24 Place Names You’ve Probably Been Mispronouncing Your Whole Life

Mistypes are annoying – nay, shameful – for a literate person, but what about mispronunciations? Those are harder to pick up on, and can be really embarrassing. Fortunately, there’s a snazzy visual guide to commonly mispronounced places from around the world that you can use to be sure you’re always right. You’ll notice that pronunciation of Australian cities is, well, extremely Australian.

Abhisek Das at Thrillophilia gave us the most visually appealing version of this useful list. The usage of contrasting blurry and clear images of cities helps hammer the point home. And implies that when you mispronounce these names, you sound drunk! Most of the difficulties, of course, arise from the adaptation of a name from one language to another. Most of us will probably never be able to pronounce “Beijing” (or even “Paris”) exactly the way that a native speaker might, but it’s always nice to try. Locals will appreciate it and may go out of their way to help you more if they see that you’ve made an effort.

There’s nothing more irritating to a pedant’s ear and nothing more flabbergasting than realizing you’ve been pronouncing the name of so many places wrong, your entire life! Despite the judgment we exhibit toward people who err in enunciating, we all mispronounce a word from time to time, despite our best efforts. Likewise, almost all of us would have pronounced Bangkok as it is but in real it is “Bahng-Gawk”.

Bangkok, Thailand

Melbourne, Australia

Reykjavik, Iceland

Dubai, UAE

Beijing, China

Budapest, Hungary

Phuket, Thailand

Brisbane, Australia

Colombia

Yosemite Park, USA

Iraq

Montreal, Canada

Qatar

The River Thames, UK

Versailles, France

Worcester, UK

Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Helena, USA

Kissimmee, USA

Lafayette, USA

La Jolla, USA

Niger

Pakistan

Worcestershire, UK

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