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Smitehammer
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Pronunciations

I'm starting this thread for people to post questions about the pronunciation of words which may not be immediately obvious. For instance, 'Dreugh' is pronounced as 'Dreg', according to the developer who first created them. I'll update this first post with an alphabetized list as more words and agreed pronunciations are added, for the sake of consistency.

Here's where you can find a pronunciation key.

Ahemmusa: ä hĕm o̅o̅ 

CHIM: hchkĭm (don't worry about it - you probably won't have to say it)

Chimer: Kī mər

Daedra: Dā drä (Dunmeri),  Dî drə (Redguards and Khajiit), Dā drə (All other races)

Dagoth Ur: Dā gŏth ûr (acceptable for Humans); Dä gôth o̅o̅ r (Dunmer and other elves - rolling R optional)

Dreugh: Drĕg

Dunmer: Dŭn mər (acceptable for Humans); Do̅o̅ n mər (Dunmer and other elves - rolling R optional)

Flin: Flĭn

Greef: Grĕf (hold longer on the short e)

Hlaalu: Aspirated 'L'  Hlä lo̅o̅  (accent and hold slightly longer on the first syllable - this word should only be two syllables)

Matze: Mäz tĕ

Shein: Shān

Sheogorad: Shĕ ō gōr äd

Sheogorath: Shĕ ō gōr

Sujamma: So̅o̅  jäm mä

Vehk: vĕk

Vivec: Vĭ vĕk (accent on the 'vek' part)

Vvardenfell: Vär dĕn fĕl (not so much a Dunmeri word as a Dwemer one)

 

Edited by: Smitehammer on 10/25/2015 - 10:22
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Woah, that's very helpful. If

Woah, that's very helpful. If I may ask, how do you say 'Daedra' and 'Chimer' exactly? I heard a lot of different pronunciations and I'm kinda confused. Also somewhere I read that the Dark Elves call themselves "doon-mare" while others say "duhn-mehr" - that's even more confusing...

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Chimer is similar to 'chitin'

Chimer is similar to 'chitin'. So like kai-mer. CHIM is a bit different, as it's from Ehlnofex and has been described to me more as 'kim', or specifically "an almost Hebrew 'hchkim'". Fortunately, that word won't come up too much. When it does, we'll have to cross our fingers that the person reading it knows how to say it ;)

Still waiting for confirmation of daedra. I'll post it soon.

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Daedra = Daidra (not deedra

Daedra = Daidra (not deedra like you'd here on occasion in oblivion)

Chimer = Kime r

Smite's use of kai-mer may be a bit misleading as in most context ai is pronounced like in tail when he means more like in hawaii.

dunmer tends to be like dun-mer  but can also be more like don-mer with particular accents or don-mar if it is a really thick accent you might get with some khajiits and the like.

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Alright, I've got

Alright, I've got confirmation for daedra, with ae more as encyclopaedia than aeroplane. As for Dunmer, they'll say 'u' sounds in the style mentioned above with Dagoth Ur (almost like dune), while humans or other outlanders may pronounce it the same as in 'fun' or 'dumb'. This way of pronouncing ch as 'k' and u as 'o͝o' will continue into pronunciation of Dunmeri words, for the voice actors voicing Ashlanders or other particular Dunmer NPCs.

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Thanks! Seems like Dunmer in

Thanks! Seems like Dunmer in Skyrim pronunce it like outlanders, then. :P

By the way, I know this is not the best place to ask about it, but are there any dialogue lines written in Dunmeri? I'm thinking about posting a voice audition someday and it would be fun to say something in this language.

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Yeah, quite a few. And a

Yeah, quite a few. And a handful of songs with it, too. I don't think Taerkalith's sorted any of the lines for Ashlanders yet, but I did give a few of our VAs some Dunmeri lines to read i nthe past. https://soundcloud.com/stefannie-clendenen/dunmeri-dialogue

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Awesome! I was going to ask

Awesome! I was going to ask for a thread like this to reference. You've already answered my question regarding Sheogorath. 

Thanks! 

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Isn't Daedra pronounced DAY

Isn't Daedra pronounced DAY-dra?

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It might be a bit

It might be a bit controversial, but the way I have it listed is accurate as referenced in the video linked in the blue text. Michael Kirkbride himself has confirmed this.

