10 August 2011

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 41: Khuzdul

Khuzdul was the secret language of the Dwarves, invented by Aulë and taught to them during their first awakening. Few who were not Dwarves ever learned the tongue (one of the most notable outsiders being the Elf Eöl), which “seems to have been a rather harsh tongue, with an emphasis on aspirated stops and voiced spirants,” although “it no doubt assumed some grace when properly spoken” (Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth).

During the Third Age, the Dwarves seemed to consider Khuzdul an ancient and noble tongue of the past, in much the same way as the Elves regarded Quenya. 

The only examples of the Khuzdul language are a few personal or place names (Khazad-dûm, for instance), the Dwarves’ battle-cry (Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd aimênu! – ‘Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!’), and the inscription on the tomb of Balin. They were so secretive with their tongue that their secret ‘inner’ names were not even revealed on their owners’ tombs.


References

Foster, R. (2001). The complete guide to middle-earth: From the hobbit through the lord of the rings and beyond. New York: Del Rey.


* Side note: 100th post! I'd just like to thank my readers/followers/fans for all of your support! Cheers! -Britta

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