When experiencing a new part of the world, making an effort to take part in the customs, language and traditions is much appreciated by the locals. Whether you’re discussing world events with a friend or about to embark on an adventure to a new country, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are pronouncing places correctly. This list will take some of the most commonly mispronounced popular places you’ve probably been pronouncing wrong and show you the correct way to say them.
How you’ve been pronouncing it: Ed-in-BURG
Correct pronunciation: Ed-in-BURR-uh
Edinburgh doesn’t rhyme with Pittsburgh, but it is Scotland’s capital and one of the most beautiful cities in the world! It is also home to the world famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
How you’ve been pronouncing it: THAYms
Correct pronunciation: TEMms
As the times evolved, the pronunciation and spelling of this England river has also changed. So, pretend the H is silent and the A is another E. If you want to be on the safe side, do as the locals do and is call it, “the River”.
How you’ve been pronouncing it: CUH-pree
Correct pronunciation: CAH-pree
Don’t pronounce this beautiful Italian island in the Bay Of Naples the same way you say short-legged pants!
How you’ve been pronouncing it: BOO-da-pest
Correct pronunciation: Boo-da-PESHT
The Hungarian language is famous for being one of the hardest, which includes the challenging capital city – Budapest.
How you’ve been pronouncing it: FOO-kit
How you want to pronounce it: FUH-kit
Correct pronunciation: Poo-get
Thailand’s largest island is constantly mispronounced by travelers. Bonus pronunciation: The gorgeous islands of Koh Phi Phi are pronounced “Pee Pee”, not “Fee Fee”
How you’ve been pronouncing it: NEW-found-land
Correct pronunciation: NOOfin-land
This Canadian providence is on the list as one of the popular places you’ve probably been pronouncing wrong. Just make sure you don’t forget the last D! Newfoundland is pronounced as one word and rhymes with understand.
How you’ve been pronouncing it: Mel-BORN
Correct pronunciation: MEL-bun or MEL-bin
Even though they speak English, the Aussie accent might make Melbourne tough to pronounce. Also remember, when you’re visiting Australia, you’re not on vacation, you’re on holiday!
Seoul, South Korea
How you’ve been pronouncing it: See-OOHL
Correct pronunciation: Soul
Seoul is South Korea’s largest city and the heart (and soul!) of the nation, with half of the country’s population living in and around the capital. In South Korea, Seoul is spoken in two syllables, but comes out at one syllable to non-native speakers.
How you’ve been pronouncing it: RAKE-ja-vik
Correct pronunciation: REY-kya-vik
Icelandic can be a hard one for English speakers, but luckily, when traveling around Iceland, most people are well versed in English. Once you perfected the pronunciation of Reykjavik, try saying the largest church in the city, Hallgrmskirkja! (hal-grims-kirk-yow)
After mastering a few of these places you’ve probably been pronouncing wrong, you’ll be one step closer to blending in like a local when traveling the world.