Brow Beat

How Do You Pronounce “Karl Ove Knausgaard”?

Karl Ove Knausgard

My Struggle.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Getty Images and Thinkstock.

My Struggle is 3,600 pages of Knausgaard-ian introspection. But in all that navel-gazing there’s one question that the Norwegian author never answers. How do you pronounce “Karl Ove Knausgaard”? Many have tried to break it down, but somehow these syllables still tend to stymie would-be Knausgaard namedroppers. So we investigated:

Karl: This one is standard enough. Sounds like any of your favorite Karls (and Carls) throughout history.

Ove: The accent falls on the first syllable. It’s a long U, a la “ooo.” Then finish it off with a “vuh.” Ooo-vuh.

Knausgaard: No silent K here. This isn’t a knife situation. The stressed syllable is the aus, which should rhyme with mouse. Thus: “kin-OWSS.”

When you get to the final syllable, tread carefully. This should be said like “gourd,” with a very soft final D.

All together now: Karl Oov-uh K’NOUSE-gourd.

But just in case that’s not enough for you: here’s Knausgaard himself, saying his own name.