Wednesday, November 17, 2021


My daughter has suggested that some of the money spent filming DUNE in Jordan could have been spent learning from locals the correct pronuncialtion of Shai al-Hulud. Pronounced as SHAY Hulud it means "eternal Thing". Pronounced as SHY Hulud, it means "eternal tea." [Think as in Russian 'chai']


  1. There are a lot of different Arabic dialects, and thus a lot of different correct Arabic pronunciations.

  2. My daughter lived in Jordan for two years and grew familiar not only with Shamsi, but also Egyptian, Peninsular, and Maghrebi, as well as Iraqi (from refugees).

  3. So they could have named the film, "From Here to Eternal Tea."

  4. So then it's going with Classical Arabic, which is probably also the Standard pronunciation that would be used by Al-Jazeera.

    The idea anyone even uses anything we'd recognize as Arabic, 8000 years in the future, is ludicrous in the first place. Afro-Asiatic languages barely existed 8000 years ago, and Semitic is only back 6000. Even if you assume voice recordings slow linguistic change by half, we're still talking 4000 years—the difference between the first Egyptian ever written, and the last form of Coptic before the Ottomans finally killed it off.

    Just assume anything that looks like an existing language in Dune is translation convention, like the English, Old English, and Old Norse in Lord of the Rings.



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