The Most Mispronounced Places in the World

Because we are a language education company, we always pay attention to correct pronunciation. It’s not always easy though. This list shows the most searched places in the world for correct pronunciation. You’ll be surprised at some of them – we were!

For correct pronunciation, conversation and grammar in Spanish, Italian and English, click HERE to get more information on our individual and corporate classes.

  1. Cannes, France
    Correct pronunciation: KAN or KAN-uh
    Incorrect: CON or CONZ or CON-es
  2. River Thames, London, England
    Correct pronunciation: TEMZ
    Incorrect: THAYMZ
  3. Yosemite National Park, USA
    Correct pronunciation: yoh-SEH-muh-dee or yoh-SEH-muh-tee
    Incorrect: yoh-SEH-mi-nee or YOH-se-might
  4. Louvre Museum, Paris, France
    Correct pronunciation: LOO-vruh
    Incorrect: LOOV or LOO-vray or LOO-vraa or LOO-ver
  5. Versailles, France
    Correct pronunciation: vair-SIGH
    Incorrect: ver-SALES or ver-SAY-les
  6. Seychelles, East Africa
    Correct pronunciation: SAY-shellz
    Incorrect: say-CHE-les
  7. Ibiza, Spain
    Correct pronunciation: ee-BEE-tha
    Incorrect: ih-BEE-za or eye-BEE-tha or ee-BEE-za
  8. Phuket, Thailand
    Correct pronunciation: poo-KET
    Incorrect: FUE-ket or fue-KET or FUH-ket
  9. Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda
    Correct pronunciation: an-TEE-guh
    Incorrect: an-TEE-gwah
  10. Dubai, UAE
    Correct pronunciation: doo-BAY
    Incorrect: doo-BYE
  11. Oaxaca, Mexico
    Correct pronunciation: wah-HAH-kah
    Incorrect: OAK-suh-kuh or oh-AX-uh-cuh
  12. Maldives
    Correct pronunciation: MULL-deevz
    Incorrect: mal-DIVES or MAL-deevz or MOLE-deevz
  13. Laos
    Correct pronunciation: LOUSE (like “blouse”) or LOU (like “loud”)
    Incorrect: LAY-os or LA-ose or LOSS
  14. Beijing, China
    Correct pronunciation: bay-JING
    Incorrect: beige-ING
  15. Seoul, South Korea
    Correct pronunciation: SUH-ool or SOLE
    Incorrect: SEE-ole or see-ULE
  16. Reykjavik, Iceland
    Correct pronunciation: RAKE-yah-veek
    Incorrect: RAKE-juh-vick
  17. Worcester, England (or Massachusets!)
    Correct pronunciation: WUSS-tuh or WUSS-ter
    Incorrect: WAR-chest-er or WAR-cess-ter
  18. Budapest, Hungary
    Correct pronunciation: boo-da-PESHT
    Incorrect: boo-da-PEST or BOO-da-pest
  19. Qatar
    Correct pronunciation: KUH-ter
    Incorrect: kuh-TAAR or KAT-aar
  20. Edinburgh, Scotland
    Correct pronunciation: ED-in-bruh or ED-in-bur-uh
    Incorrect: ED-in-berg or ED-in-buh-row or EED-in-berg

How Difficult is it to Learn a New Language?

The short answer is: it depends on the language you choose and how close it is to your native language. Other factors are:

  • How complex is your new language?
  • How many hours a week can you devote to learning the language?
  • Your Motivation
  • Your language learning resources

Here’s a list of common languages that are easiest and hardest to learn for English speakers with the population of native speakers .

Easy – 23-24 weeks
575-600 class hours:
Spanish 329 million
Portuguese 178 million
French 67.8 million
Italian 61.7 million
Romanian 23.4 million
Dutch 21.7 million
Swedish 8.3 million
Afrikaans 4.9 million
Norwegian 4.6 million

Medium 44 weeks
1,110 class hours
Hindi 182 million
Russian 144 million
Vietnamese 68.6 million
Turkish 50.8 million
Polish 40 million
Thai 20.4 million
Serbian 16.4 million
Greek 13.1 million
Hebrew 5.3 million
Finnish 5 million
Hard – 88 weeks
2,200 class hours
Arabic 221 million
Chinese 1.2 billion
Japanese 122 million
Korean 66.3 million

At Luminoso Language Services we make learning Spanish and beginners Italian fun and easy. To get started, fill out our form. We look forward to hearing from you!

