I’m a language expert – you’ve been pronouncing these famous landmarks all wrong, the Irish one will shock you

LANGUAGE experts say one of Ireland’s most famous landmarks is being 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 the 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
Doobye? Nope, experts say Dubai should be pronounced as Doo-bay


Doobye? Nope, experts say Dubai should be pronounced as Doo-bayCredit: Alamy

And the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare ranks as the place that many people struggle to get right.

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

And the Banner county’s famous tourist attraction isn’t the only place that many people struggle to pronounce correctly – with Montreal, Phuket, and Dubai all causing confusion.

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

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

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

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

Most read in The Irish Sun


Correct: More

Incorrect: Mohair

Cliffs of Mower? Cliffs of Mohair? Cliffs of More? The Cliffs of Moher are pronounced “more” you don’t say the “h,” a bit like “mower” without the strong “w” sound.


Correct: TEMZ

Incorrect: THAYMZ

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

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


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? Wrong.

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

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

CANNES, France

Correct: KAN or KAN-uh

Incorrect: CON or CONZ or CON-es

The first mistake is enunciating the “s” at the end of the word (which is rarely done in French), so start by dropping the “es” altogether.

Next, make sure to never pronounce the remaining word as “con” (eg, “He is a con artist”). Instead, Cannes should sound like “Kan.”

LOUVRE MUSEUM, Paris, France

Correct: LOO-vruh

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

Some travelers go with “LOO-vray” whereas others try “LOO-ver.” Many skip the ending altogether and say “LOOV.”

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


Correct: vair-SIGH

Incorrect: ver-SALES or ver-SAY-les

Much like the pronunciation of Cannes, French speakers take an ax to 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 as “vair”, and “sai” sounds like “sigh.”

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


Correct: SAY shellz

Incorrect: say-CHE-les

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

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

IBIZA, Spain

Correct: ee-BEE-tha

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

To pronounce this name like a Spaniard, go with “ee-BEE-tha.” If you’re wondering why the “za” turns into “tha,” it’s because Spain’s Spanish dialect requires that “Z”s are pronounced as “th,” whereas Latin American Spanish speakers express “Z”s as “s” (ie , ee-BEE-sa).

PHUKET, Thailand

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 putting stress on the second syllable.

Nevertheless, this name might still earn some giggles from school kids and mischievous adults.


Correct: doo-BAY

Incorrect: doo-BYE

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

Then again, roughly 85 per cent of Dubai’s population includes expatriates and immigrants, so the anglicised pronunciation of Dubai (“doo-BYE”) is the most common.

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

Unsurprisingly, hogging sun loungers is one of the worst things that you can do while on holidays, the study found.

Map by Preply shows the correct pronunciation of some common destinations


Map by Preply shows the correct pronunciation of some common destinations
Edinburgh castle in Scotland, a city which can be difficult for tourists to name correctly


Edinburgh castle in Scotland, a city which can be difficult for tourists to name correctlyCredit: Alamy
Versailles palace in Paris is also on Preply's list of difficult names


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

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