Khuzdul

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Khuzdul, or Dwarvish is the secret language of the Dwarves.

The Dwarves are very protective of their own language. They share little of it with outsiders, even their friends among the other races. Khuzdul is carefully preserved and taught to young Dwarves. Few of the other races have learned it. Dwarves do not go by their Khuzdul names in public, instead taking "outer" names from Northern Mannish. Even on their tombs, Dwarves are recorded by these foreign names rather than their secret names.[1]

A highly inflected language, Khuzdul is based on word stems of three consonants, known as triconsonantal roots. The vowels between and surrounding these consonants determine the case and tense of the word. For example, the root FLK means "chisel, hew rock". Felak means "chisel (object)", afluk means "to chisel, to hew rock", "uflak" means "hewer/chiseller (person)", and iflêk means "the act of hewing rock". The addition of prefixes and suffixes is used to form even more complex cases of a single word, such as mafallakûn, meaning "he who continues to hew rock again/excessively".

Common Terms

See External Links for many more definitions and details. Where applicable, plural forms are given. Note that different cases of these words may be required for proper grammar, depending on their place in a sentence or phrase. Also keep in mind that few of these would be known to non-Dwarves. Even to those familiar with Dwarves, mostly only common phrases and the names of major locations would be known.

akhrâm pl. akharâm - name
anzar pl. anazâr - steward
bark pl. baruk - axe
basn pl. basân - foot
bin- - without
binakhrâm - nameless
bizar - dale
bund pl. banâd - head
dum pl. dûm - hall, mansion
felak pl. felâk - chisel
gabil - great
gamil - old
gathol pl gathôl - fortress
gundu pl. gunûd - delving, underground hall
hund pl. hanâd - hill
inbar pl. nibâr - horn
Iglishmêk - Dwarvish sign language
jazr pl. jazâr - chain
kann pl. kanân - leg
kibil - silver
kheled - glass
Khuzdul - Dwarvish language
mals - mist
malasul - misty
mazarbul - "that which is written": records
mebel - stiff
melek pl. melêk - half, weathered rock
mekhem pl. mekhêm - gate
nâla pl. nulâ - path, course
narag - black
rugn pl. ragân - chin
sharb - bald
shathr pl. shathûr - cloud
shimrîn - guarded place
sigin- long
targ pl. tarâg - beard
thikil - steel
-ul - of, 's (genitive suffix)
ushmar pl. ushmâr - guardian
uzbad pl. uzbâd - king
zabad pl. zabbad - lord
zant pl. zanât - hair
zâram pl. zarâm - lake
zars pl. zarâs - tree
zirak pl. zirâk - spike
zirin - iron
zudnu pl. zudûn - realm, land
'abad pl. 'abbad, 'urd pl. 'urâd - mountain

Colours

baraz pl. barzâ - red
bibil pl. biblâ - bronze
danakh pl. dankhâ - green
khagal pl. khaglâ - blue
labam pl. labmâ - white
tahaf pl. tahfâ - yellow, blond
zigil pl. ziglâ - silvery
ziriz pl. zirzâ - golden

Directions

faham - north
farak - south
nud - east
zelem - west

People

Durthu-rathkh pl. Durthu-rathâkh - Dourhand
Fund pl. Fanâd - Elf (polite)
Hundushmar pl. Hundushmâr - "Hill-guardian": Dunlending
Khûthuz pl. Khuthâz - "Enduring/Endurer": Elf
Khuzd pl. Khazâd - Dwarf
Mebelkhags pl. Mebelkhagâs - "Stiff-neck": Elf (impolite)
Rukhs pl. Rakhâs - Orc
Sharbrugn pl. Sharbragân - "Bald-chin": Hobbit (impolite)
Siginkann pl. Siginkanân - "Long-leg": Man (impolite)
Sigin-targ pl. Sigin-tarâg - Longbeard
Zantulbasn pl. Zantulbasân - "Hairy-foot": Hobbit
Zelem'utn pl. Zelem'atân - Dúnadan, West-man
'Utn pl. 'Atân - Man

Phrases

baruk Khazâd - axes of the Dwarves
Khazâd ai-mênu - the Dwarves are upon you
<Name 1> <Name 2>ul - <Name 1> (son) of <Name 2>
Uzbad Khazaddûmu - Lord of Moria, King of Moria
Uzbad undu 'Urd - King Under the Mountain

Places

Anazârmekhem - Stewards Gate
Azanulbizar - Dimrill Dale, Nanduhirion
Azsâlul'abad - Lonely Mountain, Erebor
Barazinbar - Caradhras, Redhorn
Basnbizar, Bizar - Dale
Bundushathûr - Cloudyhead, Fanuidhol
Gabilshathûr - Great-clouds
Hundshimrîn - "Hill-guard": Dunland
Jazârgund - Underground Halls of Chains
Khazad-dûm - "Dwarves' Mansions": Dwarrowdelf, Moria
Khagal'abbad - Blue Mountains, Ered Luin
Kibil-nâla - Silverlode, Celebrant
Labamzarszudnu - "White Tree Land": Gondor
Malasul'abbad - Misty Mountains, Hithaeglir
Nalâ-dûm - Path Halls
Nud-melek - East-half
Naragzudnu, Nargûn - Black Land, Mordor
Thikil-gundu - Steel Keep
Thorinuldum - Thorin's Hall
Kheled-zâram - "Glass-lake": Mirrormere
Zabadgathol - Lord-fortress
Zelem-melek - West-half
Zigilgund - Silver-coloured Hall
Zirakzigil - Silvertine, Celebdil
'urd'êk - halls under Erebor

Background

The sound of Khuzdul and its triconsonantal root system are inspired by real-life Semitic languages.

J.R.R. Tolkien published very little Khuzdul vocabulary and syntax. Others have since expanded this, by building upon what "official" Khuzdul is available and drawing from real-life languages. Much of the Dwarvish used in The Lord of the Rings Online is from this "neo-Khuzdul". The linguist known as the Dwarrow Scholar has developed an extensive Khuzdul dictionary, from which most of the above terms are derived.

External Links

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Other Races"