by Carole Losee © 2005-2020


ELIZABETH SEEGER’S

THE FIVE SONS OF KING PANDU:

THE STORY OF THE MAHABHARATA


PRONUNCIATION OF PROPER NAMES

 

As a general rule:

a = ah, as in father

e = ay, as in obey

i = ee, as in police

o = o, as in hole

u = oo, as in rule

ai = y, as in cry

au = ow, as in now

The h should be given its full value after a consonant, as in Gand-hara, Yud-histra, etc. It may seem unnecessary and difficult to Western readers to pronounce it after a B, as in B-hima, B-hishma, etc., but it is correct to do so.

In order to avoid further difficulty, no distinction has been made between the long and the short vowels.

Indian names are often accented in a way that Western readers do not expect. It is assumed in this book that proper names are accented on the next-to-last syllable unless otherwise indicated. The exceptions have been given an accent mark on the stressed syllable. This, however, is not possible when the names begin with a vowel, since the accent mark cannot be put on a capital letter. It should be noted, therefore, that Arjuna is accented on the first syllable--ár-juna; Uttar and Uttara are also so accented--út-tar, út-tara; and the less important name of the nymphs, the Apsara--áp-sara--is so accented.


Seeger, The Five Sons of King Pandu, Print edition, op. cit., pp. xix.



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