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Mis-Pronouncing the WoT and RJ's hatred for the diphthong

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I agree that the audio books do very well at finding a good balance.  After the first few books they find a good rhythm.  As I have listened to them all several times, those are the pronunciations I use.


sue-wan siuan



I see that someone — anonymous — uses the audio book pronunciations for a guide.  In the very beginning, the actors doing the reading got in touch with me about pronunciations, but they stopped halfway through reading The Eye of the World, and I haven’t heard from them since.  So I wouldn’t go too much by what they use. (Robert Jordan on September 28th, 2005, Blog)


Its funny, I know Robert Jordan often did a section at interviews and booksignings about pronunciations and I cannot find a list of them, thought for sure I would!!

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how have most of you handled pronunciation of the seanchan? for the longest time I did them as seen chan

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more or less like the name with our Americanized spelling is pronounced ...



As a resident of the aforementioned mythical nation, I would like to point out that if we existed, we would be  much better at creating fantasy worlds than Americans, as they have a habit of stopping after they've created America.


Gosh what a clever one you are; M'thinks I'm bleeding from such slashing wit. And so acerbic  ::) .. Ooo it stings!  As for stopping after creating America; what better place to stop. We've no need to go further as your fantasy view of us is much more whimsical than anything anyone here could put on paper.

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This past reread I've been trying to use the proper pronunciations, but I said screw it.


My pronunciations have always been


Siuan- Shawn

Nyn- Nigh-veen

egy- Ug-ween

Seanchan- Shawn-chan

Moiraine- More-rain

Aiel- Eye-eel

And for cuillender (sp?) Qu-lender

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For Seanchan, I thought it must be come crazy pronunciation. It couldn't be anything normal as Shawn-chan.


So, I always said it as se-ahn-chan....

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I've tried to pronounce the names as correctly as possible (knowing that RJ hated mispronunciations). However, he also makes fun of often in the books, especially when rumours are discussed, i.e., the different names used to describe the Seanchan (I don't have a list of the misspelled Seanchan names present). Also, within Randland, there are obviously different accents and jargon, and likely people of different lands would use different pronunciations for certain words and names. So RJ's hatred for our mispronouncing his beloved characters is simply ironic in my opinion. I would theorize that he made up crazy names like Nynaeve, Egwene, and Aiel just to cause us pain in our tongues while RJ sat comfortably in a barcalounger with a snifter of brandy smoking a corncob pipe.

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I know I get a few of em wrong. When I say it:


Seanchan = see-an-shan

Nynaeve = nina-eve

Egwene = egg-when

Moiraine = mor (like Moridin) ane

Taim = tame

Aginor = agg-in-or

Cairhein = care-heen

Rhuidean = rooey-dee-an

Cuendillar = kwen-dill-arr

Aiel = ale


The one I absolutely REFUSE to change to the right one is Taim. Time sounds crap as a name, it doesnt feel like you're saying he's tame because he obviously isnt.



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Having just completed a listen to the entire series on audiobook, and comparing their pronunciations to the glossary, they seem pretty accurate.


And, after hearing the names hundreds of times, it's stuck in my brain now, and only the audiobook versions sound right to me anymore.


RJ may be, uh, inventive with his names, but it could be worse.  I was floored when I found out bean sidhe is pronounced banshee.

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i tried to figure out the pronunciations once years ago and just gave up i liked mine better


aes sedai- ace said E(kinda flows into just two syllables though)

moraine - more rain

ewgene - U gene(i knew that was way off so was suprised when i saw something like it on this thread--great minds ;D)

birgitte - brrr jet or jeet(kinda changes sometimes)

aiel- ale


i read the books for years, over and over, and just recently listened to the audiobooks. i knew the names would be different but i was amazed how about half of my names were right but the others were so very off. birgitte for example i think is the most bizzare pronunciation i ever heard


anyone else read a "D" into emond's field(edmond's field). i dont really know how i did that but i didnt notice until someone pointed it out to me after i was on book 4 or 5....i still read it as edmond's field though.

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anyone else read a "D" into emond's field(edmond's field). i dont really know how i did that but i didnt notice until someone pointed it out to me after i was on book 4 or 5....i still read it as edmond's field though.


Don't feel bad, for the first 4 books I ignored the 2 'r's in Myrrdral

and I say aiel as ale too

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There really shouldn't be a lot of ambiguity here since most of these words have the pronunciation in the glossary. I mean, technically that is how they should be pronounced even if I can't mentally make myself read or say them that way most of the time.


Too many hard sounds or official pronunciations that just don't make sense. I take the old tongue with a grain of salt because it is another language. CWAIN-deh-yar for instance. But when you are reading everything in "english" and out of nowhere you get Moiraine that is supposedly pronounced mwah-RAIN, it creates a mental barrier. eh-GWAIN trips me up every time because I can't wrap my head around it. Also, it's ugly. Most of Jordan's names are ugly, I think he outsmarted himself a lot and in more than just coming up with names.

