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fizzix June 23, 2018 19:55

Have I been pronouncing "Angband" wrong all these years?
I've always pronounced it with the first "a" a long a, like in the word "hay" and the second a as in the word "band" or "sand"

I recently heard someone pronounce it with both "a"s sounding like the a in "hah".

Any Tolkien experts here to verify the correct pronunciation?

Nick June 23, 2018 23:07

I think (slightly to my surprise) that person was correct. Appendix E of LoTR says "the sounds were approximately those represented by i, e, a, o, u in English machine, were, father, for, brute".

I have pronounced both a's as in "sand" (and will probably continue to).

Mondkalb June 24, 2018 06:49

I think the pronounciation should be like in "Gandalf", with the "a" being more like the german "a" sound or the english a in "fun".
That's like it was to be pronounciated in the LotR movies according to the involved language expert. Even if Elijah Wood managed to pronounce it wrong most of the time. ;)

Sky June 24, 2018 12:22


yes. Both A are open, like the A in bAbylon.

Wait until you get to pronouncing Celeborn.

Derakon June 24, 2018 14:50


Originally Posted by Sky (Post 130898)
Wait until you get to pronouncing Celeborn.

That's a tricky one, it's actually pronounced "fish".

ssjs June 24, 2018 15:43

I pronounce "an" like "answer", then "band" is like "sand".

Sideways June 24, 2018 20:06

A "long a" in the sense of the vowel sound from "hay" is a peculiarity of modern English; so in any other language, it's a pretty safe bet that whatever the correct pronunciation of 'a' is, that is not it, unless the word's a direct loan from modern English. In this case, the correct pronunciation - in Sindarin, at any rate - is indeed that of the person you heard. In English it's hard to fault Nick's pronunciation, even if it isn't faithful to the original.

(Modern English here contrasts not just with other languages, but also with older forms of English, including Old English, which was used [in a mildly adapted form] by Tolkien as a stand-in for the language of the Rohirrim. Old English did have a "long a" sound [the á in the name of Háma, Théoden's doorward]; but it was completely different from the "long a" of Modern English.)

PowerWyrm June 25, 2018 12:05

I'm French so for me it's Anguebande ;)

fph June 25, 2018 18:43

Why are people so surprised that two letters that are both written "a" are pronounced in the same way? Oh, right, English... :D

caruso June 25, 2018 21:56


Originally Posted by Derakon (Post 130903)
That's a tricky one, it's actually pronounced "fish".

Actually, Celeborn is pronounced "ghoti" ;)

About "Angband", I dimly remember that, in the German edition of the the Silmarillion, it says that Sindarin words are pronounced more like German rather than English. So, Sky and Mondkalb are probably correct. (I'm too tired right now to fully comprehend Sideway's post though.)

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