Watch The Shadow And Bone Cast Hilariously Explain What Grishaverse Terms They Couldn’t Pronounce

If you’ve read any of the Shadow and Bone books you know there are vocabulary terms that are new to everyone and incredibly hard to pronounce. You were also likely shook, like I was, when you watched the show and learned just how many words you were saying wrong. There’s a whole slew of them, from Otkazat'sya and Nichevo’ya to simpler words like Kruge and Djel, it’s like a minefield of Grisha vocabulary, but all these unique terms are also what make this world so unique and special. With that being said, when I got a chance to sit down and chat with the cast of Shadow and Bone I had to ask them which words were the hardest for them to pronounce, and the answers were hilarious. 

From left to right: Nina, Kaz, Inej, Jesper and Wylan standing on a roof

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Crows Poke Fun At The Sentence That Tripped Amita Suman Up In Season 1

All the Crows were in agreement that there were a lot of terms they stumbled over. However Kit Young singled out Amita Suman, and while the cast was talking about Season 2 of Shadow and Bone she threw it back a few years to tell a doozy of a story centered around the word Novokribirsk, which is a fictional city. The actress behind Inej got a kick out of her own story, and explained:

Season 1, we had a table read, and all of the people from Netflix were down including Leigh Bardugo. And I had the line of ‘I know, not until Novokribirsk.’ I can say it now, but on the day I said ‘Novo’ and then just gave up on the word.

Young, who plays Jesper, then told his side of the story, and said Suman was basically like “I’m done now, it’s your turn to talk,” while the Inej actress noted that in the moment it was “really embarrassing.” Then Freddy Carter, who plays Kaz, chimed in saying his co-star also struggled with a word in Season 2, however, that one wasn’t fake, it was a very real word, and Suman said: 

And apothecary! Oh my god, how many takes did we do? I just could not say apothecary.

While Suman was sort of hilariously called out among her castmates, Young made sure to note that Grisha words get them all sometimes, as he said:

There’s a lot of tongue twisters I think in our show.

He’s right there really are, because while the names of cities and shops got the Crows all messed up, it was character names that threw off some of the show’s newest castmates. 

Matthias in Shadow and Bone.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Anna Leong Brophy And Patrick Gibson Joke About Not Being Able To Say Tamar’s Name

I’ve always struggled with the names of the Grishaverse while reading the books. Like Wylan, which is pronounced Why-Lan, but I thought it was Way-Len. Turns out the newest set of castmates to join Shadow and Bone do too, as Anna Leong Brophy, who plays Tamar, called Patrick Gibson out for not being able to say her character's name correctly. 

So, like we all had to learn how to properly say Rihanna and other celebs names, Gibson had to do the same with Leong Brophy's character Tamar (Ta-mar). After the actress called out her co-star, the actor behind Nikolai started laughing, and with his Irish accent said:


To which Leong Brophy laughed at before mocking her him, and saying:

He’d be like ‘Hey, Tame-er! Come over here.’

The actor behind Nikolai Lantsov then noted that Shadow and Bone vocabulary is like a “minefield,” but luckily there are people there to help them out. The actress behind Tarmar actress agreed, and said: 

Yeah, it is. It’s a Grisha minefield for sure. Luckily we’ve got people keeping an eye on things.

The Grisha words are hard, but luckily the cast works with David Peterson, who developed Dothraki on Game of Thrones and Fjerdan and other languages on this Netflix series, to work out this fantastical vocabulary. As for us viewers, we get to actually learn how to say the terms whenever a new season comes out thanks to the lovely cast, who did eventually learn how to say all the words. 

To see what moments from the books pop up in Season 2, what changes the Shadow and Bone crew make compared to the books, and to learn how to properly pronounce this Grisha vocabulary be sure to check out the 2023 TV schedule so you are ready for the second season of the fantasy series when it drops on March 16. In the meantime, you can go back and get a refresher on all this Grisha vocab by watching Season 1 of Shadow and Bone with a Netflix subscription

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.