Questions and Answers

I get a lot of questions about particular lines of dialogue in The Hobbit films, requests to translate and so forth. I would like to comply, but unfortunately I don’t have a complete script of all the films, or even DVDs, and even under the best of conditions it would be difficult to figure out which of the lines I contributed were actually used, and if so, where.

So I’m going to start doing the next best thing. I will start recording all of the lines I wrote for the film on this blog, with some analysis, though I may have to trade off thoroughness for quantity.

So here’s a start, with some of the Dwarvish lines, since these tended to be earlier and may, I guess, be a little more interesting than some of the other languages.

“Ready yourselves!”
Root √frd “prepare, make ready”
Imperative 2pm. ifridî
Pronominal suffix 2pm. -zun
Hence “you prepare yourselves”

Urâd Zirnul
“Iron Hills”
Root √ʔrd, singular urd “hill”, pl. urâd
Root √zrn, zirin “iron” (the metal) + adjectival ending -ul, with syncope of zirin > zirn.
I think this may never have been used in the films, and if so, might be considered slightly apocryphal. I would probably think twice about using the same word for both Erebor and the Emyn Engrin. Unless, from the Dwarvish perspective, the term relates not to the size of the rock visible above ground, but the extent of the caverns delved out underground.

Akkâ Belkulu Dain-Uzbad
“Lord Dáin’s Mighty Force”
Root √kʔ “have power” adapted to the (fairly common) aCCâC abstract noun pattern; here it appears that the glottal stop assimilates to a preceding k, i.e. *akʔâ (or perhaps *akʔâʔ; I can’t find any counter-examples) > akkâ.
Root √blk “be mighty, be strong” > belk “might, strength, power” + -ul > belkul “mighty, of might” + -u object suffix, as the “mighty force” is the object of Dáin’s azbâd — i.e., that thing which he rules or governs.

Nominal root √ʔfth “foot” > ifth “foot.” The following -u is not the objective ending, but rather a (rarely seen) construct ending which links it to a following noun taken as a genitive or attributive.
Ifthu-zirin = “foot-of-iron.”

Khuzd belkul
“A mighty dwarf”
Khuzd “dwarf,” belkul “mighty” (as above).

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