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There used to be a really

There used to be a really great compilation of Vvanderfellic names from Morrowind voice files, it revealed that e.g. Pelagiad is pronounced more like Pelajiad, but now it's gone for whatever reason... Oh well. You can still extract the voice files yourself, of course.

Also, if you have trouble figuring out the pronunciation, at least you're not alone ;)

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Except the later games

Except the later games pronounce it DAY-dra, DAY-drick, etc. etc. When questioning pronounciations, you always go with the later source. It's definitly DAY-dra

Smitehammer
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I'm going to honor MK's

I'm going to honor MK's wishes in this. He made the words, he made the lore. I'd thought it was DAY-drick before, too. But in the spirit of what Skywind is, I'm willing to make the change.

The DEE-drik pronunciation was only said by humans in Redguard, so we could maybe have two pronunciations, with humans using the 'new' one, and Dunmer and other elves going with their standard pronunciations of vowels from Dunmeri to make something a bit more akin to the long-a sound.

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Eh... MK didn't come up with

Eh... MK didn't come up with the word Daedra. It's been around since Daggerfall. Michael Kirkbride only joined on after Battlespire's development ended. Here's the intro to that game;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3ixGG3U2fA

So, no, MK didn't come up with the first pronounciation of Daedra. So, okay, maybe something before Morrowind said it DAY-dra. How about something afterwards, like actually talking to a Daedra in Oblivion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKb8cr5Q86I

Sheogorath himself says DAY-drick. I get you want to honor MK's wishes, but he just doesn't have anything to do with the word Daedra. 

Plus, even if we assume that humans from the late-2nd Era used DEE-drick, we're now 430 years later. I think it's safe to assume most humans could've learned better.

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Hmm. You make some good

Hmm. You make some good points. I wonder Like to find a way to have both pronunciations and divide them among certain types of NPCs. Perhaps DAY-drik as predominate with DEE-drik only spoken by Redguards, as part of their dialect.

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That sounds alright.

That sounds alright. Redguards should have a small accent (they should have a slight Middle Eastern accent, not too noticable until you look for it.)

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Going more with African

Going more with African influence for Redguards, with different dialects based on the predominate surrounding culture. Some of the more affluent merchants who may be coming straight from Hammerfell who may still follow Tall Papa and keep the language of Yokuda will speak with an African accent. Those who moved into Cyrodiil as merceneries or soldiers will have become more influenced by the 'Americanized' speech of most of the Imperial soldiers, giving them an 'American black' dialect. Most of the Redguards in Morrowind will sound like this, emulating the way they sounded in Redguard (Cyrus), Morrowind, and Oblivion. Mariners influenced by the speech of the High Elves around Summerset and some of the Breton kingdoms may have more of a Caribbean accent. But I see little reason many of these would exist around Vvardenfell, except perhaps as smugglers.

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Interesting. I would've had a

Interesting. I would've had a Middle Eastern accent for the Redguard, considering how their cities look, with a distinct Arabian influence. Still, African's good.

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two pronunciations i do not

two pronunciations i do not see on the list are Hortator and dwemer

in the opening, Azura says them like whore-ta-taur, and dwee-mur

are these right? i'm not an expert on enything, but i always thought the first e was short in dwemer, but i don't know anything. also what about ashlander names? i mean there's simple ones like Sul-Matuul, but then there's others like Yan-Ahhe Darirnaddunumm

 

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With Dunmeri (and by

With Dunmeri (and by extention Ashlander names) words I want to keep it as phonetic as possible. Vowels are pronounced the same way, and each vowel is sounded out separately. 'A' is always pronounced as the 'a' in father; 'i' is always pronounced as 'i' in pig. There is no single letter for the long 'i' sound, but 'a' and 'i' pronounced independently would lead to a sound like long 'i'.

For hortator, I would be fine with a little variation in the ay people say it. I'm not sure there's really a correct way to go about saying that. The only case of someone saying it outside of Morrowind I could find was this... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HrIAGxRHPI

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Very interesting: I'd always

Very interesting: I'd always wondered how to pronounce "Chimer". The lore of the Chimer has always been one of my favorites throughout the entire Elder Scrolls series. 

