20 Country Names You're Mispronouncing

And how to say them correctly.

20 Country Names You're Mispronouncing
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.

1
Ukraine

kiev country names

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.

2
Samoa

samoa country names

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.

3
Iraq

bahgdad iraq country names

The right way to pronounce it: ee-rock

4
Colombia

country names colombia

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

5
Seychelles

seychelles country names

The right way to pronounce it: Sey-shel

6
Uruguay

uruguay country names

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

7
Paraguay

paraguay country names
Shutterstock

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

8
Kiribati

kiribati beach country names

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

9
Lesotho

country names lesotho

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

10
Namibia

namibia country names

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.

11
Antigua

antigua country names

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

12
Maldives

maldvies country names

The right way to pronounce it:  MOHL-deeves

13
Moldova

moldova country names

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

14
Brunei

brunei country names

The right way to pronounce it: Brew-NEE

15
Belarus

belarus country names

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.

16
Niger

niger country names

The right way to pronounce it: Nye-jer

17
Pakistan

pakistan country names

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

18
Djibouti

djibouti country names

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

19
Azerbaijan

azerbaijan country names

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

20
Uzbekistan

uzbekistan country names

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!

Filed Under
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