When Elvish leads to problems...


Imagine, you're involved in a fight at the seaside and hear:

Drego nan gair!

Do you:

a) Flee to the ship? or
B) Flee to the houses?

Suppose you are the leader of the Rohirrim in war, and someone sells you

Toll hiniath o Rohan.

Do you assume

a) A message from Rohan has arrived?
b) A message about Rohan has arrived?

Someone tells you

I vaethor tîr nan hên.

Now, does he

a) Look towards the child?
b) Watch by use of the child (and has his eyes closed and sleeps soundly)?

Suppose you're a noble of Gondor visiting Rohan and hear:

Anglenno i aran!

Does that mean

a) Approach the king! (implying they command the nobles of Gondor) or
b) The king shall approach! (implying that nobles of Gondor are in fact higher ranked than these riders...)

Suppose you are an officer in war and someone tells you
Boe maethad ben aran.

(Well - this is a sure way to get a war tribunal...) Do you assume

a) It is necessary to fight according to the king. or
b) It is necessary to fight without the king.

Someone tells of a building that somehow impressed him in a town far away

I adab hen barad!

But why did it impress him? Because

a) This building is doomed! or
b) This building is a tower!

Suppose you overhear a drunk saying

Bess vell dortha mi mar în.

Should a woman take offense? After all, he might have said

a) A dear woman stays at home (well - this insults the working women), but
b) A strong woman stays at home (and lets her husband do the work...)

(I admit that it is possible to avoid this ambiguity by refusing to lenit mell...)


Suppose you are a guard, and the king tells you:

á tirë anarinya earenna!

Does he mean

a) Look towards the very early morning sea! or
b) Watch my sun upon the sea!

Suppose you go to court and your attorney says:

Irë i námo maquetë lye, áva lala.

Does he mean:

a) When the judge asks you, do not laugh. or
b) When the judge asks you, do not deny.

If I say

Tengwenya cenna.

do I mean

a) My sign is seen.
b) My sign is towards you.

Suppose you are in the throne room of Gondor and a friend next to you whispers:

Na i tari cénan.

What would he like to say?

a) I am looking towards the queen. or does he daydream and is really saying:
b) Wish that the Queen is seeing me.

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