I'd be fascinated if someone deciphered the etymology of "atronach". I'd thought it might be a derivative from an actual dead language but my own investigation was unsuccessful. 

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Mazte, and Shien?  In mazte,

Mazte, and Shien?  In mazte, is that a silent e? Is it pronounced "sheen" or "shine"?  And why do i suddenly need a drink?

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For Dunmeri words pronounce

For Dunmeri words pronounce each vowel separately like Japanese - for double letters hold them longer, or separate them if there is an appstraphe. Mäz tĕ and Shĕ ĭn (like 'rein', almost sounding like the name Shane, but push that short 'e' sound).

Likewise greef would not be pronounced like grief, but grĕf, holding the short e out a bit. Sujamma would be so͝o jäm mä. Flin is flĭn (just like in Breaking Bad).

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Perfect, Thanks!  

Perfect, Thanks!

 

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Here are the pronunciations I

EDITED TO REFLECT FEEDBACK FROM SMITEHAMMER

Here are the pronunciations I have used, FWIW.

I represent emphasis via an underline.

I assume that “dh” is always th, that is voiced, i.e., like th in “the”, not “thing”.

 

Angaredhel                        ängärĕthĕl

Arara Uvulas                      ärärə o̅o̅vyo̅o̅läs

Dalyne Arvel                      lēn ärvĕl

Ery                                    ĕ

Felisa Ulessen                   fĕlēo̅o̅lĕsĕn

Galos Mathendis                gälŏs mäthĕndĭs

Mallam Ryon                     mäläm ŏn  (extended double-l in the middle, so emphasis is there)

Molag Amur                       läg ämûr

Raven Omayn                    vĕn ōmān

Sadrith Mora                      ädrĭth rä

 

Sinyaramen                        Sĭnyärəmĕn (an Altmer)

 

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For Sadrith Mora, as a

For Sadrith Mora, as a 'native' Dunmer I'd go with 'a' as in 'father' for all of the 'a' sounds. Other than that, it looks reasonable. Of course, since your characters are Bosmer, it's okay to pronounce it like you've written it here.

JeffNo
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Thanks, Smitester.

Thanks, Smitester.

Since the character names are all Dunmer, I'll re-record the one line I have with all of them in it :-)

If I'm re-doing it anyway, do you have input on the sound of y as a vowel in Dumeri names? In particular Mallam Ryon, Raven Omayn, and Dalyne Arvel?

Thanks!

 

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Long 'E', like pyramid. Tel

Long 'E', like pyramid. Tel Fyr is like 'fear'.

Exception to 'a' always being as in 'father' and 'y' as a vowel as long 'e' is a follwed by y. We'll keep those like the long 'A' in English.

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Gnisis

Gnisis

Knee-sis is my initial thought on this one

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Yep

Yep

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Couple of questions for

Couple of questions for vowels. The pronunciation key you linked has the following:

o͝o as in took

ĕ as in pet

However, from the examples and advice in this thread, it sounds like you mean to use:

o̅o̅ as in boot where you have o͝o as in took

ā as in pay where you have ĕ as in pet

Thus making "Shein: Shĕĭn" almost sound like "Shane" with an "i" stuck in there, which is how it sounds like you meant it, instead of almost sounding like "Shen" with an "i" stuck in there, which is how it's written in the guide. In other words, when you write ĕ do you always mean as in "Ed" or "pet", or do you sometimes mean as in "Peyton" or "hey" (but without the strong "y" bit afterwards)? I assume "Vivec" is supposed to rhyme with "peck", but the Dunmer "Daedra" is supposed to be "dah-eh-drah", Japanese "ae" style, instead of "dah-ed-rah".

Similarly, it sounds like you mean "Sujamma: So͝o jäm mä" to have a "su" as in "suit" rather than as in "soot".

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The U in sujamma like the

The U in sujamma like the word sue. I'll change those instances.

For clarity's sake I'll change shein to the 'shane', like rein or vein.

For daedra, maybe it would just be easier to stick with dae as 'day'. This one is annoying, as it should be a word the Dunmer are familiar with in their own language, but it would sound almost like 'die dra' if it kept with the pronunciation rules. In Redguard, MK had the VA of Cyrus say 'dee dra'. Most people will say it like day dra anyway though, heh.

