So many of you asked this question, that we decided to fire off a quick post.
When there is a D in front of a name that starts on a vowel, they are glued together in pronunciation. That is the correct way to pronounce it and when Steve asked about it, we confirmed it.
But the French! Surely the French pronounce it as Dee Something? Nope.
But Renee pronounced it the other way! Yes, she did. When a narrator reads an audiobook, they make it their own. That was the pronunciation she went with and we respected her choice. She is a wonderful narrator. We also respected Steve’s choice to go with the French pronunciation of Dugas’ name, because he comes from Louisiana. Even though majority of people in US would pronounce the S on the end.
I don’t recall if there was a conversation with Renee regarding D’Ambray, bit if there was, we likely told her that should could pronounce it in whatever fashion felt natural, D Amray or Dambray or what have you.
Audiobooks, films, art, they are transformative by nature. They enrich the original material that inspired them by showing another individual’s interpretation. When Doris draws Innkeeper scenes, they don’t look the way we pictured them in our head, and they don’t need to. 🙂 Otherwise, we might as well have a computer read it or draw it.
We are in watch for audio. As soon as ACX clears it and it goes to retailers, the link will be up.
Really interesting to know! I assumed the authors usually had strict control over things like this so it’s consistent throughout.
I really liked Steve’s voice. I may consider purchasing it just because I enjoy listening to the clip yesterday.
I’m sure some authors are very particular. We are not. 🙂
Branderson had Warbreaker redone because he hated Lightsong’s accent (he wasn’t alone). I think like with everything it’s a matter of what you can live with. Rene brings such a beautiful rendition. I still use her annoyed voice when she says “riiing riiiiing riiiiiiiing” XD
Well, if there was something truly immersion breaking, we would have it redone too. There are a lot of things that bug me about audio in general, but at some point one has to let go of control freakiness.
I love audio! with a passion. It allows me to multitask almost everything housework-like. But fortunately I also love re-reading otherwise audiobooks would be just to expensive for one read.
Anyway, the point I actually wanted to make. I love audiobooks. But there are a few audiobooks out there that just aren’t done by the right actor or in the right way (just my opinion of course). Like in a very bored voice. Or in a really young voice for someone very much older according to the story.
Those I just end up reading the old fashioned way 😀
I really liked Steve’s voice to I have high hopes. But I already read the book, so it will just be the cherry on the cupcake 🙂
To be candid, it makes total sense for the people to pronounce the names differently. The Kate books would be pronounced as Kate would have thought it (and she is not French), where as I would expect Hugh to pronounce his name the French way as he is from France.
I like the way you think, that makes total sense. ??
Makes sense. Add me there.
This does make sense, but isn’t Kate extremely well traveled? Iirc, didn’t she compete in those pit fights all over Europe and South America?
Yes, she is well traveled – but that doesn’t mean that she would have a French accent. I had an opportunity to meet the authorlords about a year ago, and Ilona doesn’t have a southern accent (or a Texas drawl) though she has lived there for a long time. I think your childhood helps form the accent you use, though it may morph over time.
I don’t doubt that.
But I wasn’t referring to an accent anyway. The only French I know is from two weeks of DuoLingo a couple of years ago – which is to say none at all, so I have no idea how their grammar works, but I assumed she’d remember the “consonant, apostrophe, uppercase vowel” one. Though it’s possible she wouldn’t have known the proper spelling since she didn’t have that level of clearance.
Another thing to consider; her pronunciation of everyone’s names in Roland’s crew would be based on the way her stepdad and possibly foster father (I’m having a huge brain fart right now and can’t remember any names) pronounced their names. Since Voran (?) was Roland’s right hand man, he should know the correct pronunciations.
That said, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter. We could theorize and assume all we want, the fact of the matter is people pronounce things differently and if it doesn’t bother the Andrews, then it doesn’t really matter. ?
