Pronunciation help: all languages

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neckertb
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Post by neckertb » June 10th, 2012, 4:43 am

This sticky will list individual threads where you can post requests for pronunciation of a particular language. I will just update this post as the threads appear. If you see I am missing one, let me know :D

General resources for pronunciation:

For English: http://www.howjsay.com/

For all different languages: http://www.forvo.com/

For international names: http://www.hearnames.com/index.php

For German: Duden online http://www.duden.de/hilfe/aussprache

The Wiki has many resources listed:
http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/English_Pronunciation_Guides
http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Foreign_Words_Pronunciation


Individual threads for posting requests for help:

Ancient Greek
French
Latin
Irish
Italian
German
Nadine

Les enfants du capitaine Grant

Live in a death + 70 country? Have a look at Legamus

carolb
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Post by carolb » June 10th, 2012, 5:55 am

Thanks, Nadine.

It has been mentioned elsewhere that for English speakers howjsay is a great site for pronunciation help.

Carol

neckertb
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Post by neckertb » June 10th, 2012, 5:58 am

Good point :D
But live requests are allowed too!
Nadine

Les enfants du capitaine Grant

Live in a death + 70 country? Have a look at Legamus

neckertb
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Post by neckertb » June 10th, 2012, 11:52 am

I've updated the first post. We will keep this one sticky and list the threads for individual languages as they appear. I've just been through the first page of the forum and listed the three I found there.
Nadine

Les enfants du capitaine Grant

Live in a death + 70 country? Have a look at Legamus

kathyliddle
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Location: Toronto, ON

Post by kathyliddle » June 11th, 2012, 3:02 pm

Two other helpful sites I found for pronounciation:

For all different languages:
http://www.forvo.com/

For international names:
http://www.hearnames.com/index.php

Kathy

carolb
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Post by carolb » June 11th, 2012, 3:23 pm

neckertb wrote:Good point :D But live requests are allowed too!
Oh, of course.
I just mentioned it because so often I'm in the middle of recording and the brain goes fluffy and i think - now does garden have a hard or soft 'd'? - or something else that should be equally obvious! :oops:

On the other hand it's great to know that there are so many kind people willing to help out with pronunciation (thank you Martin Geeson!)

Carol

worksinprogress
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Post by worksinprogress » February 9th, 2013, 1:37 pm

Hi
I would love to help if any readers have difficulty with an unfamiliar word and it's pronunciation
If I am able, (assuming it is a word that I know) I will give a phonetic breakdown of the word
e.g.
trebucket pron. tray boo shay
or
ensousiance pron. on sue see on s
please make use of me I really want to help
Jo

RuthieG
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Post by RuthieG » February 9th, 2013, 4:45 pm

Thank you for your offer, and I hope you get plenty of takers!

The thing is... readers who "know that they don't know" or "know that they're not sure of" the pronunciation of certain words, will most likely look them up in the many online dictionaries, some of which have audio pronunciation as well as phonetic pronunciations (e.g. Howjsay, Macmillan, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Merriam-Webster). It is the readers who think they are pronouncing words correctly who don't look things up or ask for help.

So the problem is... finding readers who would like this assistance. On the whole, we are rather wary of correcting readers' pronunciation here, as the 'correct' pronunciation of some words can differ in different parts of the English-speaking world. Standard proof-listening does not include pronunciation advice.

That said (whips off admin hat), glaring mispronunciations do rile me, especially as there are so many online aids to help. I am in full agreement with you that words should be pronounced correctly, and that especial care should be taken with names or places in other countries, with which a reader may not be familiar. However, with so many recordings being made every day, it would be impossible to point you in any particular direction.

I should like to see more readers ask for proof-listening with CC (constructive criticism) including pronunciation. I sometimes wonder if they know that they can ask for this.

Ruth
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Cori
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Post by Cori » February 10th, 2013, 5:45 am

I'd recommend getting some experience in regular prooflistening first, Jo. Or else just watching the Need Help forum for requests, as Anna suggested elsewhere. For myself, I wouldn't mind having odd pronunciations pointed out ... but I have far more trouble these days with remembering how much silence goes at the end of the file. Or getting things word-perfect. It wouldn't be much help to me to have a listener who could point out the three dubious pronunciations in a 50min file, but didn't spot I'd bodged the intro and said the wrong chapter number.

