Whist Thailand’s buzzingly beautiful capital Bangkok boasts a wondrously long ceremonial name (Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit, just in case you were wondering), it’s unofficial sadly.
To you, that was probably just a load of gobbledegook, but across the world, you’ll encounter hundreds of places you’ll struggle pronouncing. In the name of fun, here’s 11 of them. And yes, we challenge you to pronounce them all.
1. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (85 letters)
Language: Māori. It literally translates as: ‘The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.’
Where to find it? Taumata, North Island, New Zealand.
2. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (58 letters)
Language: Welsh. Translation? ‘Saint Mary’s Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave.’ Sounds legit.
Where to find it?Isle of Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom.
3. Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg (45 letters)
Language: Nipmuc. Translation: ‘Fishing Place at the Boundaries.’
Where to find it? It’s a picturesque lake in Webster, Massachusetts, United States.
4. Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein (44 letters)
Language: Afrikaans, and translates to: ‘Two Buffalos Shot Totally Dead with One Shot Fountain.’
Where to find it? It’s a farm found in the North West provinces of South Africa.
5. Azpilicuetagaraycosaroyarenberecolarrea (39 letters)
Where to find it? Azpilkueta, Navarra, Spain.
6. Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä (35 letters)
Language: Finnish (northern dialect) but its etymology is unknown.
Where to find it? Savukoski, Lapland, Finland
7. Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik (31 letters)
Language: Cree, meaning: ‘where the wild trout are caught by fishing with hooks.’
Where to find it? Deep in the wilderness of Manitoba, Canada.
8. Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta (28 letters)
Language: Telugu and basically is just a longer way of saying ‘Venkatanarasimharaju’s city.’
Where to find it?: It’s a station in Andhra Pradesh, India.
9. Bovenendvankeelafsnysleegte (27 letters)
Language: Afrikaans, meaning ‘Upper end of throat-cut valley.’
Where to find it?: It’s a lovely little farm in the Upper Karoo in South Africa.
10. Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya (26 letters)
Language: Pitjantjatjara. You don’t want to go here because when the name is translated into English, it’s: ‘Where the devil urinates.’
Where to find it? It’s a big hill in South Australia, Australia
11. Schmedeswurtherwesterdeich (26 letters)
Language: German and means: ‘West levee of the smith’s hill-village.’
Where to find it? It’s a hamlet located just outside the village of Schmedeswurth, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
Fancy another linguistic challenge? Here’s 15 countries and cities you’ve been mispronouncing your entire life!