Kate might know how they pronounce d’Ambray in French, but Kate isn’t in France. She’s in Georgia. They do things differently there. (Maybe not as much as Texas, but a Georgian drawl still extends the sounds about three times longer than other accents. And yes, this is a joke. I don’t imagine Kate with a Georgian accent. But it sure was funny in my head.)
She was raised by a Russian, mostly in English-speaking America, and spent all her time since Voron’s death in Georgia with Greg and afterwards. If Kate pronounces d’Ambray as D’Ambray, then she’s doing it to piss Hugh off. Every single time she says his name, she’s spitting in his face.
Now that’s how you justify potentially awkward choices when it comes to reader/narrator/actor/artist interpretation. I hope you all had as much fun with that as I did.
Yeah, I can see Kate saying something to piss Hugh off.
LOL, I totally didn’t think of it that way, but completely agree. I can see her even thinking it wrong in her head just to mess with him.
Haha, that means Steve is pronouncing it the way it sounded in my head. (Being Dutch, we had 3 foreign languages in high school, including French.) 😛
But honestly with a good voice, and of course a superb story it shouldn’t really matter anyway 😉
My question would be… how is Hugh being pronounced? As a natibe English speaker who is also a fluent French speaker, his last name is, in my head, pronounced the French way. But Hugh is the Anglisized version of Hugues. My brain says “Hew” while the french speaking part of said brain registers “oo(the ou sound in “you”)-g(hard g)-oo (the oo sound in “good”).
And I’m just going to say here from personal experience, if anyone ever visits or lives in Turkey… the name “Ufuk” isn’t pronounced at all like you think it is. Lol
I’ve heard both ‘Ug’ (with the ‘u’ more or less like in the English ‘turn’ and no aspiration at all after the ‘g’), and ‘ooge’, with a slight hint of a schwa after the ‘g’.
I think Ufuk would be Oofook – more or less. The Dutch name Fokker, (As in Fokker Aerospace) though, is pronounced just like you would think it is…
This was really interesting, thanks for the educational blog entry!
It always messes with my head if I have read a text version of something and the author has names or terms that were invented by the author and, as I have read those, I have decided how they are pronounced in my own mind, then later the audio version comes out and doesn’t jibe with my version. Even if the narrator is saying it as the author intended, for awhile I’m like, “But, that isn’t how you say it!” LOL!
Curran is apparently pronounced as Kieran. Literally nobody says it that way. You say it however you want to say it in your head. I do. 😛
Really! Wait till I tell the hubby I won the battle of kid names. He said no book names at all. But our youngest’s middle name is Kieran ??. Its part of a K theme for all the kids, but hey I will take it as a win for me.
Kieran ?! o_O
Yep. I had no idea until an Irish person corrected me.
I didn’t realize that Curran was an alternate spelling of Kieran, which is one of my favourite Irish names (lots of Irish ancestry in this part of Canads. I always pronounced it cur-ran in my head but I am totally switching to the Kieran pronounciation ????
Irene Duncan says
Oh, and another good one is a place called Dún Laoghaire, which is actually pronounced as Dun Leery! Gotta love the Gaelic ?
Well, because of the Irish Gaelic heritage, some Irish names don’t sound anything like the way they are spelled (eg Siobhan is pronounced as Shivawn) ?
The Scots are just as bad. Even an easy family name like ours, MacLeod, (wink) is sometimes mispronounced as “Mac-lee-odd,” instead of the correct way, “Mac-cloud.”
Alex R. says
Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod? ?
Yup, a family name. Funny isn’t it? Duncan, Dungarval, Gordon, MacLeod. We even (whisper it quietly, in the deep dark) have a Campbell !?#%!
I never knew that. I have a second cousin named Ciaren, which is pronounced the same way.
Irish names are fun – Siobhan, Saoirse, Niamh, Caoimhe, Caoilfhionn, Aiofe, Fionnghualla…
Imagine being called Fionnghualla Featherstonehaugh and then having to explain to everyone that it’s pronounced Fenella Fenshaw. LOL!!!
Lynn Fitzgerald says
Ok then. Thanks for sharing.