Nice to have someone who groks the basics and can offer extras besides. As long as you can unambiguously explain the pronunciation ("sounds like 'bath'" ... umm ... :D) And have an awesome vocabulary ;) These are some of the words I had to look up in a recent, still sekrit recording: puissance, maledict, tenebrous, phalanxes, bulwarks. Howjsay is on speed-dial for me! SUCH an awesome site.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

Lynnet
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Post by Lynnet » April 10th, 2013, 2:14 pm

Is there an online guide to Greek names (mythological)?
Lynne
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sonnethaiku
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Post by sonnethaiku » April 10th, 2013, 2:32 pm

Dear Lynne,

I am amazed at the breadth of pronunciations audible at http://www.dictionary.com Many famous and proper names are included, like the traditional closing section of a dictionary which listed notable people. I also like listening and imitating prounciations - I think that's the most immediately helpful way.

ETA: search for the word you want, and then click the speaker icon between the word and the definition to hear it pronounced. Except for a few obscure medical terms, I've found every word or name I've ever wanted pronounced here.
Last edited by sonnethaiku on April 10th, 2013, 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~ Chessie Joy

Lynnet
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Post by Lynnet » April 10th, 2013, 2:33 pm

sonnethaiku wrote:Dear Lynne,

I am amazed at the breadth of pronunciations audible at http://www.dictionary.com Many famous and proper names are included, like the traditional closing section of a dictionary which listed notable people. I also like listening and imitating prounciations - I think that's the most immediately helpful way.
Thank you - I'll pass this on to the reader who was asking :thumbs:
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Mike001
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Post by Mike001 » April 16th, 2013, 11:05 pm

Lynnet wrote:Is there an online guide to Greek names (mythological)?
Lynne
Yes, most dictionaries will have these, so one could look at an online dictionary as someone just said.

It's probably worth buying a copy of the paperback Penguin Who's Who in the Ancient World which is cheap enough and which indicates the pronunciations in the index, using a macron (line over a vowel) to indicate if it's long and a breve (half-circle over a vowel) if it's short and so on.

The Anglicizations are often fairly obvious. (If the names occur in the context of, say, French or Italian opera the pronunciations, sometimes spelling, will be different.)

So traditionally you use ordinary English vowels: the i in "pin" for short I, the i in "might" for long; the e in "met" for short E, the e in "evil" for long e; the a in "mat' for short A, the a in "save" for long a, and so on ...

You do hear people attempt "latinate" vowels in some of these names -- particularly if they don't recognize the name. But it is rather affected: these names have been around in European languages and have assumed local dress over the years.

So (using the @ sign for a neutral vowel -- shwa sound):

Iphegenia: EYE-ph@-gin-EYE-@
Orpheus: OAR-fee-@s
Euridice: you-RID-i-see
Anteus: An-TEE-@s
Chaos: KAY-oss

I believe the long and short vowels mostly follow the Greek quantities, though not the Greek sounds. But this is not always so. Thus the traditional English pronunciation of Eros is EAR-oss although I understand that is "false quantity".

Note that Ch is always going to be K -- so Chaos is KAY-oss

Also, it tends to be usual to sound all the vowels. For example, Athene is @-THEEN-ee not @-theen.

Interestingly, I bought George Macdonald's The Princess and the Goblin off iTunes as an Audible download and noticed that the reader pronounced the princess's name (Irene) as EYE-reen. I assume the reader had missed the name was coming from the Greek, making it out to be like Eileen or something. In fact, he should have said EYE-reen-ee ... and I guess Macdonald intends adult readers to recognize this a Greek name, check the meaning if they don't know it, and reflect on it. The name, in fact, is derived from the Greek word for Peace. It seems to me significant that the Old Princess is quite specific that it is her name -- "I let you have it." Anyway, I digress ...

I tend not to mind about pronunciations on Librivox recordings, whatever a reader says. After all, this is people giving their time free. However, I do tend to feel that something from Audible ought to be correct in all respects. Often it's not. If an actor's being paid to do that as a job, one feels he should take the time and trouble to get things right. I've had Audible downloads with chunks missing out of the middle and chapters in the wrong order. They seem sometimes to put stuff out there without checking it all.

