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How to pronounce 20 of the world’s most mispronounced beers 

Have you been mispronouncing some of your favourite beers for years? Just in case, here is how to say each of them correctly.

Speaking to db, Preply language expert Sylvia Johnson explained: “Each language has its own unique set of sounds and pronunciation patterns. English speakers may find it challenging to reproduce certain sounds that are present in other languages. For example, languages like German or Czech may have specific consonant clusters or vowel sounds that do not exist in English, making it harder to pronounce words accurately.”

Here is the list of the 20 most-mispronounced beers along with their mispronunciation and correct pronunciation written phonetically for ease:

1. Hoegaarden, Belgium 

This Belgian wheat beer is loved by many, but we bet that you have been mispronouncing it your whole life. Is it right to assume you’ve been saying ‘hoe-gar-den’ this entire time? If so, you may be surprised to find it’s actually pronounced ‘who-gar-den’.

Mispronunciation: Hoe-gar-den

Correct pronunciation: Who-gar-den

2. Tsingtao, China

Most Chinese beers are pale lagers, such as Tsingtao, and it goes wonderfully with Chinese food. How nice would it be to impress your fellow diners with the proper pronunciation of the country’s signature beer next time you’re out?

Mispronunciation: Sing-tow

Correct pronunciation: Ching-dow

3. Tyskie, Poland

This Polish lager is one of Britain’s most beloved beverages, largely down to its approachable price point and the fact that it is easily drinkable. Imagine everyone who has been saying it wrong? Next time you order one at the bar, say “tis-ke-ya” rather than “tie-ski” and feel suitably smug.

Mispronunciation: Tie-ski

Correct pronunciation: Tis-ke-ya

4. Efes, Turkey

Efes Pilsener is a European pale lager style beer and dominates the Turkish beer market, making up 80% of all beer consumed in the country. It has only just started making its mark in the UK, but confusion around how to pronounce the name has already begun. Named after the ancient city of Ephesus, it’s pronounced “eff-ezz”.

Mispronunciation: Eefs

Correct pronunciation: Eff-Ezz

5. Tuborg, Denmark

One of Denmark’s greatest exports (perhaps only trumped by hygge), Tuborg is famously mispronounced. It’s the ultimate festival beer, often sponsoring big music events, so when you’re getting the next round in at Glastonbury this summer, show off to your mates by saying “tu-borg”.

Mispronunciation: Too-borg

Correct pronunciation: Tu-borg

6. San Miguel, Philippines

Are you as astounded as us to learn that San Miguel originates from the Philippines, not Spain? Spanish settlers in the Philippines were responsible for the establishment of the brewery that produces one of the world’s most recognisable beers in the 19th century. The pronunciation is distinctly Spanish too, so remember to enunciate the e-sound at the end properly.

Mispronunciation: San Mah-gel

Correct pronunciation: San Mi-gel

7. Stella Artois, Belgium

This ubiquitous Belgium lager that has become one of Britain’s most favoured beers is often shortened to ‘Stella’ and, in some climes has been referred to affectionately as ‘wifebeater’ due to the famous Marlon Brando scene in the film remake of the play A Streetcar Named Desire where he wails outside his wife Stella’s window after an argument. In any case, ‘Stella’ is often the bar call, but if you want to show off then ask for a “Stel-ah a-tua”.

Mispronunciation: Stel-ah Ar-twas

Correct pronunciation: Stel-ah a-tua

8. Asahi, Japan

This sophisticated and crisp Japanese lager has steadily increased in popularity over the past couple of years and has now become a staple in pubs across the country. The pronunciation of it seems pretty straightforward, but we think most of us will be able to refine our pronunciation of it from now on – uh-saa-hee!

Mispronunciation: Asa-hi

Correct pronunciation: Uh-saa-hee

9. Mahou, Spain

This Spanish beer took the UK by storm last summer and has quickly established itself as a favourite among beer lovers across the country. In your attempt to pronounce it properly, imagine yourself as a meowing cat and say “ma-oo”.