Silly me, I just assumed different individuals might pronounce words/names differently like in real life and didn’t even think to comment. Oh, wait, that’s what you said. LOL. To me the really important aspect is that Steve doesn’t use a falsetto when narrating for Elara and that none of your books have irritating background music/sounds.
Eagerly anticipating getting my hands on the audiobook!
I am so with you. We listened to this one dude when we were choosing narrators and every woman sounded squeaky like something out of Monty Python sketch.
Simon Lyon says
Good female narrators do a much better job of conveying “male” (slight growl in the voice) while not actually trying to impersonate an actual male voice. Most men who try too hard to do a female voice … never ends well!
I often prefer female narrators – but I think the most common failure mode is emotional flattening, along with the growling, and while English tends towards a more lyrical presentation as part of the feminine* all the men growling in close to monotone gets old… (It doesn’t grate on my nerve the way breathy falsetto, does, but I’d been thinking about it, recently, and wondering if I was tougher on male narrators.)
* Though nothing like the difference you see with Japanese. Which means it’s hard to properly convey the effect of my female cousin speaking very butch Japanese on Japanese TV…
Simon Lyon says
Yeah, the The guys sounding flat is a common problem. Just go to a higher or lower register and keep the emotion – but deities save us from guys trying to do falsetto! I can speak (and sing) in three registers – don’t know how common that is though.
Ilona – Thank you for saving us from the squeaky narrator!
Simon & Tylikcat – Agreed, and Rene certainly has us spoiled, I’m constantly impressed by her range … and the fact that she doesn’t get her characters’ voices mixed up. I listen to a series in another genre where Rene works with a male narrator and she does equally as well conveying a different vibe.
Based on the snippet I don’t think we will have any issues with flat reading from Steve.
OMG, yeah, I want him to read me bedtime stories. Oh, wait.
Have you listened to Tangled by Emma Chase in audiobook? The narrator’s voice.. Oh.my.gawwwwddddd…. *fans self*
The dude (hero) is a complete dog and usually the type I DNF a book for, but I soldiered on for the narrator’s sexy ass voice alone. His voice is that damn delicious.
OK this is creeping into rated R territory so I’m just gonna end this.
No… but it’s apparently the same actor who did Sustained, also by Emma Chase, which I did listen to? (Dana Stabenow did a post about the excellent story telling going on in romance, and it was one of the books she recommended, which was a big part of my intro to romance per se.)
Cheryl M says
Oh, that’s funny!!
Steve’s narration is spot on and he is great at portraying both the male and female voices. Thankfully he doesn’t make the females sound silly.
Simon Lyon says
Absolutely. As I mentioned above (in regard to guys getting it wrong), he just switches to a slightly higher register in his voice, rather than trying to impersonate a falsetto female voice. It’s close enough to a woman with a deep voice that it’s realistic.
Bwahahahhaha Phil Gigante! I love his narration of male characters, but he cracks me the hell up whenever he does a female character. Great if the book’s a comedy. Terrible when it’s a steamy romance with lotttts of sexytimes lol
I’ve been stalking Audible for Iron and Magic. I’m reading the whole series via audiobook right now in preparation for MT and I don’t want to miss this piece of it. But hearing Steve West’s narration really ups the anticipation. Thank you for the sample!
I don’t do audible, but I never would have predicted Kieran for Curran. I did get the French pronunciations though. My daughter is a Johanna, after her grandfather, Johann, which we were going to pronounce Joanna but my mom insisted that we pronounce the H as well as the J so she’s pronounced Jo-Hanna. Some folks call her yohonnah , which would probably be the correct way
Simon Lyon says
I don’t think it’s actually Kieran as most of us would pronounce that name. It’s that the U in the name is actually a blend of E and U – add add a soft E before the U and I think that’s the right pronunciation – Keurran.
I just say cur-run
Simon Lyon says
D names are fairly easy – the D is soft and the letter after the apostrope is stressed is what I was taught. Any form of Gaelic is the killer, for example, Sidhe (the fae) is pronounced Shee or sometimes Shea..
