German orthographic tehtar mode

(Last updated: )

Alphabetic table

(Alternative picture [This page uses an embedded tengwar font. It works on Internet Explorer 4+, Firefox 3.5+, Safari 3.1+, Opera 10+, Chrome 4.0+. Firefox users with NoScript must allow @font-face.]: Alphabetic table.)

Letter Tengwa
Ä [1]
AA [2]
C (like K or Z)
CK 
E (e.g. IE, EE etc.) (e.g. , etc.)[3]
H (e.g. PH, TH etc.) (e.g. , etc.)[4]
I (e.g. EI, AI etc.) (e.g. , etc.)
J [5]
Ö [6]
PF [7]
Q (like K)
QU 
R /
S /
SS /[8]
TZ [7]
Ü [9]
U (e.g. ÄU, EU etc.) (e.g. , etc.)
W (e.g. ZW, SCHW etc.) (e.g. , etc.)
X 
Y (vowel)
Y (consonant) (like J)
Z [7]


Mandatory rules

The following rules apply to the German orthographic tehtar mode:

Tehtar-tengwar order
Vowel tehtar are placed above the following letter[10], e.g. , , , , . If a vowel is not followed by any letter, it is placed above a short carrier, e.g. , . This also applies to vowels at the end of a word part in compounds, e.g. , , and to vowels followed by another vowel, e.g. , .
Double consonants
Double consonants are expressed by a horizontal bar below, e.g. , , .
Nasal combinations
The nasal combinations M + P/B/PF and N + (several letters, e.g. T, TSCH, D, G, F, S or K) are expressed with a horizontal bar above, e.g. , , , , .
-s ending
Where the -S is an ending, it is expressed by a right Sa-rince, e.g. , , , . Note that the Sa-rince may bear a tehta; for instance, you may write .
-e ending
Where the -E is an ending, it is expressed by a dot below[11], e.g. , , , , . This also applies at the end of a word part in compounds, e.g. , , , and in the combination of -e ending with -s ending, e.g. , .
Glyph variants of R
Rómen is used whenever a vowel follows, Óre elsewhere, e.g. , , , .
Glyph variants of S
The normal letters for S and SS are Silme and Esse . The glyph variants Silme nuquerna and Esse nuquerna may be used if and only if they bear a vowel tehta, e.g. , , . They do not need to be used; you may as well write , , .

Optional rules

Following J
In a combination of consonant + J, the J may be expressed by two dots below , e.g. , .
Following S that is not an -S ending
In a combination of consonant + S, the S may be expressed by a Sa-rince. Letters that have the lúva on the left side of the telco take a left Sa-rince, e.g. , . The other letters take a right Sa-rince, e.g. , .
Double CH , NG , PF , SCH , SS , TSCH
In German orthography, all simple consonants that follow a short vowel are doubled. You write ⟨kommen⟩, because the M follows a short vowel. Excepted from this rule are the simple consonants that are represented by compound letters, e.g. CH, NG, etc. These are never doubled. You do not write ⟨*kochchen⟩ even though the CH follows a short vowel, but ⟨kochen⟩, because CH is a compound letter. In the tengwar, CH, NG etc. are not represented by compound letters. Therefore, they can be doubled according to German orthography like all other simple consonants, e.g. , ,  in contrast with , , . Incidently, this allows for a distinction between SS u ‹ß›, e.g. ,  in contrast with , .


This German orthographic tehtar mode is mostly based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s English orthographic tehtar modes (especially DTS 5, 10, 62), because German is closely related to English. It is a mode where the third row of the tengwar table represents a TSCH series. Therefore, the use of Hwesta for German CH follows from the regular relations between the tengwar table and the sounds as explained in Appendix E. The following spellings have been taken from other modes or need special attention:

  1. Three inverted dots above for Ä: DTS 39, 41. Feanorian applied to English, the tengwar text that serves as a basis for the signs for Ö and Ü suggested here, uses another sign for the umlaut of A: breve and single dot above . That only works if the breve tehta is available as a glyph variant for expressing A. The mode suggested here, however, already uses the breve tehta for Y (vowel).
  2. Osse with three dots above  for AA: The use of Osse for following -A is based on EA in DTS 62. Alternatively, you may also write two separate A-tehtar , cf. EA in DTS 10.
  3. Yanta for following E: This is based on AE in DTS 62. Alternatively, you may also write two separate E-tehtar, e.g. EE  or IE , cf. EE in DTS 4/5.
  4. Vertical bar below for following H: Full writing mode of DTS 10. According to Appendix E and the tehtar mode of DTS 10, consonant combinations with a following H may be represented by the extended tengwar (, , etc.). This would however leave the required German combinations Z and PF unassigned.
  5. Anna for J: DTS 71. The letter J of German orthography does not correspond to the letter J of English orthography, but to the letter Y (consonant) of English orthography. The English letter J corresponds to German DSCH instead. This follows from the regular relations between the tengwar table and the sounds as explained in Appendix E. It is further corroborated by established use in both orthographies, e.g. English ⟨yacht⟩, ⟨year⟩, ⟨Yiddish⟩ vs. German ⟨Jacht⟩, ⟨Jahr⟩, ⟨Jiddisch⟩ and English ⟨jungle⟩, ⟨jinn⟩, ⟨junk⟩ (ship) vs. German ⟨Dschungel⟩, ⟨Dschinn⟩, ⟨Dschunke⟩. Since German orthography requires different signs for J and Y, the long carrier from the English orthographic full writing modes is only used for German Y.
  6. Right curl and single dot above  for Ö: Feanorian applied to English.
  7. Extended Parma for PF, extended Tinco for Z: Appendix E, where Tolkien states the following about the tengwar with extended stem (, , etc.): «These usually represented aspirated consonants (e.g. t+h, p+h, k+h), but might represent other consonantal variations required.» The affricates PF, Z (and KCH) are most characteristic for the German language; if any other consonantal variation may be considered «required», it is them.
  8. Esse for SS: With respect to the S sounds, German differs from English. In addition to the normal S that is represented by Silme , German only has SS, but no voiced Z like English. The German SS may also be represented by Silme with a horizontal bar below . Since Esse is not used otherwise in a German mode, it is free to be used for SS like in Tolkien’s Elvish modes, cf. Appendix E or DTS 20, 45, 48, 49.
  9. Left curl and single dot above  for Ü: Feanorian applied to English.
  10. Tehtar-tengwar order: According to Appendix E of The Lord of the Rings, the question whether in a given tengwar mode the vowel tehtar should be generally placed on the following letters (VC order since you read the vowel V first and only then the consonant C) or whether the vowel tehtar should be generally placed on the preceding letter (CV order) depends on the language: «In languages such as Quenya, in which most words ended in a vowel, the tehta was placed above the preceding consonant; in those such as Sindarin, in which most words ended in a consonant, it was placed above the following consonant.» In English, most words end in a consonant. Most English tengwar texts are true to the rule from Appendix E and use a VC order, cf. the longer English tehtar mode texts DTS 4/5, 10 and 62, and also the shorter texts DTS 11, 36, 37, 47 and 56. Counterexamples with a CV order are DTS 68 and 70, while DTS 39 and 58 show both VC and CV order.

    In the light of all this data, there is no doubt that the VC order should be preferred for German since most German words end in a consonant.

  11. Dot below for -E ending: According to Appendix E of The Lord of the Rings, «one of the uses of [the dot below] was to represent weak obscured vowels». Alternatively, you may also write short carrier with acute above .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>