Hyundai shows Brits'

word struggle

Hyundai Ioniq 5 with Seong-Jae, a.k.a Korean Bill

NEARLY three quarters of Britons say that they have a good grasp of the English language, yet a new survey has revealed that nearly half study the correct pronunciation online via a search engine to check that they've got it right.

The survey of 2,000 adults highlighted 45 per cent also still turn to a dictionary or thesaurus to double check the pronunciation of a word or phrase.

The study, which has been commissioned by Hyundai, coincides with its change from the anglicised pronunciation of ‘Hy-un-dai' to the global pronunciation: ‘Hyun-day'.

The research reveals the top 25 most mispronounced words, with parliament, tenterhooks, quinoa and cache making the list.

Ashley Andrew, managing director, Hyundai Motor UK, said: "Having updated our brand's image and pronunciation locally, we wanted to explore pronunciation as a topic more broadly and get people talking about those words that we can potentially struggle with in everyday life, such as quinoa and espresso."

The picture differs across the UK, with those in the North East have admitted to having difficulty with pronouncing ‘probably' (28 per cent), while the North West trip up over ‘zoology' (19 per cent) and the West Midlands have struggled with ‘quinoa' (21 per cent).

There's also a split when it comes to men and women.

The survey discovered that more than half of men (51 per cent) think that by simplifying words, it will make them easier to pronounce.

In comparison, the same proportion of women will turn to search engines to seek assurance in saying something correctly.

It also appears that there is an unspoken rule when it comes to correcting the way friends pronounce words and phrases, even if we know they might be getting it wrong.

Just under a third (29 per cent) have revealed that they wouldn't correct someone else even if they know they had said a word incorrectly.


Quinoa (Ki-no-ah)

Probably (Probly)

Espresso (Ex-spres-so)

Affidavit (Affidavid)


Meme (Meh - Meh)

Tenterhooks (Tenderhooks)

Cache (Cash-ay)

Coup de grace (Coo-de-GRAH)

Zoology (Zu-ol-oh-gee)

Parliament (Parlament)

Foyer (Foy-ay)

Mischievous (Mis-chee-vee-ous)

Antarctic (Ant-ar-tic)

Arctic (Ar-tic)

Library (Lie-berry)

Mange tout (Manj-eh-towt)

February (Feb-er-erry)

Jewellery (Joo-luh-ree)

Sherbet (Sher-bert)

Prescription (Perscription)

Almond (Aal-mund)

Moot (Mute)

Coupe (C-oo-p)

Triathlon (Tri-ath-a-lon)


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