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Tip Tuesday #123

If you missed Natalie's interview yesterday with Jennifer Nielsen, author of THE FALSE PRINCE, please click here. When it first went up, it didn't seem to post to Google Dashboard or Reader, so we want to make sure it wasn't missed. Natalie really loves this book.

Today's wonderfully useful tip was sent in by M.X. Kremzen who blogs about fascinating things here and Tweets @MXKremzen. This is M.X.'s first tip submission so please visit and offer a warm welcome. Here's the tip!
When you're writing a book that falls into speculative genres like fantasy, you're bound to make up names/words along the way. While you have liberty as a writer to play around with spelling and pronunciation, you'll probably want your readers to say a certain name/word the same way you do. This is where a site like Google Translate comes in handy. You can type any word into the text box, hit the speaker icon in the bottom right corner, and an automated voice will pronounce the word for you. For example, I have a species in my sci-fi/fantasy book, The Dark Matter Chronicles, called the Dakarrians. The name was originally spelled "Dakarian' but I found that without the extra 'r', the emphasis fell on the wrong syllable.

It's also useful for figuring out how to pronounce the names of characters in books I'm reading.

-M.X. Kremzen
Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

17 comments:

Linda A. said...

Great tip on where to find how to pronounce a name. Thanks!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tip. I write fantasy too and make up names sometimes. I'll have to check it out.

Follow The Den's said...

Thanks for the tip! I have been going with simpler names just for the sake of pronunciation, but this may help get what I really want and still be easy for the reader.

cleemckenzie said...

Interesting. I didn't know about this. I'll have to take a look. Not being able to pronounce names as I read a story is often frustrating.

icedgurl said...

trekking your blog!!! thanks for the tip. Very helpful.

cheers!
..TREK..

Theresa Milstein said...

So true! I was mangling Hermione for years because I'd never heard the name. Once I saw the first movie, I realized how it was pronounced.

Jeanette W. Stickel said...

Great tip - thanks! I'm heading over to your blog now to see what other gems you have in store.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Very useful tip! Puts me in mind of Hermione from Harry Potter. So many people mispronounced that one. Maybe Rowling needed this tip ;)

Heather said...

Excellent tip! An automated voice, I love that.

Angela Brown said...

I'm especially in tune with today's tip given I've read some stories where I had NO CLUE how to really say a character's name, which can be a bother when the name is for like, the MC and I don't really know how to refer to them except to make up my own nickname in my mind until I could find a key or here the author tell me how to say certain things.

Lydia Kang said...

That's a great idea! I never thought of using google translate. Huh.
Thanks for the tip!

Jemi Fraser said...

What a great idea! That never crossed my mind - thanks :)

Stina said...

That's a clever idea. And helpful for me who has a hard time pronouncing some of the names I find in books. I usually just gloss over them.

Christie Wright Wild said...

I'm reading a book right now and struggle with some of the names. I wonder if the author's pronunciations match the Google pronunciations. Very interesting. Thanks!

Ali B said...

Cool tip! I wish people would use it on my last name.

Angela Ackerman said...

Clever tip! I would never have thought to use it for this. I know there's a site out there as well that pronounces authors last names. It's amazing when you 'think' of a name as being pronounced a certain way, and then find out you had it wrong all along, lol.

icedgurl said...

trekking your blog!!!

cheers!
..TREK..