• 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
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”).
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.
Personal and Possessive Pronouns
|lat||you (sing.), thou||latu||you (pl.), ye|
|lat /||thee||latu /||you (pl.)|
|lab||your (sing.), thy||latub||yours (pl.)|
|ta /||him, it||ul||them|
* I've added these pronouns for clearance, but please notice that a lot of examples already use old equivocal variants
Translate the following into Black Speech:
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 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!
Translate the following into Black Speech:
Find the three stupid trolls.
Give her the worthless orc.
Find my twenty-eight orcs.
Devour the forty-two elves.
Lure him to Mordor.
Gather my old orcs in Isengard.
Lure them to us.
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 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|
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).
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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