Mâvarinû: a Guide to Pronunciation
The people of Mâvarin, Mâton and Fãrnet do not speak English.  Mâvarinû dialogue has therefore been translated into contemporary American English, with idioms converted to their nearest equivalents.  Formal or archaic language is used to denote the more formal speech patterns of the selmûn people and others.  Proper names (mostly places and people) are transliterations of the original Mâvarinû.  The circumflex (^) is used in many of these spellings due to its visual resemblance to the actual accent mark in the written language of Mâvarin.

The short rule for pronouncing Mâvarinû names is that vowels are nearly always short unless they are accented (â, û).  This is, of course, an oversimplification, but reasonably accurate.

An exception, however, is found in the stressed first syllables of some proper names, where the accents are nearly always omitted.  Dana, for example, would be pronounced Dâna, the same as in the English name Dana.  Shela is pronounced Shêla, which is the same as the English name Sheila.  However, in the selmûn dialect, it is more correctly Shâla, as their vowels are somewhat different from those of conventional Mâvarinû.  Natives of Mâton speak Mâvarinû except in magic incantations, for which they use an arcane language called Lopartin.

Details of the pronunciation of individual letters in Mâvarinû are as follows:

    A is prounounced three ways depending on accenting and placement within the word.  When the syllable is stressed (Ra´ ni), it is pronounced as in the English word hat.  When accented (Mâvarin), it becomes a long a, as in major.  Occasionally, a stressed a (Masha, Fayubi) is pronounced as if accented.  When neither stressed nor accented, as at the end of most feminine names (Fiba, Jerela), it is pronounced with the schwa sound or short u, as in the American name Bubba.  In Fãrnet, the ã is pronounced as in father, except before r, troublesomely enough, when it becomes ah-air.  Fãrneton is a more difficult and annoying language that Mâvarinû--almost as difficult as English.
    E (Selevar, Rithe) is usually pronounced as in pen, unless accented (ê).  However, sometimes in proper names the accent is implied by the letter's placement in a stressed syllable, as it Shela (see above).  In most cases it is best to assume the vowel is short.
    I is usually the same as in hit, except at the end of a word, such as in the masculine names Farni, Li, etc., when it is pronounced like the ie or y in English names and nicknames (Bobby, Carrie).
    O is pronounced as in hot (Lok, Lokvi) or as in Boston (Fost), depending on what word it is in and who is pronouncing it, being subject to regional accents.  It becomes a long o, as in phone, when either accented (Lôven) or followed by l or r (Pol, Gorben).
    U is pronounced as in tune (Tuli,) except when followed by n (Lunder), where it more closely resembles the oo in wood.  When accented (Mâvarinû), the letter sounds more like the French pronunciation, as in the French pronoun tu.  This uncharacteristic sound appears mostly in a few older words.

    B, D, F, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, V, W, and Z are all pronounced the same as in English.
    C (Carli, Macni) is always “hard,” as in  candy, never “soft” as in cent.  Ch is always the same as in cherry.
    G (Gathmak, Genva) is always “hard,” as in gun, never “soft” as in George.
    There is no Q or X in Mâvarinû.
    S (Suri, Madsen) is always “soft” as in the word soft, never “hard” as in the word always.  Sh (Shela) is always unvoiced, as in  English.
    T is always pronounced as in time, except as part of th (Gathmak, Rithe), which is always unvoiced, as in think, never voiced as in the.
    Y (Fayubi, Darya) is pronounced as in yellow.

There are few examples of the language of Londer to be found in the books, except in the names of Londran characters.  The language shares some common history with Mavarinu, but is different enough that Prince Talber understands virtually no Mavarinu when he first arrives.  This is because the language of Mâvarin is an amalgam of Londran, Parsais, Mugalan, Seldan (the original language of the selmûn people), and even a bit of Lopartin.

Lopartin is the ancient language used in Mâton-style spells.  It is to Mâvarinû and Londran approximately what Latin is to English – a source language, but far removed from contemporary usage. One magical aspect of the Lopartin language itself is that it resists translation by magical means, and must be learned more or less by rote.  However, it is fairly easy to determine the meanings of short spells from the context of their use.  A simple example of a Lopartin spell is as follows:

Leavar wener espar = reveal and reactivate spell.

However, it should be noted that for the convenience of the translator and transcriber of these books, and for the safety of readers, the actual Lopartin words in various spells have been replaced by nonsense words based on a combination of Latin and English.  In the example above, two of the words are basically anagrams of English words.  The idea here is to give the flavor of the language, and yet avoid any possibility of actual magic being encoded in these pages.