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Heh. I'm not Dunmer, but I

Heh. I'm not Dunmer, but I wouldn't mind doing the separate vowel thing for the "ae" in Daedra, and I think lots of actors would like to get the dialect right. :) Just wasn't sure when you meant which 'e' sound for the words you listed.

o̅o̅ as in boot is the symbol from the pronunciation key you're looking for for the U's.

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As spoken by Frinnius

(Edited to reflect Dragomir's response)

As spoken by Frinnius Posuceius, Imperial (but oddly picky about his Dunmeri pronunciation :-) ):

Arver Rethul      ärvûr rĕtho̅o̅l

 Suvryn Doves  so̅o̅vrēn dŏvĕs (not dōvĕz)

Ivrosa Verethi    ĭvrŏsä vĕrĕthē (not ĭvrōsä)

Guldrise Dralor  go̅o̅ldrĭsĕ drälôr

Vedam Dren      vĕdäm drĕn

Nileno Dorvayn nĭlĕnō dôrvān

Orvas Dren         ôrväs drĕn

And the all-important:

Nerevarine         nĕrĕvärēn (explicitly not nĕrĕvärīn)

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 As far as Dunmer names go

 As far as Dunmer names go, I would pronounce the e's at the end of words and names. So Guldrise should be Go̅o̅ldrēsĕ. I would keep Nerevarine as an exception, it seems to be an anglicized word anyway. Other than that, there's no reason why Dunmer would lose the e at the end, their language is not influenced by French like English is ;)

Of course, Frinnius Posuceius is an Imperial, so these pronounciations might make sense for him. Just keep in mind - when it comes to Imperials using Dunmeri words, they wouldn't all read it like English. It's more likely that they hear these words spoken before seeing them written. They might not be able to roll r's and they could butcher some of the vowels, but not like a person who never heard the original sound of the word.

And then Nerevarin in Daedric Dunmeri texts could be written without the e at the end. That e might've been added in Imperial documents written by those who didn't know the spelling. Alternatively Nerevaraen?

Speaking of which, "ae" that is pretty common in Dunmeri could even work as a single character in writing, much like the æ ligature.

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if we'd want to keep

if we'd want to keep pronunciation consistent, probably Nerevaryn, heh. But probably overthinking it for a minor detail.

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Dragomir wrote:

Dragomir wrote:

there's no reason why Dunmer would lose the e at the end, their language is not influenced by French like English is ;)

Well, except that no Dunmer ever used English orthography to encode their name :-). In other words, aren't they all Anglicized? (That's an honest question, BTW.) I am under the impression, based on the less-than-consistent orthography we're arriving at in this thread (c.f. the value of y), that the original authors of these names, by which I mean the esteemed creators of the original game, didn't actually establish a rigorous system. Hence our struggle here to impose such rigor. 

I would also fret that many voice actors aren't referring to this thread (I didn't even know it existed until I asked around), so might assume an Anglicized pronunciation anyway, so perhaps we should err on that side for consistency's sake.

But, all that said, I will of course defer to the wishes of yourself and the Smitester, since, well, I'm the n00b, and I will change my pronunciation as you suggest.

 

 

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I think I got tripped up by English pronunciation again. Seems the value of i is typically ĭ, so perhaps Guldrise should be Go̅o̅ldrĭ not Go̅o̅ldrēsĕ? (and again, s not z). I'll edit my post to reflect that, pending correction from your good selves.

 

 

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Yeah, it was my hope to

Yeah, it was my hope to standardize the vowels, but convention and the strange games vowels play with each other in English make that difficult, heh. For the most part, though, A as in 'father', e as in 'egg', i as in 'igloo', o as in 'open', u as in 'dune', and y as in 'pyramid'.

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Yeah, I'd just simply go with

Yeah, I'd just simply go with latin phonetics of these vowels. Which is, the original phonetics and the sound they really represent. English has as many vowels as it has consonants, but only as many letters for them as latin did. Other languages (like Polish, German, or Scandinavian languages) aid that by adding new signs and letters to represent extra sounds, no idea why it wasn't done in English as well. It'd have been a hell of a lot clearer that way.

And yes, I'm aware that the creators of the game probably didn't even think about it and had English pronounciations in mind, but I don't think we have to follow that really, now that not only we have full voice acting, but also whole lines spoken in Dunmeri language only, and it would sound stupid when pronounced like English.

