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Do you ever change the pronunciation of a characters name?

(26 Posts)
Soubriquet Thu 28-May-20 11:39:14

Because you aren’t keen on how it’s supposed to be?

For example in a book I read, a character is called Celaena. Supposed to be pronounced Se-lay-na

I don’t like that, so I just say Se-leen-a

OP’s posts: |
Lyricallie Thu 28-May-20 11:41:11

All the time. I read mainly fantasy books and in my head I change their name into one I know as it makes reading it easier but doesn't really take away from the story. For example it's Vivenna in the book and I keep thinking Vivienne.

ElizabethMainwaring Thu 28-May-20 11:43:39

When I was about 9 I read a lot of Noel Streatfield.
I said Her- mee-own and Horry -atoo in my head as opposed to Hermione and Horatio.

onemouseplace Thu 28-May-20 11:44:21

Yes, Ged from the Wizard of Earthsea books is pronounced with a hard G according to Ursula Le Guin.

Every other Jed or Ged I know has a soft G, so I find it really difficult to pronounce it any other way!

lazylinguist Thu 28-May-20 11:46:48

No. Correct pronunciation is a big thing for me because I'm a languages teacher. I'm also very particular about pronouncing my pupils' names right, especially if they are foreign or unusual ones! It would really annoy me to be pronouncing a book character's name wrongly, but I'm probably unusually bothered by it because of my profession! I read a lot of fantasy too though, and it's not always clear how some names should be pronounced.

Xylophonics Thu 28-May-20 13:07:18

As a child I pronounced Alicia (from Mallory Towers ) A-liss-ia, my children tell me it's pronounced Aleesha.

rosegoldwatcher Thu 28-May-20 16:06:29

@Xylophonics - your children (if in the UK) are wrong! I have known an Alicia (A-liss-ee-ah) since she was a tot.
The American pronunciation is Aleesha I think - eg Alicia Keys?

Soubriquet Thu 28-May-20 16:32:19

I think it all depends on personal preference too

I would have said Al-ee-sha but Ah-liss-sia works too

Another one in my book is Aedion. I hate thinking Ay-dee-un so I think Ay-dun

OP’s posts: |
thefuriousfuggler Thu 28-May-20 16:40:21

I read a bok as a child and wondered why the main character had such an odd name. It was many years later that I found out that "ghee-off" was not the correct way to pronounce Geoff blush

overnightangel Thu 28-May-20 16:42:56

I read the first 4 Harry Potter books saying “Herr-me-own” in my head, I’d never heard the name Hermione in my life (I was 21)

Isadora2007 Thu 28-May-20 16:43:09

Gwendoline was always “Gwen doh lean” to me as a child and Hermione was “Hermay owny” as well...
I still read the word “yacht” as yakt too- and Sean as Seen.

PerspicaciaTick Thu 28-May-20 16:45:21

I don't sound the names when I read silently. I just know that a particular set of letters represents a certain character. Which trips me up when I'm trying to talk to someone about the book and realise that I don't have any clear idea how to say the more unusual names.

thefuriousfuggler Thu 28-May-20 16:52:08

A book, I read a book, not a bok obviously blush

Lima45 Thu 28-May-20 16:53:58

Off topic but OP you just confirmed that I know exactly what books you're talking about!

In my young brain Alicia was Alec-uh. I was corrected by my teacher and now pronounce it A- liss-sia (year 4 teacher in UK)

CakeCakeCake21 Thu 28-May-20 16:58:08

In my young brain Alicia was Alec-uh Me too!
I pronounced Draco with dra as in dragon, instead of Dray-ko, until the Harry Potter films came out .

Soubriquet Thu 28-May-20 16:59:45


I’m re-reading them for the xth time. Those and court of thorns and roses are my two favourite series

Gutted because the next book for COTAR was supposed to be out in May but it has been postponed

OP’s posts: |
mudpiemaker Thu 28-May-20 17:13:22

Yes because I read fantasy books so no Johns, Peters or Pauls. Sometimes I don't know what the author is aiming for so I just read it the way I want to read it unless I know different.

My two sons and I all read the same book at different times. We read the name of Sonea two different ways, I read it as So knee a but Ds2 read it as Son eeee a.or Sunnier. I still don't know which way it is meant to be read but I still love the books!

I figure unless I am reading it aloud to someone, what does it matter?

Soubriquet Thu 28-May-20 17:17:58

It also annoys me that the surname Ashryver is pronounced Ash-river not ry(to rhyme with why)

OP’s posts: |
Microwaveoven Thu 28-May-20 17:18:26

All the bloody time. I am dyslexic and always look up words I can't read properly but names just get changed to whatever I think they sound like!!
Hermione was always Her-Mon. 😂

Lima45 Thu 28-May-20 17:34:20

Most of the time now if I'm having trouble I get the audiobook.

So I know that Sonea is So-knee-ah due to that.

Sometimes this backfires though. I'm sure some narrators make up pronunciations as they go along.

Love most of the books referenced by various pps on this thread ♥️

Lima45 Thu 28-May-20 17:35:17

Also very relieved that I'm not the only one who got Alec-uh for Alicia lol

ArtichokeAardvark Thu 28-May-20 17:38:15

OP I love that series too and definitely read her name as Suh-lee-na!

I however have no idea how Fayre should be pronounced. I say Fair, but is it Fay-ruh? Fay-ree?

Soubriquet Thu 28-May-20 17:45:17

It’s supposed to be Fey-ruh

I just say Fey-er

OP’s posts: |
CakeCakeCake21 Fri 29-May-20 10:44:37

I have thought of another one actually - Professor Bhaer in Good Wives/ Little Men/ Jo's Boys. He is always Professor Bay-er to me, and it only occured to me in my 40s that it is supposed to be pronounced "bear", hence the hilarity of Jo calling herself "Mother Bhaer" and her son "Teddy Bhaer."

CakeCakeCake21 Fri 29-May-20 10:45:47

Jo would have got short shrift on the Baby Names board for saddling her youngest with that name, even if it is short for Theodore.

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