Do You Really Know How to Pronounce These Commonly Mispronounced Cities?

By: Isadora Teich

Do You Really Know How to Pronounce These Commonly Mispronounced Cities?
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About This Quiz

Think you are a master of worldly pronunciation? There are hundreds of languages spoken around the world. The diverse cultures, languages and histories around the world have led to a planet full of amazing cities. Today, over half of the world's roughly 7.4 billion population lives in cities, and this number is only expected to rise. In fact, it is estimated that by 2050, two-thirds of the world's entire population will live in urban areas, with many of the new and expanding cities to house them developing in Africa.    

Considering that so many of the world's cities have names that developed from old or completely different language systems, it's no wonder that many of them can prove to be total tongue-twisters for English speakers. Whether it's Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, French, Arabic or one of the many other spoken world languages, differences in accents, tones, emphasis and more can make saying the names of certain cities tricky for those who are not from there. Even some U.S. cities are tricky for Americans to pronounce.

If you are a global geography buff who's on a first name basis with some of the world's most tricky to pronounce foreign cities, put your skill to the test with this tongue-twister of a quiz! 

Albuquerque
Ail-bow-kwer-kay
All-bee-kwir-kee
Owl-buy-keer-kay
Al-buh-ker-key
Albuquerque is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The Rio Grande river flows through the city.

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Munich
Moon-ike
Myoon-ik
Munich is a city located in Germany. It is one of the larger cities in the EU, with a population of about 1.5 million.
Muhn-itch
Moo-nitch

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Spokane
Spoe-can
Spokane is located in the northwestern American state of Washington. This city of over 200,000 is about 110 miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border.
Spuh-cane
Spoo-can
Spoe-ken

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Shanghai
Shahng-hi
Shanghai is a global megacity that sits on China's eastern coast. It is one of the most populous cities on Earth, with over 24 million people living there.
Chayng-hee
Shank-ie
Chahn-key

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Phoenix
Foe-nicks
Poe-nik
Fee-nicks
Phoenix is the capital of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is one of the largest cities in America and the only capital city with more than one million residents.
Foe-knee

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São Paulo
Say Poo-low
Sow Paul-oh
Sayo Paula
Sow Pow-low
The accent on "São" gives it a sound close to "sow," but more nasally. This massive city of over 12 million is the largest in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

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Dubai
Dub-ayy
Doo-bye
Dubai is the capital and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.This center of tourism and business is known as the home of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Duh-bi
Dub-bee

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Philadelphia
Pie-la-del-pia
Fill-a-del-fia
Philadelphia is located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It's the fifth largest city in the U.S., with a population of over 1.5 million.
Fie-lay-del-fia
Pill-uh-del-pia

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Mumbai
Moom-bi
Mum-bae
Mum-bi
Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, with a population of over 18 million.
Moom-bee

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Istanbul
Eye-shtan-bull
Ih-stan-bal
Iz-than-bel
Ih-stan-bull
Istanbul is a Turkish city which is partially in Europe and partially in Asia. This city of 15 million is one of the world's largest cities, and the only on Earth to straddle 2 continents.

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Tijuana
Tie-joo-anna
Tee-uh-wa-na
Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California. It shares a small border with the American city of San Diego, which is the busiest land-border crossing in the world.
Tie-wa-nay
Tih-joo-na

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New Orleans
New Or-lanes
New Or-leans
New Orleans is a major American port city and the largest city in the state of Louisiana. It is famous for its French-Creole roots and Cajun food.
New Ar-lahn
New Or-lee-ans

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Seoul
Soul
Seoul is the capital and largest city of South Korea. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
See-ole
Sool
Soo-elle

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Tucson
Tuck-sin
Tuck-sun
Two-sahn
Tucson is a large city located in Arizona. It is only 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Tuch-sen

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Riyadh
Rye-ahd
Ree-yaid
Rye-ah
Ree-odd
Riyadh is the capital and largest city in Saudi Arabia. It has a population of over six million.

