Participants’ Comments

Bertrand Bellet

It was a great opportunity to meet, in this both friendly and studious setting, fellow Tolkienists with such a variety of approaches to the professor’s invented languages. On the more scholarly pole we had a series of solid contributions, text analyses, decipherment of invented writing systems, discussions about methods. On the more creative pole we attempted conversational Quenya around a few games, listened at poetic compositions (mostly original, some translated) and attended a most interesting lecture about Tolkien inspired music. I was especially happy to enjoy aural Elvish, spoken, recited, chanted and even sung (how welcome a harper would have been!) — an aspect I had not often encountered.

If there has been some tension between these poles, we felt none there, and never was I more convinced that both are to be enjoyed complementarily, each strengthening the other. We experienced it more that once at the conference ; we actually had a interesting, if unfinished discussion about it.

Beside linguistic matters, there were some pleasant extras: discovering early printing in the Plantin-Moretus museum, walking through Antwerp and visiting a reconstituted 16th century housing, just to end underground in a vaulted beer cellar... Not to mention, of course, discussing various topics with participants until quite late in the night — I learnt quite a bit about the history of the Low Countries in this meeting!

There are two people I would like to thank especially: Dirk Trappers, our chairman and guide in the visits, and Beregond/Anders Stenström, Master Organizer and Master Cook — one who puts a star on your brow.

Now let us meet again in two years!


Dorine Ratulangie

Thank you all for such an interesting conference. My knowledge about Tolkien’s languages was quite basic, but I was curious to find out more. The papers, workshops, seminars, poetry and music made me return home with a lot to think about, some fresh enthousiasm when it comes to Tolkien and new (poetic) inspiration. The lunches in Lessius Hogeschool were very good, and of course Beregond’s cooking! Compliments.

In general, it was great to get to know new people and catch up with acquaintances. Interesting to discuss with other language enthousiasts about poetry, the peculiarities of Tolkien’s invented but also real world languages, and Antwerpen themes like the giant Antigoon and comic book characters. The visit to the Plantin-Moretus museum added to the experience — seeing for instance ‘Our Father’ in Gothic and runes that were still used in print in the 16th century.

Dorine Ratulangie / Estrella de la Tarde


Harm J. Schelhaas

My overall impression is that of the friendly and engaging atmosphere I know well from Tolkienian gatherings, such as Oxonmoot, the DTG’s Tolkien Thing, Unquendor’s ‘Slotfeest’ and especially Lustrum-feast, but with the specialist theme, the small group and catering for ourselves (compliments to Beregond!) it is all much more focused. And although there is a difference between the experts of many years and those that are there just because Tolkien’s languages have aroused their mind’s interest (a distinction I feel is more appropriate than that between professional and amateur linguists), everybody gets drawn into discussion and conversation, for which the informal parts of the programme are as important as the formal.

And the range of discussion was very wide. Philology is clearly still as much about Knowledge and Culture as it is about Language. Certainly I will not forget singing Thaxted, nor Beregond playing Morgoth, nor the police looking in upon the discussion at half past midnight, because the neighbours were wondering why the lights were still on! Which led to the non-residents finding the door locked on Saturday morning, and having to phone Bart Servaes (whose absence was regretted) for my mobile number, so that they could phone me to ask to be let in.


Hedwig Valkiers

Visiting Omentielva Tatya

My first impression on visiting ‘The Omentielva Tatya’ is being invited at the counsel of Elrond. I don’t know if I could say that I felt as Gloin (he went back home) because who then would be Gimli? Perhaps I could say that I resembled Pippin listening to the Ents, but if so, I’m afraid you would think that I was bored and I just wasn’t. I was merely a visitor, who listened to Bertrand Bellet reading poems and Bill, Beregond, Harm and others playing “Who am I” in Quenya (what an experience). I can’t promise that I will ever learn reading and speaking Quenya, but I catch myself on using already ‘mellon’ and ‘mellyn’ when I’m together with my Tolkien friends.

I will meet you all in two years at Cambridge.

Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo

Hedwig Valkiers
Editor Lothelanor.