Lessons


Lesson X – Pronouns and Commands (Imperatives)

Pronouns are rarely used in Black Speech. The most common uses for pronouns are for giving an order, boasting about oneself, or administering an insult. Generally, apart from those three purposes, you would only use a pronoun when absolutely necessary to avoid confusion. Sauron would not have wanted to encourage the use of the first person singular or plural among his servants or slaves, so "I" or "we" are only used as modifiers. (This probably also explains the placement of adjectives, adverbs, etc., after the words they modify since descriptive words can be said to indicate a kind of creative thought process).

In most cases, then, pronouns are attached to the verb:
Shelob calls them = Shelob bugdat-taz. (An orc might slur all this together and say “Shelob bugdataz”). “Bugdatul” is more correct and canonical way.
The elves kill him = Golug azut-ta (in spoken orcish, “Golug azuta”). To put this into the past tense, “the elves killed him”, you would say “Golug azuzuta”. In future tense, you would say, “Golug azubuta” (The elves will kill him).

**The first person singular (-izg) and plural (-izgu) are always suffixed to the verb. For example, kul-izg = I am; “kul-izgu” = we are; “thrak-izg”, I bring; “prakh-izgu”, we lure.

Normally, you can skip pronouns unless they are required to make sense of the sentence. For example:

Saruman rules us = Saruman durbat-izishu. But if you wanted to say, “He rules us”: Durbat-izishu. (You don't need the “he”.)

He brings the orc to us = Thrakat urûk-izishû. Note the long “û” at the end. This is a little tricky, because you would have to add the preposition “u” to “izishu” in order to say, “to us”. That means that the final “u” has to become a long “û”. This would be correct Black Speech, but naturally orcs would probably not bother with this kind of fine distinction. “-izishuz” is more correct. Also I recommend attaching pronouns only to the verbs.

Personal and Possessive Pronouns

-izg I     -izgu we
-izish   me -izishu   us
-izub mine, my -izubu ours
 
lat you (sing.), thou     latu you (pl.), ye
lat / latish* thee latu / latush* you (pl.)
lab your (sing.), thy latub yours (pl.)
 
ta he/she/it     ulu they
ta / tash* him, it ul them
tab his, its ulub theirs
to her    
tob hers    

* I've added these pronouns for clearance, but please notice that a lot of examples already use old equivocal variants


Exercise

Translate the following into Black Speech:

I brought hers.
Grishnâkh will find us.
Morgoth will kill me.
Saruman called his ugly orc.
I brought mine to Morannon.
They devoured theirs.
Uglûk will rule ours by blood.
I am from Lugbûrz.
Ashlûk bound me.
Lagduf called them all from Lugbûrz.

Commands

Commands are quite simple: they consist of the verb stem. So, to tell someone to bring something, you simply say: Thrak! To say, “Find him theirs”: Gimb ta ulub. Bring them! = Thrakul!

Exercise

Translate the following into Black Speech:

Bring me the ring.
Find the three stupid trolls.
Give her the worthless orc.
Find my twenty-eight orcs.
Call me.
Kill them.
Devour the forty-two elves.
Lure him to Mordor.
Gather my old orcs in Isengard.
Lure them to us.

Confusion

What to do if both subject and object are pronouns? I advise you to spell pronouns separately in this case (at least object). I will kill you = Izg azub lat. But you can add subject to the verb as a suffix (azub-izg lat). If subject is 3rd person pronoun, you can skip it (like in some examples above) but shall write object still separately (azubat ta = he will kill him). If the verb is complex (consist of two words) add subject suffix to main predicate and object suffix to dependent word (He can kill me = pâshat-ta azat-izish). But the question how to translate “she calls him?” remains open.

Adding prepositions to pronouns

In pure agglutinative language prepositions and case suffixes should be added to Nominative case of pronouns. But examples attach them to Objective case form of pronouns. This behaviour was copied from English. While this is not right, I will leave this as a feature because of it's popularity and for simplier translation from English. However adding prepositions to Nominative case of pronouns should be preferrable in future translations.

Another feature of English language is omitting preposition “to” before pronouns in objective case if they are an indirect object placed before direct object. Compare “bring it to orcs” with “bring me this” and “bring this to me”. This feature is not recommended to copy into Black Speech. You should always put -u suffix (meaning preposition “to”) to pronouns despite their position.


 English-specific by Un4givenOrc:

Reflexive Pronouns

Black Speech has only one reflexive pronoun îm for all persons and genders, much like Icelandic, Latin or Quenya (from which it was borrowed). But it could be plural (“îmu”). Reflexive pronoun has several cases and usually written as separate word.

Nominative

Nominative case is used when we're going to lay emphasis on doing an action without someone's else help. Use îm in this case. You may attach it as suffix only if subject is a personal pronoun also attached to the verb.

