Weve all experienced the pure dread of going out for a meal, choosing something that sounds delicious, and then realising you have no idea how to pronounce it.
Do you confidently sound it out?
Mumble a bit then point to the menu?
Choose something else to avoid embarrassment?
The reassuring thing is that youre not alone. A poll of 2,000 adults has found that a load of us struggle to correctly pronounce common foods, including fajitas, camembert, pain au chocolat, and quinoa.
The study found that almost six in ten adults have had a go at pronouncing a food word, only to end up being corrected, while a third of the population has struggled to complete a food order because they cant figure out how to pronounce it.
One in five of those surveyed said theyd been served something entirely different to what they wanted thanks to their poor pronunciation.
But do not fear, friends. We can overcome this struggle. Below weve listed all 40 of the words that feature on the list of food terms Brits struggle to say, along with a sounding-it-out guide.
How to pronounce the 40 most mispronounced food names:
- Viennoiserie – Vyen-wah-seh-ree
- Caipirinha – keye-preen-yah
- Tzatziki – Sat-see-key
- Quesadilla – kay-sah-dee-yah
- Bouillabaisse – Bee-ya-bess
- Quinoa – keen-wah
- Charcuterie – Shar-coot-eh-ree
- Edamame bean – ed-ah-mah-may bean
- Chipotle – Chi-poht-lay
- Bourguignon – bor-gin-yon
- Niçoise – Nee-swaz
- Foie gras – Fwa grah
- Acai berry – a-sigh
- Prosciutto – pro-shoot-oh
- Rillette – ree-yet
- Daiquiri – die-kih-ree
- Chorizo – chor-eeth-oh
- Gnocchi – nyocki
- Tapenade – tap-en-ahd
- Endive – en-die-ve
- Pain au chocolat – pan-oh-shoh-co-lah
- Maraschino cherry – mah-rah-sheen-oh cherry
- Poutine – poo-teen
- Baklava – back-lah-vah
- Crudite – croo-dit-ay
- Coq au Vin – cock-oh-van
- Brioche – bree-osh
- Bruschetta – broo-shetta
- Camembert – cam-em-bear
- Jalapeño – ha-la-pen-yo
- Fajita – fah-hee-tah
- Guacamole – gwack-ah-moh-lay
- Halloumi – Hah-loo-me
- Pinot Noir – pee-no nwah
- Houmous – hum-mus
- Macaron – mac-ah-roh (not the same thing as a macaron)
- Paella – peye-eya
- Turmeric – tum-er-ick
- Soufflé – soo-flay
- Crème Brûlée – crem broo-lay
A spokesman for French bakery brand Brioche Pasquier, which commissioned the research, said: Not being 100% sure how to pronounce a word can put people in a tricky situation.
Its especially difficult if youre in a restaurant or somewhere that you cant get away with saying it wrong.
Our results found people are twice as likely to have a go at pronouncing an unfamiliar food word as admit they dont know how to pronounce it.
This can lead to further embarrassment as people get more exciting and unusual words wrong, so its probably best to just try to laugh it off.
To help with pronunciation, French language expert at Brioche Pasquier adds: To learn how to pronounce French food words, I have three tips.
Learn the rules of French pronunciation first, like an “s” between two vowels becomes a “z” sound (poison: Z * poisson: S).
Practice how to place your mouth, tongue, lips correctly to form French sounds, and lastly, learn everything with audio first as a lot of French words are actually easier to pronounce than read.
French and English share a lot of words, but their pronunciation differs, so English speakers should be prepared to make an extra effort to pronounce these words the right way in French.
For example, many English speakers have a hard time with “chocolat” which they pronounce “tchocolayt” when in French its “sho-co-la”.