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El Paso
El Pass-oh
El Paso is a city in Texas, close to the U.S.-Mexico border. It sits on the Rio Grande River, across from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.
El Pay-suh
El Pie-soh
El Pay-sew

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Algiers
Al-gee-airs
Al-jeers
Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria, a North African country. This city of over three million sits on the Mediterranean Sea.
All-guy-ers
Ale-guy-er

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Pyongyang
Pie-ong-yaeng
PyAWng-yUHng
Pyongyang is the capital and largest city of North Korea. It has a population of over three million.
Pong-yang
Fie-ONG-yANg

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Kiev
Key-ev
Kiev is the capital and largest city of Ukraine. It has just under three million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous cities in Europe.
Key-ive
Kih-eve
See-eff

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Taipei
Tie-pay
Taipei is a Taiwanese city of over 2.5 million. This global city is one of the major hubs of the Greater China Region.
Thay-pee
Tsigh-pay
Tie-pyi

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Osaka
Ew-zack-uh
Oh-suck-ay
Oh-sock-a
Osaka is located in the Kansai region of Japan. With over 19 million residents, its metropolitan area is one of the largest on Earth.
Uh-sack-uh

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Quito
Quit-oh
Quit-ak
Kit-toe
Key-toe
Quito is the capital of the South American country Ecuador. Located in the Andes, Quito is one of the most highly elevated capital cities on Earth.

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Phnom Penh
Pnom Pen
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. It was once known as the "Pearl of Asia" and a holding of France.
Puh-nam Pen
Nom Pain
Non Pin

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Bucharest
Butch-are-est
Boo-car-rest
Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania. It is the sixth largest city in Europe.
Book-air-ess
Boy-care-estie

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Manila
Main-ella
Man-ill-a
Manila is the capital of the Philippines, in Maritime Southeast Asia. It is the most densely populated city proper on Earth.
Mane-ill-ay
Moon-ella

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Lusaka
Luss-acha
Loo-sock-a
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of the South African country Zambia. It has a population of over 1.7 million people.
Laz-ache-ya
Loo-sak-kia

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Boise
Bwahz
Boy-say
Boy-see
Boise is the capital and largest city in the U.S. state of Idaho. It has a population of over 200,000.
Boo-ize

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Kathmandu
Chath-man-doh
Cat-man-do
Kathmandu is located in Nepal. It is the largest metropolis in the Himalayan hill region.
Kath-min-duh
Cat-man-dah

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Montreal
Mont-real
Mont-ree-elle
Mount-rill
Mont-ray-all
Montreal is located in the eastern Canadian province of Quebec. It is a Francophone city and province.

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Guadalajara
Wad-ah-lah-jar-ah
Gwad-all-jar-uh
Yad-ally-hara
Gwad-ah-lah-har-ah
Guadalajara is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco. It has a population of over 1.4 million.

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Prague
Prayg
Prag-way
Preg-goo
Prahg
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic. Historically, this city was known as the capital of Bohemia.

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Chengdu
Sheng-duh
Chung-do
Chengdu is the capital of China's western Sichuan province. It is one of the most populous cities in China, with a population of over 14 million.
Chang-doe
Shan-no

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Xian
Zee-ahn
She-an
Xian is located in northwestern China and is one of the world's most populous cities. It is the oldest of China's historic capitals and the starting point of the Silk Road.
Zee-ahn
Ex-ian

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Kolkata
Cole-cat-ah
Kolkata was known as Calcutta until 2001. It is one of India's largest metropolitan areas, with a population of over 14 million, and the location of its oldest port.
Kal-chat-ay
Chole-cut-ie
Kal-cate-ya

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Sioux Falls
Sue Falls
Sioux Falls is the most populous city in South Dakota. It has a population of about 180,000, which is roughly 30% of the entire state's population.
Socks Falls
Six Falls
Sigh-oo Falls

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