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Pronunciation of the Elvish Language


Vowels are wide and articulate, and the consonants hard and often guttural. Everything is spoken at the back of the mouth like in Finnish, making the language feel rather heavier and less nasal than, say, English. The so-called twanginess is entirely absent. There are no silent letters; everything is pronounced. Double vocals (aa, ee, etc.) are long like in Finnish.


Individual letters:

a -- as u in hug, but keep in mind the different placing in the mouth for all vocals

b -- as b in banana

d -- as d in day

e -- like ea in dead

g -- a harsh, guttural gulping/click sound, not even close to the English g

h -- as ch in the German ich

i -- like y in day

j -- like y in yellow

k -- a hard, throat-y k sound somewhat like the Finnish kk, or approximately as if c in car was duplicated

l -- as l in lamp

m -- as m in money

n -- as n in number

o -- like o in dock

p -- like p in pot

r -- a rolling 'tractor sound' RRRRR, (not pirate arr), like in Finnish or Scottish

s -- as s in some

t -- like t in tea

u -- like ou in you

v -- like pth in pthui, a kind of spitting sound

y -- as y in the German Myrte

z -- like z in zebra


Special letter combinations:

aa -- like a in car

ay -- like i in Finnish, or approximately like a in man and y in day spoken one after the other

bp -- something like bapa articulated really fast, yet so that the two consonants stand out distinctly

cg -- like ch in touch

ch -- as ch in the Scottish ach

dt, td -- two t-type sounds spoken rapidly in succession: t as in cat and d as in day, t'd or d't

ee -- as ee in the Finnish Veera or e in the Swedish mera

gg -- two guttural g clicks in rapid succession

hr, rh -- raucous, guttural r sounds, much like as if you were trying to unglue something unpleasant stuck to your palate

hf -- as v in vortex

hgh -- a long, palatal h sound, like ch in the German ich doubled or tripled

ii -- like ee in heel

nj -- like nya

oo -- like oo in door

pp -- double p, like in the Finnish kappa or Swedish pappa

qw -- like kw

sch -- like in German, f. ex. Schwester

sz --

vh -- like v in vortex and ch in the German ich articulated one after the another

wo -- like o in word or in Finnish

uu -- like oo in school

yy -- like y in the Swedish styra or yy in the Finnish tyyni



Now, basing on these instructions for instance the name Gheldahsch'ugh-Ach would be divided into the following sounds:

g-h-e-l-d-a-h-sch-u-g-h-a-ch

The stress is put to the first syllable right after the apostrophe, which is bolded in the aforementioned example. If a word has no apostrophes, the emphasis lies on the first syllable.


Some other names dismantled:

Khran-Av'ees --k-hr-a-n a-v-ee-s

Aaschgh'rd -- aa-sch-g-h-r-d

Qwertyui --qw-e-r-t-y-u-i (This was first a complete joke name, but now a part of the lowlandian canon. Look at your keyboard if you don't get it.)

Lhietd-Lhem'meeschz Lhiekghi'oichnj -- l-h-i-e-td l-h-e-m-m-ee-sch-z l-h-i-e-k-g-h-i-o-i-ch-nj

daik'schepp Vanhvha'gah Vhai'noch G'Uhageid -- d-a-i-k-sch-e-pp v-a-n-h-vh-a-g-a-h vh-a-i-n-o-ch g-u-h-a-g-e-i-d