Black Speech

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This article deals with Black Speech as it relates to NationStates. For more general information, see the Wikipedia article on this subject.


Black Speech is a language derived from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, especially The Lord of the Rings. It is the language spoken by the servants of Sauron and the inhabitants of Mordor.

Note that, in spite of the relevance tag above, this article will in fact not remain at covering the language "as it relates to NationStates", but delve more deeply into the nature of Black Speech itself. The main reason for this is that the Wikipedia article on the subject, being part of an actual encyclopedia rather than a fictional one, contains little to no information on the exact vocabulary and grammar, since any such speculation has no place in an encyclopedic article. The information compiled below is gathered mainly from the Ardalambion (see external links), a well-known authority and source on Tolkien's languages.

Black Speech in NationStates

Nations that use Black Speech

Add to this list as seen fit.


Authentic Black Speech, as used in The Lord of the Rings, is present in only two original phrases, and several names. These are firstly the ring-spell:

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Which, rendered in English, means:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.,

And secondly, a curse uttered by an Orc:

Uglûk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob bûb-hosh skai!

Which Tolkien himself translated differently at two instances:

Uglúk to the cesspool, sha! the dungfilth; the great Saruman-fool, skai!
Uglúk to the dung-pit with stinking Saruman-filth, pig-guts, gah!

Thus "glob" might mean "filth" or "fool", "push-dug" either "dungfilth" or "stinking", and "bub-hosh" either "pig-guts" or "great".

The original vocabulary of the language is thus very limited, though it has been complemented by a large amount of new words invented by fans.

It should be noted that most names of places either in Mordor or implicitly connected to Sauron are named in Elvish, not in the Black Speech. This includes Mordor, Barad-Dur, Dol-Guldur, Minas Morgul, Cirith Ungol and Orodruin.


The few known words (most of them corrupted or debased forms of words derived from other languages by

Tolkien) include (derived from Ardalambion):

agh : and
ash : One
at : a syllable indicating either infinitive, or possibly purpose.
bagronk : cess-pool
bub-hosh : great
burz : darkness
durb : to rule
gimb : to find
gûl : wraith
ishi : in (preposition, attached after object)
lug : tower
krimp : to bind/tie
nazg : ring
push-dug : dungfilth
sha : Exclamation of distaste/disapproval/scorn
skai : Exclamation of distaste/disapproval/scorn
thrak : to bring
ûk : all/fully/completely (attached as suffix to the verb of action)
ul : them
uruk : Orc


From the few sources that are available, the grammar of Black Speech is nearly indiscernable. However, from the ring-spell it is possible to arrive at these conclusions (which are all conjecture, of course):

Word order

(Adjective) Subject (Object-Preposition) Verb

Example (conjectured):

Ash nazg burzum-ishi krimpatul
One ring darkness-into to bind them

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns are not separate words, but attached to the verb as a suffix.


to find them (where '-ul' is 'them')


The preposition is attached by a hyphen to the object of the sentence.




The time or tense of the sentence is a suffix attached to the verb. This goes before the personal pronoun.


to rule (where 'at' is 'to', either infinitive or 'purpose')

A sentence in Black Speech

Assuming there were sufficient vocabulary, it would be possible to translate the following sentence:

I shall rule the world, and cast you all into shadow.


(I) (world) durb(future_tense), agh (shadow)-ishi (cast)(future_tense)(you)uk.

Where the bold parts are actual words in Black Speech, and the brackets stand for missing vocabulary. Note I used shadow rather than 'darkness' (for which there is BS word, burzum), in order to better illustrate the word order.

External Links