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Uglúk u bagronk
Black Speech

x^なzえ `N wx#7zpJ d`C qAH2x^ 87Et^5#xなw& wwぞ9AJ 8zlE Á
Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob búbhosh skai!
(See the commentary.)

A long curse uttered by an Orc in The Lord of the Rings, book III, chapter 3. Quite clearly, Tolkien first looked for a distasteful sound effect, and only later tried to ascribe it a meaning. Several interpretations of his are known to exist; three have been published to this day, in: We let those of our readers interested in such matters assess the most convenient choice as well as the appropriate speech register. Tolkien’s own opinion on Black Speech (among other things) is known from this excerpt of Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings, published in Parma Eldalamberon n° 17, p. 11-12 :

I have tried to play fair linguistically, and it is meant to have a meaning not be a mere casual group of nasty noises, though an accurate transcription would even nowadays only be printable in the higher and artistically more advanced form of literature. According to my taste such things are best left to Orcs, ancient and modern.

The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor” according to the general use of the Third Age created by Tolkien, in its adaptation to the Black Speech illustrated by the One Ring inscription. We made use of Johan Winge’s typeface Tengwar Annatar Italic.

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Lord of the Rings. London: HarperCollins, 1999. 3 vol. ISBN 0-261-10235-1.
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Peoples of Middle-earth. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 2002. 482 p. (The History of Middle-earth; XII). ISBN 0-261-10348-2.
Vinyar Tengwar: The journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, a Special Interest Group of the Mythopoeic Society. Edited by Carl F. Hostetter. Crofton (Maryland): 1988-  . ISSN 1054-7606. 🌍 The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship.
Parma Eldalamberon: The Book of Elven-tongues. Edited by Christopher Gilson. Cupertino (California): 1971-  . 🌍 Eldalamberon.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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