Americans Try To Pronounce Polish Cities

In looking up the word for “bellydancer” in Arabic, I was not only reminded that there really isn’t one (aside from “dancer”/”professional dancer”), I also learned some other verrrry interesting bits.  (Well, to me, anyway.  But I like languages and etymology, so.. those minuscule variances resulting in major cultural references may just be intriguing to me- which I’ll fully cop to. ;))

But for those of you whose interests might be piqued too; as in English (and mannny other languages), a lot of difference can be inferred/gleaned from one little “e” or “a.”  (For example, it don’t take much to turn “fried” into “fired,” or “fared” into “feared.” ;))  And here, I’ve learned that all we need to take one from a respected performer to.. something else.. is a single vowel shift.  

Glad I looked this up, and grateful to my linguaphilic tendencies for inspiring me to do so, before I made a pretty big (and unsavory) linguistic/cultural “oops.”  ‘Cause it’s better to be informed than to name yourself/something you do/your business does after something that you don’t fully understand.. or offer up a meaning to native speakers that you don’t initially intend…  (Plus, there’s always that whole thing of understanding and respecting the people and cultures where something is from… ;))  

-After all, when you’re studying for a profession or advertising your name to the world, there’s a biiig difference between being a “chef” and a “chief.” ;)

How to Pronounce the Names of the Valar

Okay, here’s the names of the Valar. 

  • Manwë: mah n way [ˈmanwe]
  • Varda: vah r dah [ˈvarda]
  • Aulë: ow lay [ˈa͡ʊle]
  • Yavanna: yah vah nah [jaˈvanːa]
  • Ulmo: ool moh [ˈulmo]
  • Namo/Mandos: nah moh / mah n doh s [ˈnaːmo] / [ˈmandos]
  • Vairë: vah-eeh ray [ˈvaɪre]
  • Irmo/Lórien: Ee r moh / Loh ree ehn [ˈirmo] / [ˈloːri.en]
  • Estë: Eh s [ˈeste]
  • Nienna: nee eh nah [ˈɲenːa]
  • Oromë: oh roh may [ˈorome]
  • Vána: vah nah [ˈvaːna]
  • Tulkas: tool kah s [ˈtulkas]
  • Nessa: neh sah [ˈnesːa]

I’ve typed their names out phonetically, to the best of my ability, while referencing Tolkien’s notes on pronunciation from the LOTR Appendices, as well as this IPA vowel chart.

((EDIT: I’ve added IPA pronunciation in parenthesis, found on each character’s Tolkien Gateway page.))

Important pronunciation note on French:

If you say “plus” and pronounce the S at the end you are describing a quantity that is more as in:

“Il y a plus de chocolat ?” - Is there more chocolate?

However if you pronounce the word plus without the s as in “plu” then the meaning of “plus” changes to no more/not … anymore/no longer as in:

“Il y a plus de chocolat ?” - “Isn’t there any more chocolate?”
“Il n'est plus là.” - “He isn’t here anymore/He’s no longer here.”

hawkeyebro asked:

Is there a pronunciation masterpost anywhere? Now that the show is back on, my irl book reading friends and I realized that there are a large number of names and phrases that we're all saying differently.

Here are some pronunciation guides:

However, GRRM is very flexible about pronunciation:

I was the one to ask if he intended to issue a pronunciation guide. I’ve always been a stickler for pronunciation, going back to being a lifelong Tolkien fan (the Professor was extremely particular about this, of course), so I’ve always wanted to know how Martin himself pronounces names. But I guess it’s nice to know that Martin is pretty flexible about. His exact words were “You can pronounce it however you like.” [SSM]

GRRM has said, “In my youth I had a strong NJ accent, only reader in family, knew a lot of words that I had never heard spoken aloud. When I went away to college I found I was pronouncing a lot of these words wrong. I came to not care much about pronunciation. Pronounce the names of my characters however you like.” [SSM]

GRRM has commented on the audiobook pronunciations: 

He did laugh about the audio books (read by Roy Dotrice from Beauty and the Beast), that they questioned him on the hard ones and got them right, but then went and got all the easy ones wrong (like Peh-TEER instead of PEE-ter.) [SSM]

Here are some of GRRM’s pronunciations, according to the SSM;

  • Arya = ARE-yuh
  • Benjen = ben-jen
  • Brienne = BREE-eh-knee, accent on the 1st syl
  • Cersei = sir-see
  • Daenerys = dane-err-is / deh-NAIR-is
  • Hodor = HOE-door
  • Jaime = JAY-mee (like the English name Jamie)
  • Jon = like the English name John
  • Lysa = LIE-sa
  • Maester = may-ster
  • Petyr = PEE-ter (like the English name Peter)
  • Sansa = sahn-sa 
  • Ser = like Sir
  • Targaryen = tar-GAIR-ee-ehn
  • Tyrion = tear-ree-on
  • In most cases, the Valyrian AE found in many Targaryen names is pronounced like “ay” (which rhymes with “day” or “hay” or the month of “May”).

SSM links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

On Arya and Sansa’s names, Martin explained: “I say it ‘Are-ya’, two syllables not three. Not ‘are-ee-uh’, not like an operatic thing, but ‘Are-ya’, very sharp. I wanted something that was like a knife, that was a sharp and hard sound, to be a contrast to the flowery ‘Sansa’.” [source]

According to Bryan Cogman, pronunciations in-world may differ depending on the accent and languages of the character speaking. [source]

Occasionally, We Get Internal Pronunciation Emails

Hi there

As we approach the Scottish referendum, may I please remind you that the correct pronunciation of Edinburgh is <ED-in-BURR-ah>

+++ if you are Scottish you can say ED-in-BRAH  +++

However it is NOT a an animal’s den “–burrow” or a  large lump of ice    “-berg”



*We checked with Kevin before posting this.

Kevin Beesley

Europe Editor

NPR National Public Radio

Related: The Answers To Your Questions on Scotland’s Independence Vote

I’ve seen some people complaining about that “being white means never having your name mispronounced” post that’s going around. On the one hand, they’re totally right: I’m a white guy with a Ukrainian surname, and it gets mispronounced all the time. I’ve had to correct just about everybody I know at some point.

You know what’s never happened, though?

Nobody’s ever asked me if they could call me a different name that’s easier for them to say instead.

Nobody’s ever reacted to having their pronunciation corrected with a look of utter incredulity, like I’d just asked them to sprout wings and fly.

Nobody’s ever just straight-up refused to acknowledge the correction and continued to mispronounce my name has they had before.

Nobody’s ever tried to convince me that I’m pronouncing my own name wrong.

Back when I was in school - and I mean straight on through university, not just primary school - I saw all of the above inflicted upon other students on a regular basis, including folks whose names were, by any reasonable metric, much less tongue-twisting than mine.

Can you guess what all those folks had in common?

anonymous asked:

I saw a post saying her first name should pronounced "kam-la", is this true?

I believe you’re referring to this post?

I’m certainly not qualified to make these sort of rulings, but in general, I believe language is very dynamic and not always as clear cut as we might want it to be. Names, even common names, can have multiple pronunciations depending on where in the world we’re talking about.

That being said, I’ve gone along with how the creators pronounce the name. Recently, G. Willow Wilson was on Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men which can be found here. She discusses the pronunciation around the 11 minute mark.