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Author Topic: Orcish Intrigue  (Read 2873 times)

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Offline Davatar

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Orcish Intrigue
« on: April 02, 2004, 07:33:03 AM »
Any of you have a fascination, or curiosity about orcs? Or are they just another fantasy race to you?

I've been role-playing orcs in-depth for a couple years now, and am fascinated with their culture. I have a feel for orcish personalities, especially my own characters, which differ from the average brutish orc. One of the things I like to do, to better experience the orcish role-play, is speak "common orc." It's just very broken english, with a small list of orcish words.

However, I personally wasn't satisfied calling extremely poor english, "orcish." I've begun to study the Tolkien inspired dialects of "Black Speech." Otherwise known as the dark tongue of Mordor. Nearly everything orcish, goblin, and ogre has developed from Tolkien, if not all of it. I'm not sure if there were "orcs" previous to his literature.

At any rate, my concept of Orcs is a combination of Tolkien's and Blizzard's. I have always liked both, yet usually picture orcs in my head the way Blizzard illustrates them, yet "hear" them the way Tolkien describes their speech.

I've begun to use black speech with my orcish characters, role-playing that it is the ancient language, or "old orcish." It's quite a hobby to devote time to, if you want to actually speak fluently. It is, by all means, it's own language. It's not an alteration of any previous language. There are different dialects maintained by different groups of people, as Tolkien himself mentioned that the orcs spoke many dialects themselves.

I would suggest checking it out, if you're at all curious or interested. There is also different forms and dialects of elvish.
Elvish is more developed, and almost a complete language. Tolkien devoted a lot of time to it, and a huge amount of people have further developed it since then. I haven't looked into elvish much, yet, as I am still focusing on black speech. I've found that learning a language bound to the type of characters I role-play *greatly* enhances my ability to flow with their stories, and experience a real sense of persona within them.
So if you like fantasy role-play, and perhaps want to further the experience, definately check this stuff out. Search google for "Black Speech" learn about the language used by the orcs, which originated from Sauron. Search for "Sindarin" or "Elvish" to learn about the language used by the grey elves of LotR.

The dialect of Black Speech I am studying is called "Uzg Bûrgulu'ob," or Land of Shadows (often refered to as LOS BS). The project was initiated by Scatha, and is his dialect. Here's a link.
http://www.darktongue.cjb.net/
That site includes lessons, to get you started too.

Here is the forum used by Scatha and the group of people that develop and speak this dialect if your interest goes beyond curiosity, and you want more info and help. You can find an ongoing list of new vocab that they adapt here too.
http://pub59.ezboard.com/fmordor69452frm35

Gimub gashnum uruk'hai'ob!

~Davatar

EDIT: Clarifed some stuff about the particular dialect I linked to.
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is fear subdued by the presence of faith in God.

Wahya

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2004, 08:14:12 AM »
A very interesting endeavor  Davatar.  Tolkien's biography had a short segment on the history of Orcs or Hobgoblins.  His vision of Orcs was that they originally were Elves corrupted by Melkor and his disciples.  He never wrote much more about them and never wrote of any female form of Orc at all.  

The language was not, as you pointed out, as well developed as Elvish.  

Tolkien made a hobby of developing the Elf language.  In actuality it was a combination of Welsh and Finnish primarily.  But more importantly Tolkien developed dialects of the language as well.  Orcish could rightly be considered a dialect of Elvish.  Which Elvish I have not a clue.  The Elf dialects were numerous:

Eldar; Vanyar; Noldar; Teleri; Avari; Sindar; and Nandor were but just a few of the more important ones.

Tolkien wrote part of The Lord of the Ring while crouching in a trench in France during WW-I.  That he lived is a blessing; what would we be today without his fantasy?

Offline Davatar

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2004, 08:54:07 AM »
Yes, it is a blessing indeed.

Tolkien had a passion for linguistics, and loved languages that sounded pleasant to him. He was doing a study and writing a book about germanic languages when he heard Finnish and Welsh. He loved the way they sounded so much, he decided to combine aspects of both and developed the basis for elvish languages.

Actually you are correct about Black Speech, it is an elvish dialect. According to the story, it's a version that Sauron altered and began to use long ago. The orcs speak a debased version of it, the biggest difference just poor grammar, of course. They like to speak hastily and easily, being simple themselves. (Note that Blizzard has always portrayed their orcs as being more intelligent than Tolkien's. Thrall is a good example, aswell as the warlock in the Frozen Throne expansion, I forget his name.)

And just for the fun of it, this is how you would say the One ring inscription, in Black Speech.

"Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul."

Actual black speech would be writtin in runes, or tengwar in Middle earth, but of course there has to be a way for us to understand it with our own alphabet.

~Dav
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is fear subdued by the presence of faith in God.

