The New Notion Club Archives
The New Notion Club Archives


Daenael was the ancient language of the Daen peoples. It was sometimes incorrectly referred to as "Ancient Dunael" or "Old Dunael" (though Dunael indeed was a late and archaic descendant of Daenael). Other languages which descended from Daenael or were influenced by it were old Breeish, Blarm, and Pukael.

Daen languages in MERP

In MERP the Daen languages are usually represented as Celtic-influenced. Most of the time Dunael is represented by slightly modified Gaelic, and Blarm and Breeish by modified Welsh, or a mix of welsh and gaelic elements although in later publications and MECCG, Dunael is represented by Welsh instead and Daenael by Gaelic (mostly mixed forms of scottish or Old Irish)

Middle-Earth Language Real-world language
Ancient Daenael debased Proto-Celtic
Blarm modified Welsh or modified Scottish Gaelic
Daenael *Pictish/*Caledonian or modified Breton
Dunael modified Gaelic or modified Welsh
Pukael Beaker, debased Celtic
Ancient Breeish Cumbrian, Cornish


The "Halethian" in Tolkien's writings

Tolkien never mentions the term Daenael, but many old personal and place-names in Gondor are said to be remnants of an "old language of the original inhabitants of Gondor and the White Mountains", "a people distantly akin to the later Dunlendings and Breelanders". The language was "related tho that of the Haladin of the first age".

These are place-names such as: Agar, Arnach, Bel, Dur-nor-Belgod, Eilenach, Eilenaer, Erech, Ishmalog, Gorbelgod, Rimmon, Ri-Ishmalog/Rishmalog, Udul

and personal names such as: Argan, Forlong, Mogru, Bulda/Buldar, Hazad, and the patronymic Tal- and u.

Tolkien had in mind to give these languages a strong Celtic feeling. Some Halflings of the Stoor tribe have Welsh and Breton names, which is why some people think he might have had these tongues in mind to represent the languages of the men of southern Eriador (probably the lands around Tharbad where the Stoors had lived for some time).

Strangely, the words of Tal Elmar do not always feel entirely Celtic: Agar sounds like the Sumerian word for "field", for example (though strangely, it could be a Celtic word that means "joy"), and "Udul" comes from the name of Sumerian historical figure. Perhaps the people of Tal Elmar were not related to the men of the White Mountains at all, or perhaps as the languages of the Edain could be fictional Dené–Caucasian language meant to have a Vasconic and Sino-Tibetan flavor that is translated into Germanic languages, the Daen spoke a fictional Dené–Caucasian language that is meant to sound like Tyrsenian and Sumerian languages that is often translated into Celtic languages.

Alternatively, with "Tal" as a patronymic name and the name "Mogru", it could be meant to sound like Sanskrit.

Furthermore, it could be meant to sound like a Semitic Canaanite language such as Hebrew, due to the use of "u" as a patronym.

Celtic languages in Lotro

LOTRO commonly uses Welsh to represent the languages of the Dunlendings, Old British or Cornish for the Gauredain, and Gaelic to represent the language of the Hillmen and Angmar.