Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Intuitive, interactive learning tool for Elvish and any other fictional or existing language. A language teacher's favorite toolkit.
Intuitive, interactive learning tool for Elvish and any other fictional or existing language. A language teacher's favorite toolkit.
219 backers pledged $6,382 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Elvish Linguistics Learning Tool project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$6,382

219

UPDATE: Stretch Goal Reached!

Oh my gosh, we've hit $5,000! That means we'll be able to offer 10 different pre-configured language packs to backers upon launch, so you can compose entries in that language from the very start. We've heard your requests for German and Mandarin, and there are still 2 slots open - leave a comment on this project's page with your vote for what these last 2 should be. :)

  • Neo-Sindarin
  • Neo-Quenya
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Japanese 
  • German
  • Mandarin
  • Na'vi
  • ???
  • ???

We want to build...

...The most intuitive user interface for composing, reading and decoding language. We believe even languages such as the Sindarin of Tolkien's Elves can be revitalized and learned by thousands more with the right learning tool. A tool that gives you everything you need to know, in one place.

How it works

This tool packs together a translator, a dictionary, an IPA, the language's grammar rules, and much more, into the very page you're reading. As you follow along with your finger (or mouse) the phrase is instantly broken down in real-time, allowing you to see what the surrounding context is doing to influence each word. See a live prototype here of some of this tool's functionality.

Open-Source!

We have decided to make this software open-source, and available to all backers of the project. This open-sourced linguistics tool will have many features, such as:

You don't need to be an expert; with this tool anyone can learn a complex language such as Sindarin. And with a flip of the settings, complicated morphosyntax abbreviations are simplified, making it easy to understand the author's intention.

For Teachers

This tool will sharply reduce time and increase the efficiency of linguistic annotation by allowing teachers to compose documents for students that include their desired syntax in each word. You can input all of your explanations and decisions using easy drop-down menus (or enter a custom note for those rare exceptions), and have it converted into a seamless interface that any reader can understand. See a demo of the teacher interface here . And take a peek at the Admin Panel layout here (click image to enlarge):

You can also have your students use this tool to submit their work to you. In the final version, extra features will be added to give access-control to tearchers and the ability to see a page with all entries - or mark certain entries public or private.

The Goal: Bringing Elvish to Everyone

While we want to build a tool for linguists everywhere, our main goal is to revitalize NeoSindarin. We'd like to consolidate all of Tolkien's notes and give fellow fans a clearer picture of NeoSindarin syntax; so that more focus can be directed toward its spoken/written use, and less to its puzzling decryption.

If we reach our goal, we will be building a vast, public online library of translated texts using this software, so that fans and linguists alike can understand it, and partake in its recreation. ~Please help us revitalize this beautiful language~

What we need to do:

The demo site is only a hollow shell, using a few lines of javascript to show the concept, but it has no functional interface behind it. We need to hire the right, professional programmers to develop a series of PHP pages to create this software. And add all the needed features like:

- Text-by-Text Highlighting and Decrypting
- Database Import/Export Support
- International Phonetic Alphabet Support
- Morphosyntax to Common Syntax Toggling
- Members Database
- Admin/Teacher Control Panel
- Student-to-Teacher Post Submission
- Teacher-to-Public Post Submission
- Support/Customizability to fit any language
- Optional Sound Upload for words (so readers can hear them)
- Alphabet Display (show how the text looks in its own language: i.e. Tengwar)
- Presets: A list of commands you can save to your account, so you always decode your entries a certain way - saving you time.

What you get for your support!

Along with a personal copy of the software, here is what we'll give you for your pledge.

 Disclaimer: Neo-Sindarin is a collective, fan-made language endeavor, and is not affiliated or representative of the opinions of the Tolkien Estate. This is an independently organized linguistic project, aiming to create a public/living language, not owned by any one person, but continually created by a population.

Risks and challenges

Language is a very complex thing, especially for a dead language like Sindarin. But with the help of our team's linguist Fiona Jallings, we're confident we can capture this language in its entirety. She is a 12 year student of Neo-Sindarin, English-linguistics major at the University of Montana, and founder of the popular realelvish.net website.

David Salo, the author of the reconstructed Elvish and Dwarvish in the Lord of the Rings films and Hobbit films, has also agreed to help advise our team and aide in the project's development.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    1 Tengwar Calligraphy Sticker, with either the phrase "I love you", "Well Met", or "Strive for Joy". Sticker size: 7.5"x.25"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    85 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    1 Tengwar Calligraphy Sticker, with either the phrase "I love you", "Well Met", or "Speak friend and enter". Sticker size: 7.5"x.25"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    1 T-Shirt with original Sindarin Library artwork on the front. Colors: White/Green. Size: Small/Medium/Large

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    38 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    1 Large Card with your Name, written in Tengwar calligraphy, framed in original artwork. Your name will be translated by it's meaning into the corresponding Sindarin words, and then individually hand-written, scanned, then added to the image. Size: 11"x8.5" + T-shirt

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 Large Poster with your custom Phrase written in Tengwar Calligraphy, framed in original artwork. Phrase can be up to 100 English characters long. Size: 16"x24"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)