How to Pronounce Author and Character Names

If you are like me, you not only like to write about books, but to talk about them as well. It can be quite awkward, however, when you don’t know how to pronounce either the author’s name of a book, or the names of characters you would like to discuss!

Here is an updated list of some web sites to help with your discussions (sites for author names as well as for character names). TV show character name guides are also included, as well as guides to pronouncing names in general. There are also guides to pronouncing names of drinks, in case you are having your discussions in a pub or over dinner!

Author Names

Teaching Books

SwissEduc (click on the author’s name and you will be redirected to a sound byte of that name)

Pegasus Book Exchange

Book Browse

Character Names

How to Pronounce the Names in Shakespeare (This entire book, copyrighted 1919, is free on Google Books and fully searchable online.)

Names of Characters in “The Odyssey”

Ancient Greek Names

Russian Names in Literature

“Game of Thrones” Pronunciation Guide

Irish names in “Brooklyn”

“Throne of Glass” Pronunciation Guide

Lunar Chronicles Pronunciation Guide

Names Generally

The Name Engine – Specializing in audio name pronunciations of athletes, entertainers, politicians, newsmakers, and even companies and brand names.

Global Guide to Pronouncing Beer Names

Pronouncing Wine Names (includes audio) (Type the name in the search box at the home page and press Enter.) (Results of your search show provide both phonetic and audio options, and also shows the origin of the name.)

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22 Responses to How to Pronounce Author and Character Names

  1. Ceri says:

    I put my name into that ‘hear names’ helper and it didn’t even recognise mine. Haha. No-one seems to know a Welsh name.

  2. Rural View says:

    What handy references! I very often wonder how to pronounce an author’s name. With character names I just hazard a guess and if I’m wrong, who knows?

  3. Trisha says:

    That is awesome! When I taught Ancient and Medieval Lit, I had this problem often. I would be looking at those ancient names and just shaking my head in confusion.

  4. zibilee says:

    Heehee, this is very cool, so thanks for posting it!!

  5. Alyce says:

    Great resources!

  6. This is an awesome resource post!

  7. M Denise C says:

    Thank you very much for this–I sure needed it!

  8. bermudaonion says:

    I need to check out the tutorials for author’s name. When I can’t pronounce characters’ names, I just call them by their initials.

  9. stacybuckeye says:

    I didn’t even know such sites were out there. Thanks, Jill!

  10. Carrie K. says:

    What a great resource – thanks for linking!

  11. Belle says:

    I mispronounce so many things to begin with. I think I need one for Everyday, normal words too 🙂

  12. Elisabeth says:

    This brings back memories of when my sister and I would read the same book but find out we pronounced the characters names differently. It always gave us a good chuckle.

  13. Lisa says:

    Thanks! I always feel so stupid when I know I’m just guessing at name pronunciation.

  14. ds says:

    Oh, that’s great! Trust you to find resources like that; I was always pronouncing words incorrectly because I had only read them, never heard them. Embarrassing.

  15. Jeanne says:

    This is great–something all readers need. Siobhan is a name I never knew how to pronounce until I was an adult, and then only because I met someone with that name and she said it for me until I learned to associate the look of it with the sound (something like Shove-on).

  16. Staci says:

    Excellent resource!!

  17. Jenners says:

    Thanks for sharing this … I’m always coming up with my own pronunciations that I’m sure are way way off. This has the potential to be a blog post one day!

  18. Bumbles says:

    I get so annoyed when I discover I’ve been pronouncing a character’s name “incorrectly” – I usually stick with my version because I’ve spent so long thinking of them that way it is too late to change :0)

  19. i saw this online recently and appreciate the post and links! there are a few names that always stump me and this is the perfect reference!

  20. Iris says:

    That is very useful! I normally think about things like this too late, while in the middle of a vlog for example. Very embarrassing!

  21. Trish says:

    Haha! Love this. Needed it when reading Brothers Karamazov. Having Russian coworkers helped but I still can’t always remember where to put those dang accents, 😉

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