Simon Lyon says
I often think that the Celtic regions did it to deliberately piss off the English. 😉 🙂
Have you heard how Siobhan is supposed to be pronounced? O_O
Drives me crazy! I actually have to picture the word in my head spelled phonetically (Shavon) in order to hear it properly.
I finally realized it’s because the letter h is more powerful in Gaelic than in English.
In English, h only messes with t, c, and s. But in Gaelic, h can mess with m, b, g, and d as well. So whenever I see an h, I know it’s thing to get wacky.
My name is heavy on the h’s, so I’m always interested in how it’s used.
Simon Lyon says
Something like Shevaun. Took me a long time to find that out! Like I said – I swear they do it deliberatly! 😉
Siobhan is not one of our more difficult names though?
Is it a popular name in the us? Is that why Siobhan gets picked on? XD
I never knew about Curran=Kieron, but in a summer school I was in 1 boy was Conchobar, pronounced cruh-hor I think? We called him cucumber as a nickname!!
Siobhan was a cool Irish name before Irish names (and spellings) became cool in America. Back in my day, Kevin and Kelly and Ryan and Sheila and Maureen and Patrick were the “Irish” names. Siobhan was around, too, but it was considered pretty exotic. I knew Shevauns and Shavonnes, but the first time I saw that actual spelling? O-o.
I’m only in my 50’s, but dang, things were soooo whitebread when I grew up. And I’m from the Bay Area, which was multicultural even then!
Simon Lyon says
So as not to leave the Welsh out – Llangollen.
The two double LLs are pronounced like you’re starting to growl like a cat, right from the back of your throat. A bit how some stuff in Dutch is pronounced.
It’s beyond me to transliterate it!
I’m trying to remember how the actor Ioan Gruffudd’s name is pronounced. I seem to remember that his first name is nothing like how it’s spelled.
Simon Lyon says
It’s very close to Ian Griffith except for the O in Ioan which should be soft not stressed.
Simon Lyon says
The longest word in Welsh (and I think therefore the United Kingdom, and possibly the world) is a place name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
It roughly translates as: Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave.
Not joking, that’s the name of an actual place!
I can pronounce it right about two times out of three (I used to spend a lot of time in Wales though I’m not from there).
Whooo!! That is a mouthful! ?
I don’t know if it’s really the longest, it’s only twice as long as the average Mongolian name and has more consonants!
Sadly, it’s not a ‘real’ name. It was made up for the tourists, I think when the railways first arrived.
I’m from Louisiana and I agree with Steve 😀
This is where I realise parts of my imagination are completely lacking. I can visualise Elara so clearly but my brain is somehow surprised she has an US accent. Because no matter what I know about the world and despite knowing many Americans, my imagination somehow never really thinks about what voices sound like unless given exact specifications. Derek has a raspy voice these days, fine, but its a raspy British voice unless otherwise stated.
Why does Derek have a British voice?
Because my aural imagination is completely bankrupt.
Specifically, my own British accent, which is a mild modern version of Received Pronounciation. Don’t all fictional characters sound like that? Except Dwarves, because they are all from Glasgow.
I bought into the collectively held headcanon that they’re all from Minnesota a while ago. (At least, when on this continent.)
Much as I love the characters, I’m not really sure they’re nice enough to be from Minnesota.
Dwarves. In the US.
Though there’s a bunch of them in the PNW, especially in Ballard.
That’s hilarious. Of course they are.
????? that is hilarious and I do mean it in the kindest possible way!
As someone who grew up on The Three Musketeers and D’Artagnan, you’d think I’ve have clued into how D’Ambray was pronounced, especially since Roland even mentioned naming him after a French king or hero or whatever he was. Never even made the connection to France, though. D’oh!
So you pronounced it as Dee ambray? Does this mean when you write d’oh you are saying Dee oh in your head? 😉
No, I hear Homer’s voice in my head. Doesn’t everyone? And he obviously doesn’t know the rule, because he’s been pronouncing it wrong all this time.
