A Shitload Of People Don’t Know How To Pronounce These Aussie Locations & You’re Probs A Culprit

coogee pronunciation australia

Sorry to be the bearer of shit news, but it’s likely you’ve been saying the names of some Australian places all wrong. I know this because I was today years old when I found out that I sure have.

A new study by online language learning marketplace Preply has analysed Google search data identifying the Aussie location pronunciations that are doing people’s heads in the most — and the results are insightful, that’s for sure.

The most googled Australian location people want to know how to pronounce?


(According to Preply, It’s pronounced “cans”.)

I may or may not have known this, along with the average 31,480 other people who google its pronunciation every year.

The data looked for search terms including “how to pronounce” and “how to say” combined with an Australian location name, ranking the difficulty of pronunciation based on the number of people searching for it.

Based off that, here are the top 20 “most difficult” Australian locations to pronounce:

  1. Cairns: “CANS” not “KERNS” or “KENS”
  2. Prahran: “PRAN” or “Pr–AAN”, not “Pr-AHN” or :PRA-RAN”
  3. Melbourne: “MEL-burn” or “MEL-ben”, not “MEL-BORN”
  4. Launceston: “LONN-ses-tun” not “LAWN-ses-tun” or “LAWN-ston”
  5. Gloucester: “GLOSS-ter” not “GLOW-kester” or “GLOUW-sester”
  6. Canberra: “CAN-bra” not “CAN-berra”
  7. Balmain: “BAL-mane” not “bal-MAH-n”
  8. Ngunnawal: “NUN-nah-wol” not “NGUN-uh-wawl”
  9. Warwick: “WAWR-ik” not “WA-rick”
  10. Derby: “DER-be” not “DAR-be”
  11. Orange: “ORR-inj” not “Ornj”
  12. Brisbane: “BRIZ-bn” not “brIHz-bAIn”
  13. Uluru: “OO-luh-roo” not “oo-loo-roo”
  14. Coogee: “COULD-jee” not “KOO-jee”
  15. Cygnet: “SIG-net” not “SIG-nuht”
  16. Bondi Beach: “BON-die Beach” not “Bond-dee Beach”.
  17. Adelaide: “ADD-uh-laid” not “AA-duh-lied”
  18. Kata Tjuta: “KAH-tah-choor-tar” not “ka-tuh-joo-tuh”
  19. Manuka: “MAH-nah-kah” not “maa-nuh-kuh”
  20. Geelong: “JH-long” not “JEE-long”

Some of these clarifications make me want to crawl in a hole of embarrassment, others give me great sense of validation and all-round smugness. Especially the ones in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs (if you know, you know).

The good news here is that people are googling the pronunciation of these locations and sharpening up their knowledge.

I google pronunciations daily — locations, names or otherwise — especially when I’m a visitor or tourist in the location.

Amy Pritchett, Culture Director of Preply, says that mispronunciation can be because of “the differences in language and pronunciation between different regions and cultures”, noting that “some languages use different alphabets or spelling conventions than others”.

I learned this the hard way on a recent Euro trip (yep, I was and continue to be insufferable) when pronouncing Kaş in Turkey as “Kas” instead of “Karsh”.

A local person kindly told me, which was embarrassing at first but prevented any further humiliation by the time we actually reached that destination.

Because you know as well as I do that it’s even worse when you’re not told and the people you’re talking to just sit there nodding at you like you’re a halfwit.


Chantelle Schmidt is a freelance writer. You can follow her on Instagram or TikTok.

Image: Oliver Strewe / Getty.

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