpreting correctly?" that is because I want to understand you and avoid misunderstanding. Asking you what you think is never intended as bullying. I did get frustrated that my attempts to politely request clarification were not answered, but I was not and am not trying to bully you when I ask for clarification or point out and ask about a post in which you seemed to express a willingness to compromise. My request to compromise is not intended as bullying. I think requesting a compromise is reasonable.

My way to take it would be: Magic!
I appreciate the suggestion. Telepathy is what Finrod uses, and even for him it is not instantaneous in Star Trek style. Finrod was absolutely unique in his ability to use telepathy that well. I am also concerned that explaining the existence of telepathy in this episode seems likely to "hijack" the episode in the way Nick is opposed to.


That is how it will read on screen in the absence of explanation, and so explaining it would take some time and be a bit awkward as we have not seen the Nandor since they were part of the Sindar. Meaning, even if he establishes that he learned the language from the Nandor, we (and the Sindar) won't realize that the Nandor are speaking a different language.
I suggested a solution to this problem, but I have not seen any response to my suggestion, except rejection without an explanation of why it's so bad.

I suggested that instead of asking "How do you speak Sindarin, my own language?", Mablung would ask "How do you speak an Elvish language, so similar to my own?" and Norn would not reply "I met the Sindar east of the Mountains", he would instead say "I met some Elves east of the Mountains". This would not take up any more space or time than the conversation which MithLuin originally put in the outline. It is the same number of sentences.

I believe that there is plenty of time after this episode, before the Menegroth episode -- which are separated by a large, undescribed, and unmeasured space of time -- for Norn to learn Sindarin itself in the court of Thingol, off-screen. Furthermore, allowing Thingol to learn Nandorin now will make it easier for him to talk to Denethor when they meet. I think that is a plus which is worth considering.

I beg that somebody would please reply to my suggestions. I beg for somebody to please tell me why replacing the word "Sindarin" with "an Elvish language similar to Sindarin" and letting Norn learn Sindarin later off-screen would ruin the episode and/or the season. If all of my suggested compromises are so awful, even though they are based directly on a compromise that Nick suggested, I request that somebody please tell me why all my suggestions are all so bad. I think that it would be courteous.


I am just unable to believe, if the Nandor are literally 100% identical to the Sindar, that they are not already Thingol's subjects and in regular communication with him. I cannot imagine how, despite having a close relationship with the Ents and not with Melian or Osse or the sea, they somehow have a 100% identical culture and language with no differences at all from Doriathrin Sindar. Not even the Falathrim are 100% identical to the Doriathrim in SilmFilm, yet in this outline the Nandor, who separated from the Sindar millennia ago and have never again spoken to them, developed a 100% identical language and culture despite living in different circumstances in isolation. This goes against what I learned as an anthropologist. Also, when separate cultures who separated millennia ago reunite, if they all speak the same language, adult viewers will ask why. "Everyone in the world speaks the same language" does work in children's media like Narnia and Digimon. But I thought SilmFilm was intended for adult viewers.

This makes me concerned for what you all would want to do when the Noldor and Sindar meet, and later when the Noldor meet the Edain and later the Easterlings.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I only wrote the details of how it would sound on-screen, because I though that was what you were asking me for. I'm also trying to use extra detail to avoid any misunderstanding. I agree that the outline itself will contain a less detailed description.

I have tried to base everything I wrote on what has been discussed on the Season 0 and 1 podcasts and discussions, and on the compromise that you, Haerangil, and Brian Dimmick suggested here on this thread. I have strived to write only things that were discussed and suggested by other people about language and not to go against those compromises in any way. I am really trying as hard as I can to compromise. I have reduced Nandorin to a mere dialect almost identical to Sindarin, represented on screen by an only slightly archaic dialect of English which will present almost no difficulty to the audience. I wasn't thinking they'd use Sindarin words, I suggested using the very same type of archaic English dialogue which Tolkien himself used in several of his writings. When Tolkien uses archaic English, it does not make him (the narrator or poet), nor the characters who speak that way, look stupid or ignorant. It makes them look archaic.

I am trying as hard as I can to compromise, and answer all of your requests and questions. But it seems like no compromise I suggest is acceptable, even when I comply with your requests. I am getting frustrated.

I still do not think that asking (and offering) to compromise is unreasonable. I do not understand your responses.
I am not suggesting in any way that the more detailed description you gave is what you wanted to have in the outline. I'm specifically referring to the original edits you made to the outline. I'm not rejecting compromise in any way, and I'd appreciate it if you would stop making such an obviously untrue accusation. I went even farther than saying that Norn use the archaic language Tolkien uses by suggesting he use some Middle or Old English pronunciations in the very quote you pulled.

