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Learn the Black Speech of Mordor
The Land of Shadow’s Black Speech
This dialect of the Black Speech know as “Uzg Bûrgulu-ob” (Land of Shadows) or as we affectionately call it here, the Shadowlandian Black Speech was created specifically by the linguist Scatha for The Land of Shadow.com. It’s origins are rooted in The Lord of the Rings Appendices F ‘Orcs and the Black Speech‘ of which their are only a few sparse words and little information. However, the Shadowlandian Dialect takes it ques from the Black Speech used in Mordor during the latter part of the Third Age, which was a mix of the Black Speech in it’s ancient form, along with words of Orkish and debased forms of the Westron Tongue. It’s enunciation is guttural, brutal and barbarous, reflecting the hostility and malice of those who used it. We have updated these pages, ensuring the longevity of this dialect of the Black Speech and giving the dedicated students of the dark tongue of Mordor, a variety of ways to learn, speak and write the Black Speech. For more on this version of the Black Speech read Scatha’s introduction below.
We will be forever grateful to Scatha and the dedicated Black Speech linguists, who contributed to this dark work of linguistic wizardry, hopefully breathing life into the experience of Tolkien’s Mordor. We thank you Scatha!
Let’s begin with a basic set of dictionaries along with numbers, weights & measures.
Black Speech to English Dictionary ~ English to Black Speech Dictionary
Numbers ~ Weights and Measures ~ Directions ~ Orc Army Ranks
Here are ten lessons for the Shadowlandian Black Speech
~ Background Information
~ Black Speech Sounds and Pronunciation
~ Verbs: Infinitives and Present Tense
~ Noun Plurals
~ Verbs: Future Tense
~ Adjectives and Word Order
~ Verbs: Past Tense
~ Pronouns and Commands
An Introduction to the Dark Tongue from Scatha, Black Speech Linguist
J. R. R. Tolkien invented the Black Speech for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He created only a few phrases and orc names and so in order to develop the language for use and communication, we have invented new words and have developed some grammatical rules. To it clear which words came directly from Tolkien, and which ones were created, source abbreviations (in all caps) are given with each word in the Black Speech to English Dictionary. This dictionary was based on several online Black Speech discussions and resources. I tried to base my new words on Tolkien’s original Black Speech vocabulary and on his proper names for orcs. The rest was extrapolated from Quenya from various sources across the web.
Several different groups and people have invented various versions of the Black Speech. This is entirely in keeping with Tolkien’s observations that orcs spoke many different dialects. These “dialects” are named by their creators. Mine is called “Uzg Bûrgulu-ob” (Land of Shadows). There is also a dialect called Horngoth, another one by a Swedish LARP group called Svartiska, and a defunct one by the name of Mugbûrz. If you decide to create your own dialect, please give yours a distinctive name. Feel free to use, share, or copy these dictionaries and lessons as you wish, but please give credit to the various creators and a link to our site. Thank you.
*A note about accent marks: Accent marks or double vowels only indicate the length of the syllable, not stress. Because this dictionary was taken from many different sources, you’ll find both versions of some of the long vowels (sorry!) but the double vowels are identical to accented vowels: û = uu, î = ii, â = aa.) They are interchangeable. The double or accented vowel should be pronounced as a long vowel: uu = “ooh,” aa = aah, ii = eeh, oo = oh. This is important, because there are several words that would otherwise sound too similar (fil = cave, and fiil = bird.) Long vowels are alphabetized as though they were spelled out.
A note about pronunciation: According to Tolkien, the “l” should be pronounced like the American “dark l,” as in “look.” The “r” should be pronounced like the French “r.” This will give your pronunciation of Black Speech words an appropriately horrible and scary sound.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Appendix F ~ ‘The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age’