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The Most Mispronounced Cities in the World

Michele Debczak
franckreporter/iStock via Getty Images
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It helps to have a few native-language phrases in your repertoire before traveling abroad. In addition to being able to ask locals where the nearest bathroom is, you should know how to pronounce the name of the city you're in without sounding like a foreigner. That's especially relevant when visiting one of the chronically mispronounced places highlighted in this map.

To determine the most mispronounced cities around the world, WordTips looked at the place names that logged the most listens in Forvo's pronunciation dictionary. Rio De Janeiro in Brazil is most likely to leave tourist's tongue-tied. Roughly 7 million users turned to Forvo for help pronouncing the location. (In case you're one of them, ree-oh dey zhuh-nair-oh is the correct pronunciation.)

In second place is the Japanese capital Tokyo, with 4.1 million listens. Chicago, London, and Dublin round out the top five. Based on the data, foreigners struggle with Spanish name as well. Buenos Aires, Argentina; Medellín, Colombia; and Barcelona, Spain all break the top 10.

To see how hard it is to pronounce the name of your home city—or a foreign city you plan to visit this summer—check out the map below.

From cheugy to yassify, here are more words you may be mispronouncing without realizing it.

Map of mispronounced city names.
WordTips

(You can see a larger version of this map here.)

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