Important pronunciation note on French:

If you say “plus” and pronounce the S at the end you are describing a quantity that is more as in:

“Il y a plus de chocolat ?” - Is there more chocolate?

However if you pronounce the word plus without the s as in “plu” then the meaning of “plus” changes to no more/not … anymore/no longer as in:

“Il y a plus de chocolat ?” - “Isn’t there any more chocolate?”
“Il n'est plus là.” - “He isn’t here anymore/He’s no longer here.”

Occasionally, We Get Internal Pronunciation Emails

Hi there

As we approach the Scottish referendum, may I please remind you that the correct pronunciation of Edinburgh is <ED-in-BURR-ah>

+++ if you are Scottish you can say ED-in-BRAH  +++

However it is NOT a an animal’s den “–burrow” or a  large lump of ice    “-berg”



*We checked with Kevin before posting this.

Kevin Beesley

Europe Editor

NPR National Public Radio

Related: The Answers To Your Questions on Scotland’s Independence Vote

hawkeyebro asked:

Is there a pronunciation masterpost anywhere? Now that the show is back on, my irl book reading friends and I realized that there are a large number of names and phrases that we're all saying differently.

Here are some pronunciation guides:

However, GRRM is very flexible about pronunciation:

I was the one to ask if he intended to issue a pronunciation guide. I’ve always been a stickler for pronunciation, going back to being a lifelong Tolkien fan (the Professor was extremely particular about this, of course), so I’ve always wanted to know how Martin himself pronounces names. But I guess it’s nice to know that Martin is pretty flexible about. His exact words were “You can pronounce it however you like.” [SSM]

GRRM has said, “In my youth I had a strong NJ accent, only reader in family, knew a lot of words that I had never heard spoken aloud. When I went away to college I found I was pronouncing a lot of these words wrong. I came to not care much about pronunciation. Pronounce the names of my characters however you like.” [SSM]

GRRM has commented on the audiobook pronunciations: 

He did laugh about the audio books (read by Roy Dotrice from Beauty and the Beast), that they questioned him on the hard ones and got them right, but then went and got all the easy ones wrong (like Peh-TEER instead of PEE-ter.) [SSM]

Here are some of GRRM’s pronunciations, according to the SSM;

  • Arya = ARE-yuh
  • Benjen = ben-jen
  • Brienne = BREE-eh-knee, accent on the 1st syl
  • Cersei = sir-see
  • Daenerys = dane-err-is / deh-NAIR-is
  • Hodor = HOE-door
  • Jaime = JAY-mee (like the English name Jamie)
  • Jon = like the English name John
  • Lysa = LIE-sa
  • Maester = may-ster
  • Petyr = PEE-ter (like the English name Peter)
  • Sansa = sahn-sa 
  • Ser = like Sir
  • Targaryen = tar-GAIR-ee-ehn
  • Tyrion = tear-ree-on
  • In most cases, the Valyrian AE found in many Targaryen names is pronounced like “ay” (which rhymes with “day” or “hay” or the month of “May”).

SSM links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

On Arya and Sansa’s names, Martin explained: “I say it ‘Are-ya’, two syllables not three. Not ‘are-ee-uh’, not like an operatic thing, but ‘Are-ya’, very sharp. I wanted something that was like a knife, that was a sharp and hard sound, to be a contrast to the flowery ‘Sansa’.” [source]

According to Bryan Cogman, pronunciations in-world may differ depending on the accent and languages of the character speaking. [source]

I’ve seen some people complaining about that “being white means never having your name mispronounced” post that’s going around. On the one hand, they’re totally right: I’m a white guy with a Ukrainian surname, and it gets mispronounced all the time. I’ve had to correct just about everybody I know at some point.

You know what’s never happened, though?

Nobody’s ever asked me if they could call me a different name that’s easier for them to say instead.

Nobody’s ever reacted to having their pronunciation corrected with a look of utter incredulity, like I’d just asked them to sprout wings and fly.

Nobody’s ever just straight-up refused to acknowledge the correction and continued to mispronounce my name has they had before.

Nobody’s ever tried to convince me that I’m pronouncing my own name wrong.

Back when I was in school - and I mean straight on through university, not just primary school - I saw all of the above inflicted upon other students on a regular basis, including folks whose names were, by any reasonable metric, much less tongue-twisting than mine.

Can you guess what all those folks had in common?


5 Russian Names You’re Pronouncing Horribly Wrong
Words Without Vowels Are Rlly Srs Bsns
Whether they're strictly vowel-less or just reduced, though, don't these words just mean the same as their longer equivalents? Well, not so fast. Some of them do, pretty much: pls and thx and k are just slightly quicker and more informal than please and thanks and ok. But srs bsns embodies a contradiction: "serious business" sounds, well, serious, and internet slang is anything but — it's not surprising that its primary use has always been sarcastic. And finally here's a question that I can't figure out by myself: if you use any of these terms, how do you pronounce them in your head? Since it's hard to pronounce a word without any vowels at all, I think I often end up mentally saying the vowels a bit quicker or less distinctly than the vowels in the original words, but they're still basically there. Srs is perhaps only two syllables (ser-russ rather than se-ri-ous), and v. and p get pronounced like the letters. But of course, I can't hear anyone else's voice inside their head, so how would you say them?

I’m on Mental Floss talking about the rlly srs bsns of vowel-less words. I’ve heard from a couple people on twitter already that they also tend to mentally pronounce these words with basically all schwas, but I’d be interested to hear if anyone else does, or if there are other ways people pronounce them.