Shakespeare Pronunciation Mobile App

Why Use Shakespeare Pronunciation App?

Shakespeare Pronunciation AppWhile listening to the Shakespeare Pronunciation App one might ask: Why are correct pronunciations in Shakespeare important?  I would say the primary reason is consistency. All of the characters inhabiting the world of the play should be consistent.  For example, everyone says roh-SIL-yuhn for the “Countess” in “All’s Well that Ends Well” so we know that they all live in the same world. All of the characters in “Coriolanus” say vuh-LUHM-nee-uh for “Volumnia”  so again, we know the characters are in the same world.  If the audience heard a variety of pronunciations for a character, they might be wondering why everyone was pronouncing it differently.  We want the audience to be absorbed in the play and not wondering about pronunciations.

Before our book “All the Words on Stage, a Complete Pronunciation Dictionary for the Plays of William Shakespeare”, voice/text coaches used to call each other when working on a production. “How do you pronounce this character?”; “What have you used in the past?”;  “What have you heard in other productions?”; “How do you scan this line?”; “Does it change the pronunciation if you scan the line?” We needed a Shakespeare Pronunciation Dictionary to help us to coach our shows.  At that time, the only books that were available were Helge Kokeritz’s “Shakespeare’s Names”  and Theodora Irvine’s “How to Pronounce the Names in Shakespeare”.  Both books gave only character names and did not include any of the other words. The Kokeritz book was based on English pronunciation with occasional American variants. The Shakespeare Pronunciation Dictionary App is based on American vowel sounds and in addition to character names, it includes all of the unusual words. There is also a Latin section.

Many of the suggested pronunciations in the Shakespeare Pronunciation App are based on Shakespeare’s use of iambic pentameter which can change the stress of a syllable and also the vowel sound. These variants help the actor to speak a living, breathing language instead of just reciting the written text.

Shakespeare Pronunciation Mobile App

Shakespeare Mobile App is LIVE

News Update On Shakespeare Mobile App

The Shakespeare Mobile App is now available in both the Google Play store and Apple store. To download your copy click below.

Shakespeare Mobile App Shakespeare Mobile App

This new and unique app is an essential tool for actors, producers, professors, students and everyone who enjoys the plays of William Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Mobile App contains AUDIO pronunciations for over 5000 words including every character name, geographic location, mythological reference and any unfamiliar word. Words can be found using the advanced search function and the word history or by scrolling alphabetically. The Shakespeare Mobile App also includes the respelling of each word including the variations of pronunciation based on the scansion of the verse line.

The authors of the Shakespeare Mobile App, Shane Ann Younts and Louis Scheeder, have adapted the extensive research found in their book “All the Words on Stage, a Complete Pronunciation Dictionary for the Plays of William Shakespeare” and have carefully recorded each word.

Shakespeare Pronunciation Mobile App

The Creating of the Shakespeare Dictionary App

The process of recording over 5000 words for the Shakespeare Dictionary App presented numerous challenges. The first attempt at recording was in less than ideal circumstances – my apartment with my iPad and a Snowball microphone. The apartment seemed to be quiet until listening to the words which revealed everything from birds chirping, to a siren, to a fan noise. I began to research professional recording studios and through one of my students, I found Luis F. Herrera of Liquid Lab. Once I heard the quality of the first 500 words recorded professionally, I knew that the Shakespeare Dictionary App had to have this excellent quality. Thus began the re-recording of all of the words.

The time spent in the studio varied with the longest session being four and a half hours. I have been a voice and speech teacher for over thirty years and am familiar with the demands of speaking and acting. Even with these years of experience, I was surprised at the amount of energy – both vocal and physical – that it took to record word after word after word. I wanted the words to be clearly spoken but not over-articulated or sounding phony. The professional studio made me very aware of noisy breaths, and the popping “p” to name a few challenges. The Shakespeare Dictionary App had to include the basic pronunciation of the word and then the variations of pronunciation (particularly the primary stress) depending on how the word scanned in the verse line. In addition the words with variations have examples from the specific plays including the act, scene and line. This information had been researched for “All the Words on Stage, a Complete Pronunciation Dictionary for the plays of William Shakespeare” which I co-authored with Louis Scheeder, but much of it had to be edited and expanded for the app.

I have learned a lot from recording all of these wonderful, amazing words for the Shakespeare Dictionary App. Polonius asks Hamlet “What do you read, my lord?” And Hamlet’s reply makes me smile “Words, words, words.”

From Shane Ann

Shakespeare Dictionary App