Travel

“More Quin-oh-ah?” The 20 most commonly mispronounced foreign foods

Posted by
Harriet Hall
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'Garçon, garçon? Could I please have some more Quin-oh-ah?'

‘Sorry, madam, we don’t sell what you’re looking for.’

‘But I’ve just eaten a plate- look.’

‘Ah, what you’re after is Keen-wah, certainly, right away.’

As Brits, we might like to think of ourselves as seasoned culinary geniuses who have, at our fingertips, food from all corners of the globe – but it turns out we don’t actually know how to pronounce most of them.

The Co-Op and the Oxford English Dictionary have teamed-up to create a list of the most commonly mispronounced food names, and provided a guide so that we can all start pronouncing our food correctly.

halloumi

What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? 'Halloo-me'

“When a new food or drink becomes popular, we keep an eye on how its name gets adapted into English,”  Catherine Sangster, head of pronunciation at the OED tells i100.

“Some speakers will want to say the name in a completely authentic manner, matching the original language, and other speakers will be influenced by the spelling or prefer to Anglicise the sounds.

“In the dictionary, we give pronunciations that are accurate and also reflect the reality of how the word is being spoken,” she says.

Below is their complete list of mispronounced foods, including favourites such as tzatziki, gnocchi and edamame.  

edamame

You might love them, but are you pronouncing these beans correctly?

Tzatziki:  TSAT- SI - KI

Quinoa:  KEEN-WAH

Parmigiano Reggiano : PAR-MEE-JAH-NO RED-JAH-NO

Rioja: REE-O-HA

Halloumi: HA-LU-MI

Prosciutto:  PROH-SHOO-TOH

Bouillabaisse: BOUL-LA-BAISS

Chipotle: CHEE-POAT-LAY

Gnocchi: NOK-EE

Edamame: EDA-MAH-MEY

Ceviche: SUH-VEE-CHAY

Bouillon: BO-YON

Acai: AH-SIGH-EE

Manchego: MAHN-CHAY-GOH

Maraschino: MA-RA-SKEENO

Niçoise: NEE-SWAHZ

Crudites: KREW-DEE-TAY

Habanero: HABE-A-NE-REU

Anise: AN-IS

Guacamole: GWAK-KUH-MOLE-EE