You realize if Hugh says his name with a French pronunciation it will actually sound like, “oogh”. Ze French do not pronounce the hach sound and u is oo. C’est la vie.
I got my paper book today!! Now I’m waiting for the audible because I really want to hear Ascanio say “Motherrrrfuckrrrr”. I also enjoyed the way Renee said “Meat Meat Meat Meat” in different voices for the Iranian dragons (lizards) in Magic Shifts.
Being Canadian, and our country having two official languages, I have gotten used to how words and names can be anglicized, bastardized or otherwise made weird ?. I. Think my favourite is the various pronunciations of ‘Dalhousie’ – Lord Dalhousie hailed from Scotland and is a historical figure here so his name pops up on buildings, streets and a famous university. Many people pronounce it “dal-how-zee” while others pronounce it “da-loo-zee”. I have no idea how the Gaels or Scottish pronounce it ?
Scotland has some wonderful place names – one of my favourites is Kirkcudbright, which is pronounced as Kir-KOO-bray!! ???
It always puzzles me that Dalziel is pronounced Dee-el or something like that.
HAHA..love that …. kind of like Worchestershire…
Simon Lyon says
Yeah – it’s pronounced Wuster-shire. I hate English sometimes!
It’s pronounced Dal-hoo-sie in Scotland.
I always pronounced “Hugh” the English way in my head, so /hjuː/ and D’Ambray the French way. English monolinguals really suck at prouncing foreign names, especially French and Italian ones (and Spanish ones), case in point the pronunciations of D’Alembert (stress is wrong, too) and D’Addario (there is definitively no dairy in this name)!
Just listened to the audio, yikes d’addario is bad XD
Pronunciation differences came up in a language thread I was in using the examples of Adidas and Nike. Apparently us Europeans are right at Adidas but wrong with Nike!
When my husband’s cousin came over from Graz, we were surprised that he said Adidas as add-dee-dos instead of a-dee-das with the emphasis on the first and third syllables
Yep that’s how we pronounce it, my ears were shocked, I tell you, when I went on YouTube to hear the American way! XD
I pronounce it the way RUN DMC taught me to in the ’80’s, with their song ” My Adidas”….. What can I say, I was 14.
I was curious what all the fuss about Hugh’s name was in the comments of the audio, it sounded normal to me & I was very confused about how people had been pronouncing it.
I listened to the audio a bunch of times trying to find “Hugh” in it as I thought how could D’ambray be pronounced any other way!
I pronounced it: Huu (but not like who) or like Hue the colour thingy & dam-bray (like a dam and grey) how were others doing it?
Also very awesome audio. I too second the decent male narrator at the female voice.
I for one was saying dee ambray, not dam-bray. And agreed on Hue for Hugh. (Although it would be hilarious if it were pronounced Hug.)
In french, that Capet king he is named after is prononced Ug. It’s still a pretty common firstname.
King Ug, I like it!
Interesting. I haven’t listened to the books, but I always heard Dambray in my head. Hubby listens to the books and he pronounces it differently.
Fascinating & cool ?
Irish names make my eyes cross. Absolutely no idea how to pronounce them properly, so I’m always surprised with these kind of conversations.
Helen Burgess says
How about Hapisburgh, pronounced Hazeborough. Norfolk in UK.
Like when I asked you earlier if “Dina” is pronounced deeena or dinah (as in Shore). And speaking of audible books, I just finished listening to “When Life Gives You Lululemona” narrated by Laura Benanti. She did an amazing job with the character voices, including the men. Highly recommend.
*Lululemons — I obviously don’t wear them since my autocorrect didn’t recognize the name!
Which is it?
Huh. In my head, it’s always been Dambray. And I didn’t really noticed Renee pronounced it D-Ambray. I guess that’s below the noise cut off in my head – at least, when it comes to names, especially in the US. I mean, I live not that far from a street, Monticello, and you can tell the real locals because they pronounce it Montisello. Heck, I have been told that different branches of my family back in Europe kept the same spelling of the name but adopted different pronunciations over religious differences. (I’m less dubious than I used to be – pretty much all the dubious sounding family stories have checked out, so far, which, actually, is really disturbing.)
