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  • Kate & Jennifer

Are you Pronouncing your Summer Destination Like a Native?

Don’t know about you, but we are really looking forward to this post-Covid (hopefully!!) travel season. How about you? Have you ever experienced the cringe when someone mispronounces your hometown, state, or country? For us, we grimace when we hear someone pronounce our state as Illi-noize. Don’t be that person! With travel on our mind, we thought we’d talk about those commonly mispronounced travel destinations.

#1. Illinois - of course we need to make sure everyone is pronouncing our home state correctly. The Land of Lincoln was named after the native American word “Illiniwek” which means “best people” and is a commonly mispronounced state. Non-natives are heard to produce it as “Illi-noize,” however the /s/ is silent and should be pronounced as “Illi-noy.”

#2. Phuket - this beautiful beachfront town in Thailand would be anyone’s dream vacation. Many foreigners mispronounce this word by saying an “f” for the “ph” sound. In English, the “ph” is often pronounced as an “f,” such as in the word “photo.” In Thai, the “ph” just becomes a /p/ and the correct pronunciation is actually “Poo-ket.”

#3. Mackinac Island - This is a popular vacation spot, especially for us midwesterners! This cute little island on Lake Huron in the state of Michigan does not allow any motorized vehicles. You may only travel by foot, horse, carriage, or bike. Folks mispronounce this destination as “Mac-in-ac” when in actuality the /c/ goes silent and should be pronounced “mack-in-awe.”

#4. Budapest - This capital city of Hungary, known for its classic architecture and beauty of the Danube river, is definitely on our bucket list. We’ve been pronouncing this wrong forever! It is not “Bud-a-pest,” but actually “Bud-a pesht.” Never knew about the “sh” sound in that word!

#6. Oregon - Traveling to see the beautiful landscape in the Pacific Northwest? Don’t make the natives restless by saying “Or-i-gone,” make sure you are pronouncing it as “Or-i-g’n.” That final syllable is key!

Whatever your summer destination is, we hope you’re pronouncing it like a native and it’s amazing!

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