Tolkien EncyclopediaLanguages > Translators > Common Speech

Common Speech

by Ancalimë-(T)
August 7, 2016

The Common Speech is the language spoken by most people in Middle-earth. The speakers of the language call it Yandūnë (which means Westron) or Sōval Phārë (which means Common Speech). In the Lord of the Rings it is represented by Modern English.

Some words in in the Common Speech are only used by the hobbits of the Shire or by people of Bree, for example the word kuduk (hobbit).

The language of Rohan (represented by Old English) is similar to the Common Speech, and it could be called an antique form of the Common Speech. Although the two languages started in a similar area, the language of the Rohirrim was more isolated in the north and had changed much less.

List of Common Speech Words

Ban - half, almost

Banakil - halfling

Bophan - Boffin

Bolg - bulge

Bolgra - Bolger

Bralda - heady

Brand - foam

Branda - border

Brandagamba - Brandybuck

Cot-tūn - cotton

Galab - game

Galbasi - Gamgee

Hîm - ale, beer

Hloth - a two roomed dwelling or hole

Hlothram - cottager

Hlothran - Cotton

Hamanullas - small, blue garden flower (gardener’s name)

Kali - happy

Karningul - Rivendell

Kast - mathom

Kuduk - hobbit (shire only)

Labin - bag

Labin-nec - Bag End

Labingi - Baggins

Luthur - down, fluff

Maur - wise (old word)

Mumak - Oliphant

Narac - dwarf

Nec - end

Nin - water

Phārë - speech

Phūru - Delve

Ran(u) - a group of small two roomed dwellings on a hill

Raspūta - Hornblower

Raza - stranger

Razan - foreign

Razar - a small red apple

Sōval - common

Sūza - Shire

Tapuc - rabbit

Tharni - quarter (old word)

Tharantīn - fourth part

Trān - digging, burrowing

Tūk - Took

Tung - big

Yandūnë - Westron

Zara - old

Zaragamba - Oldbuck

Zilib - butter

Zir - wise


J.R.R Tolkien, The Return of the King, Appendix F, On Translation

Christopher Tolkien, The History of Middle-Earth, The Peoples of Middle Earth, The Appendix on Languages