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A dish from The Yeeros Shop
Photograph: Supplied/The Yeeros Shop

The world's most mispronounced dishes have been revealed, and yes, you're saying it wrong

Topping the list is the life-affirming gyros, followed by pho and gnocchi

Avril Treasure
Written by
Avril Treasure

A new study has just revealed the world’s most mispronounced dishes, and yes, you might be saying your favourite meal wrong. We're lucky that Sydney is filled with a swathe of eateries slinging cuisines from all over the world, so are you keen to find out if you're saying the words right?

Topping the delicious list for most mispronounced dishes is gyros (correctly pronounced as “yi ros”) the life-affirming hand-held Greek snack made up of a soft pita bread stuffed with grilled meats, fresh salads, and (crucially) hot chips. The second hardest dish to say is pho (pronounced correctly as "fuh"), the Vietnamese bowl made up of soul-enriching broth, noodles, rare beef, and fragrant herbs. And coming in third place is gnocchi ("no kee") from Italy, those pasta-adjacent perfect little dumplings made from potato with the consistency of a pillow.

Remitly, a US-based financial services provider for immigrants, conducted the research by pulling together the names of 2,700 dishes from more than 165 countries around the world and then combined that with search terms including "what is" and "how to pronounce". The team then analysed the data to see what dish names were searched for most regularly over the previous year – and now the results are in.

Pho from Pho Tau Bay
Photograph: Supplied/Pho Tau Bay

 Below are the the world’s top ten most difficult to pronounce dishes: 

  1. Gyros, Greece – correct pronunciation “Yi ros”
  2. Pho, Vietnam – “Fuh”
  3. Gnocchi, Italy – “No kee”
  4. Pizza, Italy – “Peet suh”
  5. Quesadilla, Mexico – “Kay suh dee uh”
  6. Focaccia, Italy – “Fuh kach ee uh”
  7. Poke Bowl, Hawaii – “Pow kay bowl”
  8. Tzatziki, Greece – “Sat see kee”
  9. Gyoza, Japan – “Gee ow zuh”
  10. Baklava, Turkey – “Ba kluh vuh”

And while we’re not expected to know how to correctly pronounce all of the names of dishes when we travel the world, it’s certainly appreciated by locals when we try – and probably by the person who runs your favourite restaurant in Sydney, too. Keep this guide handy next time you’re wanting to order gyros from The Yeeros Shop, pho from Pho Tau Bay, and gnocchi from Bar Grazie. Who knows, you may be talking like a local in no time.


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