Quenya was the language of the Eldar of Valinor, presumably the closest language to that spoken in Cuiviénen by the first Quendi or Elves.

In the West, the Quenya of the Teleri on Tol Eressëa developed into a different dialect from that of the Noldor and Vanyar on the mainland of Aman.

In mortal lands, Quenya was spoken by the Noldorin exiles and underwent several minor changes. But its change was slowed when, as the language of Kinslayers, it was banned by Thingol, and Quenya became a language of lore, loved by the Noldor, the Edain who knew it, and the Ents, but not used in public.

It remained a language of lore among the Dúnedain, and in later ages its use was a sign of respect and friendship for the Eldar.

Quenya was a beautiful language, its liquid syllables suited to songs and poetry. It is also called the Ancient Speech, the Ancient Tongue, the High Speech of the West, Eldarin, High-elven, High Eldarin and Valinorean.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by tarkena