VI. Adjectives and Word Order-
these lessons are a little more challenging than the previous
I have tried to include hints for some of the trickier
translations. Try not to be too intimidated.
Orcs pay no attention to grammar, as you know.
are fairly simple: they do not take the gender of
the noun they modify; they are the same for male, female,
or neutral nouns. They do agree with the noun in number,
however. Plural nouns take plural adjectives.
the noun is plural, add the correct ending to the adjective
(u for nouns ending in a consonant, z for nouns ending in
a vowel). Caution: Here's a rule that might
confuse you, so be careful-- even though you know that words
for people or races don't take a plural, the adjectives
modifying them do take a plural. For example, urûk
mokûrz = the hateful urûk. Urûk
mokûrzu, the hateful urûk (plural). This
is done for clarity -- it is easier to understand that someone
is talking about more than one orc or more than one elf
if he/she uses a plural adjective to describe that individual.
Black Speech, many adjectives take the ending –ûrz,
especially if they are formed from nouns or verbs:
dark, from burzum, darkness
foolish or filthy globûrzu
brave, from hûr, courage hurûrzu
mortal, from mat = to die
hateful, from mokum, hatred
mean, cruel skrithûrzu
evil (adj.), from ulkum, evil (n.)
many adjectives do not follow this rule:
ûk ("all" is already plural)
adjective always follows the word it modifies: shara
matûrz, mortal man; Olog globûrz, foolish (or
filthy) troll; Uruk skrithurz, cruel orc. (This is
a good general rule to remember in Black Speech: words
that modify or describe other words always follow.)
the adjective is only one syllable long, it is suffixed
to the word it modifies: sharkû, old man (shara +
kû). Notice that the “a” is dropped, probably
for ease in pronunciation. Globufu, the scary
fools. (Again, both men and fools are people, so you
don't pluralize them, but you do pluralize the adjectives.)
notice that in cases such as sharkûk (sharkû
+ uk, “all the old men”) or nazgûk (nazgû +
ûk) “all the rings,” you would drop one of the û’s.
Similarly, if you wanted to say, "the scary old urûk,
you would say "urûkûf." (urûk +
kû + uf). This sounds very similar to
urûkuf, "the scary urûk" (urûk + uf, an
scary urûk who isn't old), except that you don't have
the long û. This may seem a little confusing
at first, but it is just a matter of practice. The
difference between urûkûf (scary old orc) and
urûkuf is just a slight difference in pronunciation.
good rule of thumb to remember is that in Black Speech,
whenever two similar consonants or vowels meet in this way,
they are usually slurred together. This is especially
true of Debased Black Speech. Later on you'll encounter
a lesson in dropping sounds, so if this frightens you now,
don't worry about it.
that this is not true of words that end in the "qu" sound.)
and Object Word Order
Black Speech, most sentences follow a subject – verb – object
order, with adjectives following the nouns they modify:
thrakut sharkû mokûrzu.
elves bring the hateful old men
bugdat nazgûl skrithûrz.
Urûk calls the cruel Nazgûl (singular).
Please note that this rule seems to be difficult for English-speakers,
who generally want to place the adjective before the noun.
I have noticed that this is one of the most common errors
beginners make. Offenders will be severely punished.
Translate the following sentences into Black Speech:
cruel trolls will devour the tough beasts.
Nazgûl will kill the ugly orcs.*
the elves will find dark rings.
will bring the brave man.
will lure all the old orcs.*
will gather the evil mortal men.**
(sing.) call the all the brave Nazgûl away.
bring the worthless slaves.*
will find the magical rings.
dooms the tough orc.
Nazgûl will gather the foolish trolls.
will call the stupid elves.
will hide the dark ring.
(pl.) bind the old stupid Nazgûl (sing.)
that words for people or races are not pluralized, but the
adjectives modifying them are!
you have two adjectives, use the more important one first.
In this case, it's more important to identify the men as
mortal than to describe them as evil.