The other day, I was scrolling through social media when a post caught my attention. In the post, the writer expressed how hesitant he felt about pronouncing the word “croissant” properly at a restaurant, because the last time he did, the waiter who took his order “corrected” him with the incorrect pronunciation of the word.
“It’s kroi-zen, not kwa-sant,” said the waiter.
The correct pronunciation is actually “kwa-son”, “kwa-sant”, or “kre-sant”.
Our guest in this episode of the My English Matters Podcast, Terengganu Hired English Language Personnel (THELP) and foodie Nurul Atiqah Hj Roshali, had a similar experience when she wanted to order a mojito at a local restaurant and the waiter “corrected” her with the incorrect pronunciation of the word!
Now, it’s totally normal to find the names of some dishes and drinks difficult to pronounce, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed or shame other people for pronouncing them incorrectly.
After all, so many of today’s popular dishes and drinks come from parts of the world where English isn’t the official language. For example, the croissant, which is a type of crescent-shaped pastry that I personally love to eat with a thick layer of creamy butter, comes from France, where it is also known by the same name.
The mojito, on the other hand, is a minty cocktail that originated in Cuba, where the official language is Spanish. Thus, the ‘j’ in ‘mojito’ is pronounced ‘h’ like in many other Spanish words. Mo-hee-teu.
Here are the commonly mispronounced dishes and beverages discussed in the podcast episode:
- Burrito – buh-ree-tow
- Croissant – kwa-sant/kwa-son/kre-sant
- Quesadilla – kei-sa-di-uh
- Tortilla – tore-tee-uh
- Rigatoni – rig-uh-tow-nee
- Fettuccine – fe-teu-chee-nee
- Macaroni – mac-uh-reu-nee
- Lasagne – luh-zahn-nee-uh
- Bolognese – bo-luh-neyze
- Fusilli – fuh-zee-lee
- Tempura – tem-poo-ra
- Macaroon – ma-kuh-roon
- Sherbet – shur-buht
- Frappé – fruh-pey
- Mojito – mo-hee-teu
To hear how these dishes and beverages are pronounced, then make sure you listen to this episode of the My English Matters Podcast. Madam Azimah and Atiqah go through the whole list so that you can place orders at any restaurant confidently and hopefully avoid any embarrassing situations!