All data from U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute

The story of Ñ and why it took so long to be able to use it in a URL

The grapheme Ñ is a mainstay of the Spanish language. It’s formed by a tilde (also called a virgulilla – little comma) over an upper or lower case N. It’s the 15th letter of the Spanish alphabet, after N, and has its own name, eñe. More than 15,700 words in the Spanish language contain it. Another example of a grapheme like this is the German W, which came from a double V or the German umlaut.

Have you noticed that the symbol ~ is an abstract n? Ñ formally originated in the eighteenth century with its first official recognition by the Royal Spanish Academy as a contraction of NN. Año in old Spanish was spelled anno (Latin annus) and the use of the tilde was developed as a shorthand version and was finally adopted and added to the Spanish alphabet. One theory of its origin is that in the Middle Ages monks devised its usage as a way to save parchment and time. One of the first usages is found in a document dated 1175.

Italian and French use gn for the same sound.

The use of Ñ has gradually become adopted in the U.S. Have you ever ordered a piña colada, had extra jalapeños on your nachos and talked about El Niño when discussing the weather?

So why hasn’t Ñ been used in URLs until last year? There’s no eñe in English and much of the tech developments for the internet started in the U.S. In 2021, a law passed in Spain set the standard that enabled the use of ñ in a URL.

You don’t have to know all 15,700 words in Spanish that use Ñ, but we can help you learn a lot of them with our personalized individual or group lessons. Contact us for more information.

Improve Your Spanish During the Day

People ask, “How do I improve my Spanish aside from taking lessons?” One answer is to integrate Spanish into your daily routine. Here are some easy ways to do it on and offline:

  1. Lots of websites have English/Spanish versions. Read them first in Spanish, then look at the English to see how you did.
  2. Read a Spanish language newspaper online or in print.
  3. When you’re watching TV, watch movies or shows in Spanish. Turn on English subtitles to help your understanding if people are talking too fast.
  4. Read a book in Spanish. Here’s a link to Don Quixote in English and Spanish or pick a book you know well and read it in Spanish with your English copy close by.
  5. Are you a gamer? You can find Spanish language versions of your games online.
  6. Listen to podcasts in Spanish. Do the people speak too fast? Here’s a site that has slow, intermediate, and advanced podcasts News in Slow Spanish
  7. Pay attention when you’re out. Lots of stores and public places have multilingual signs and brochures you can read alongside English versions.
  8. Use different colored sticky notes to label objects around your house, it will help your vocabulary and brighten up your home!
  9. If you’re a list person, write your lists in Spanish.
  10. Join or find a Spanish speaking group.
  11. Don’t be shy! If you’re talking with a person who speaks Spanish, step up to the plate and talk to them – you’ll be amazed at how much you know!

These are some easy ways to integrate Spanish into your life and build confidence speaking a second language. For comprehensive, personal lessons online, click here and we’ll be in touch soon.

Google celebra a la letra Ñ/Google celebrates the letter Ñ

Por primera vez en la historia, los dominios web de toda España podrán incluir la letra Ñ, un bastión de la lengua española.

Onomatopéyica y soñadora, la letra Ñ es el grafema número 25 del alfabeto arábigo. A diferencia de la creencia popular, el sonido no es exclusivo del idioma español. Por el contrario, también se emplea en el guaraní, chamorro y quechua, así como otras lenguas nativas de Europa. Hoy, Google la celebra como parte de la riqueza lingüística del mundo.

¿De dónde viene el gorrito de la letra Ñ?

Al día de hoy, según El País, se tiene registro de más de 15 mil 700 palabras que contienen a la letra Ñ en su constitución. A pesar de que otros idiomas utilizan el fonema /eñe/ para expresar ciertos términos, el símbolo de la Ñ sólo se usa en el español.

Leer más aquí

Google celebrates the letter Ñ

For the first time in history, web domains throughout Spain will be able to include the letter Ñ, a bastion of the Spanish language.

