Full Ring Verse in Nûrlâm

Tolkien left us translation of the Ring inscription into Black Speech. The whole verse was however longer:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie 

There was a translation by Elerrina (EL) in journals “Quettar” #16 (pp. 6–7, 1982) and “Vinyar Tengwar” #13 (pp. 13–15, 1990). It was not flawless but became the additional word base for later Black Speech dialects. This translation doesn't satisfy objectives of Nûrlâm, so below a correct translation into Nûrlâm will be presented. Anyway more than half of Elerrina's inventions will be used at least partially.

Please note, that the full Ring verse was composed by Elves after they discovered about the One Ring.
Sauron's spell in Black Speech included only the Ring Inscription.
He didn't knew about three elven rings before finishing the One,
also he personally gave only six rings to Dwarves, and the seventh was given to Durin III by Elves.
Anyway, the Ring Verse is a good translation excercise.

The List of required words

The following words (listed alphabetically) are required for translation:

English Nûrlâm Etymology and Comments
dark bûrz TK “Lugbûrz” (Dark Tower), from BS “burzum” (darkness)
die mat- EL
ghur- DS (Moria) < DS (PO) “gura-”, “guru-” < Sindarin “guru” < Etym. “ÑGUR”
doomed dûmpuga EL, either from Etym. “MBAD” written reversed (“MB” is one letter in Elvish writing systems), see also Quenya “umbar”, or just stylized English word (possibly both)
dwarf gazat EL, from Khuzdul “khazad” (dwarves)
elf golug TK1), Angband Orkish “golug” (Noldor elves) from ÑGOLOD, Noldorin “golodh” (one of the wise folk, Gnome2)). The same as Elerrina's
for ûr EL, dative case suffix
hall shamb NL < Noldorin “tham, thamb” (hall), Quenya “sambe” (room, chamber), Primitive Elvish “stambē”, “stabnē” < Etym. “STAB”
in or LOS, Inessive case because Dwarves and Dark Lord remain statically in their halls of stone and Mordor
king durbal NL < EL “durub” < TK “durbat” (to rule); Qenya “tára”, “táro”, Noldorin “taur”, “tor-”, “-dor” < Etym. “T”, “TAƷ” (high, loft, noble) + Etym. “TUR” (power, control, mastery);
more like supreme leader
arn NL < various elvish “aran”, “âr” as in PN “Aragorn” < Etym. “GHAR”, “GAR” (hold, have, possess);
more like local leader
land uzg EL
lie kât- LOS, from Quenya “caita” < Etym. “KAY”
lord mâgz NL, Valarin “māχan” (authority)
man, men tark TK, DBS, LOTR; Taken from language of orcs of Misty Mountains and other northern groups;
Quenya “Tarcil” (high-man) < Etym. “TUR” (master, lord, mighty) + “KHIL” (follow) > Quenya “hildi”, mortal men were called “followers” being awaken after elves
mortal matûrz EL
Mordor Uzgbûrz see “dark” and “land”. “Mordor” is already translated from Sindarin as “Dark Land”, so “Dark Land of Mordor” will be a wordiness in literal translation.
nine krith EL
of ob EL, genitive/possessive case suffix
on ir LOS, Adessive case because Dark Lord sits on top of his throne
seven udug NL < EL “udu” and Noldorin “odog” < Etym. “OT-”
shadow bath NL < Etym. “WATH” (shade)
dâd NL < Etym. “DAY”; compare with early Noldorin “Daeðelos” (Shadow of Fear), changed into “Dor Daedeloth” (Land of Great Dead), names for land of Morgoth
sky nût EL
stone gund EL, from Etym. “GOND”, compare with “Gondor” meaning “Stone Land” in Sindarin or “Gondolin”
their takob EL
three krig NL < Hurrian “kig-” + EL “gakh” + EH “krilg”;
changed to avoid confusion with AN “gâkh-” (may, let)
throne daulîm NL, lit. “great seat”;
NL “lîm” (seat) < EL “ulîma” + Valarin “Maχallām” (throne);
NL “dau” (great) < Sindarin “daer” (great, large); compare with LOS “dur” (big, large) with same etymology
under lata EL
where amin ELamal” (where) + NL “in” < ? Qenya “erin” (v) (remains), however “-in” in Qenya is 3rd person suffix (changed to 1st person in later Quenya)

“Dark Lord” may be also translated as “Morgoth”, but this First Age translation was rejected by Tolkien, and also will sound a little like “heresy”. Also Tolkien said about Sauron “By the end of the Third Age (though actually much weaker than before) he claimed to be Morgoth returned” (Letter #183). Therefore this translation of “Dark Lord” will suit such claim, but Ring Verse was composed earlier, in Second Age; so I've decided to use different one.

The Translation

Krig nazg arnûr golug lata nût
Udug gazat mâgzûr or takob gundshamb
Krith tark-haizûr matûrz dûmpuga ghurut
Ash mâgzbûrzûr daulîmbûrzir tab
Uzgbûrzor amin bathum katû
Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul
Uzgbûrzor amin bathum kâtû

Original text is quite straightforward and does not contain complex grammar. Case endings differ from Elerrina's version, word order was altered for better rhyme in Nûrlâm. As in the English translation, each line in Nûrlâm consists of 9 or 11 syllables (except “One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them”), however without direct correspondence (e.g. “elf line” has 9 syllables and “mortal men line” has 11 in Nûrlâm while in English it's vice versa).

Elves were called Gnomes in early works
full_ring_verse_in_nurlam.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by