I’m a language expert – you mispronounced these famous landmarks, Irish will shock you

LANGUAGE experts say one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks is mispronounced.

Language-learning platform Preply has used Google search data to reveal a list of the most mispronounced places on the planet.


The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction, but many struggle with pronunciationCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The Louvre Museum in Paris should be pronounced as Loo-vruh, experts say


The Louvre Museum in Paris should be pronounced as Loo-vruh, experts sayCredit: Alamy
Goodbye ?  No, experts say Dubai should be pronounced as Doo-bay


Goodbye ? No, experts say Dubai should be pronounced as Doo-bayCredit: Alamy

And the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare is where a lot of people struggle to find success.

The scenic landmark should be pronounced as Cliffs of Mo-er, with no accent on the ‘h’.

And Banner County’s famous tourist attraction isn’t the only place that many people have trouble pronouncing correctly – Montreal, Phuket and Dubai are confusing.

Amy Pritchett, Learning Success Manager at Preply, said: “There’s nothing more embarrassing than arriving at a new vacation destination and mispronouncing its name in front of a local, especially if you’re messing up the regional accent. .

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“To avoid this awkward encounter, we’ve researched the most commonly mispronounced places, so you never have to worry about those tongue twisters again.

“When you learn to pronounce these place names correctly, I encourage you to speak like a native, or at least a savvy tourist.”

Here, Amy reveals the correct pronunciation of some of the most mispronounced places on the planet.

Most read in The Irish Sun


To correct: After

Incorrect: Mohair

Cliffs of Mower? Mohair cliffs? More cliffs? Cliffs of Moher is pronounced “plus”, you don’t say the “h”, much like “mower” without the loud “w” sound.


To correct: TEMZ

Incorrect: THAYMZ

It’s natural to look at the name ‘Thames’ and assume that the ‘th’ is pronounced like in many other English words: thick, theatre, three.

However, when referring to the Thames in England, the “th” is articulated as a “t” and the “ames” turns into “emz”: “TEMZ”.

Edinburgh, Scotland

To correct: ed-in-bruh or ed-in-buh-ruh

Incorrect: ED-in-berg or ED-in-buh-row or EED-in-berg

If Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is pronounced “PITTS-berg”, then Edinburgh, Scotland is pronounced “ED-in-berg”, right? Bad.

The two most common and accepted pronunciations in the Scottish capital are the short ‘ED-in-bruh’ and the longer ‘ED-in-bur-uh’.

Scots warn that they talk fast and tend to swallow unnecessary vowels, so be sure to start strong with “ED-in” and then end quickly and softly with “bruh” or “bur-uh”. Keep it up and you’ll be singing “Flower of Scotland” with your Scottish friends in no time!

CANNES, France

To correct: KAN or KAN-uh

Incorrect: CON or CONZ or CON-es

The first mistake is to state the “s” at the end of the word (which is rarely done in French), so start by completely removing the “es”.

Next, make sure you never pronounce the remaining word as “con” (eg, “He’s a crook”). Instead, Cannes should sound like “Kan.”

LOUVRE MUSEUM, Paris, France

To correct: LOO-vruh

Incorrect: LOOV or LOO-vray or LOO-vraa or LOO-ver

Some travelers opt for “LOO-vray” while others try “LOO-ver”. Many skip the ending completely and say “LOOV”.

However, the best way to approximate the French pronunciation in English is to say “LOO-vruh”. So now you are ready to discover the Mona Lisa.


To correct: go-Sigh

Incorrect: ver-SALES or ver-SAY-les

Just like the pronunciation of Cannes, French speakers attack the “es” in Versailles. But they don’t stop there: the double “L”s at the end aren’t pronounced either.

After that, there are only two syllables left in the word: “ver” is articulated like “vair”, and “sai” sounds like “sigh”.

This leaves you with “vair-SIGH”. On the other hand, if you ever find yourself in Versailles, Kentucky, stick with “ver-SALES.”


To correct: SAY-shellz

Incorrect: tell them

The name of this African archipelago may sound like a hard word to pronounce due to its unique spelling, but it’s surprisingly easy to say: “SAY-shellz.”

All it takes is to string together two common English words, and voila!

IBIZA, Spain

To correct: ee-BEE-tha

Incorrect: ih-BEE-za or eye-BEE-tha or ee-BEE-za

To pronounce this name like a Spaniard, use “ee-BEE-tha”. If you’re wondering why ‘za’ turns into ‘tha’, it’s because the Spanish dialect requires ‘Z’s to be pronounced as ‘th’, whereas Latin American Spanish speakers voice ‘Z’s. as “s” (i.e., ee-BEE-sa).

Phuket, Thailand

To correct: poo-KET

Incorrect: FUE-ket or fue-KET or FUH-ket

To some people’s dismay, the actual pronunciation of Phuket is “poo-KET”, starting with a hard “P” and emphasizing the second syllable.

Nevertheless, this name might still make mischievous school children and adults laugh.


To correct: doo-BAY

Incorrect: doo-BYE

The classic Dubai Arabic version replaces the “bye” sound with “bay”: “doo-BAY”.

Again, about 85% of Dubai’s population comprises expats and immigrants, so the anglicized pronunciation of Dubai (“doo-BYE”) is the most common.

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Meanwhile, holiday experts have revealed people’s most annoying habits abroad.

Unsurprisingly, hogging lounge chairs is one of the worst things you can do while on vacation, according to the study.

Preply's map shows the correct pronunciation of some common destinations


Preply’s map shows the correct pronunciation of some common destinations
Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, a city difficult to name correctly for tourists


Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, a city difficult to name correctly for touristsCredit: Alamy
The Palace of Versailles in Paris is also on Preply's list of difficult names


The Palace of Versailles in Paris is also on Preply’s list of difficult namesCredit: Alamy

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