20 Country Names You’re Mispronouncing

And how to say them correctly.

20 Country Names You’re Mispronouncing

And how to say them correctly.

circle

Heads-up, folks. When you’re traveling to another country, you better do your research, because few things are more embarrassing than mispronouncing a country’s name… when you’re in that country.

It’s like going to a dinner party and addressing the host incorrectly. Except, instead of slighting one person, you’re slighting millions. No one wants to be that guest, and no one wants to be that tourist.

So, in the interest of burnishing your atlas accuracy, we’ve collected the 20 most commonly mispronounced countries in the world. Read on to sharpen your globetrotting savvy. And for more difficult-to-pronounce destinations, learn the 30 Major City Names You May Be Mispronouncing.

kiev country names

1
Ukraine

The right way to pronounce it: Yoo-krAIn (That’s right, folks. Drop the “the.”)

If you find yourself booking a flight to Ukraine, you may want to The Secret Trick That Could Save You 50 Percent on Airfare.

samoa country names

2
Samoa

The right way to pronounce it: SARM-oh-uh

If you need an excuse to jet off to Samoa (as if), don’t miss The 35 Best Reasons to Take a Vacation.

bahgdad iraq country names

3
Iraq

The right way to pronounce it: ee-rock

country names colombia

4
Colombia

The right way to pronounce it: Co-LOHM-bee-uh

seychelles country names

5
Seychelles

The right way to pronounce it: Sey-shel

uruguay country names

6
Uruguay

The right way to pronounce it: yuhr-uh-GW’EYE

paraguay country names

7
Paraguay

The right way to pronounce it: pare-uh-GW’EYE

kiribati beach country names

8
Kiribati

The right way to pronounce it: Ki-ri-bas

country names lesotho

9
Lesotho

The right way to pronounce it: Luh-soh-toh

namibia country names

10
Namibia

The right way to pronounce it: nah-MIB-ee-ah

As it so happens, Namibia is one of The 20 Most Zen Places on Earth.

antigua country names

11
Antigua

The right way to pronounce it: An-tee-guh

maldvies country names

12
Maldives

The right way to pronounce it:  MOHL-deeves

moldova country names

13
Moldova

The right way to pronounce it: Mahl-DOH-vuh

brunei country names

14
Brunei

The right way to pronounce it: Brew-NEE

belarus country names

15
Belarus

The right way to pronounce it: bell-ah-ROOZ

Before flying all the way to Belarus, you might want to master The 35 Secrets Only Airport Insiders Know.

niger country names

16
Niger

The right way to pronounce it: Nye-jer

pakistan country names

17
Pakistan

The right way to pronounce it: PAH-kee-stan

djibouti country names

18
Djibouti

The right way to pronounce it: jeh-BOO-tee

azerbaijan country names

19
Azerbaijan

The right way to pronounce it: azz-uhr-beh-JAHN

uzbekistan country names

20
Uzbekistan

The right way to pronounce it: ooz-BEHK-eh-stahn

And for more great travel tidbits, don’t miss The 15 Best Under-the-Radar American Escapes.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!

Best Life
Live smarter, look better,​ and live your life to the absolute fullest.
Get Our Newsletter Every Day!
Enter your email address to get the best tips and advice.
close modal
close modal
GET YOUR FREE GIFT
SUBSCRIBE