I have my own peeves. I’ve been listening to some otherwise very enjoyable audiobooks, where jian is pronounced ji an throughout. Now, yes, that happens to be my favorite sword (probably…) But that’s not why. a) It’s not obscure, and eesh, can you even figure out how many syllables something has? Two minutes online! b) Structurally… it’s the difference between something having one character and two. It’s just really messed up.
Or Americans deciding that in any non-English language, all Js, and maybe Gs, are softed, into a zh. (I suspect there is a deeply held belief that the most basic foreign language is French.)
I have to admit, I always thought that Hugh d’Ambray was a kind of subtle joke (Hugh = You, d’Ambray – de hombre, or You de Man.
Either way, I think the narrator (actually, both of them) are great, and will be buying the audiobook as soon as it’s available.
Wow! Never thought of that, but I find your idea brilliant.
Hee hee. You da man. I love it!
Omg that’s hilarious and brilliant!
“You de man” ? This totally made my day.
This is most excellent.
Pat Crouch says
I love both the written and narrative versions of my favorite books. I prefer to experience the written version first then the audio. I like to note the differences. The most jarring error in a narration I’ve heard is when the narrator mistook the speech for a male character as the female that had just entered the room. Not an Ilona Andrews work. I mostly don’t care about the differences. After that, I’m mostly a narration fan unless it was really bad.
Patricia Schlorke says
This brings back the days of when I took two semesters of French. The French do not pronounce the letter h (think of the word herb—some people (like me) pronounce it “erb”; others pronounce it with the h). The English do pronounce the h since they didn’t want to sound French (even though the Normans came from France).
Also, the French do not like it when two vowels are put together in a last name like D’Ambray. In English it could be written as De Ambray.
My mom took so much French in high school, she could speak it fluently by the time she graduated. She helped me with my homework. 🙂
The joys of different pronunciations. 😀
In English it would have been written Dambray. (There’s no two vowels there!) Like how mac Donald became Mcdonald or Macdonald.
Americans don’t often pronounce the h at the beginning of a word too, like your example of herbs! It takes me out of a book when I read “an + h—” in a word I would typically use as “a+ h—“. Just throws me for a second! XD
I too am not usually an audiobook person, but now I’m tempted! Love this narrator’s voice.
I took years of French in high school and college so I have been hearing “Hue Dahm-bray” in my head all along (slightly different from the “dam-bray” Steve uses).
As for how to pronounce non-English names when they have been transliterated into the Roman alphabet, my family is Chinese. Don’t even get me started on the difference between Weyd-Giles (older system, “looks” more like it sounds) and pinyin (newer system, to native English speakers it looks crazy). Just a small example: my last name is Chien in Weyd-Giles, and Qian in pinyin. In Chinese it is is pronounced like one syllable, “chyen” with a tone of course. I use the Weyd-Giles and Americans want to pronounce it shee-en, chi-en (long I), chee-en, Cheyenne…. and that’s not even counting that “chien” in French is pronounced “sheyen”, again one syllable, and yes, it means dog. Yes, those years of French class were fun (see above).
I’m from Quebec, we speak French, and right now I have the widest smile on my face. I’m totally enjoying all the comments and interpretations.
Patricia Schlorke says
I had Chinese and South Korean classmates in my doctoral program. They would get frustrated with English speaking people on the pronunciation of their names.
My last name is German. I always have to spell it out and then pronounce it. Otherwise people screw up the spelling really bad. ?
When I’ve done large format teaching, I kind of live in fear of butchering the names of my students, especially since it tends to reveal cultural blindspots. I usually do okay with east asian names, but there have been plenty of first weeks rife with screw ups.
(I too have a German family name. And it’s short, and yet there’s a huge mismatch between the spelling and the pronunciation, somewhat eased by my really not caring. Though when I worked for a Swiss German violin maker, he, of course, had no issue with my family name, but wrote a paycheck to a slightly different version of my personal name every week.)
