Montreal Is A Smorgasbord Of Difficult-To-Pronounce Foods, According To A New Ranking

Are you team (POU-teen) or team (pou-TZIN)?

Senior Editor
A poutine.

A poutine.

POU-teen? Pou-TEEN? Pou-TZIN? The only thing more divisive than the classic Quebec poutine might be the pronunciation of its name. And some fun new data proves it.

The site WordTips has put together a ranking of the "most mispronounced food and drinks from every country" by compiling a list of national or popular dishes and checking the pronunciation reference site Forvo to see which had the most searches.

Poutine was the most searched dish name in Canada with 49,000 Forvo inquiries. Caesar, the perennial Montreal bar favourite, followed with 46,000 searches.

Globally, WordTips found the top three most mispronounced foods were chorizo (22,000,000 Forvo searches), croissant (2,900,000) — another Montreal staple — and scone (1,200,000). The most mispronounced beverages were the Spanish rioja (1,400,000), Brazilian caipirinha (1,100,000) and champagne (659,000).

A graphic showing a word map and illustrations of the most mispronounced dishes in several countries.A graphic showing a word map and illustrations of the most mispronounced dishes in several countries.WordTips

The most searched pronunciations in the U.S. were burger, barbecue and the ever-divisive pecan pie. (PEE-can or pe-CAHN?)

For the native unilingual English speaker, those might pale in comparison to the pronunciation difficulty of some of Eastern Europe's most popular dishes, such as Hungary's kürtőskalács, Slovakia's bryndzové halušky, Lithuania's šaltibarščiai and Latvia's rupjmaize.

Other foods to make the international ranking were dulce de leche, borscht, tteokibokki, gnocchi, tortilla and bacalhau.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas MacDonald is a Senior Editor for MTL Blog focused on Montreal public transit and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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