Shardcast: Cosmere Pronunciation


This week on this Thanksgiving's Day Shardcast, it's time for us to dig into pronouncing so many things in the cosmere. Friendships will be shattered on this episode (just like perhaps your family arguments will today!). We actually will have each word we are pronouncing displayed on screen so you can see all the action, and then watch our reactions as people do... interesting things. Put how dumb we are at pronouncing things in the comments, snootiness fully allowed! 

Our cast today is Eric (Chaos), Ian (WeiryWriter), Alyx (FeatherWriter), Ben (Overlagged Jebus who's camera setup was really, really bad), and Mi'chelle (firstRainbowRose, who's pronunciation is legendarily bad). Also featuring Dalish, Alyx's cat, and also, Flareon.

Shardcast is the premier podcast on Brandon's works, Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, and all of the cosmere, run by the mega-fans at 17th Shard. We strive for high-quality discussion and analysis and accuracy, but if we missed something, we're sure you'll comment below!

 




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Shardcast is the premier podcast on Brandon's works, Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, and all of the cosmere, run by the mega-fans at 17th Shard. We strive for high-quality discussion and analysis and accuracy, but if we missed something, we're sure you'll comment below!

Is good, I like it

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I finally got around watching this one!

It was so interesting (and fun!) to listen to you all give different pronunciations for the names since my language (Finnish) works quite like Japanese or IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) where one letter (or syllable) has its distinctive sound and is always pronounced the same way no matter which letter is next to it. So a Finnish pronunciationcast would be really boring...

Catacendre's meaning is actually written in the trivia section on coppermind. I learnt about it while working on VenDell's article so thanks to whoever wrote it there. (Also, as a side note, I love to look for meanings/origins behind the made up words and cultures. I have a document on my drive about the similarities and differences between glyphs and kanji, plus some other neat references to the East Asian cultures like Bridge Four, which is a pet project I work on every now and then while reading the books.)

I agreed most often with Alyx on the shardcast I think.

Here are some words I found very interesting! I wrote the way I pronounce the words in IPA next to the word. (I tried to keep this as short as possible!)

Marasi [mɑrɑsɪ]
When I heard all the choices for Marasi and then the way Brandon says it my jaw dropped. I had never even thought there could be different ways for pronuncing her name... But I really like the nod to Mare there.

Adolin [ɑdɔlɪn] or [eɪdɔlɪn]
I have a major conflict with pronuncing Adolin... When I read the books I pronounced his name as [ɑdɔlɪn] but when I say it out loud I try to say [eɪdɔlɪn]. I have this weird thing where I involuntarily associate colors with letters, words, and weekdays (called synesthesia if anyone wants to look it up) so I read the name as it would be read in Finnish ([ɑdɔlɪn]) but my brain associates the word with green. My brain associates the word [eɪdɔlɪn] with light yellow/blond and since Adolin's hair is blond with some black I try to say [eɪdɔlɪn] so I imagine the right color... Otherwise I just imagine Alm from Fire Emblem>_>

Jasnah [jɑsnɑh]
I always thought the way I pronounced Jasnah was wrong but seems like that's not actually the case which makes me happy!

Sadeas [sɑdeɑs]
As with Jasnah's case, I always thought my way of reading this name was wrong too and switched it to [seɪdɪɪs] which I thought was the intended way but now I'm back to [sɑdeɑs]. Good thing he's dead though, like Eric mentioned!

Aarik [ɑɑrɪk] and Cusicesh
There is a brand named Aarikka in Finland so I pronounce it like thatxD And "kusi" is a crude way of saying urine in Finnish so... yeah, I'm very immature.

Some random notes at the end: I actually pronounce Renarin as Alyx used to! With a strong R sound though. I also agree with Alyx on Moash, though Ben's way is also very convincing! Urithiru is really difficult to say in Finnish too so I prefer saying it more like a Japanese would say it (like Mi'chelle mentioned). Bae-Ado-Mishram made me laugh, thanks Ian and Eric! And BaAM.

Moelach just makes me thing Japanese ”moe” (萌え). Don't judge me!

Anyway, I really enjoyed this shardcast and really hope there'll be a pronunciationcast part 2! Good job all:D

ps. The cat was adorable:3

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I agreed with @FeatherWriter the most, except for one thing: foci is pronounced with a hard c and the i is pronounced like the ie in piece. This is because it is borrowed from Latin, in which all cs are hard cs. If you want to Anglicize it, you would actually get focuses, because the only reason that us --> i is that that is how the word is pluralized in Latin, English doesn't function that way normally. Focuses and foci are both fine, but foe-sy is inconsistent.

Also, I am shocked that nobody guessed Hoid for the first WTCC, because he literally fit every clue.