Onomatopoeic and dreamy, the letter Ñ is the grapheme number 25 of the Arabic alphabet. Contrary to popular belief, the sound is not unique to the Spanish language. On the contrary, it is also used in Guaraní, Chamorro and Quechua, as well as other native languages ​​of Europe. Today, Google celebrates it as part of the world’s linguistic wealth.

Where does the hat with the letter Ñ come from?

As of today, according to El País, there is a record of more than 15,700 words that contain the letter Ñ in its constitution. Although other languages ​​use the phoneme / eñe / to express certain terms, the symbol for Ñ is only used in Spanish.

Read more in Spanish HERE

British or American? What kind of accent do you have when you speak English/¿Británico o americano? Qué tipo de acento tienes cuando hablas inglés

¿Británico o americano? Qué tipo de acento tienes cuando hablas inglés

El idioma más hablado del mundo tiene muchas variaciones, y seguramente tú tienes un acento en especial que no has notado. Descúbrelo aquí:

¿Sabías que un cuarto de la población que habita el planeta Tierra habla inglés? Pero no todos hablan el mismo tipo.

De los cerca de 375 millones de hablantes nativos del inglés en 54 estados soberanos y 27 entidades no soberanas en todo el mundo, el mayor porcentaje se encuentra en la llamada “Anglosfera”: Reino Unido, Canadá, Australia, Irlanda y Nueva Zelanda; aunque también existen hablantes nativos en Sudáfrica, Singapur, Nigeria e incluso en algunas regiones del Caribe.

Al hablarse en tantos lugares, el inglés se ha visto influenciado por aspectos sociales, políticos y culturales, lo que ha dado como resultado un lenguaje con variaciones locales que son entendidas entre locales, pero para los visitantes puede resultar casi inteligibles e imposibles de hablar.

Estas son las características de las cuatro variaciones principales:

Inglés británico: suena elegante y engloba las diferentes regiones de Reino Unido, tales como el inglés de Inglaterra (que abarca variaciones del sur, de West Country, de East Midlands y del norte); el de Ulster, en Irlanda del Norte; el galés y el escocés. Es la variante dominante en la mayoría de Europa y, debido al colonialismo, en ciertos países africanos y del sur de Asia (India, Pakistán y Bangladesh).

Inglés estadounidense: es el conjunto de variedades nativas a los Estados Unidos de América. Si bien su escritura es prácticamente la misma en todo el país, existen 11 diferenciaciones notables en el lenguaje hablado que incluyen el inglés afroamericano, chicano, del norte interior, del Atlántico central, de la región central, el de Nueva York, el sureño y del oeste. Gracias a su influencia cultural, es la variante preferida en América Latina y el este de Asia (China, Japón y Filipinas).

Inglés canadiense: si bien, hablado suena prácticamente igual al estadounidense, al escrito combina elementos de éste (debido a su proximidad) y del británico (debido a su historia), y cuenta con muchos “canadianismos” o expresiones propias al país.

Inglés australiano y neozelandés: el que se habla en Australia y Nueva Zelanda es muy distinto de otras formas debido a su acento y muchos coloquialismos. Sin embargo, su escritura estándar se ajusta en gran medida al británico.

Para leer el artículo completo, haga clic aquí


British or American? What kind of accent do you have when you speak English

The most spoken language in the world has many variations, and surely you have a special accent that you have not noticed. Discover it here:

Did you know that a quarter of the population that inhabits the planet Earth speaks English? But not all speak the same type.

Of the nearly 375 million native English speakers in 54 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities worldwide, the largest percentage is in the so-called “Anglosphere”: United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand; although there are also native speakers in South Africa, Singapore, Nigeria and even in some regions of the Caribbean.

When spoken in so many places, English has been influenced by social, political and cultural aspects, which has resulted in a language with local variations that are understood between locals, but for visitors can be almost intelligible and impossible to talk.

These are the characteristics of the four main variations:

British English: it sounds elegant and encompasses the different regions of the United Kingdom, such as the English of England (covering variations of the South, the West Country, the East Midlands and the North); the one in Ulster, in Northern Ireland; the Welsh and the Scotsman. It is the dominant variant in most of Europe and, due to colonialism, in certain African countries and in South Asia (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).