Mispronunciation: Ma-hou

Correct pronunciation: Ma-oo

10. Kölsch, Germany

The Germans certainly know their beer, don’t they? They also know a thing or two about difficult spelling, so we’re here to help. Kölsch (pronounced K’ool-Sh) is a refreshing style of beer that stands out for its crisp drinkability and exceptional balance of malt and fruit flavours.

Mispronunciation: Coal-Sh

Correct pronunciation: K’ool-Sh

12. Kronenbourg, France

Decidedly France’s most famous beer, Kronenbourg is one that is much loved across the pond here in Britain, and possibly one of the most mispronounced too. We’re all a bit afraid of sounding pretentious when pronouncing French words aren’t we, but if we want to get this one right, we need to overcome this barrier.

Mispronunciation: Krow-nen-berg

Correct pronunciation: Kro-nan-bour

12. Peroni, Italy

The margins of mispronouncing Peroni are small, but with a few little tweaks, you will be pronouncing the thirst-clenching beer like a true Milanese in no time.

Mispronunciation: Per-on-knee

Correct pronunciation: Per-own-i

13. Sagres, Portugal

With Spain and Portugal being so close to each other, it’s sometimes easy to forget that they speak different languages. Although they are similar and originate from the same language family, their pronunciations differ quite starkly. That’s why we need to shelf the Spanish ‘s’ pronunciation from this beer and replace it with the more Portuguese ‘shh’ sound.

Mispronunciation: Sag-rez

Correct pronunciation: Sa-gresh

14. Singha, Thailand

Originating from the Land of Smiles, this fresh beer definitely helps put a smile on our faces. It’s excellent with Thai food of course, and the pronunciation of it couldn’t be easier – Sing!

Mispronunciation: Sing-ha

Correct pronunciation: Sing

15. Heineken, Netherlands

Easily one of the world’s most recognisable beers, Heineken has been the sponsor for major sports events, notably within the world of football and rugby. The beer has also featured in no fewer than eight Bond films.

Mispronunciation: Hei-knee-ken

Correct pronunciation: Hai-nuh-kn

16. Duvel, Belgium

This Belgian beer is very often mispronounced due to people often wanting to make it sound fancier, but with a few tweaks to your pronunciation, you’ll sound like a Belgian beer pro in no time.

Mispronunciation: Duh-vell

Correct pronunciation: Doo-vul

17. Kirin Ichiban, Japan

Kirin Ichiban has become one of the most popular beers in Japan right now and its popularity is growing steadily to other parts of the world, especially the UK. That means two things; 1) we are blessed with another delicious-tasting beer, and 2) we have another difficult name to pronounce.

Mispronunciation: Keer-in Ish-i-ban

Correct pronunciation: Ke-reen Itchy-bahn

18. Birra Moretti, Italy

Thought you had the pronunciation of this one under control? Well, think again. It’s all about perfecting your Italian pronunciation here – feel free to join in with some wild hand gesticulation as well for added effect.

Mispronunciation: Birra More-et-ti

Correct pronunciation: Bi·ruh-muh·reh·tee

19. Budweiser, US

A ‘Bud’ has become one of the world’s most iconic beers, so it must be gutting to learn that we’ve been saying it wrong all this time. You can say goodbye to the perceived American pronunciation of this one and instead opt for the German way.

Mispronunciation: bud-wee-i-zer

Correct pronunciation: buh·dwai·zuh

20. Guinness, Ireland

Impressively, one out of every 10 pints sold in London is a Guinness, making the UK capital the undisputed king of Guinness drinking. How embarrassing that we tend to pronounce it incorrectly then. The emphasis is much more on the ‘s’ at the end of the name rather than the ‘ee’ sound at the start.

Mispronunciation: Gooin-is

Correct pronunciation: Gi-nuss

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