These are the phrases that give me such very great difficulty and extreme discomfort. They go too far for me. These particular phrases, these strong statements that explicitly say that the Nandor speak Sindarin itself, instead of Nandorin. I am willing to compromise with scripting Nandorin as a dialect barely different from Doriathrin Sindarin, that Mablung can learn in just a couple of days at most, despite my significant discomfort with that. That is the compromise, suggested by you and Haerangil on page 1, which I have accepted and consistently tried very hard to respect and adhere to. But the above explicit statements, posted first by MithLuin and then restated by you, are not a compromise from my point of view. The way it looks to me, explicitly stating that the Nandor and Sindar speak identical languages simply ignores my concerns, and is not "similar" to anything I have suggested. I do think my concerns are legitimate and valid, especially on a matter so important to Tolkien himself.
The second quote you posted here is not even from my post at all. As you can see, my post remains unedited. I can change the "Sindarin" in the first quote to "Elvish" to be more accurate if that will make you more comfortable. (You'll notice that I did something similar in the second line. This what I mean when I say that any suggestion that I am unwilling to compromise is demonstrably untrue.)

I do know this because I watched those Season 0 and 1 podcasts and read those discussions some time ago. As far as I could tell, I didn't hear or read a Final Decision from the Hosts that all Elves have to speak Sindarin as their native language, that Nandorin (and/or Quenya) do not exist and their existence is banned from SilmFilm.
No one has said this. Please refrain from trying to re-frame my argument as something it is not.

Nick, I do care what you say and think, and respect your opinion, and care what the Hosts say and think. When I try to guess what you are thinking and ask, "am I interpreting correctly?" that is because I want to understand you and avoid misunderstanding. Asking you what you think is never intended as bullying. I did get frustrated that my attempts to politely request clarification were not answered, but I was not and am not trying to bully you when I ask for clarification or point out and ask about a post in which you seemed to express a willingness to compromise. My request to compromise is not intended as bullying. I think requesting a compromise is reasonable.
When you make accusations of bad faith because someone disagrees with you and because they do not want to use the measures you want to use, it seems very much like you are trying to cow them into acquiescence. If that is not your intention, I strongly urge you to reconsider this line of argument.

I suggested a solution to this problem, but I have not seen any response to my suggestion, except rejection without an explanation of why it's so bad.
This was directly in response to your suggestion:
I'm ok with having Norn speak a heavily accented English, possibly with some Old or Middle English pronunciations (still recognizable to the audience, at least through context).
I am just unable to believe, if the Nandor are literally 100% identical to the Sindar, that they are not already Thingol's subjects and in regular communication with him. I cannot imagine how, despite having a close relationship with the Ents and not with Melian or Osse or the sea, they somehow have a 100% identical culture and language with no differences at all from Doriathrin Sindar. Not even the Falathrim are 100% identical to the Doriathrim in SilmFilm, yet in this outline the Nandor, who separated from the Sindar millennia ago and have never again spoken to them, developed a 100% identical language and culture despite living in different circumstances in isolation. This goes against what I learned as an anthropologist. Also, when separate cultures who separated millennia ago reunite, if they all speak the same language, adult viewers will ask why. "Everyone in the world speaks the same language" does work in children's media like Narnia and Digimon. But I thought SilmFilm was intended for adult viewers.
No one, at any point, has suggested that the Nandor are "literally 100% identical to the Sindar". This is a completely baseless fabrication. Please refrain from using these as arguments.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
If you have listened to the Hosts discuss the language aspect of this project, then you will realize that they were by no means convinced that they could have Thingol's ban of Quenya work onscreen. Obviously, this is of major concern, and dealing with the Quenya/Sindarin issue will be part of Season 4. The main issue, of course, is that we've shown characters from both cultures speaking in English all along. We can have some other language spoken with subtitles in scenes when we need to, but it will be rather difficult to pull that off in the meeting with the Sindar and the Noldor. We will have to somehow show that we're seeing the scene from the point of view of characters who cannot understand one another. It's going to be tricky, and it's one of the reasons it's imperative that Círdan not make contact with the Noldor in Season 3.

They want to incorporate Tolkien's languages - of course they do. Corey Olsen has lectured on the unique role the Green Elves play in having the history that they do, so that they can have the language that they do, and contribute uniquely to the Tree of Tongues. No one is asking the Green Elves not to be Green Elves, or to lose their uniqueness. We are acknowledging, though, that our script will be almost entirely in English. The names are all elvish, of course, with some desire to keep Quenya and Sindarin in appropriate places (not so strong as to give the characters their Quenya names in Valinor, though, because then you have to rename the entire Noldor host when you reach Middle-earth). I am hoping that we will use some key words and phrases in either Sindarin or Quenya as appropriate - so, greetings, battle cries, lembas, etc. The model that was suggested was Watership Down, with its use of Lapine. That is fairly far from 'write entire conversations in Elvish.' Meaning...

