Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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How do you pronounce “Ryo?”

So, I like TUYO enough to actually take the (for me) big step of figuring out how to create an audiobook edition. I’m intimidated by learning new stuff like this, but I tackled it this week.

You can make audiobooks, in case you’re curious, via ACX, which is a division of Amazon that makes audiobooks and then makes them available via Audible. Rather than laying out a relatively huge amount of money to pay the narrator, you can split future royalties with the narrator. That’s the way I’m doing it. I don’t know what other options may exist for making audiobooks, except there’s a relatively expensive way to do it through Draft2Digital (I looked at that some time ago, and at least at that point, you had no choice but to pay the narrator up front).

So … what you do, if you’re working through ACX, is set things up and then post an audition script, which (ACX advises) should be 2-3 pages that includes dialogue by all the major characters. The tidbits included in the script need not be contiguous in the book, but in fact I used a bit from the first chapter, where Ryo first meets Aras. I feared that absolutely no one would audition because the book is really quite long, so it’s kind of a big project, and it’s a new book with a tiny handful of reviews.

[Good reviews so far, and if you’ve left one, thank you so much!]

But in fact two narrators auditioned in the first 48 hours, so I can now say with certainty that there will be an audio edition pretty soon. Also, I’m now a lot less intimidated by this whole thing, so I expect I’ll make audio editions of the Black Dog books this year too.

Now, you provide suggestions for the potential narrators when you post the script. I said, two major characters, both male, very different speaking styles, the first-person narrator is nineteen, the other protagonist is in his fifties, Midwestern American accent is fine, straightforward speaking style is fine. I also said there isn’t any romance because if *I* were going to narrate a book, I would definitely like to know whether there were any steamy sex scenes so I could decline to audition for those books, so I thought narrators might like to know that. I didn’t provide any suggestions about how to pronounce character names because I didn’t care about how the narrator pronounced those at this stage.

However, having listened to these two auditions, I do note that the two narrators pronounce the words “Ryo” and “tuyo” in a slightly different way. So … how do you all prefer to pronounce them?

Ryo = Rye-oh

Ryo = Ree-oh

Slight accent on the first syllable or something else?

Tuyo = two-yoh

Tuyo = twee-yoh

Slight accent on the first syllable or something else?

Does anybody know exactly how to pronounce “tuyo” in Spanish so I can perhaps suggest a different pronunciation? Other than not wanting to sound like “tuyo” is Spanish, I have no firm commitment to a particular pronunciation, so I expect I will go with whatever pronunciation seems to be most popular.

Let me add, in case this interests you, that the two narrators so far are quite distinctive.

Narrator 1: deeper voice, slower speech, very clear diction, no obvious attempt to distinguish between characters by altering the tone or depth or speed of speech. I think this narrator would be acceptable.

Narrator 2: lighter voice, quicker speech, clear diction, more of an effort to distinguish between characters. This is the narrator I prefer so far.

I never thought about this kind of thing much at all before. Even when I listen to audiobooks, I don’t think about this. I like some narrators better than others, but I’ve never thought about why. I think after doing this, I’m going to.

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17 Comments How do you pronounce “Ryo?”

  1. Evelyn M. Hill

    Oh, good for you! Please let us know how the audiobook progresses.

    FWIW:

    Ryo = RYE-oh
    Tuyo = TWO-yo

    But my only experience with Spanish was Mrs. Brown’s class in fifth and sixth grades. I probably should go back and try to learn it again. The scars have healed. Mostly.

  2. Louise

    My instinctive pronunciation for those words would be Rye-oh (slight emphasis on the first syllable) and Two-yo (again, slight emphasis on the first syllable).

    I’ll be interested to follow your process through audiobook publishing! I’ve heard vaguely that it’s available to self-pubbed writers, but haven’t had the energy in the last year to look into for myself.

  3. Hanneke

    I read him as Ree-oh and read both with the stress on the first syllables.