Wahya

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2004, 07:48:30 PM »
By the way, Davatar.  I signed up for Middle Earth Online beta some months ago and registered an account on their forums.  It became clear to me instantly on the forums that the game developer has a serious job ahead.  The reading public is a virtual treasure house of Tolkien Lore & knowledge.  I never saw so many Middle Earth pundits in one place at one time.  If the game violates any of Tolkien’s original script there will be howls heard from Ered Mithrin to Haradwaith & from Rhun to Meneltarma.

Offline Davatar

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2004, 08:47:13 AM »
I bet there will be, heh. I actually don't know a whole lot about Middle earth. I've ready the trilogy of course, but never picked up the Guide to Middle Earth or any other books like that. I've just read some about Tolkien's linguistic passion and elven dialects. I've by far read most about Black Speech. =)

Speaking of original scripts, the movies were awesome, and obviously a *lot* of detail has to be left out to fit a span of 3 hours, but they did an awesome job anyway. One thing I would have really liked to see in the first movie, was Tom Bombadil.
The only prevailing mystery of Tolkien's work, I am told. He certainly is a fascinating being.

~Dav
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is fear subdued by the presence of faith in God.

Wahya

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2004, 12:02:18 PM »
Tom Bombadil is an example of a technique Tolkien described in his biography.  Interlacing stories!  Tolkien wove the fragments of other sagas into each of his stories.  More importantly Tolkien actually wrote these stories and used them as background and the ever tempting little bit of information that made you want to read more about that segment of the story.  What this really does is fuel your imagination as to what took place or how the interlaced story played out.  So as you read The Lord of The Rings you get these bits and pieces of other stories that your imagination fills in the blanks to.  Genius!

Arguably proper, Tolkien’s son Christopher, published his fathers works on this myriad of tales.  This is how the following books came out:
The Silmarillion
The Lays of Beleriand
The Lost Road
The Lost Tales – I
The Lost Tales – II
Unfinished Tales

If you get these books the author is not listed as J.R.R. Tolkien, rather the books are listed as Edited by Christopher Tolkien.  Christopher published all these after his father’s death, causing quite a stir in the family.  I am not sure J.R.R. would have wanted them published, but after reading them, I am glad they were.

Words of caution, the books are a collection of short stories and many versions of the same story.  When reading them it becomes clear these were not written as a novel, just as a hobby.

Offline Davatar

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2004, 12:41:48 PM »
Indeed! Funny, I was browsing for Tom Bombadil information after making that post, and found an awesome encyclopedia site all about the world of Arda. I read what they had to say about the Tom Bombadil "problem," as it is often called, and after going through the summarries of the issues and ideas about him, they began quoting some of what Tolkien said about Tom being a necessary part of the story because he represents "certain things" he wouldn't analyze in detail. Heh heh.

There's a wealth of Tolkiverse information there.
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
I had a lot of fun reading on that site for an hour or so.

~Davatar
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is fear subdued by the presence of faith in God.

Offline Kaldoran

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2004, 12:26:54 AM »
Her eya go dav see if u can trans  ;D

1. Nar Mat Kordh-Ishi

2. Ashdautas Vrasubatlat

3. Mirdautas Vras

4. Afar Angathfark

5. Lul Gijak-Ishi

6. Ang Gijak-Ishi

keep these 2 to yourself  ;)

7. Nar Thos

8. Undur Kurv
Very bad speller..... dont mind me ;)

Offline Davatar

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2004, 04:58:37 AM »
Oooh fun! The dark tongue is different in form like any other language, but these are the best(Non-literal) translations to english:

1. Nar Mat Kordh-Ishi - "Don't die in bed."

2. Ashdautas Vrasubatlat - "One day I will kill you."

3. Mirdautas Vras - "It's a good day to kill." (You'd think battle, but orcs are violent and it literally does mean kill, or slaughter.)

4. Afar Angathfark - "By the forge of my soul." (A vow)

5. Lul Gijak-Ishi - "Elf in the blood." (An insult, and an ironic one as the orcs of Middle-earth are corrupted elves, from long ago.)

6. Ang Gijak-Ishi - "Iron in the blood." (Most likely a compliment.)

As for the last 2, I will just chuckle and shake my head.

All of these phrases are from a different dialect, called Colloquial, which I study occasionally. Almost all dialects are extremely similar, differing mainly in vocabulary. Colloquial and LOS (Shadowlandian) differ less than most.

~Davatar
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is fear subdued by the presence of faith in God.

Offline tinman

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2004, 05:28:30 AM »
And I thought I had too much time on my hands!

;D

Love reading this thread, keep on posting!
Afterburn, Orc Warlock
Lilscratch, Worgen Rogue

Offline Davatar

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Re: Orcish Intrigue
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2004, 03:36:07 PM »
The only one thing dissapointing about the LOS BS is that Scatha hasn't updated the actual site in a *long* time, and if you want updated stuff you *have* to read those forums. If you do, you'll notice a lot of words used on the forum aren't in the site's vocab, but are on the forum "New vocab" post.

Tinman: You're missin out! We should all learn Shadowlandian and Sindarin and have fun confusing people ingame. Heh heh, like Zellda said.

~Davatar
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is fear subdued by the presence of faith in God.

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