The struggle is real: Report reveals world's most mispronounced tourist spots

Sep 8 2023, 7:48 pm

Have you ever visited a place and thought you had the pronunciation of a tourist site perfected, only to realize you were messing it up the whole time? Turns out you’re not alone.

HawaiianIslands.com recently released a list of the most mispronounced tourist attractions in the world, and there are many spots that have fallen victim to pronunciation errors.

To compile the list, the website first narrowed down the most popular tourist attractions in every country and US state. It also included each country’s most popular beaches and beach resorts, landmarks, museums, and nature spots.

HawaiianIslands.com then searched every destination on Forvo, an online pronunciation tool in order to establish how often people were looking up each specific site.

From there, it was able to rank each tourist destination and attraction by how often they were mispronounced, based on the results from Forvo.

So what is the most mispronounced tourist spot?

Champs Elysées in Paris, France, took the first spot. Even though it’s one of the world’s most famous streets, it seems like tourists struggle to pronounce its name. HawaiianIslands.com found that Champs Elysées was looked up 223,000 times on Forvo.

“The proper pronunciation — shohnz·eh·lee·zeh — is fairly unintuitive for non-French speakers, with the ‘champs’ half boasting several silent letters and a soft ‘ch’ sound,” writes HawaiianIslands.com.

Second on this list is Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Spain, which got 128,000 listens on Forvo.
The correct pronunciation should be caza-bad-yo, notes the website.

Chichen Itza in Mexico, Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, and Montmartre in France rounded up the top five most mispronounced tourist sites.

tourist

HawaiianIslands.com

When it came to the most mispronounced nature spots, Torres del Paine in Chile took first place with 34,000 listens on Forvo.

In second place is Canada’s Niagara Falls, which also spans into the US. It raked up 31,000 listens on Forvo with HawaiianIslands.com noting that “instinctively you might say ‘Ny-ah-gara,’ but according to Forvo…it’s nahy-ag-ruh, with the emphasis being placed on the ‘uh’ sound.”

Another Canadian destination — Mont Tremblant– also made the list with 9,000 Forvo searches.

tourist

HawaiianIslands.com

As for most mispronounced beaches, first place goes to Peregian Beach in Australia, with 4,000 Forvo searches. Pronounced Puh-ree-jee-uhn, it is both a small town on the coast and a beach located on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.

Strandbad Wannsee in Germany came in second with 2,800 searches, followed by Mexico’s Bucerias with 2,600 Forvo listens.

tourist

HawaiianIslands.com

HawaiianIslands.com concluded that France had the most mispronounced tourist sites, with six landmarks included in the report in total.

“Likely because many of the names have silent letters, liaisons and complex vowel sounds that differ from what learners may be accustomed to in their native languages,” noted the website.

National Trending StaffNational Trending Staff

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