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“Gyro” Among the 10 Most Difficult Words to Pronounce Study Finds

The most prevalent anxiety most Americans deal with is the fear of public speaking, affecting three-quarters of the population. That includes everything from making a public speech to reading aloud in front of other people.

Reading an article won’t help you overcome your apprehension about standing on a stage in front of hundreds of onlookers. But nervousness about reading aloud is often dispelled by knowing how to pronounce some of the more difficult words you might encounter.

Using data from Ahrefs, Writing Tips discovered the most sought-after pronunciations in America and globally by searching “how to pronounce” and compiling the top ten results. Here’s what they found:

Acai

ah-sigh-EEDo you want to ask the waiter for the acai bowl but need help pronouncing it? It seems a problem for many Americans, with “acai” searched approximately 18,000 times monthly in the U.S. alone. Americans accounted for 75% of all the people searching the query “how to pronounce acai.”

Nguyen

Ng’win or Noo-yenThe second most searched pronunciation was “Nguyen.” This most common Vietnamese surname was searched 15,000 times in the U.S., and it is tough for foreigners to say.

There are several acceptable ways to pronounce: “Ng’win” as a one-syllable pronunciation, which is the closest sound to its original form, or the two-syllable pronunciation “Noo-yen,” usually preferred by those outside of Vietnam. Compared to searches from around the world, Americans composed 71% of all queries for this term.

Gyro

YEE-rohGyro, a Greek sandwich typically made with roast meat and vegetables wrapped in flatbread, was the third most searched term. This adored delicacy consumed by many people, especially in Greece and neighboring Turkey, has caught the eye of Americans.

The sandwich accounts for 15,000 monthly google inquiries to ensure proper pronunciation. Surprisingly, Americans composed 88% of all queries for “how to pronounce gyro.”

Omicron

AA-muh-kraan or OH-mih-kron”Omicron” has been used extensively since the world initially heard about COVID-19 in 2020. Used to name a variant of COVID-19 and the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, English speakers have offered diverse pronunciations, such as “oh-mih-kron” and “aa-muh-kraan” according to Merriam-Webster.

Making up just over half of all omicron pronunciation searches, Americans searched the term approximately 14,000 times monthly in comparison to the total 24,000 people worldwide.

Charcuterie

shahr-KOO-tuh-reeCharcuterie, a french word used to describe the preparation of cured cold meats and meat products, also used for a deli that sells mainly these, was among the top 10 most searched word pronunciations.

Americans were responsible for 75% of all searches for this term, with 12,000 monthly queries.

Gif

gifNext up is the much-debated “gif.” Most people have trouble figuring out whether it’s pronounced like a hard ‘g’ or a soft one, similar to the ‘j’ sound. Well, guess what? Merriam-Webster has your back on this one- whichever pronunciation you use is correct!

Over 11,000 monthly internet users in the U.S. are looking for help in finding out exactly how to pronounce gif.

Kyiv / Gnocchi

Keev / nyo-kee”Gnocchi” and “Kyiv” were both searched 13,000 times globally but 10,000 and 7,900 times in the U.S., respectively. Gnocchi, an Italian potato-based pasta, is pronounced “nyo-kee,” while Kyiv, the Ukraine capital, is pronounced, “keev.”

Worcestershire

WUH-stuh-shr or WU-stah-shahMany non-English speakers need clarification about how to pronounce the term Worcestershire, with 12,000 monthly searches correctly. Worcestershire is the name of a county in the West Midlands of England. Many people know this term due to the Worcestershire sauce, a tart and savory brown sauce used in cooking and as a seasoning.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the pronunciation of “Worcestershire” entails not saying the first “r” at all. Begin by emphasizing “Wooster” and concluding with “shire.” Soften the second “r” sound to an “ah” sound.

People searching for “how to pronounce Worcestershire” in the U.S. accounted for 65% of all global searches.

Dogecoin

DOHJ-coinDogecoin, a cryptocurrency that has become increasingly popular over the years, was among the top 10 most searched words for pronunciation. This fun and lighthearted cryptocurrency inspired by an internet meme created headlines due to its volatile nature.

With 7,300 monthly queries from U.S. users, it’s clear Americans are eager to find out how to pronounce this unique coin correctly. Co-founder of dogecoin, Jackson Palmer, pronounces the word “dohj-coin.”

The Challenge of Pronunciation

A spokesperson from Writing Tips commented: “Some of the words in the list are unsurprising such as ‘Kyiv,’ given that it’s topical.”

‘Worcestershire’ is a word that often confuses non-Brits, and 2022 saw many pronunciation social media challenges which included this word. Admittedly, there are far fewer syllables than you might expect with that number of letters. ”

“Alternatively, a word like “charcuterie” is an interesting one to see, considering it’s in steady use.”

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

 

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