Andrea Romano
October 05, 2018

Most travelers know that learning a new language can be tough, but there are some words out there that can really throw you for a loop.

Especially when they’re the names of places that you’re trying to get to.

Research conducted by cruise agent Bolsover Cruise Club found that the Slovenian city Ptuj is the world’s hardest city to pronounce, with 92% failing to know the correct pronunciation.

For the record, no, it’s not pronounced “pooj” or “put-ooj.” It’s actually pronounced “p-too-ee,” according to the cruise company website. We get it. It’s a little confusing if you don’t speak the language.

People also struggled to pronounce the names of Guimarães (88%), Rijeka (84%), Skopje (80%) and Oaxaca (76%).

In addition, the research studied different tourist destinations, landmarks and foods that non-native speakers have difficulty pronouncing. One particularly tricky landmark is Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, which 98% of non-Icelanders simply cannot wrap their heads around.

It’s pronounced: “Ay-yah-fyad-layer-kuh-tel.” Clear as day.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director at Bolsover Cruise Club, commented on the research in a press release, “Mastering the national language when heading abroad is always a great way to impress the locals, however, it seems many of us don’t always get it right.”

But with a name like Eyjafjallajökull, can you blame us? 

Learning the language is all part of the world travel experience. If you are having trouble, it’s always good to have a handy translation dictionary in your bag.

More information on the study can be found on the Bolsover Cruise Club website.

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