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A sentence in “Arctic”

Mára mesta an ni véla tye ento, ya rato nea.
Good-bye until I see you next, and I hope it will be soon.

This sentence comes from the Letters from Father Christmas written by Tolkien for his children from 1920s to 1942. It is supposed to be in “Arctic”, a language used in the North Pole in the house of Father Christmas - but though this small fairy world Tolkien imagined for the delight of his children was intended to be strictly private and is not a part of Middle-earth proper, this “Arctic” actually appears to be a form of Qenya.

The translation was provided by Tolkien himself, through the hand of a Polar Bear who appears to have some issues with orthography. To prevent any eye sore for our readers, we emended his vagaries to a more normal spelling.

The text is transcribed in sarati or “letters of Rúmil”, written vertically from top to bottom and from left to right. The signs are used according to Tolkien’s valuation for Quenya. We made use of Måns Björkman Berg’s typeface Sarati Eldamar.  Open this mode in Glaemscribe

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. Letters from Father Christmas. Edited by Baillie Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 2004. 111 p. ISBN 0-00-777916-X.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
Last update of the site: September 22nd 2019. Contact us: