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pronunciation guide

Dictionaries use IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) to show pronunciations, but I’m not going to use it here because I think it’s far too complicated for our purposes. (Read more on why I don’t use IPA.) Instead, I put together a more basic pronunciation system, which be summed up in just three points: 

  1. vowels | capitalized vowels are long, lowercase vowels are short (E in evil vs. e in excellent)
  2. consonants with two sounds | capitalized consonants are soft, lowercase consonants are hard (G in giraffe vs. g in gobble)
  3. stresses | ’ before a syllable is strong stress, ” is medium/less stress, no mark is weak/no stress

If you remember these, the pronunciations should be readable without needing to open this guide at all. Neat! But if you forget, clicking the pronunciation symbols under any post will bring you back here.

More symbols may be added as I realize they’re necessary. This guide and any pronunciations derived from it are not 100% accurate; with that in mind, any fair criticisms about this guide will be considered and made useful, but unfair or particularly rude complaints will be gleefully ignored.


THE LONGER VERSION OF THOSE THREE POINTS

Symbols are strung together as sensibly as possible, stress marks go before the syllable they apply to, and hyphens separate the syllables, like so:

'vald-In-"zom-kIt

Note: These marks are designed for English sounds, but many of the words on Otherwordly are from other languages. The pronunciation on foreign-language words won’t be 100% correct, but it’ll be as accurate as possible.

SYLLABLE MARKS

-   syllable break
'   strong stress
"   medium stress
    weak/no stress (no mark)

SOUND MARKS

A   able
a   avengers
a   all
b   bones
c   castle
C   center
d   doctor
E   even
e   end
f   far
g   gap
G   germ
h   hat
I   iron
i   ill
j   jack
k   kit
m   magic
n   new
O   oval
o   otter
au  (ou) out
p   pond
q   (qu) queen
r   rose
R [a rolled r, as in spanish]
s   sun
t   tea
U (yu) union [first letter] or (oo) tube [following another letter]
u   under
v   vanish
w   wizard
y   yellow
z   zip
ch  chin
CH  ich [hard]
sh  ship
th  the
TH  thin
zh  (si) vision
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