Let’s travel the world together! I’ll teach you exactly how to pronounce each country name in English…and each country’s language, too!
Remember last year when the World Cup was hosted in Qatar, and people in the US were scrambling on how to pronounce this country name in English?
How do you pronounce my country?
Qatar might be a tiny gulf country
The nation of Qatar
Stop saying Qatar. It’s Qatar.
You are right there. How are the locals pronounce..
Actually heard it three different ways.
It’s Qatar, Qatar and Qatar.
It got me thinking, wouldn’t it be useful to have a list of country names, nationalities, and languages in English with American pronunciation? That’s what you’re getting today. We’re starting with the most populous countries, and in most cases we’re listing the official languages, though sometimes not all of them.
First up, China. China, first syllable stress, but, Chinese, second syllable stress. Languages: Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese. If you’re wondering what these symbols are, they’re the international phonetic alphabet and they represent the sounds. They’re really helpful and I’ll show you later why. She’s Chinese, from China, and she speaks Mandarin. Or, he’s Chinese, from China, and he speaks Cantonese.
By the way, if any of these words or sounds are tricky for you as non-native speakers, I totally get it. Recently I was just experimenting with Chinese, trying to get some of the sounds and intonation, and I was practicing saying “America” in Chinese.
Very tricky. Next, India. Look at the sounds here, this is where the International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA, is really handy. We have the letter I twice, but they don’t make the same sound. So having unique sound symbol can help us get the pronunciation. The first one is IH, IHN, India-. The second one is ee, eee, -ia, -ia. IH and EE. India. I do have a free cheat sheet that teaches the mouth position and IPA symbol for each sound in American English so be sure to download that if you haven’t already, here or in the video description.
Country, India. Demonym, Indian. Demonym is a noun used to denote the natives or inhabitants of a particular country, state, city, and so on. India, Indian, and the official languages are Hindi and English.
The United States, or, United States of America. American and English or American English. I’m from the United States, I’m American, and I speak English. Though I would like to speak many more languages. And you probably noticed the country of the gets shortened to the US.
By the way, if any of these words are especially tricky for you, use the video player to slow down the pace and listen several times. This might help. Ok let’s keep going. We’ll go over the 50 most populous countries. If you like this video and want to see more countries, let me know in the comments.
Indonesia and we have Indonesian. Both have third syllable stress.
Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian.
Pakistan or sometimes Pakistan.
Pakistani or Pakistani.
English and Urdu or Urdu.
I didn’t point this out earlier when we were going over the word English but let me say it now when you look this word up in a dictionary you will see the I as in sit vowel as the first sound e. However, because it’s followed by the NG consonant, we do change that and make it more like e. This is how Americans actually pronounce this word, English.
And actually, the only official language in Nigeria is English although there are lots of other languages spoken there.
Brazil. Second syllable stress.
Brazilian or Brazilian
Portuguese. The word ends in e s e and we’re making that last syllable stressed just like Javanese and Sudanese. Portuguese.
Bangladesh or Bangladesh.
And the language also Russian.
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The language is also Japanese. And notice ese ending last last syllable stress.
Amharic or Amharic.
Notice the T now makes the sh sound as part of the ending.
Vietnam or you might hear Vietnam.
Ends in e-s-e last syllable stress.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Iran or you might hear Iran
Persian also called Farsi
Turkish or Kurdish
You can really connect these two words to make it feel like one word. The th going right into the vowel. South African, South Africa.
Africans. They also have nine other official languages.
Italy. Notice the flap T.
Italian. Now it’s a true T because it starts a stressed syllable.
Myanmar also pronounced Myanmar formerly known as Burma.
Iraq or Iraq
Iraqi or Iraqi
This is spelled the same but has a different pronunciation of the word polish like to shine something.
Uzbekistan. You’ll see this written with a vowel like in push when you look up the phonetics but it’s really pronounced more like ooh, the vowel in Shu.
You might also hear it pronounced Uzbek. Uzbek.
Saudi Arabia or Saudi Arabia.
Saudi or Saudi
Malay or Malay
Mozambique or Mozambique
There are also various recognized national languages in addition to this one official language.
Well, this was fun. I love journeying the world with you. What other kinds of videos would be useful or helpful for you? Let me know in the comments and please be sure to subscribe to the channel with notifications on. If you want to study English pronunciation with me, check out rachelsenglishacademy.com. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.