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Liaden Pronunciation Poll

So, I'm back on the couch today because I overstrained the ankle yesterday (which no one could have predicted, right?), typing on The Leewit, with Mozart in his window hammock, keeping a Very Sharp Eye Out for pirates, UPS trucks, Quiet and/or Louder, and That Uppity Squirrel. In between naps.

Anyway, we haven't forgotten the Liaden Pronunciation Guide project, but we need some help in deciding on format.

This? Is your cue.

Poll #1816147 Liaden Pronunciation Guide Poll

Which mode of presentation do you prefer?

Sharon & Steve talking or reading and using the words in context
A clickable list of words (click on MOO, and a voice says, "MOO")
Something else that I'll tell you in comments

That would be 6 greedy people, so far!

I think that you guys should do the reading then use that to create the clickable list of words. That way the words will be pronounced in context but there will be an ability to "quick reference'

That would be perfect.

Oh I hope that this project eventually leads to audio books... Then there will be no medium left where I cannot have my favorite books. I travel a lot, and audio books save your brain on long car rides. :)

THIS. i want author-read audio books, they are my favorite.

For my part, I prefer that my favorite authors write new books, which professional voice actors can then record as audiobooks.

I find my preferred audio books are those where the reader can give the major characters distinct qualities, and can read the text with good attention to proper phrasing. Yes, the author will get the pronunciation and the emphasis of the sentences right, but not all authors are good read-aloud readers, much less voice actors.

As I listen to more audiobooks, I'm surprised at how poorly some of the major names in audiobook narrators do. But then of course, each listener wants different things as well, and my priorities are, well, only mine.

I agree on the pros generally doing a better job. Most author read stuff I've tried has been very flat. One thing some authors do is send along a recording of themselves giving pronunciations for tricky words for the voice actors to use.

Either way though I'd really like to see Liaden audiobooks. I'm assuming Buzzy won't be doing any more since Local Custom was done a long time ago by them with no other books following.

I was one of the greedy ones. I am more than willing to take whatever you feel you want to do but both would be wondrous.

I actually kinda liked option 2 but chose neither.


I started out with phonetics in first grade 60 years ago.

We then moved to a school system that didn't teach phonics.

I've been messing up my English pronunciation ever since.

I can usually tell when I've done it.

The person I'm speaking with eyes get rather glazed.

They also usually say "What?"

Why should Liaden be any different?

A guide to pronunciaton and stress would also be nice (if possible). When faced with unfamiliar words, for instance, I tend to think of them with Spanish pronunciation; this doesn't work for Greek or Russian or German, of course.

"Liaden" for instance: Is it "LIE a den" or "Lee AYE den" (or, of course, something else)?

It's always been "Lee AH den" to me. Isn't it strange how unfamiliar words stick in your head? Even after you hear the correct way to pronounce them, it's so difficult to get that first impression out.

If a word is unfamiliar or foreign, as in Liaden (and yes, I agree, that becomes "Lee AH den") my brain decides it needs to be pronounced as if it were Norwegian. Sixty (PLUS!) years in the US have not managed to change that; my Spanish pronunciation in high school made my teachers either laugh or cringe. I will cheerfully join the "greedy" crowd and hope for both the authors reading AND a clickable list of words. It will be awesome.

i chose "both", BUT i want whatever the authors can fit into their schedules without stress. In fact, i'd do without either of the first two choices if it meant a new Liaden book underway.

Pronunciation optional


2012-02-04 11:10 pm (UTC)

I'm not sure I want to know how the authors pronounce some things. If there's a... disagreement... between how the authors intended a word to be pronounced, and what I think the spelling implies, it jars me out of my immersion in the story.

(I have finally come to terms with the idea that Celeborn and Cirdan are pronounced with a K sound at the front. It took a while.)

In particular, it always jars me if a non-English language is written in a way that expects me to use English vowels, because NO OTHER LANGUAGE ON EARTH assigns those sounds to those letters. English is the victim of a Cosmic Joke, in which the last sound shift happened immediately *after* the spelling was finalized.

The only example in Liaden (rhymes with "be trodden") that really jarred me was the name Tiazin, which from its morphing into Tayzin suggests that the authors pronounce the original with an English "long a" (which would be spelt 'ei' in Latin). My head refuses; Tiazin rhymes with "rosin" in there.

I also like pronunciation guides as phonetic text (not IPA, though, because my brain refuses to get a handle on it). However, having done a text pronunciation guide for Bujold's Curse of Chalion, I've been confronted with the problems of amateur phonetic renderings.

As I suspect a text version is more work for the authors, I'll be very happy with sound clips.