Notre DameHaving grown up with British parents, I got used to hearing words pronounced differently than most people around me pronounced them. We would often tease our mother as she pronounced A-LU-MIN-IUM which we pronounced A-LUM-I-NUM, or my name pronounced as HEATH-AH instead of HEATHER with the North American R.

The following article continues along this line. See the difference in how the British and the Americans pronounce the names of ten places, including cities and countries.


10 Place Names Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently

By Laurence Brown

The world is a big place. So big, in fact, that two of its most influential nations—separated as ever by a common language—cannot agree on the pronunciation of many of its place names. Sure, we understand that Americans might not initially be able to pronounce “Leicestershire” or that Brits (writing from experience) will make a hash of “Terre Haute.” But there are also place names that Brits and Americans—each with their own unique approach to phonetics—just simply pronounce differently. Here are 10 such examples:

1. Notre Dame
As a six year resident of Indiana, I’m probably more familiar with this pronunciation difference than most people. That’s because the Hoosier State is home to a popular collegiate football team that shares its name with the famous Parisian cathedral. And whereas the British would pronounce this place as either “not-ra-DAM” or “not-ra-DAHM,” Americans often insist upon “noter-DAME” (sometimes “note-ra-DAME” or “note-ra-DAHM”). I should mention that this pronunciation is usually reserved for the aforementioned university, though Americans might also apply it to the Victor Hugo book title The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

2. Tunisia
For a country comprising just seven letters, Tunisia sure does contain a lot of phonetic differences when it comes to American and British English. With the latter, the North African nation is usually pronounced “tyoo-NIZ-ee-a”, while Americans—offering a different interpretation at each of the word’s syllables—typically say “too-NEE-zha.”

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