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Fiona Jallings Jul 16, 2016 (01:11)

I'm gunna do it. I'm really gunna do it! I'm writing a letter asking the Tolkien Estate whether they'd be opposed to me publishing my Neo-Sindarin textbook. If they give me the goahead, then I'll start the process of making it printable. Any tips? (Fiona may or may not be slightly terrified)

Paul Strack Jul 16, 2016 (02:09)

I can't give you any suggestions, but I can wish you luck. A new Neo-Sindarin text book would be very nice.

Fiona Jallings Jul 16, 2016 (02:11)

It mostly will be the current textbook, just with more annotations and a physical form.

Paul Strack Jul 16, 2016 (02:14)

That would still be a great thing. Salo's Gateway to Sindarin is pretty dated now.

Fiona Jallings Jul 16, 2016 (02:47)

Since I'm planning on this being primarily print, and the website still up and available for free, I was figuring I'd just put in QR box-code thingies that linked the person to a recording of the words being spoken on my website.

The book will be sold for a profit, but I'm doing my best to make it cheap. So far, it looks like I can sell it for around $15 a volume, possibly cheaper, depending on how long it ends up being.

Fiona Jallings Jul 16, 2016 (02:51)

I've exchanged e-mails with Thorsten before - but that was... goodness, 10 years ago? He's friendly, IIRC. I've talked with  David Salo too, and he seemed friendly enough. No idea how friendly he'd be to my  textbook. I probably still have his e-mail floating around somewhere.

Remy Corbin Jul 16, 2016 (03:00)

I would buy it, so good, good luck!

Fiona Jallings Jul 16, 2016 (03:05)

That's the point of contacting them before publishing the book - securing rights to not get sued to death by them.

Tamas Ferencz Jul 16, 2016 (09:24)

I wish you all the best luck with your enterprise, Fiona. Í have long been contemplating writing a Quenya primer myself - I think the amount of new material published of late would make it interesting -, so if you are successful in getting yours out there maybe it will give me that necessary push to move me out of my procrastination

Fiona Jallings Jul 16, 2016 (21:34)

I have a BA in English-Linguistics, and because of my website and Neo-Sindarin course, I'm pretty well-known in Neo-Elvish circles.

I got in contact with Thorsten, and he said that I shouldn't need permission from them, since it's like any scholarly work. He didn't need any permissions when he published his Neo-Elvish textbooks.

Rick Spell Jul 17, 2016 (03:51)

+Tamas Ferencz I would like to see that!

Faravenel Faramiriel Jul 17, 2016 (08:07)

+Hína Kemenduro Re: " Publishing for profit could be the biggest issue for the estate..."

I'm not a lawyer either, but I am a printer's daughter. I don't know where you're based, but both Fiona and I are based in the US. As I understand it, Americans enjoy much stronger fair use protections than people in European countries, which the Estate discovered the hard way. Here is an overview of the American fair use doctrine:
And here is the actual doctrine:

So, even re-writing the Lord of the Rings (on the really rather stupid premise that Tolkien didn't understand Westron when he was translating the Red Book, so there were actually 3 Nazgul, or something) and publishing it commercially is fair use. (This actually happened. I don't feel like sorting through filth to find an article about it, but Googling "Tolkien A New Translation" might get you somewhere.)

Fiona's project is educational/academic. The Estate most likely doesn't even have copyright over the language, see: And if anything, Fiona's textbook will drive sales Tolkien's work. If the Estate was stupid enough to bring a lawsuit, I can't see it surviving a motion to dismiss.