J. R. R. Tolkien was intensely conscious that he was English, indeed West Mercian. His legendarium, of which The Lord of the Rings is the most widely-read part, was also intended to be intensely English, as was his self-declared purpose in writing it: “to make a body of more or less connected legend . . . which I could dedicate simply: to England; to my country.”
Yet, surprisingly, when native Welsh speakers heard Tolkien’s invented Elvish language, Sindarin, spoken in the Peter Jackson film adaptations, they initially thought they were hearing Welsh, and certainly not any form of English, ancient or modern.
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