Lynnet
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Post by Lynnet » April 17th, 2013, 7:54 am

Mike001 wrote:
Lynnet wrote:Is there an online guide to Greek names (mythological)?
Lynne
Yes, most dictionaries will have these, so one could look at an online dictionary as someone just said.

It's probably worth buying a copy of the paperback Penguin Who's Who in the Ancient World which is cheap enough and which indicates the pronunciations in the index, using a macron (line over a vowel) to indicate if it's long and a breve (half-circle over a vowel) if it's short and so on.

The Anglicizations are often fairly obvious. (If the names occur in the context of, say, French or Italian opera the pronunciations, sometimes spelling, will be different.)

So traditionally you use ordinary English vowels: the i in "pin" for short I, the i in "might" for long; the e in "met" for short E, the e in "evil" for long e; the a in "mat' for short A, the a in "save" for long a, and so on ...

You do hear people attempt "latinate" vowels in some of these names -- particularly if they don't recognize the name. But it is rather affected: these names have been around in European languages and have assumed local dress over the years.

So (using the @ sign for a neutral vowel -- shwa sound):

Iphegenia: EYE-ph@-gin-EYE-@
Orpheus: OAR-fee-@s
Euridice: you-RID-i-see
Anteus: An-TEE-@s
Chaos: KAY-oss

I believe the long and short vowels mostly follow the Greek quantities, though not the Greek sounds. But this is not always so. Thus the traditional English pronunciation of Eros is EAR-oss although I understand that is "false quantity".

Note that Ch is always going to be K -- so Chaos is KAY-oss

Also, it tends to be usual to sound all the vowels. For example, Athene is @-THEEN-ee not @-theen.

Interestingly, I bought George Macdonald's The Princess and the Goblin off iTunes as an Audible download and noticed that the reader pronounced the princess's name (Irene) as EYE-reen. I assume the reader had missed the name was coming from the Greek, making it out to be like Eileen or something. In fact, he should have said EYE-reen-ee ... and I guess Macdonald intends adult readers to recognize this a Greek name, check the meaning if they don't know it, and reflect on it. The name, in fact, is derived from the Greek word for Peace. It seems to me significant that the Old Princess is quite specific that it is her name -- "I let you have it." Anyway, I digress ...

I tend not to mind about pronunciations on Librivox recordings, whatever a reader says. After all, this is people giving their time free. However, I do tend to feel that something from Audible ought to be correct in all respects. Often it's not. If an actor's being paid to do that as a job, one feels he should take the time and trouble to get things right. I've had Audible downloads with chunks missing out of the middle and chapters in the wrong order. They seem sometimes to put stuff out there without checking it all.
Thank you, Mike, for your thoughtful and insightful response. Good to know that Librivox is more 'professional' than the professionals sometimes :shock:
Lynne
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Mike001
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Post by Mike001 » April 19th, 2013, 5:16 am

Lynnet wrote:Good to know that Librivox is more 'professional' than the professionals sometimes :shock:
Lynne
Yes, they're not always careful. Here's an example just from today. This one is a small matter, but it is indicative ...

I happened to be listening to a recording of M. R. James's Ghost Stories of an Antiquary from Audible that I got off iTunes. (It was fairly cheap, so I can't complain too much.) Anyway, (among other things) the reader mispronounced Warwickshire. (He said Waw-wick-sh@r.) Now he sounded like an American a trying to "do" an English accent (not badly but not particularly well.) That in itself doesn't matter: I don't think a reader needs to get an accent perfectly. But getting a town name wrong is just such a giveaway. Anyone from Britain, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand is going to know that's not what a native would say immediately -- and I bet many people from the U.S. would know, too. Personal names and placenames are so notoriously difficult, so why didn't he look it up?

Heck, you can buy a pronouncing dictionary secondhand for a little over $3 :

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0460021818/

As I say, I don't think it's a problem whatever Librivox readers say, because they give their time, but someone who's being paid to do a job? ... it's as if a carpenter turned up at your house and hadn't brought a spirit-level, reckoning to go by eye and that would be "good enough".

But Audible's offering can be far dodgier than that. I've had appalling sound quality, drop-outs, extraneous noises, and even parts missing or chapters in the wrong order.

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