elves: Indic counterpart?

Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at MACUNLIMITED.NET
Mon May 23 18:00:29 UTC 2005

The thread began with this enquiry, but took off in various
directions afterwards:

At 7:43 pm -0500 7/2/05, Allen W Thrasher wrote:
>A Thai friend is trying to translate the poem on the Ring in the Lord of
>the Rings into Thai, for a multilingual page of such translations.  She
>asked me for help on what would be a good translation for "elves," since
>Thai lore of supernatural beings is largely based on Indian. ...

Allen found out afterwards that there was already a Thai translation
of the whole of The Lord of the Rings in existence, but I don't think
he has actually seen a copy yet.  (I for one am very interested to
know how these sorts of problems are handled.)

Whatever may be the situation elsewhere, in Tolkien's works Elves and
Dwarves are quite distinct beings.

Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

At 5:21 pm -0600 22/5/05, jkirk wrote:
>I'm revisiting this question--wasn't it prompted by a query on the
>translation of elf into Hindi for exhibiting the Lord of the Rings movie in
>India?  Seems the translators could have used the word vaaman -- dwarf. A
>dwarf in folklore is close to an elf, after all.
>Joanna K.
>>  aspects of yak.sa-lore seem relevant, too, particularly
>>  associations with vegetation and wealth,
>>  though they have a malevolent side which would
>>  not do for Tolkein's elves (though perhaps accords
>>  with the mythology more generally).
>>  On this, of course, see Coomaraswamy.
>>  And what of the vidyaadharas and siddhas, as known
>>  in the epics? Elvish longevity and command of wonders
>>  might incline one to favor the vidyaadharas here.
>>  MK

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