Am I pronouncing that right?

Christopher's 2005 reboot of the Batman franchise that tells the origins of how Bruce Wayne became Batman.
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Joined: December 2011
First of all, hi. This is my first post after being a reader of the forum for quite a while so hopefully it'll go down well.

Anyone reading this should be familiar with the pronunciation of Raz al Ghul in the Nolan trilogy. I recently played Arkham City (which I found to be a bit of a disappointment compared with Asylum) on the PS3, in which al Ghul appears, and was surprised to hear his name being pronounced 'Raysh'.

So which is the correct pronunciation?

If it is 'Raysh' then why do you think Nolan changed it? Also, do you think the woman's line 'Am I pronouncing that right?' when she introduces Bruce to Raz at his party is a nod to the fact?

Will be interested to read you responses.

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Also, apologies for the typo on Ra's

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'Raysh' is a very popular but inaccurate pronunciation that was introduced through Batman: The Animated Series via Denny O'Neil, who is the creator of the character. He claims he had his daughter check with the UCLA Language Department after spending years without any knowledge of how to say it. Unfortunately, from what research that I have done into Arabic, it appears that pronunciation was a misreading. Ra's al-Ghul or Ras al-Ghul is the Arabic name for a star in the Perseus constellation from which the Greeks derived the name 'Algol' (The Demon). 'Ras' means 'head' or the 'head of something' in Arabic and is pronounced something like 'rah-ess' when including the glottal stop (the thing that looks like an apostrophe), or simply as it looks, 'rahs', when excluding the glottal stop. The latter is more modern from what I understand. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D8%B1%D8%A3%D8%B3. I suspect the confusion arose from the proto-Semitic pronunciation of Ra's which might sound similar to what you hear in the cartoon, however that is merely the root word for the Arabic Ra's and its Semitic cognates. Like I said though the Animated Series and its spin-offs were very popular and for many viewers was their first and only exposure to Ra's Al Ghul, so it's no surprise how prevalent that mispronunciation is, to the point where it continues to the present day in the newer Batman cartoons and video games.

I think in Batman Begins that what you hear most of the time is the actors misreading Ra's in the script as if it were an English word and assuming a possessive, so the result is something like 'Roz' or 'Raz' which, while inaccurate, at least sounds better than 'Raysh'. However, I do believe that Liam Neeson had some knowledge of the actual pronunciation because it seems to me that when he says the name, he does so with the correct "rolling R" sound and overall sounds better than the others. I have no idea what Nolan was aware of, although something tells me he didn't know much about the pronunciation. As for the lady at the party, well, I always like to think of it as nod, but I couldn't say if it actually was. I hope that helps, and I encourage you to do your own research if interested. :)

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Well, that's pretty much the end of this thread!

Thanks for your answer!

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Raysh was also used in Batman: Arkham City recently. I don't mind either, but I'm calling him Ras.

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m4st4 wrote:Raysh was also used in Batman: Arkham City recently. I don't mind either, but I'm calling him Ras.

Yeah that's where I heard it. What did you think of Arkham City? I was kinda disappointed. Thought Asylum was much better.

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tlbraund wrote:
m4st4 wrote:Raysh was also used in Batman: Arkham City recently. I don't mind either, but I'm calling him Ras.

Yeah that's where I heard it. What did you think of Arkham City? I was kinda disappointed. Thought Asylum was much better.
Too each his own.I thought it was brilliant.The only thing thing that was better in Asylum was the story.

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Mr. Caine wrote:
tlbraund wrote:

Yeah that's where I heard it. What did you think of Arkham City? I was kinda disappointed. Thought Asylum was much better.
Too each his own.I thought it was brilliant.The only thing thing that was better in Asylum was the story.
For me it felt a little repetitive (a lot of henchmen fights) and the end was such an anti climax - it was so easy!

Don't get me wrong it had some great bits. I really enjoyed the Lazarus Pit fight but even that didn't satisfy as much as the Scarecrow levels in Asylum. Still hoping for a third though. Maybe a full Gotham City map?

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tlbraund wrote:
Mr. Caine wrote: Too each his own.I thought it was brilliant.The only thing thing that was better in Asylum was the story.
For me it felt a little repetitive (a lot of henchmen fights) and the end was such an anti climax - it was so easy!

Don't get me wrong it had some great bits. I really enjoyed the Lazarus Pit fight but even that didn't satisfy as much as the Scarecrow levels in Asylum. Still hoping for a third though.Maybe a full Gotham City map?
Yeah something like that would be awsome :tooexcited:

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