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20 Country Names You’re Mispronouncing

In short, there are a lot of countries—and therefore a lot of opportunities to say something wrong. To be safe, brush up on our guide.


By Becca Glasser-Baker, BESTLIFE

Heads-up, folks. When you’re traveling to another country, you better do your research, because few things are more embarrassing than mispronouncing a country’s name… when you’re in that country.

[post_ads]It’s like going to a dinner party and addressing the host incorrectly. Except, instead of slighting one person, you’re slighting millions. No one wants to be that guest, and no one wants to be that tourist.

So, in the interest of burnishing your atlas accuracy, we’ve collected the 20 most commonly mispronounced countries in the world. Read on to sharpen your globetrotting savvy. And for more difficult-to-pronounce destinations, learn the 30 Major City Names You May Be Mispronouncing.


1

Ukraine

The right way to pronounce it: Yoo-krAIn (That’s right, folks. Drop the “the.”)

If you find yourself booking a flight to Ukraine, you may want to The Secret Trick That Could Save You 50 Percent on Airfare.


2

Samoa

The right way to pronounce it: SARM-oh-uh

If you need an excuse to jet off to Samoa (as if), don’t miss The 35 Best Reasons to Take a Vacation.


3

Iraq

The right way to pronounce it: ee-rock


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4

Colombia

The right way to pronounce it: Co-LOHM-bee-uh


5

Seychelles

The right way to pronounce it: Sey-shel


6

Uruguay

The right way to pronounce it: yuhr-uh-GW’EYE


7

Paraguay

The right way to pronounce it: pare-uh-GW’EYE


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8

Kiribati

The right way to pronounce it: Ki-ri-bas


9

Lesotho

The right way to pronounce it: Luh-soh-toh


10

Namibia

The right way to pronounce it: nah-MIB-ee-ah

As it so happens, Namibia is one of The 20 Most Zen Places on Earth.


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11

Antigua

The right way to pronounce it: An-tee-guh


12

Maldives

The right way to pronounce it:  MOHL-deeves


13

Moldova

The right way to pronounce it: Mahl-DOH-vuh


14

Brunei

The right way to pronounce it: Brew-NEE


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15

Belarus

The right way to pronounce it: bell-ah-ROOZ

Before flying all the way to Belarus, you might want to master The 35 Secrets Only Airport Insiders Know.


16

Niger

The right way to pronounce it: Nye-jer


17

Pakistan

The right way to pronounce it: PAH-kee-stan

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18

Djibouti

The right way to pronounce it: jeh-BOO-tee


19

Azerbaijan

The right way to pronounce it: azz-uhr-beh-JAHN


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20

Uzbekistan

The right way to pronounce it: ooz-BEHK-eh-stahn

And for more great travel tidbits, don’t miss The 15 Best Under-the-Radar American Escapes.




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Travel Magazine: 20 Country Names You’re Mispronouncing
20 Country Names You’re Mispronouncing
In short, there are a lot of countries—and therefore a lot of opportunities to say something wrong. To be safe, brush up on our guide.
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