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Louvre Museum
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Revealed: the travel destinations you’re probably saying wrong

They may be seriously popular locations, but plenty of travellers are still mispronouncing them

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Ever realised you’ve been mispronouncing something for years, and no one thought to tell you otherwise? Kind of mortifying, right? And apparently, this has been happening to a load of travellers across the globe with alarming regularity. In fact, you could be one of them…

A study by language tutoring firm Preply has found that people are seriously struggling to accurately say the names of the places they are staying at. The most mispronounced destination in the world? That’d be Cannes in France – home to the world-famous film festival. Hot tip: that ‘es’ is silent.

Weirdly, the second most mispronounced location is the River Thames, which flows through London. If you’re reading this from the UK, we guess you probably know it’s pronounced ‘tems’ – that ‘th’ doesn’t work like it does in other English words like ‘theatre’.

Next up is Yosemite: that’s ‘yoh-SEH-muh-tee’, people, not ‘YOH-se-might’. And even seasoned travellers might not realise that the first letter of the Spanish island of Ibiza is properly pronounced ‘ee’, not ‘eye’.

France throws up other issues too, apparently. The Louvre (‘LOO-vruh’) and Versailles (‘vair-SIGH’) have caused difficulty for at least a few tourists planning a trip to Paris.

In the UKEdinburgh (‘ED-in-bruh’) is a tricky one for people visiting from overseas (which you should – we just named it the best city in the world right now). There’s also Worcester – that’s ‘WUSS-tuh’ – though that’s more famous for condiments than sightseeing.

Here are the top ten most mispronounced places in the world, according to this study…

  1. Cannes, France
  2. River Thames, England
  3. Yosemite, USA
  4. Louvre Museum, France 
  5. Versailles, France
  6. Seychelles, East Africa
  7. Ibiza, Spain
  8. Phuket, Thailand
  9. Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda
  10. Dubai, UAE

So yeah, if you’re planning a trip to any of those places, maybe double-check how to say them first.

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