Pronunciation Guide

Those of you who are reading the Rook and Rose series rather than listening to the audiobooks may be wondering how to pronounce things! The rules are relatively simple, as follows:

Liganti (modeled on Italian)

  • A = ah
  • E = eh
  • I = ee
  • O = oh
  • U = oo
  • C = ch before an E or an I
  • CH = K before an E or an I
  • G = J before an E or an I
  • GH = G (hard) before an E or an I
  • ZZ = TZ

Liganti is actually based on some dialects or close cousin languages to Italian like Venetian, Ladin, Sardinian, Romansh, and Dalmatian, which is why it has names like Sibiliat that wouldn’t fit into standard Italian. Also, our Italian pronunciation is imperfect in the first place, so there are undoubtedly some smaller rules we’re overlooking.

Vraszenian (modeled on Slavic languages)

  • J = Y
  • Č = CH
  • Š = SH
  • Ž = ZH (as in “azure,” not as in the pinyin use of that digraph)
  • SZ = normal S (it’s just spelled that way before/between vowels)

The vowels are a little mutable, and honestly, we probably don’t have a consistent rule for when we pronounce them short vs. long.

Seterin (modeled on classical Latin)

  • AE = like the English “eye”
  • AU = like the English “ow”
  • vowels are otherwise as in Liganti
  • C = K (i.e. always hard)
  • G = G (i.e. always hard)

In theory Seterin is pronounced like classical Latin, because Marie is a Latin nerd. In practice, she pronounces Viraudax with a V sound, not the classical W, because it sounds better that way. There are also terms derived from Seterin whose pronunciation the Liganti have messed with, e.g. Argentet, which uses the soft J sound for the G.

(And outside the world of the story: Marie’s name is accented on the second syllable, mah-REE, and Alyc’s name is uh-LISS, “like a list of items without the T.”)