Simon Lyon says
I have a slightly similar problem. My name is spelt Lyon but my family has always pronouced it li-on. But anyone reading my name from a list always pronounces it lee-on (as in the French city). For years, when someone official asks my name I say Lion but then have to say it’s with a Y.
Being nitpicky here – it’s Wade-Giles, not Weyd-Giles.
I’m of Chinese descent too and the “ch”/”zh” sounds in many common Chinese last names is pretty confusing and hard to pronounce for non-Chinese. My family anglicized our last name to the softer “Ch” sound to make life easier in the US.
You’re right, of course. I don’t know why it’s stuck in my head as Weyd instead of Wade. “Ch” is such a surprsingly complicated letter combination, there are so many pronunciations in the Roman languages. Like my best friend in 3rd grade, whose last name was Cholewczynski (“Holl-ah-chin-ski”). Sitting next to each other we almost brought the teacher to tears as she was calling roll…
I really think you can make an argument either way for “looks more like it sounds.”
Case in point: anything in Wade-Giles with an apostrophe. *Side-eyes super hard.* It’s just the X/Q/J Sh/Ch/Zh thing that tends to throw native English speakers.
We used pinyin for modern, and wade-giles for guwen, though the latter was complicated by the graduate series having a number of non-chinese speakers who got pretty miffed when the Chinese speaking majority tended to switch to Chinese for linguistic analogies at a moment’s notice. (And then retaliate by doing their readings in whatever was their language of focus, which I thought was pretty cool.)
I guess I was thinking “looks more familiar to native English speakers.” I actually do better with pinyin than Wade-Giles, but there is no way I am going to deal with teaching a whole lotta guilo how to pronounce “Qian” on a daily basis.
Hmm… interesting. I’ve been pronouncing this as Dahm-bray (put a slight roll on the r). It’s a more francophone than Dam-bray but still a bit anglicized. I simply can’t pucture Dee-am-bray…?
I was wondering why Hugh has a British accent. I always heard him in my head as American and a little French. Now I’m really confused to read that the
actor is from Louisiana. Not that he doesn’t sound great, but I was thinking more along the lines of someone from somewhere like, say, Louisiana.
However, he has such a great voice and so understandable! Not straining to catch every word makes the listening experience very enjoyable. Hearing him as Hugh makes it almost like watching a movie. You soon forget you’e not actually there. Just finished reading the book so hearing that scene really brought it to life. Congratulations all around.?? ?
Sarah Hutchins says
The actor is not from Louisiana, he is from London. A British actor who now happens to live in Louisiana.
Cheryl M says
Thanks! It’s nice to know all those years of French stuck with me. As for Curran, I too didn’t know it was an alternate for Kieran. I’ll need to tell my Italian husband that we both had it wrong.
I am probably the only person on the planet who has never listened to an audio book. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED listening to the “clip” you gave us !!! It brought back when we were kids and we used to listen to the old radio broadcasts..Lone Ranger, Inner Sanctum, The Shadow…….i had forgotten how much i loved those. I think there will be an audio book in my not too distant future. THANK YOU !!
I don’t usually like audiobooks. I HATE when male narrators use falsetto voices for female speech, it throws me right out of the story; the same for female narrators who make their voice overly deep for male speech. This is likely because neither of my parents did “voices” when they read to us, unless they were messing around and making fun of a character. I liked the audio clip for Iron and Magic. He changes the cadence of his speech somewhat between Hugh and Elara, but doesn’t try to sound like a woman when he’s reading things that Elara said, and I approve. May consider buying it.
It makes sense if you think of contractions in English. It’s, don’t, can’t, wouldn’t- none of those get a pause in the middle, why would D’Ambray?
Of course, St. John in British in Sinjun, so all bets are off I guess…
St.John threw me the first time I heard it. (In a film version of Jane Eyre, probably.)
