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A long time after reading Jack Vance's "Planet of Adventure" series, recently I've started reading it again: and again, as a non-native English speaker, I'm wondering how you are supposed to read the name of one of the alien races appearing in the novels, the Blue/Green/Old Chasch.
But, unlike the last time, now there is Internet.

In my mind, I'm reading the first "ch" in Chasch as in "chief", and the second "ch" as a "k": the result sounds similar to "Chask" and it sounds good enough to my uneducated ear.

But I realize there could be a few alternatives as well:

  • the second "ch" could also be read like the first (as in "chief"): "Chas-ch"
  • or it might even combine with the preceding "s" in a "sh" sound (as in "push"): "Chash".

And maybe the first "ch" isn't even the same as "chief" but a "k" sound, so the whole name is "Kask", or "Kash"...

As a non-native English speaker, it's a little confusing as there are too many alternatives that sound good enough and my ear can't decide which is the right one: so can you tell me how the Chasch are supposed to be pronounced?

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1 Answer 1

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The official audiobook has it as /tʃɑ:ʃ/. I would respell it "Charsh", but if you like to pronounce your Rs, perhaps you'd prefer "Chahsh".

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  • Thanks! I didn't even think of the audiobook as a way to settle my doubt. I'm just not used to them. But it would have been faster and easier.
    – Zab Zonk
    Jan 4 at 21:59
  • So it appears you are non-rhotic. Inserting that silent "r" is a little misleading for me -- I heard that as "Chahsh" or even "Chosh".
    – Spencer
    Jan 4 at 22:56
  • @Spencer - If you want to add in all the little fiddly pronunciation phonetic symbols, you're welcome to have at it.
    – Valorum
    Jan 4 at 22:58
  • The IPA would be /tʃɑʃ/.
    – Spencer
    Jan 4 at 23:02
  • This makes me want to ask a question on English Language & Usage Stack Exchange. Are you OK with that?
    – Spencer
    Jan 4 at 23:19

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