    I guess, in unknown words and names, I revert a bit towards my Dutch origins, sounding them out letter by letter. I only noticed it now, especially in Ryo, as you mentioned the rye-oh option, which is apparently the American favorite – Y tends to sound like EE in Dutch, when used as a vowel, so Ryo looks to me like his name sounds like Rio.

    The U in Tuyo sounds in my head more like in Gus, or gust, which is closer to the Dutch pronounciation too. If I mentally Anglicize it, it becomes Too-yoh.
    Invalid input for your poll, due to different base vocabulary sounds, I guess….

    Best wishes for a succesfull endeavor with the audiobook!

  4. Kim Aippersbach

    I read Ryo as “Yo” (as in, “yo, dude, what’s up?) with an R in front. So I guess Ree-oh with a very fast ee and accent on the second syllable. Don’t know if that’s Canadian or just me!

    Two-yoh is how I read Tuyo. That’s probably Canadian.

  5. Mary Beth

    I read them as “Ree-yo” but very quick and slurred together, rather like the Japanese “Ryuu” where it’s almost one syllable, written with one character.

    Tuyo is “Two-yo” with two distinct syllables in my head. Of course I’m now imagining that taksu is a syllabary language and that tuyo is written with the characters for “death” and “peace” (the sacrifice whose death brings peace).

  6. Mary Beth

    And of course I meant logographic language rather than syllabic. Clearly it’s bedtime!

  7. Mike S

    I was pronouncing “Ryo” as more or less one syllable: r-YO or maybe r(ə)-YO, but with as little vocalization after the R as possible.

    “Tuyo” was definitely TWO-yo.

  8. Estara Swanberg

    If it’s Japanese Ryo then it should be Ree-oh, because they actually pronounce them like the vowels historically were supposed to be pronounced, coming from the Latin alphabet (which English changed via the Great Vowel Shift, as far as I remember). Emphasis on the ‘o’

    Tuyo I go two-yoh in my head. Being German and all ^^

  9. Rachel

    Mary Beth, of course you did.*

    * I would never have noticed this mistake if you hadn’t corrected yourself. I get what you mean by syllabary and logographic from what the words ought to mean plus your example, but you obviously know a lot more about this aspect of linguistics than I do.

    Also, I like your description “very quick and slurred together, almost one syllable.” Also Kim, I like your description of pronunciation. I’m going to provide both those descriptions for the narrator.

    I’ve been pronouncing tuyo as “two-yoh,” so that’s what I’ll tell the narrator even though this is very close or identical to the Spanish pronunciation. “Yours” is actually a very appropriate connotation — as appropriate as “peace” and “death” would be. I guess I need to put together a list of other words. Darau comes to mind. (“Dare-oh” or Dare-ow,” I now get to decide all these things.)

  10. Elaine T

    I defaulted to two syllables for both, Rye-oh and two-yo, emphasis on first syllables, then started wondering if the ‘ry’ was supposed to be slurred and tried that. Eventually found myself back at Rye-oh, though.

    Note – this is all in my head, and I don’t always sound out names at all. These are simple enough, I guess, that I did.

  11. Allan Shampine

    I also had “ree-yoh” and “two-yoh” in mind, with the emphasis on the first syllable.

  12. Elaine T

    I usually read a vowel ‘y’ as long ‘i’, and analogized to the Spanish ‘rio’ as anglicized around here. I think that’s how I came to my default.

  13. Katy @alibrarymama

    I would side with the people pronouncing Ryo with the accent on the last syllable- R-YO or ree-OH. It looks more Japanese to me. Tuyo is more straightforward.

    I think about narrators a lot! I used to think I was good at reading aloud- we did lots growing up – but now I try to have distinct voices and accents for different characters when reading to my kids, and it’s really tough!

  14. Rachel

    Katy, I have virtually never read anything out loud and I hate doing it because I’m pretty sure I’m dreadful at it. So, yeah, I need a narrator. I definitely notice that some of the people auditioning make much more of a distinction from character to character than others.

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