Writing process

The Sounds of Confluence


David, from Recorded Books, rang the other day.

He had a list of words he wanted to run through, to hear how we wanted them pronounced.

Recorded Books have done this for every book so far.  It’s mostly names. People’s names and place names.

Believe you me, some of these words, when spoken with an Australian accent, come out very flat.

Some of the words we were asked to pronounce.

  • Tse
  • Henri
  • Merchett
  • Ghyslain
  • Aeolus
  • Hebe
  • Hella

How would you pronounce them?

Tse. Tss – ee, but short, not long. Emphasis on first syllable

Henri. On-ray. Emphasis on second syllable

Merchett. Mer-chett. Emphasis on second syllable

Ghyslain. Giz-lane. Emphasis almost even here, but a little heavier on the second syllable.

Aeolus.  A (as in hay)-ole-uss. Emphasis on the second syllable.  (Most people, we think, do it on the third).

Hebe.  Hee-bee.  Emphasis on the first syllable.

Hella.  Hell-ah.  Emphasis on the first syllable. The ‘ah’ is very short.

Engen.  Enn-gen.  The g here is a hard g, not a soft g.  (That is, not the g in engine, more like the g in gas.)  Emphasis on the first syllable.


How’d you go?





8 replies on “The Sounds of Confluence”

Reading these I’d have assumed…

‘tsɛɪ̯ — single syllable, (t)say, but very short.
ã’ʁi — in the French pronunciation with nasal E and guttural R
gɪ’len — again as French proper name, there is an alternate pronunciation d͡ʒɪz’lɛɪ̯n but it’s rare enough that it’s not have occurred to me.

Hebe and Hella as given except… had I seen Henri and Ghyslain first then I might have gone with the Francophone vibe so ‘ɛbɛ and ɛlɑː (eh-beh, eh-lah).

Any idea when the audiobook will be released? I listened to the first two on Audible and they were great, can’t wait to hear Confluence too.

The great thing about reading is that it doesn’t matter how you pronounce names. Provided you get a clear idea of who that person is in your head, it doesn’t affect the enjoyment of the story.

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