Salo shares more insight on his Khuzdul.

Greetings friends,

I wanted to give a heads-up to all that I’m nearly done with the updating of the neo-khuzdul documents (and should send them as soon as I can).  I’m merely waiting for some confirmation from David Salo (Linguist who made the neo-khuzdul for The Hobbit movies) on some questions I still had related to his work.

It must be said that I’ve been plaguing David Salo for months now, asking question after question, trying to get the neo-khuzdul on this blog in line with the ideas he had invented, even before the release of The Hobbit movie.  My apologies David 😉

This morning David informed me of a blog he has created where he will be posting more information for all to view… some extracts from the email:

….. I wanted to let you know that your questions (among others) got me to start a blog where I can talk about my version of Khuzdul and similar issues. I’m inviting you to follow it. It’s called Midgardsmal, and it’s located at the URL  It’ll probably start a little slowly, and generally, because I’m addressing a lot of people who don’t have your background or special interests — but it will eventually get into core details about the language…..

So, exciting news…  what are you waiting for friends, have a look!

About The Dwarrow Scholar

The Dwarrow Scholar first experienced the brilliance of Tolkien when he received a copy of The Hobbit from his uncle as a kid, reading it feverishly again and again. Some years on, when he got his very own walk-man (aye forget about tiny phones, this thing was a brick and played cassette tapes) he made his own little audiotape of The Hobbit, so he could listen to it on his bike on his way to school. Between reenacting the Battle of Five armies with 4 of his school friends (still feel sorry for the kid that had to be the Orc) and before the days of the internet, you would find Roy frequently in libraries trying to find all he could about Tolkien and his beloved dwarves. When Roy isn’t delving into Neo-Khuzdul or searching for lost dwarvish treasures on the net he’s enjoying time with his wife and son, re-reading his tormented Tolkien paperbacks, watching a good movie, learning new languages or playing a game of LoTRO or other dwarf related games.
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6 Responses to Salo shares more insight on his Khuzdul.

  1. Pingback: An Introduction to Runes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey « Heirs of Durin

  2. theviking says:

    Very cool stuff!


  3. Runulf Warghammer says:

    Hi, i was reading Salo’s website and i got a question about the words for mountain and hill/s, since as you say to him, in previous woks the word he used is “abad” like in Gundabad and the word for hills is “hund” and hills “hundû”, my question is about a proper translation of Iron Hills, i believe that “Kirikhkhundû” was a good translation, but seems like salo used “Urâd Zirnul.”, using the “ereborism” (as he called him) Urd in a plural form, and the root ZRN for Iron, maybe i’m wrong or i don’t understand good what salo says in his blog. Cheers and keep the good work, i’m looking forward for the new documents 😉


    • Hi there Runulf,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      There really is no right and wrong here, it’s merely how you see things that will affect the “translation”.

      First of, David used the root “ZRN” for iron, while I used “KRKh”. I do not know why David used “ZRN”, I can only tell you why at the time I opted for “KRKh” as a root for Iron.
      I can only assume that David created the root “ZRN” by blending the roots used for “of silver colour” (ZGL) with that of the word “iRoN”, giving him the root “ZRN”.
      I came up with “KRKh” as a root, based on a mesh of many languages. I found the result pleasing, in line with existing khuzdul words, and the harsh sound-combination offered me an image fitting with “unyielding iron”.

      Concerning the translation of mountain/hills… If you translate “Iron Hills” literally, than indeed it would seem logical to use “hund” (hill), instead of “abad” or “urd” (which mean mountain). However it is likely that the dwarves of Erebor and those of the Iron Hills did not consider these to be hills, but rather mountains. Hence they would use “abad” or “urd” instead of “hund”. In this case “Urâd”.

      In the updated documents I’ve changed many of the roots I previous used (either related to the work of David Salo or corrections I made), included the one for iron, which now is ZRN. For some I have kept the original root, introduces as dialect words or secondary words. As a result many of the translations (both common lines as place-name translations) have been updated.

      Hope to provide the documents during the course of next week. 🙂


  4. RavensJewel says:

    I understand that Khuzdul is a language of lore, secret and preserved, found in daily life only inside the mountain halls. There would be concepts and vocabulary for dealing with family life, legal and judicial matters within the Kingdom or the Hall, and possibly vocabulary for music, military organization and martial skills, and trade/economic activity with other dwarves (as opposed to with outsiders).

    Dwarves also have obviously sophisticated and extensive techniques for mining, engineering, metalworking and manufacturing – and would need extensive, specialized vocabularies for these. Would Khuzdul also be the language for these activities? Or would this also be Westron/Common Tongue, given that these industries are more likely to be informed by interaction with other races (humans, elves – well, the Noldorim at least.) As Dwarrow innovation in these areas would become a tradeable commodity, would the vocabulary be shifted away from Khuzdul and towards the more flexible, common languages of the human groups with whom they were trading?


    • It is indeed possible that the root letters of khuzdul words originated in other languages, those of elves and men. Especially for concepts foreign to the dwarves. Yet I believe that these words would be assimilated in the khuzdul language, just like foreign words are adopted in most present day languages.


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