Yes agreed, English is not our mother tongue.
We even sometimes find it difficult speaking our own dialect properly not to talk of another man’s language.
There are many words in Ghana we’ve pronounced wrongly for centuries (and still do).
There are many of such words, but we decided to give you just 20.
1. Debris – /dɛ-bri/
The ‘S’ is silent, usually pronounced “Debreeze” by Ghanaians.
2. Hyundai – /hʌn-day/
Almost everybody in Ghana pronounces this word as “hoon-die” and you dare not try to correct them. The right pronunciation is what you see above. The ‘Y’ is silent and the ‘dai’ at the end is not ‘die’ but ‘day’.
3. Porsche – /Por-shuh/
In Ghana we have people pronounce this word, which is the name of a car that was named after Ferdinand Porsche as “Por-sh” or “Por-shay”, in fact “Por-shay” is widely known but the man it was named after clearly pronounced it as “Por-shuh”, it rhymes with Porcia but sounds more like “Porsha”.
4. Cappuccino – /kapʊˈtʃiːnəʊ/
The pronunciation of this word should be “Kapu-chee-no” and not “Capu-cee-no” as we hear some Ghanaians pronounce it.
5. Jose – /Hoo-Zey/
If there is one person who make Ghanaians pronounce this name a lot of times, it’s Jose Mourino but unfortunately, almost everybody including even well renowned journalists in Ghana get the pronunciation wrong. The right way to pronounce it is “Hoo-Zey” and not “Joo-Zey”.
6. Mischievous – /mɪstʃɪvəs/
Be honest, you’ve always pronounced this word, “Mis-chee-vious” if you’re Ghanaian. But the right pronunciation should be “Mis-chi-vus”
7. Genre – /dʒɒnrə/
If you’re a Ghanaian and you’ve come across this word, we know you usually pronounce it as, “Gɛna”. Anyway, don’t stress over it. The right pronunciation is rather, “dzanra”.
8. February – /fɛbrʊəri/
The word is not “Febuary” it is rather “Feb-ru-ari”. If you don’t know, now you know.
9. Et Cetera – /ɛtˈsɛtərə/
If you’ve been pronouncing it, “excetara excetara” which we know you do, kindly stop, you’re butchering it. The right pronunciation should be as you see above and so kindly remove the “X”.
10. Often – /ɒfən/
If you know you’ve been pronouncing it with the ‘T’ in it, then you should know you’ve been doing it wrong. Just so you know, the ‘T’ is silent. So the right pronunciation should be “Ofen” and not “Of-tin” as most Ghanaians pronounce it.
11. Asthma – /asmə/
We know sometimes your “abrofosem” gets the better of you and so you end up placing more emphasis on the “th” in there. But the right pronunciation is “Azma”… simple.
12. Lingerie – /lãʒəri/
When pronouncing words that originated from the French, you need to be very careful.
Say “Lawn-Zhon-Ray” not “Lin-Jer-Ree”
13. Banquet – /baŋkwɪt/
Many people confuse the pronunciation of banquet with bouquet all the time. The fact that they all have the same ending does not mean they should be pronounced the same. Banquet is pronounced “bankwit” just as you see it and bouquet is pronounced “boo-kay”
14. Bouquet – /bʊˈkeɪ/
The explanation above explains it all. We intentionally placed them beside each other so you can get it.
15. Entrepreneur – /ɒntrəprəˈnəː/
“Ontre-pre-neer” not “enter-pri-nur”
16. Archipelago – /ɑːkɪˈpɛləɡəʊ/
This word has become very common in Ghana because of an internet celebrity who goes by the nickname “Archipelago” but even he also gets it wrong.
The word is a Greek word so you have to be mindful of the “Chi” in there. It is not to be pronounced as you see it, it should be with a “K” in mind and not a “Ch” so the right pronunciation should be, “Ar-ki-pel-ago” and not “ar-chee-pa-lago”.
17. Pizza – /piːtsə/
Almost everybody in Ghana gets it wrong. It’s “Pitza” not “Peeza”.
18. Caprice – /kəˈpriːs/
Well! Thanks to a place named after this word in Ghana, almost everybody assumes that’s the right way of pronouncing it. It is not “kap-rize”, it is “Ke-pris”
19. Plumber – /plʌmə/
Be honest, how many of us really say, “Plumer”. Most Ghanaians calls them, “Plum-ba”, now from today take note, the “B” in there is silent, it should be “Plumer” not “Plumba”.
So there you have it, make no mistake anymore.