Heir to the Empire annotation #7: Pronunciation

Foreign pronunciation issues arise in our seventh preview of Tim Zahn’s Heir to the Empire annotations:

A small thing that I never would have anticipated, and never even knew before I was invited to a Star Wars convention in Munich: The “thr” combination apparently doesn’t exist in German, or so I was told. German Star Wars fans therefore have terrific difficulty pronouncing Thrawn’s name.

Pronunciation issues are fairly common in these books, even in English: Is it Mar-uh or Mare-ah? (Trust me: It’s Mar-uh.) How do you say C’baoth? Fey’lya? Damn apostrophes.

Heir to the Empire: 20th Anniversary Edition will be out in hardcover June 28.

14 thoughts on “Heir to the Empire annotation #7: Pronunciation

  1. Cy

    I still pronounce “Zonama Sekot” like “Zonoma Sea-Coat.”

    I seem to recall someone drawing the “u”s in “Luuke” out to like three times their normal duration. Or sortof putting a cough in the middle of it. “Lu’uke”. No idea if those are anywhere near the “correct” way to say it. But it was funny.

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  2. SirDan

    according to the audiobook in my mind…
    suh-BAWTH
    fuh-LAY-uh
    and just for good measure, to prove I’m all alone, NO-guh-rye

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  3. HLynn

    For me, it’s been “Kah-BAY-auth” and “Faylah” in my head. Not sure why I skipped the second “y”, unless I have an aversion to more than one “y” in a person’s name and never knew until now. :)

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  4. jawajames

    C’baoth= Se-BAOTHhh
    Fey’lya= FAY-lia or sometimes just Faylah like HLynn does.

    No-REE. or sometimes Nog-h(schwa)-ree

    Loo-ook. and his clone would be Loo-oo-ook.
    (long double o sound throughout).

    PAY-lee-awn.

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  5. Aaron

    Uhm, being German I cannot confirm Mr. Zahn’s story. It’s true that Germans do have a lot of English pronunciation issues, but it’s not “thr”. It’s “th” which most Germans turn into “z” (as in Zenobah) or even “s” (as in Solo). Chances are that hundreds of German theatre employees were repeatedly spit on when “Revenge of the Sith” was released… ;-)

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  6. Mark Newbold

    Jaw-us Suh-Bo-ath, that’s how I always said it, and Luuke was always Luuuuuuke (like Yoda says to him before he dies in ROTJ.

    Always got how, to make names sound more alien, there were increasing apostrophies put in there. It’s like talking t’ut Yorkshireman…

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  7. Nanci

    I asked Zahn pronuniciation one time, he said it was Suh-bee-oth (took me a LONG time to hear that in my head) and Puh-lay-on. I still say Pay-lee-on. I hear Fay-lay, but I know I’m wrong. :P

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