8 Countries That People Often Mispronounce

One of the downsides of being a huge reader growing up was that, even though my vocabulary was huge, I often wasn’t sure how to pronounce words that I’d only read and never heard.

I would guess that’s one of the issues with the names of these 8 countries most people never have the opportunity to discuss in knowledgable conversation – and why a good number of us would get the pronunciation wrong if we tried.

8. Iraq

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Though many people say “eye-rack,” you should actually be saying “ee-rock.”

Listen carefully the next time you’re watching the news and see how many journalists get it right.

7. Pakistan

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“Pack-iss-stan” might be the most common pronunciation in the West, but that doesn’t make it correct.

It’s actually “Pock-kee-stahn,” and if you’re curious, “-stan” in Arabic simply means “state” or “place.”

6. Laos

Image Credit: Wikipedia

You should be saying this in all one syllable – “Louse” – and not trying to drag it out to “Lay-ouse.”

5. Iran

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Similarly to Iraq, this one should be a long “Eee-rahn” not “eye-ran” likt we commonly hear.

4. Nepal

Image Credit: Wikipedia

You’ve probably had occasion to pronounce this once in a while when Mount Everest comes up, but if you’re saying “Neh-paal,” that’s incorrect.

If you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, it should be “Ni-paul” instead.

3. Belarus

I don’t know that I’ve heard people say “Bel-air-us” much, but apparently it’s a thing.

Hopefully you’re already saying “bel-uh-rooz” like a pro.

2. Antigua

I’ve always heard this one pronounced with a “gwah” on the end, making it “Ane-tee-gwah.”

Apparently it’s simply “An-tee-guh,” though.

1. Samoa

Whether you’re talking about the Girl Scout cookie or the island, you shouldn’t be calling it “Sam-oh-uh.”

Try “Saah-moah” in one smooth go.

I think I would have gotten at least a few of these wrong for sure.

Did you get them all right on the first try? Tell us your secrets in the comments!