I will do it myself Krampub-izg ta îm/Krampub-izgîm ta
Kill him yourself! Az ta îm
Elves shamed themselves in the last battle Golug bâkuzut îmu maukumtîl-ishi

Possessive

Some languages have distinct possessive reflexive pronoun. But Black Speech has only personal possessive pronouns like English. When translating phrases like “he loves his wife” to escape ambiguity (is the wife his own or someone's who was mentioned before?) you can use equivalent to word “own” (= tabz) but without a pronoun.

We lost our (own) ring Fuluz-izgu nazg tabz*
He loves his (own) wife Brogbat-ta gru tabz
Nazgûls lost their (own) rings. Nazgûl fuluzut nazgu tabzu

* “Fuluz-izgu nazg-izubu” is also correct because there is no ambiguity. “Tabz” is used because there was only one ring (in contrast to Nominative case where reflexive pronoun has plural form).

Other cases

For all other cases use îmish or its plural form.

I'm proud of myself mîb-izg îmish-ob
Prepare yourselves! Gathrok îmishu
He will write a tale about himself Ta znakubat ghashanuz îmish-gus
Oldman speaks to himself Sharkû gashnat îmish-u


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Comments

Scatha  2014-09-24, 04:01:03

Has anyone here ever tried the lessons? I think some of them may need some corrections and updates.  Let me know your thoughts.


bjornaxen  2016-06-08, 09:43:39

The Swedish LARP-orcish Svartiska was not really created by a single LARP-group but by the community of orc-larpers where different groups created different dialects.


bjornaxen  2017-12-15, 00:47:08

On pronunciation

There is an orc name that begins with y - Yagul - in The War of the Ring (The History of Middle Earth, vol. 8 )

I think Tolkien pronounce Mordor in Elvish, it is after all an Elvish name meaning Black land in Sindarin (or "shadows" in Quenya). It has nothing to do with pronunciation of the Black Speech.

And what about the sounds in the excercise: -qu- in "throqu-" and sr- in "srinkh-"? Especially -qu- seems out of place. Why not spell it kv or kw?


Un4givenOrc  2017-12-16, 10:01:39
bjornaxen wrote:

And what about the sounds in the excercise: -qu- in "throqu-" and sr- in "srinkh-"?

Yes, there as some issues with qu, specially when next letter is also u. Could be also spelled like Q. It appears only in words borrowed from elvish languages. I will replace it with something else if I would create new dialect.

I think there is nothing special with sr, for me it's easier to say than thr (thrakatulat).


bjornaxen  2017-12-23, 02:02:28

Does comparative and superlative adjectives, and adverbs mark plural?

The dark tower - lugbûrz; the darkest tower - lugbûrzaz; the darkest towers - lugbûrzazu

urukû ghâshuzat hîzarz lug "the old orc quickly burned the tower"; urukûz ghâshuzut hîzarzu lug "the old orcs quickly burned the tower"
---
edit 1. I saw that the adverb is not agreeing in number so: urukfuz ghâshuzut hîzarz lug
---
edit 2. I saw that I somehow confused the adjectives - this i now corrected.


Un4givenOrc  2017-12-23, 15:41:51

I think adverbs do not have plural form. Adjectives do in any form


bjornaxen  2017-12-25, 21:08:42

There are two collective plural, -hai and -ûk. In contrast to the ordinary plural these can be used with people and races. So we have uruk-hai (the orc people) as the most famous example. And then in the lessons (IV) there is an example of the -ûk ending used with  sharkû (old man) > sharkûk "all old men". So both the collective plurals can be used with people and races but what is the difference between them. What does sharkû-hai mean "all the old people" or maybe "the society of old men" or is it equivalent to sharkûk? Or is it just gibberish.


bjornaxen  2018-01-01, 16:47:30

In lesson XIII on suffix order, verbs collective #6 two endings are given, -ûk and -âzh. The -âzh ending is used with a verb 'ufubulâzh' (will frighten them slightly). I cannot find this -âzh in the lessons or in the wordlists (there is "azh (conj, HORN) "also").

It seems to mean "slightly" but then it is not a collective. Confusing


Un4givenOrc  2018-01-09, 13:27:04
bjornaxen wrote:

n the lessons (IV) there is an example of the -ûk ending used with  sharkû (old man) > sharkûk "all old men". So both the collective plurals can be used with people and races but what is the difference between them. What does sharkû-hai mean "all the old people" or maybe "the society of old men" or is it equivalent to sharkûk? Or is it just gibberish.

I think it's Scatha's mistake.
I don't like interpretation of -hai as collective plural suffix nor simply as "folk", "people of" etc. However I can't offer better one.

bjornaxen wrote:

n lesson XIII on suffix order, verbs collective #6 two endings are given, -ûk and -âzh. The -âzh ending is used with a verb 'ufubulâzh' (will frighten them slightly). I cannot find this -âzh in the lessons or in the wordlists (there is "azh (conj, HORN) "also").

I've added this shortly before my HDD crashed. Online version of dictionary is not updated still.
Here -uuk and -aazh are something like verb's aspect (perfect and "partial" respectively). Interpretation of "-uuk" as "completely", "fully" is taken from A. Nemirovsky's analysis



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