“ough” is particularly “ouch” for us poor foreigners:
I plough through the mud to put dough in the trough,
to feed my pigs who have a cough.
I go through the door, to feed my pups,
who all turn out to have the hiccoughs.
Oh Lord… as a native French speaker, I will respectfully disagree with “creative pronunciation.” I went to an international French-American bilingual school for 9 years so this makes me very inflexible lol. It’s Dambray, end of story! I think I’m sensitive because people get “creative” with my name all the time despite the fact I share it with a famous French movie (also I’d be a very rich woman if I got a dollar for every “Like the movie?” I heard hehe). My sister has it even worse with a name like Sandrine (it is NOT Sand-reen like sand on the beach, it is Saun-dreen). French doesn’t make sense a lot of the time but English is pretty ridiculous too.
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree that English gets ridiculous especially with all the regional and local dialects in the U.S. I remember when Nalini Singh wrote one of her Guild Hunter books whose main hero spoke Louisiana French. She had to let the reader know that what would be considered polite in Louisiana French would be an insult in France, and vice versa.
Simon Lyon says
English is completely ridiculous. We’ve lost the impersonal and personal tenses (eg you and thou) – people think that’s just old Shakespearan wording but a lot of languages still have it. The Dutch “u” and “je” both mean “you” depending on your relationship with the person. And how Cholmondeley came to be pronounced Chumly – I can only suspect that LSD was discovered a lot earlier than the history books recount! 😉 🙂
I totally agree (native French speaker too), it’s Dambray, un point c’est tout (period) ?.
Of course you have some fluctuations resulting from your mother tongue and own accent but there is no creativity or various options around it, not that I want to be dictatorial, but that’s just the way it is pronounced.
Another Gaelic rarity: one colleague of mine is named Aíne, which is pronounced (sorry here, I’ll use the French way to describe it) o-gna.
I must admit the first few days I did not know how to call her ; until I mustered the courage to flatly ask her… ? Let’s just say she is used to it ?
Hahaha I remember when I learned to pronounce the name “Siobhan” which is pronounced like “Shuh-von.” Gaelic names are the worst!
And that’s why despite 11 years of French and multiple trips to other countries (where I’ve improved or learned some Spanish, Swedish, Italian, and German) I have no interest in going to French speaking countries and being harangued about my poor accent.
Maria Dimitrova says
Thank you for the clarifications!
Thanks for the information! My mother and I have discussed my interpretation of Melizard often. I pronounced it Me lizard (yes, I know too simplified). My mom’s interpretation is Mel-izard. Obviously, I like her version better. 🙂
Debi Majo says
I am surprised that someone has contacted you guys about a mini series or something for Kate…
carlton mckenney says
Stéphanie Lachance says
Hey everyone! My first language is French. When there is an apostrophe in a word, we always say the word as if there wasn’t any apostrophe. So D’Ambray is pronunce like Dambray.
Kevin dehart says
Wow hit kind of close to home on this one, my last name is DeHart, as in Dee Heart. I suppose if you want to pronounce it like my ancestors it would sound like Day Haart (or at least that’s how my gramps said it). I cringe no matter how I try when I hear Duh Heart, how on earth does DE spell duh? Long story longer, I suppose D’Art would fly but its pretentious
Hey, we have 5-7 vowels in the roman alphabet. Now figure out how many vowel sounds we’re trying to get them to represent (I recommend cheating and resorting to IPA.) (No, the other IPA.) Of course there’s confusion.
I had no idea there was a special way to say it – I always pronounced it “Dee Ambray” Then again, I mispronounced something in a French café and they corrected me – I felt like a moron, because I should have known bettrr, but totally forgot. (duh) Thanks for the lesson!
I love Steve West! I’m currently listening to the audio book versions of The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. One of my favourite series ever. He brought Eugenides and the other characters to life. I’m buying the audio book! As soon as I get next month’s credit. By the way, when will the rest of KD series in Audible be available for sale to other countries? I’m from Singapore and I only have up to book 4. 🙁