dave_littler (dave_littler) wrote in little_details,
dave_littler
dave_littler
little_details

How in the world do you pronounce "Gwenhwyvac Guinee"?


So, writing this story, set in an absurd early 20th century England, I had a need for a Welsh character with the most awkward, unpleasant-sounding Welsh name I could come up with. Looking at various lists, the best I could come up with was "Gwenhwyvac Guinee", which I think is a pretty good choice. The problem is, in addition to doing this as text, I'm also doing a sort of radio show version of this, and for that purpose, I'm going to have to actually say this terrible name out loud, and by dint of my choice to give this character an almost-impossible-for-me-to-say name for the sake of a joke, I don't know if I can! 

So, uh. I was wondering if anyone with a Welsh background and/or accent could, say, record themselves saying this and then let me listen to it. Maybe upload a wav file of it somewhere? I know it may be a lot to ask, and so as compensation, I offer below the cut the hopefully-amusing introductory paragraphs for the character.

The current captain of the Regal Swine was a woman whose name I at first had a great deal of difficulty pronouncing. It wasn't until I came to realize that Gwenhwyvac Guinee, like so many Welsh names, was meant to be pronounced as one would a deep-thoated moan of otherwise-unutterable anguish. That realization not only made communication with her a great deal easier, but so too did it make understanding of her character.

 

She had entered into my service some five years prior, when The Swine had come under attack by pirates and the previous captain killed. Though the pirates were soon enough subdued and in large part dispatched, there remained the sticky matter of providing my vessel a new captain. I decided that the best course of action, given the circumstances, was to replace the captain with one of the surviving pirates. The crew were initially quite unhappy with this decision, pointing out that I was in essence not only giving her what she had wanted, I was indeed rewarding her for her part in having murdered so many of their crewmates. This was true, naturally, and indeed it was a part of my plan. It seemed to me that the crew could come together around that shared sense of anger and tension, and that this would make them a more efficient group. Likewise did I feel that playing upon the old nautical superstitious dread regarding women at sea and indeed their moral outrage at needing to obey the orders of a woman might serve as sufficient incentive for them to work harder. The various mutinies which I had to put down in the coming months put paid to that idea, but I would be hanged from a length of piano wire before I would admit it publically, and as such, I remained, to all appearances, her most vocal supporter, even if privately I prayed each and every night that she be devoured by a mighty kraken, even if it meant the sinking of the Swine itself in order to erase the stain of my tragic miscalculation from this Earth.

 

As to the woman herself, she was only middlingly-effective as a captain, and her various efforts to hijack my ship over the years were in and of themselves frustrating to me on a professional level. This having been said, I had to admit a certain grudging admiration for her ruthlesness with her underlings and the degree to which she had managed not to be murdered in her sleep by them in spite of - or perhaps because of - the grip of inhuman terror she held the crew in. Though one might, in the ordinary course of events, expect desertions to run rather on the high side aboard the Swine, this was not, after a brief, initial spate of disloyalty on the part of the crew, the case. The cause for this was doubtless a complex one, but of the various elements which contributed to it, the abrupt disappearance of any man who did desert, and Captain Guinee's tendancy to ostentatiously wear an article of their bloodied clothing as one might a trophy of war in the weeks and months afterwards had to place highly.

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Tags: ~languages: celtic, ~names
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