American English: is the set of varieties native to the United States of America. While its writing is practically the same throughout the country, there are 11 notable differentiations in spoken language that include Afro-American, Chicano, Inner North, Central Atlantic, Central, New York, Southern, and English. from West. Thanks to its cultural influence, it is the preferred variant in Latin America and East Asia (China, Japan and the Philippines).

Canadian English: although, spoken sounds practically the same as the American, the writing combines elements of it (due to its proximity) and the British (due to its history), and has many “Canadianisms” or expressions of the country.

Australian and New Zealand English: the one spoken in Australia and New Zealand is very different from other forms due to its accent and many colloquialisms. However, its standard writing is largely in line with the British.


Tóxico es la palabra más usada del 2018/Toxic is the most used word of 2018

El diccionario Oxford dio a conocer que la palabra del 2018 es “ tóxico ”, la cual se ha utilizado a nivel mundial para hacer referencia a un estado de ánimo o preocupaciones.

De acuerdo con la Real Academia de la Lengua Española el significado de tóxico es: “Que contiene un veneno o produce envenenamiento“, refiriéndose a una sustancia.

Sin embargo Oxford no eligió esta palabra por su significado, sino porque refleja el estado de ánimo y/o las preocupaciones del año que termina, y que a largo plazo tiene potencial de convertirse en un término con significado cultural.

“En 2018, tóxico agregó muchas cuerdas a su arco envenenado convirtiéndose en un descriptor embriagador de los temas más comentados del año”, observó el diccionario en línea, producido por Oxford University Press.

Entre los subcampeones se encontraba “gaslighting”. Acuñado por la obra de teatro “Gas Light” de 1938 y más tarde famoso por la película de 1944 protagonizada por Ingrid Bergman, como dijo Oxford , significa “la acción de manipular a alguien por medios psicológicos para aceptar un falso”. representación de la realidad o dudando de su propia cordura ”. El diccionario notó su uso frecuente para describir las tácticas empleadas por el presidente Trump.

¿Cómo es el proceso de elección?

La palabra del año se escoge de una lista corta extraída de la evidencia recopilada por un amplio programa de investigación lingüística, incluido el Oxford Corpus, que reúne cada mes aproximadamente 150 millones de palabras en inglés de publicaciones basadas en la web, según su sitio web.

De acuerdo a los datos de búsqueda del sitio web del diccionario, las consultas con respecto a la palabra “tóxico” se han incrementado un 45% en los últimos 12 meses.

Junto con “tóxico” hubo otras palabras: químico, masculinidad, sustancia, gas, ambiente, relación, cultura, desechos, algas y aire.

En 2017 la palabra fue: “youthquake”, un término en inglés definido como “un cambio significativo social, cultural o político que surge por la acción o influencia de la gente joven”.

The Oxford dictionary announced that the word of 2018 is “toxic”, which has been used worldwide to refer to a state of mind or concerns.

According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language the meaning of toxic is: “That contains a poison or produces poisoning”, referring to a substance.

However, Oxford did not choose this word because of its meaning, but because it reflects the state of mind and / or concerns of the year that ends, and that in the long term has the potential to become a term with cultural meaning.

“In 2018, Toxic added many ropes to his poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor of the most talked about topics of the year,” observed the online dictionary, produced by Oxford University Press.

Among the runners-up was “gaslighting”. Coined by the 1938 play “Gas Light” and later famous for the 1944 film starring Ingrid Bergman, as Oxford said, it means “the act of manipulating someone by psychological means to accept a fake.” representation of reality or doubting their own sanity. ” The dictionary noted its frequent use to describe the tactics employed by President Trump.

How is the election process?

The word of the year is chosen from a short list drawn from the evidence gathered by an extensive linguistic research program, including the Oxford Corpus, which brings together approximately 150 million English words of web-based publications each month, according to its website. .

According to the search data of the dictionary website, queries regarding the word “toxic” have increased by 45% in the last 12 months.

Along with “toxic” there were other words: chemical, masculinity, substance, gas, environment, relationship, culture, waste, algae and air.

In 2017 the word was: “youthquake”, a term in English defined as “a significant social, cultural or political change that arises from the action or influence of young people”.