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I also hear the audiobook names in my head, but even some of those changed from book to book.


In the earlier books, Moghedien was MOH-ga-dene, but later it was Moh-GED-i-an.


So maybe someone told the voice actors the right way to say it between the two books, or maybe they just forgot how they had pronounced it before and guessed a different way the second time.

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Yeah, I mentioned the Moggy audio-book pronunciations a while back. But in listening again to TGS I've heard Moe-gah-deen again. So without really going back through all the books I think it may have to do with a POV possibly.... Or not


I'm so used to it now I barely note it.


Egwene is ugly? From what perspective? That of an American reader who can't be arsed to deal with anything not "Indiana-ish"? I'm sure Mr. Jordan begs your pardon.


Cuendillar is deriviative of Spanish it appears to me....... So is Chili, Tortilla (that DARN double LL yuh sound again, DANG IT) Corral, Rodeo and Camaro ::)


Egwene is pronounced much the same as the "Welsh"(I think) Ygraine ... who if ones reads anything other than Harry Potter or Twilight was King Arthur's mother.

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I gave up trying to pronounce them.  As I read, this is what I think:


Egwene = egg


Nynaeve = N


Avendia = av


Demandred = dem


Moghedian = mog




Sometimes, like with trolloc or mydrall, I just form a mental image and move along.


I know who I mean when I think the shorter names.  Saves time and effort.  Same end result.  ;D

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Just so G.. and those of us of a certain age tend to relate better with imagery than with text anyway...  ;D


Besides, when I read moving my lips I keep spittin' out my dentures on some of the monikers Jordan uses.. I'm not looking forward to the youngster thinkin' up his own "chopper twisters"

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Another WOT person who is over 40? ! ?  Who would have guessed it? ! ?


(just kidding)

(there are a couple of others)

(maybe we can recruit more?)


I'm the First Fool of Fiddlesticks because my birthday is April 1st.

56 this coming April.

Can't stop spamming DM...it's got me hooked...something to do now that the kids have flown the coop.  ;)

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I recently started a re-read and thought that this time I might actually attempt to pronounce the names correctly.  However, I've noticed that some of the names are just ridiculous complicated, and Randland (RJ) really really likes words where a syllable ends with a vowel and then is followed by a different vowel.  I find these words just ridiculous to pronounce and in my mind resort to the diphthong. 


The one I find the most ridiculous is Aiel, which is supposed to be aye-EEL.  But everytime I thing of someone pronouncing it, it just doesn't work.  Especially when used as a possessive (an Aielman's) .


So I pronounce it "ale".


Also, Taim, tame.

Nynaeve, "NIGH-knave"

Siuan, Swann (But here's an example of the dipthong's (tripthong?) being used.  (Also, Tear is tear, not TE-AIR).

Cadsuane, CAD-swain



The one name I struggle with the most Egwene, being unable to fix on a pronunciation.  I usually just end up thinking "EDGE-wean".


Anyway,  what about you?


What do you do?



Aiel = ay-elle

Suian = swee-an

Cadsuane = cad-swain

Nynaeve = ny-nay-eve

Moraine = more-rain

Taim = tame

Egwene = edge-ween

Aes Sedai = ay-es se-dye

Birgitte = bur-jeet

Myrrdral = meer-dral


I've never listened to the books on tape, which I assume would have to be the default for correct pronunciations... but it was a kick hearing how everyone else pronounced them in their head since I just assumed (of course) that my pronunciations were the only ones and the obviously correct ones.

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After listening to audio books I kind of go with what they say. I did notice that they have change few names as books progressed, but I believe that by about book 3 they had solidly settled on the same pronunciations. Plus, I know RJ listen to his own books to see how they sound to others and I would imagine he would call Kramer if he massed things up. :)

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Okay, okay, okay, since WHEN is Asmodean pronounced Asmo-dee-an? I never questioned that it was supposed to be Asmo-deen. (I just watched an interview with BS that mentioned him.)



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Nowadays I pronounce everything like they do in audiobooks. The biggest problem for me was Nynaeve, which is actually rather easy on the ear when you know how to say it right. I also mispronounced Seanchan as Se(as in settle)-ahn-chan, and the classics Tame, Ale, Fail. It still seems strange that many characters whose name ends in an 'e', say Corele, are pronounced like, in this case KO-REH-LAH. The 'e' gets changed to 'ah' which is kinda strange, as I would just drop the last 'e' and say it KO-REHL. I got most of the rest right though  8).


And to this day I can't stop laughing when I get to Jadranka, who is a Seanchan soldier who gets a little screen time in TPOD during the Rand-Seanchan battle. Jadranka is a female name here in Croatia, named for our Jadran sea, which in English is the Adriatic sea, so I suppose Jadranka could be Adriatica  ;D

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If any one recalls, RJ wrote a couple of "Conan The Barbarian" series and he had some hard to pronounce names in those too.

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