9 of the World's Most Commonly Mispronounced Places

By Michelle Yastremsky

Going to see the Cliffs of Moher (Cliffs of more) in Ireland or dreaming of grabbing a pint in Edinburgh (Ed-in-burra)? Better learn to pronounce them first! Here are nine commonly mispronounced cities, countries, and must-visit destinations.

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Reykjavik, Iceland

Pronounced: “Rake-yah-vick”

Although all Icelanders speak English and don’t expect you to be able to name their Seljalandsfoss waterfall or Hallgrímskirkja church, you should now be able to pronounce the name of their capital city!

Melbourne, Australia

Pronounced: “Mel-buhne”

If you don’t put your sunblock on during Australia’s sun, you may get a sun-burn in mel-bun. That’s right – the “r” in Australia’s capital city is silent, but you can also just shorten it to “MEL” as the locals do.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Pronounced: “Ed-in-burra”

Don’t you dare pronounce that G! Instead add some chill to Scotland’s capital city with a burr-a. And while you’re at it, why not learn to say some of Scotland’s most common sayings.

Ibiza, Spain

Pronounced: “Ibi-tha”

Spain’s iconic party island is more than meets the eye – especially in the case of its name! The “z” in Ibiza is pronounced "th," which is fitting as you certainly won't be getting any zZz's while exploring this picturesque party destination.

Louvre • Paris, France

Pronounced: “Loo-vruh”

Planning a date with the beautiful Mona Lisa? Don’t insult her by mispronouncing the name of her permanent home. Be sure to put the accent on the first syllable and make the "r" extra guttaral.

Cliffs of Moher • Clare, Ireland

Pronounced: “Cliffs of More”

Ireland’s most dramatic sea cliffs are likely as commonly mispronounced as they are visited.

Phuket, Thailand

Pronounced: “Poo-ket”

The pairing of p + h in English may make an “f” sound, but such is not the case in the Thai language. In fact, pretend there’s no “h” at all and book it to Poo-ket.

Cannes, France

Pronounced: A blend of Ken & can

Cannes you believe how confusing it is to pronounce this gem of the French Riviera?


Pronounced: Louse as in "blouse"

Pronounciation of this country is somewhat controversial; while some will drop the "s" at the end and pronounce it "lao," this is incorrect! Keep it simple, and don't make an s of yourself.

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