• Lesson I – Background information
• Lesson II – Black Speech Sounds and Pronunciation
• Lesson III – Nouns
• Lesson IV – Verbs: Infinitive and Present Tense
• Lesson V – Verbs: Future Tense
• Lesson VI – Adjectives and Word Order
• Lesson VII – Pre- and Postpositions, Noun Cases, Phrase Verbs
• Lesson VIII – Verbs: Past Tense
• Lesson IX – Numbers
• Lesson X – Pronouns and Commands (Imperatives)
• * Lesson XII – Comparisons
• * Lesson XIII – Suffix Order and Indirect Objects
• * Lesson XIV – Questions
• * Lesson XV – Participles and Passive Voice
• * Lesson XVI – Conditional and Subjunctive Moods
• Appendix A: Prefixes and Suffixes
• Appendix B: Grammar quick overview
• Appendix C: Measures, Directions, Army Ranks
• Appendix D: List Of Abbreviations
• Appendix E: Canonical Tolkien's Black Speech
The Land of Shadow's Black Speech
This dialect of the Black Speech know as the Shadowlandian Black Speech was created by Scatha, the great Dragon Queen of Mordor and Morgoth's Lair, and was made for the Dark Community of Mordor... the Land of Shadow.com and Dark Messages our community board. She has since expanded it's use across the web into many of our fellow Dark Sites, including Morgoth's Lair and Lugburz ensuring it's longevity over time and giving the dedicated students of this dialect of the Black Speech, a variety of forums and communities to discuss, learn, speak and write in the Dark Tongue of Mordor.
We will be forever grateful to Scatha and many other dedicated Black Speech linguists who contributed to this great work of linguistic wizardry that breaths life into the expedience of Tolkien's Land of Shadow. We Thank you Scatha!
An Introduction from Scatha the Black Speech Linguist
Then J. R. R. Tolkien invented the Black Speech for his Lord of the Rings trilogy, he created only a few phrases and orc names. In order to develop the language for use and communication, we have invented new words and have developed some grammatical rules. In order to make it clear which words came directly from Tolkien, and which ones were created by other people, source abbreviations (in all caps) are given with each word. This dictionary was based on several online Black Speech discussions and resources. (See URL's in Appendix below.) I tried to base my new words on Tolkien's original BS vocabulary and on his proper names for orcs. The rest I extrapolated from the sources noted below and from Quenya. I apologize if I have neglected to credit anyone. If you find that I have, please email me. Please also let me know if you find any errors or problems.
Several different groups and people have invented various versions of Black Speech. This is entirely in keeping with Tolkien's observations that orcs spoke many different dialects. These “dialects” are named by their creators. Mine is called “Uzg Bûrgulu-ob” (Land of Shadows). There is also a dialect called “Horngoth”, another one by a Swedish LARP group called “Svartiska”, and a defunct one by the name of Mugbûrz. If you decide to create your own dialect, please give yours a distinctive name. Please feel free to to use, share, or copy these dictionaries and lessons as you wish, but please do give credit to the various creators. Thank you.
Note from author of this site: I let myself change the order of lessons according to my point of view about their difficulty and consistency. Lessons marked with asterisk are written by me. My notes to Scatha's original lessons are marked with. Lessons for russian- and english-speaking users are different because of distincts in grammar and phonetics. Language-specific parts of lessons are marked with a flag and dashed border (all of russian-specific parts and some of english-specific parts are mine).
WARNING: however dictionaries featured here contain words from almost all dialects of Black Speech, grammatical rules of these lessons are applicable only to Shadowlandian dialect (LOS).
For information about Tolkien's canonical Black Speech see Appendix E.
|Index||Next lesson >>|
Has anyone here ever tried the lessons? I think some of them may need some corrections and updates. Let me know your thoughts.
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.
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?
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).
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.
I think adverbs do not have plural form. Adjectives do in any form
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.
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
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.
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