Travel

16 Commonly Mispronounced Places Around the World

Even the most seasoned traveler makes mistakes.
IMAGE Wikimedia Commons
Comments

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do," we've heard time and again. When you're visiting a foreign place for the first time, it's natural to want to do the locals right by following their traditions, and even learning a few phrases. One common offense that tourists make? Wrongly pronouncing the name of the country or place that they're touring. There's the case for pronouncing a place in English, but have the courtesy to pronounce it the way the locals do when you're visiting.

Versailles, France


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

One of the most visited tourist attractions in France is also one of its most mispronounced destinations. The Palace of Versailles, which is famous for its Hall of Mirrors and its garden labyrinths, is often pronounced as "ver-sails." The French have dropped out the two Ls in this case and the palace is pronounced "ver-sahy" or "ver-sigh" for easier recall. This also goes for Marseilles ("mar-say").

Edinburgh, Scotland


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

If you're a fan of the British Royal Family then you might know this one. Prince Philip is the Duke of Edinburgh, pronounced "ed-in-buhr-uh" or "ed-n-bruh" if you say it quickly enough like the British do.

Brisbane, Australia


Weâre giving ourselves a harder time by actually saying out "Brisbane" completely. People like to say it as it's spelled and stress the second syllable by saying "bane." If you like to do as the Aussies do, then they would typically drop the vowel âaâ and pronounce is "bris-b'n."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Cannes, France

It's not the "cans" Film Festival, it's the "kan" Film Festival.

Leicester, England


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

This one is a tricky one because of all its syllables, but the British have simplified it by doing away with the middle syllable, making what looks like "lay-ces-ter" into "les-ter." This is believed to have been around since the 18th century, when it was noted by William Johnston in A Pronouncing and Spelling Dictionary that the 'c' is not pronounced.

Bondi Beach, Australia


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Another Aussie locale pronunciation that's hard to nail, Bondi Beach is a hotspot for visitors coming for the waves of the nearby Icebergs. Its tourism page would, however, like to clarify that native Australians have always called it "bon-die," rather than "bon-dee."

Laos


This four-letter word might look simple to pronounce but the it turns out that there are at least two incorrect ways people have been mispronouncing this Southeast Asian country. "Lao" said with a silent 's' and "la-os" are two such examples. The correct way is to think of it like the word "blouse" but without the 'b'.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Ibiza, Spain


In Spain, 'z' is pronounced as 'th,' which gives Ibiza its exotic flare. The 'i' in Ibiza, however, sounds more like an 'ee.'

Newfoundland, Canada


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Newfoundland is both a large breed of dog and a large island east of Canada, but both subjects must be pronounced the same way. The first syllable is reminiscent of how one would say Nutella ("noo-te-la"), while the last syllable ("-land") must be stressed and sounds similar to the word "understand."

Phuket, Thailand


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

This summer destination has long been the victim of tourists who mispronounce the name of Thailand's largest island. It's really as easy as saying "poo-ket" instead of "foo-ket," as some foreigners mistakenly do.

Gstaad, Switzerland


The pronunciation of Gstaad has been the subject of much debate. It would be acceptable to say "guh-shtaat," "ksh-taat," or even "shtahd."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Oaxaca, Mexico


Â

The Spanish strike again with this confusing word, which once made it to a global list of the "World's Top 10 Most Mispronounced Places." The 'x' doesn't play as prominent a role as you might think, as it's pronounced "wah-hock-uh" or "wah-ha-ca."

Seychelles


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"[It's] not seashells," the headline of a Seychelles News Agency story proclaims. This people of this island archipelago are used to hearing foreigners mispronounce their country's name as "sea-shells" or even "say-sheels," when in fact the correct way to say it is "say-shel." A bonus fact: Its people are Seychellois, or "say-shel-waa."

Maldives


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

It was never "mahl-dives" or "mal-deeves." Think of the word "mall" when you pronounce that first syllable.

Glasgow, Scotland


We can learn a thing on pronunciation from the Swedish group ABBA. When member Frida sings the first verse of "Super Trouper," she sings: "When I called you last night from Glasgow." The '-gow' sounds more like "go" than "gaw," which is the correct way of saying the name of this city in Scotland.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Moscow, Russia


Similar to the entry above, the last syllable in Moscow ('-cow') rhymes with "low" or "grow." Some people would wrongly pronounce it as "mos-cow."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountry.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

Comments
View More Articles About:
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
 
Share
Mega Global’s founder and CEO William Tiu Liu takes us on a literal "sardine run."
 
Share
It's a reminder that the drug war is far from over.
 
Share
Here's everything you need to know about the Red Lion Watch Series.
 
Share
Its characteristic red hue may imply a gory past.
 
Share
Twenty years after the Wesley Snipes-fronted superhero film, the two time Academy Award-winner will bring the dark story to a new generation
 
Share
Netflix dropped the teaser for its new fantasy series at San Diego Comic-Con.
 
Share
And he's not the only Starfleet veteran making a return appearance.
 
Share
Up to now, they've either been underwhelming, cataclysmically woeful or simply non-existent
 
Share
Meet our watch of the week at the finish line.
 
Share
Apollo 11's third astronaut orbited the moon, all alone, while his colleagues walked on it.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us