So in short, I would go with pronouncing every vowel without losing any, as well as reading them phonetically, like Smite is suggesting. It's simple enough to comprehend for most people and makes it sound more authentic.

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JeffNo wrote:

JeffNo wrote:

I would also fret that many voice actors aren't referring to this thread



If that's the case, i should definitely happen in the future, whenever some voice actor gets their scripts, they should be notified of the existence of this thread and that they should ask before recording if there is any doubt.
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Smitehammer wrote:

Smitehammer wrote:

 u as in 'dune', and y as in 'pyramid'.

Allow me to translate for readers from Britain :-). Read these with American pronunciation in mind, meaning dune as doon not dyoon, pyramid like peer not pip.

 

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Voice actors are notified of

Voice actors are notified of the existence of this thread. It is listed in the voice actor hub instructions which they are directed to or the message they receive (I forget which, but it is definitely referenced)

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How do you pronounce this?

How do you pronounce this?
Foyada Mamaea
Shall I give it a greek spin Fo-yadda Mam-ey-ya?
I think I shall. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Looks good

Looks good

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How about Kynareth? Ran into

How about Kynareth? Ran into it recording Cassius Olcinius's lines, Googled briefly, and went with:

Kī nə rĕth

(accented first syllable)

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It's probably not a bad thing

It's probably not a bad thing if the names of the Divines have different pronunciations. Different cultures in the time of Morrowind even have different names for them. The Nords are supposed to call her Kyne, but this was all lost in Skyrim.

Anyway, if I were to say it, I'd keep the 'y' as in 'pyramid', the 'a' as in 'father' and the e as in 'egg'. No lone 'i' sound for the 'y' as you have, but like I said, some differences wouldn't be terrible in this case.

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Oh goodness...

Oh goodness...

I was just looking into this and wow.. Well, the British-American pronunciation changes are in force here. not that either language follows it's own rules (Curse you Steak, for not being pronounced like beak!), but vowel sounds are more in effect ^^;

For example, Dagoth Ur. I was doing, short Da south, then short goth, followed by Er sound. Although I've heard other voice actors doing a Long A sound, DAYGoth. Realized we pronounce vowels differently, so made up words become weird.

 

On the note of apostrophes. 

In words such as N'wah, Chap'thil, S'wit, B'vek, and T'lonya,
Usually, the apostrophe is used to either:
A) To show a missing letter, used to make the word shorter. Such as Hasn't, wasn't.

B) to show a sound should be completed before a starting the next, instead of merging the letters into a longer sound. such as Ta'agra or ri'sallidad, Tah-Ah-grrah, rather than Taah-grrah, and Rih-Sal rather than Ris-al.


So the words above, should have the letters before finished instead of merged?

Smitehammer
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Yiu know what's funny?

You know what's funny? Apparently the guys who were originally writing for Dunmer did so with a Southern (US) country bumpkin accent in mind.

http://www.uesp.net/morrow/preview/morinter1.shtml

N'wah is pronounced as 'en-wa'; e as egg a as father. We only know this because it's how Linda Kenyon and Jeff Baker read it. Jeff Baker obviously didn't go with the Southern US accent, and listening to Janessa in Skyrim this seems to have been dropped since.

Words like f'lah (fellow) and b'Vehk (by God) are contracted slang. Same with s'wit being slack-wit.

I know in English words with apostrophes just skip vowels and pretty much flow without pause (like "he'd" or "don't" or "we'll"), but I don't think this should be our approach for Dunmeri.

I think for most Dunmeri words the apostrophes can be thought of as splitting sounds. The word f'lah (which is just a shortened version of fellow) should have a distinct pause between the 'f' sound and the last part of the word. If it were to just sound like 'flag' without a 'g' sound, you wouldn't pick up on it as fellow.

Plain double vowels in Dunmeri will follow Japanese rules - just hold the vowel longer. Apostrophe between a double vowel means you would pronounce each distinctly. Hlaalu has two syllables, holding the 'a' sound a bit longer. Hla'alu would have three syllables, if it were ever used. 

RealoFoxtrot
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.... well, that makes my N

.... well, that makes my N'wah a bit wrong then

I've been doing a shortened Nuh sound..

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