Pronunciation for the Nikado
(18 Jun 00)


General Notes
How should things be pronounced? I do not claim to have perfect pronunciation for the items in the Nikado - not even Dorothy Dunnett seems entirely sure how to pronounce some of her characters' names. To make things worse, some names are pronounced differently in different languages and by different people: is Julius really Yoolius, Jhulius or Djulius? Is Kathi really Katty (ask Penny and Tracy!!)? However, I've recorded some of the names so that at least within the Nikado the pronunciation will be reasonably consistent (though I've not been 100% consistent myself!)
Sound recorded on files The following sounds are recorded using MP3 and WAV files. WAV files are bigger and can only be listened to on Windows. MP3 files are smaller, but you need an MP3 player piece of software on your PC to hear them - you may already have this. You may need to turn up the sound on your PC to full to hear these files properly. Note also that the recording process tends to under-record end syllables.
If you are planning to listen to a lot of these files, I would recommend that you down load them to your PC first - especially if you want to listen several times.
Phonetic pronunciation I have tried my best with the written Phonetic Pronunciation, but this is always dodgy. The sound files are best.
Copying my pronunciation exactly (not) If you listen to the mp3 and wav files, please don't try to get the exact intonation. I am English and have a more or less RP accent. If an American or a Scot or a New Zealander says a sentence in their normal accent (and, except for the Naxettes and Bel, that's what I would expect you to use) but then suddenly comes out with a name in RP English, it will sound silly. Not funny - silly. So use my examples as a jumping off point and don't try to copy exactly.
When being exact is important The places where pronunciation is most important is within the song lyrics - especially where rhymes are involved or where people are singing in unison. So, for example Condottiere is con-DOTT-ee-air (otherwise it won't fit), and not con-DOTT-ee-air-ee; and Dame is pronounced Daym in the final song. Kathi must be pronounced Kathy, not Katti - or the Kathi/Cathy joke won't work.

Oh dear

This is an extremely tricky are. We could really do with a workshop followed by 6 weeks of rehearsal. I can dream...


mp3 wav Name
Phonetic Pronunciation
Adelina A-da-LEE-nuh
Aegean uh-jee-ann
Anselm Adorne AN-sselm a-DORNN
Archie AR-chee
Astorre ass-TORR
Austin OSS-tinn
Beltanno bel-TA-no
Berecrofts BE-ra-croftss
Bruges broozhe
Brugeoix BROOZHE-wah
Bruxieres BRUX-ee-airr
Condottiere con-DO-tee-AIRRR
Countess Von Wenzel Countess Von Ventsell
Dame De Fleury Dahm duh FLEW-ry
Damparis Damm-pa-REE
David De Salmeton da-VEED duh SAL-muh-ton (but with a silent N)
DeFleury duh FLEW-ree
Dunnett DUNN-itt
Edinburgh E-din-b'ruh
Gelis gutteral G
Gelis hard G
Gelis soft G
Godscalc GOD-shahkk
Groa GROW-a
Heighdy HAY-DEE
Jaak Zhaahck
Jerrott JE-rutt
Joleta jo-LEE-tuh
Joneta jo-NEE-tuh
Jordan Semple djor-dn SEMP'l
Jordan de St Pol ZHOR-dn duh san POLL
Julius JEW-lee-uhss
Katelijne Sersanders katter-LIE-nuh ser-SUN-duz
Katelina katter-LEE-nah
Kathi Cathy
Kilmirren kil-MI-runn
Ludovic LOO-doe-vicc
Ludovico da Bologna loo-doe-VEE-kuh da b'LON-ya
Lulach LOO-lach (the ch in lacj being like the ch in loch)
Margot MAR-go
Marian Charetty MA-ree-ann sha-RE-tee
Marthe MAR-tt
M'lud M'luhdd
Monsieur Muh-seURR
Naxos NACK-soss
Naxettes NACK-SETSS
Niccie NI-kee
Nicco NI-ko
Niccolo NI-c'lo
Ochoa uh'CHO-a ch as in Loch
Proven pro-vunn
Rita REE-tuh
Sim SIMM
Saint Mary suhnt MARE-ee
Thorfinn TOR-finn
Van Borselen van BORR-s'lenn
Vander Poele van-der-POLE-ur
Vatachino vat-a-KEE-no
Viagra vee-A-gra
Viennetta vee-a-NE-ta
Violante vee-o-LAN-tay
Wat Buccleuch wott buh-clue
We will say that west is where the east is This one's for Nancy!

©2000, Simon Hedges. Email: Simon Hedges at Home