The following sample words offer a rough example of what the correct Elvish pronunciations should sound like. They help eliminate the most basic mistakes made by English speakers, such as pronouncing ‘Oromë’ as ‘oh-row-mea’, ‘Aulë’ as ‘all-lay’, or Númenor as ‘New-menor’. Especially with the vowels, however, the proper Elvish sound differs somewhat from that in the sample words below; it is usually more precise and well-formed, never reduced as in English. For the precise Elvish pronunciation, please see either the CoE pronunciation guides for Elvish, or another reliable source with more detailed information on the sounds.


A – as in ‘run’ [in the SSG usually marked ‘ah’]
Á – as in ‘card’ [in the SSG usually marked ‘aa’]
 – held somewhat longer than Á (never as in ‘ale’)

E – as in ‘set’ [in the SSG usually marked ‘eh’]
É – as in ‘there’
final Ë – always pronounced; as in ‘set’ (never as in ‘café’); like E above in sound- the diaeresis merely marks it’s not silent.

I – as in ‘sin’ [in the SSG sometimes marked ‘ih’ to avoid pronouncing the I as in the pronoun ‘I’]
Í – as in ‘machine’
Î – held somewhat longer than Í (never as in the pronoun ‘I’)

O – as in ‘dot’ (in Oxford pronunciation)
Ó – as in ‘lord’
Ô – held somewhat longer than Ó (never as in ‘go’)

U – as in ‘bull’ [in the SSG usually marked ‘oo’ to avoid pronouncing the U as the one in ‘up’]
Ú – as in ‘mood’
Û – held somewhat longer than Ú; as in ‘nazgûl’ (never as ‘you’)

note: the use of diaeresis (¨) in one of the pair merely marks its reading as separate vowel, and disyllabicity of the combination.

AI – as ‘eye’
AE – can be pronounced as ‘AI’ above
AU – as in ‘town’

EI – as in ‘grey’
EA/EÄ/ËA – both vowels pronounced: eh-ah (never as in ‘fear’, ‘dead’, or ‘bear’)
EO/EÖ/ËO – both vowels pronounced: eh-oh, as in ‘Éowyn’ (never as in ‘Leo’ or ‘leopard’)

note: for initial IA, IE, IO, see Consonants.
IA/ÍA – both vowels pronounced: ih-ah, as in ‘see art’ (never as in ‘dial’)
IE/IË – both vowels pronounced: ih-eh, as in ‘she-elf’ (never as in ‘friend’ or ‘fiery’)
IO – both vowels pronounced: ih-oh, as in ‘be off’ (never as in ‘riot’)

OI – as in ‘boy’
OE – can be pronounced as ‘OI’ above

UA – as in ‘drew art’ (never beginning as in ‘you’)
UI – as in ‘ruin’
UO – as in ‘shoo off’ (never beginning as in ‘you’)


C – as in ‘calm’ (never as in ‘cell’)
G – as in ‘get’ (never as in ‘gentle’)
H – as in ‘house’, except for HY (see HY) and a few other combinations.
I (in initial IA-, IE-, IO-) – as in ‘yard’ (IA), ‘yes’ (IE), ‘your’ (IO)
R – trilled in all positions as in Spanish.
S – as in ‘sell’, never the ‘z’ sound as in ‘is all’.
CH – as in the Scottish ‘loch’ (never as in ‘church’)
DH – as in ‘then’
HY – as in ‘hew’ (never as in ‘hyena’)
TH – as in ‘thin’
PH – read as F
NG – as in ‘finger’ except in final position where it’s as in ‘sing’.

(taken from the Sindarin workbook here on CoE)

– In a word with two syllables, stress always falls on the first syllable.

– In longer words, it falls on the second to last syllable when the second to last syllable contains a long vowel, a diphthong, or a vowel followed by two (or more) consonants.

– When the second to last syllable contains a short vowel followed by only one (or no) consonant, the stress falls on the syllable before it, the third from the last.

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