What we are asking for are ways to portray it onscreen that work. You have made your suggestions. There are some objections. One can either double down and fight to the death in defense of those ideas, or suggest alternative methods of achieving the same goal. My suggestion was to eliminate the conceit that Norn had learned the elvish language from the Green Elves at all. He merely needs to mention them; we can make him learn Sindarin from a Grey Elf, if that's preferable. We'd have to invent a character, so it's not ideal, but it's doable. Alternatively, the language of the Green Elves is so similar to Sindarin, that it just works out. I realize there are some objections, given the time periods involved, but of course Mablung knew and spoke with Lenwë back before the split. Tolkien had to posit that elves liked languages so much that they kept changing them and forgot their own native tongues to explain his Tree. We can decide to invest our efforts into teaching the audience about Sindarin and Quenya, and ignore any other languages. There could be Easter eggs in how they are presented (so that they will actually have differences between the Green Elves and the Sindar), but that doesn't mean that we're dedicated to trying to make the audience recognize that.

'Overly complicated' is the clever way in which Harry Potter defeats Voldemort's claim to the Elder Wand in the final book. Namely, that he had disarmed Draco, and Draco had disarmed Dumbledore, and therefore, the Elder Wand was rightfully Harry's even though Snape killed Dumbledore and Voldemort killed Snape, and Draco never touched the Elder Wand. It works, sort of, but it's not very satisfying. Very much rule-mongering based on technicalities that don't (probably) follow through and work with the rest of the story.

We can have as much Elvish language as we can make work on screen. If it seems too overly complicated, it will likely get vetoed. Saying that I speak a language like yours, but not identical to yours, because I learned it from another group of elves who speak a different language, even though they are characters we know who were speaking English on screen the last time we saw them? That's....well, it's a little tricky to sell that. But I also would rather omit an explicit reference to the language of the Green Elves rather than strongly imply that Sindarin is the same as Nandorin. So, now we're back to 'How did Norn learn Sindarin?' as the key question, if we're not going to have him speaking Nandorin.
 
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Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
@Nicholas Palazzo I am very sorry about my previous posts. It seems clear to me that I have misunderstood almost all of what you and MithLuin and Haerangil have said. I wasn't intending to misunderstand or purposely misrepresent you and I am very sorry that I did so. I didn't mean to push my suggestions on anyone. I am sorry that it comes across that way. I will drop all of my suggestions.



My suggestion was to eliminate the conceit that Norn had learned the elvish language from the Green Elves at all. He merely needs to mention them; we can make him learn Sindarin from a Grey Elf, if that's preferable. We'd have to invent a character, so it's not ideal, but it's doable.
Yes, OK, I'm totally open to any of this. Whatever you think will work.


Saying that I speak a language like yours, but not identical to yours, because I learned it from another group of elves who speak a different language, even though they are characters we know who were speaking English on screen the last time we saw them? That's....well, it's a little tricky to sell that.
OK, now I think I understand better your objections to my suggestion. Thank you very much for explaining it again.


But I also would rather omit an explicit reference to the language of the Green Elves rather than strongly imply that Sindarin is the same as Nandorin. So, now we're back to 'How did Norn learn Sindarin?' as the key question, if we're not going to have him speaking Nandorin.
I'm open to any solution you think will work, here and when Denethor meets Thingol. The only thing I was meaning to request is that the Green Elves don't actually speak Sindarin itself, instead of Nandorin. I am fine with any solution you prefer to make the languages not identical.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I do not see any necessity fou us to have Norn be able to underszand Sindarin. I did throw in a lot of possible solutions
and i am still not convinced they won´t work.

We all know how important languages were to JRRT... so we should throw in bits of linguistics here and there and if we won´t use this scene to do that it´s a good oportunity lost!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I mean, sure, we can have Norn speaking Cajun English, and have Mablung have a bit of difficulty understanding him at first. I just don't think the audience will understand that as 'I am speaking Nandorin, a language similar to Sindarin.' We could just do it and not waste too much time explaining it, and then have Denethor's people all have Cajun accents when they show up. That would be an OH! moment of, hey, Norn wasn't speaking Sindarin badly, he was speaking Nandorin all along. Or, at the very least, he was speaking 'like a Green Elf' not 'badly.'

Mablung, who speaks Sindarin, will be speaking in English, and the goal is to get Norn speaking in English as quickly as possible. The other dwarves are allowed to speak dwarvish, but privately.

We are not going to have Norn speaking in proto-Nandorin and then have Mablung just understand him. That is not a solution to our dilemma.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I can understand the frustration with having people disagree with your ideas. I get that it can seem like no one is listening. That is not the case here. Marie and I agree that having two characters speaking languages that are obviously unrelated and understanding each other on some level will appear odd. We also agree that spending time with characters learning each other's language will take time away from the actual plot of the episode. We have both agreed to having the conversation be stilted, and having Norn (and later, the Green-Elves) have some odd pronunciations and accents which can indicate some difficulty understanding them.
 
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