Runic translator

In his book 'The Hobbit', J.R.R. Tolkien uses a variant of the anglo-saxon runes for the writing on Thror's map. The translator on this page uses these runes to translate an English text into runic script.

To use the translator simply enter your text in the text box and click the 'Translate' button. The runic text will appear in the area below the buttons. You can use the 'Clear text' button to erase the English text, and the 'Reset text' button to restore the last translated text.

When you translate a text you will see that the English text is also modified somewhat. This is done to make the text fit the capabilities of the runic script. Sometimes an English character cannot be translated at all, in which case it is replaced by a # symbol.

The output of the translator is limited to a maximum of 150 runes.

rune0 rune1 rune2 rune3 rune4 rune5 rune6 rune7 rune8 rune9 rune10 rune11 rune12 rune13 rune14 rune15 rune16 rune17 rune18 rune19 rune20 rune21 rune22 rune23 rune24 rune25 rune26 rune27 rune28 rune29 rune30 rune31 rune32 rune33 rune34 rune35 rune36 rune37 rune38 rune39 rune40 rune41 rune42 rune43 rune44 rune45 rune46 rune47 rune48 rune49 rune50 rune51 rune52 rune53 rune54 rune55 rune56 rune57 rune58 rune59 rune60 rune61 rune62 rune63 rune64 rune65 rune66 rune67 rune68 rune69 rune70 rune71 rune72 rune73 rune74 rune75 rune76 rune77 rune78 rune79 rune80 rune81 rune82 rune83 rune84 rune85 rune86 rune87 rune88 rune89 rune90 rune91 rune92 rune93 rune94 rune95 rune96 rune97 rune98 rune99 rune100 rune101 rune102 rune103 rune104 rune105 rune106 rune107 rune108 rune109 rune110 rune111 rune112 rune113 rune114 rune115 rune116 rune117 rune118 rune119 rune120 rune121 rune122 rune123 rune124 rune125 rune126 rune127 rune128 rune129 rune130 rune131 rune132 rune133 rune134 rune135 rune136 rune137 rune138 rune139 rune140 rune141 rune142 rune143 rune144 rune145 rune146 rune147 rune148 rune149

A little game

Enter some text in the text box and then click the 'Translate' and 'Clear text' buttons. Now ask a friend to translate the runic text back into English. To verify the answer click on the 'Reset text' button.

About the runes

In 'The Hobbit', Tolkien does not make use of the full set of anglo-saxon runes; he uses only the ones in the following table. The translator on this page also uses only these runes.

A A L L W W
B B M M X X
C C N N Y Y
D D O O, OO Z Z
E E P P EE EE
F F CW Q NG NG
G G R R TH TH
H H S S HW WH
I I, J J T word word
K K U U, V sentence sentence
unknown unknown

In the introduction to 'The Hobbit', Tolkien does mention additional runes for EA and for ST, but these are not used on Thror's map. These two runes are also not used by the translator.

There is no separate rune for the letter Q; instead, the combination of a C and a W rune is used. And a combination of an H and a W rune is used for WH, reflecting that in the runic script the position of these characters is reversed when they occur paired. The single and triple dot are used to separate words and sentences.

The 'unknown' symbol is of course not a real rune. The translator uses it to indicate that a character from your English text could not be translated.