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Kalinovsky

Posted (edited)

I just realized I tend to say names with a Russian accent, especially when it comes to what syllable is stressed. I also pronounced Jasnah with a 'y' from the beginning, but I tend to default to that pronunciation.

Edited by Kalinovsky

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Sorry guys, but I couldn't finish this one. Maybe if I was watching and getting the benefit of the facial expressions, but this was peak PedanticCast and got boring quick.

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23 hours ago, Messydesk said:

Sadeas [sɑdeɑs]

As with Jasnah's case, I always thought my way of reading this name was wrong too and switched it to [seɪdɪɪs] which I thought was the intended way but now I'm back to [sɑdeɑs]. Good thing he's dead though, like Eric mentioned!

That is one of the Alethi almost symmetrical names. The Alethi have their own script. For them to write ambiguously in the same way English is apperently ambiguous would take a miracle. Thus the symmetry has to be there in pronounciation.

That means that [seɪdɪɪs] is flat out impossible. Either [sɑdeɑs] or, as a remote possibility [seɪdɪeɪs]

And Torol is dead; the family still exists. There will be a next Sadeas.

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Juanaton

Posted (edited)

Evi wasn't initially Vorin though...did the Riran's have the same "too symmetrical" problem? Oh, and Urithiru is pronounced like Brandon says it in the audiobooks.

Edited by Juanaton

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18 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

And Torol is dead; the family still exists. There will be a next Sadeas.

...oh Rusts, you're right.

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Philomath

Posted (edited)

Hey! I was wondering if you would use one of my characters I sent in. That was fun to listen to. (And it is pronounced like regular Taylor, just spelled weird. Guess it was an appropriate podcast to be on. Oh... and I’m a girl... but no worries.) 

As for book pronunciations I have found myself defaulting to how things are said in the audiobooks. (Except Elantris because Sarene = Serene for me, not the silly Aonic pronunciation. Aons are weird.) I used to not like listening to audiobooks but since having kids, it is one of the only ways I can “read” now days.  

Edited by Philomath

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Singer

Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Philomath said:

Hey! I was wondering if you would use one of my characters I sent in. That was fun to listen to.

That was a rad WTCC, well done. I am patting myself on the back for guessing it on clue 3.

Edited by Singer

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Aerim

Posted

Until I listened to the audiobooks I read Moash as Mosah... I’m not sure how I managed to swap the s and a every time :huh: I still sometimes have problems with his name if I’m not looking at the text or someone doesn’t say it first!

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The only pronunciations that I'm passionate about are

Moash (I say the oa like in in boat or moat)

Shai (I say it like Shay, not Shy. I associated it with pain or gain or Taldain, you know?)

I'm not super passionate about this one but I never even thought of their pronunciation of Marasi. I always said it like Brandon

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5 hours ago, Ookla the Gray said:

The only pronunciations that I'm passionate about are

Moash (I say the oa like in in boat or moat)

Shai (I say it like Shay, not Shy. I associated it with pain or gain or Taldain, you know?)

The name is Alethi. The Alethi have their own script. It features 5 vowels. It has no indication of length, nasality or diphthongs. It would seems that the vowel system of that language is the basic five vowels without length distinction.
Whoever transliterated it into the latin alphabet was not American or English (the J like /j/ thing).

It also shows no sign of vowel reduction in unstressed syllables. Like Spanish in short.
Hence the most likely answer to a question of how two vowels meeting each other are to be pronounced would be:
 

  • separately
  • in two syllables
  • uninfluenced by each other

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A lot of Brandon I encountered through Audible first, so usually I have the opposite problem. "Really, that's how it's spelled?" 

Evi is spelled that way, I think, to keep with the Aon-ish naming the Iriali have. Hinting that they were descended from Elantrians (theory not confirmed). Evi, her brother Toh, Iri. Lot of 3 letter words like Aon Dor. 

I always thought the name of Urithiru was inspired by Uluru the rock formation in Australia that has religious significance to Aboriginal Australian. I assumed it is pronounced Ooo at the start not a You. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluru

 

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What I took away from this Shardcast is that there are a lot of different ways to pronounce names in the Cosmere and they're all okay.  It seemed like from previous episodes that there was just one right way and people (usually Ben) would always get corrected for doing wrong, which was troubling because my pronunciations frequently misalign with Brandon's.  

I guess I can feel good about pronouncing things the way that makes sense to me (and you can pry the hard "J" s away from my cold, dead hands...)

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I always pronounced Shai like "shy" because of the 1990's R&B group that sang the most perfect a capella version of "If I Ever Fall In Love" that I played on repeat in middle school. Matter of fact...maybe that's why it's my favorite novella? Or maybe that's just because it's that good. :-)

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