Tohaa Pronunciation Guide

Language

If you browse the English Infinity forum and the Spanish Infinity forum, you will notice that English players often misspell Tohaa names, but Spanish Tohaa players never misspell them.  I believe this is because they pronounce these names correctly.  This is an easy guide to help you say Tohaa names the right way, too.  As most language areas of the brain cross over, you will have no more trouble with Tohaa names by the end.

You may also sound like Antonio Banderas at the table.


Tohaa’s “Vaarso Battlespeak” seems to be heavily influenced by Maori and Pacific languages, and its pronunciation is a mixture English and Spanish vowels.  The consonants (c, k, g, r, etc) appear to follow standard Latin/Germanic convention, like British and American English.  The main trick of Tohaa names is the vowels (a, e, i, o, and u).  Presuming you don’t have IPA notation memorized, I will be using common pronunciation notation here.

Vowel pronunciation has very simple rules, and the rules are consistently applied.

Singlevowels follow Spanish convention:

a = “ah”

e = “ay” (Not quite “ay” as in “say” or “rain”, nor as muted as “eh” as in “bend” or “desk”.  It’s a very mild “ey” or “ay”.  Definitely don’t say “ehyee” or you’re way overdoing it.)

i =”ee”

o = “oh”

u = “oo”

Double vowels mostly follow English convention:

aa = “ah”

ee, ii = “ee”

oo, uu = “oo”

The one exception appears to be the digraph ae, which is pronounced “ey/ay” as in “face” or “lake”.   The one exception to that exception appears to be the Kamael, as you can hear Bostria pronounce it kah-mah-eyl.

Listening to Carlos and other CB staff pronounce the Tohaa names, the Tohaa syllables appear to be more or less “stressless”, like Japanese words.  In English, for example, we pronounce “ridiculous” as “rih-DICK-you-liss”, with an emphasis on the “DICK”.  In Japanese, however; and apparently in Tohaa, there isn’t really stress on a single part of a word.  You just say it quickly.

However, if you do want to emphasize a syllable, as is natural to an English speaker, there are two rules of thumb following Spanish convention:  If the word ends with last two vowels in an apparent diphthong (two different vowels, like “-iel” or “-uil” or “-aul”), then stress the last vowel.  If the word does not end in a diphthong, emphasize the second to last syllable.  Thus, Kerail = KAY-rah-EEL, Surda = SOOR-dah.  Or keep it simple, and don’t emphasize any syllable. ;)

Here is each word and name with is guide:

Aelis = ay-lees

Clipsos = kleep-sohs

Ectros = eyk-tros

Gao-Rael = gah-oh-reyl

Gao-Tarsos = gah-oh-tahr-sohs

Gorgos = gohr-gohs

Hatail = hah-tah-eel

Igao = ee-gah-oh

Kaauri = kah-oo-ree

Kaeltar = keyl-tahr

Kamael = kah-mah-eyl

Kerail = kay-rah-eel

Kosuil = koh-soo-eel

Kotail = koh-tah-eel

Kumotail = koo-moh-tah-eel

Makaul = mah-kah-ool

Mutan = moo-tahn

Nikoul = nee-koh-ool

Rasail = rah-sah-eel

Sakiel = sah-kee-eyl

Sukeul = soo-kay-ool

Surda = soor-dah

Taqeul = tah-kay-ool

Tohaa

¡mola!

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