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Say What?

23/07/2012 | Say What?

A central London hotel is offering pronunciation classes to visitors to the Capital this Summer, after finding guests from as far afield as America, Australia and Asia struggling to get to grips with the names of some of the UK’s most popular venues and attractions.

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With tourists flooding to the UK over the summer months to soak up the sporting action and trying to catch a glimpse of the Queen, Premier Inn Leicester Square is offering guests pronunciation classes throughout July and August.

Mina Fattahi, General Manager of Premier Inn Leicester Square says; “We often hear guests sounding confused about how to pronounce certain places, and the location of this hotel is no exception with it commonly being referred to as ‘Lie-chester Square’!

“We want to ensure our guests can find their way around the UK easily and safely, so the team here will be on hand to offer pointers on some of the most commonly mispronounced place names if required.”

Sunday 4.13pm is officially the week `end`

The UK’s largest hotel chain has found the top ten most mispronounced place names across the UK to be:

1. Lie-chester Square (Leicester Square)

• The Square is named after Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, who purchased four acres (1.6 hectares) in St. Martin's Field in 1630. Leicester Square is the centre of London's cinema land. It is claimed that the Square contains the cinema with the largest screen and the cinema with the most seats (over 1600). The square is the prime location in London for world leading film premières and has hosted blockbusters such as Harry potter, James Bond and Avatar. Pronounced ‘Lester Square’

2. South-walk (Southwark)

• Southwark got its name in the 9th century but was first settled in the Roman period. Alight here for the Southbank, Tate Modern Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe and more! Pronounced ‘Suth-uck’

3. Holl-burn (Holborn)

• The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix were among artists who recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, right across from the Holborn station. The studio later moved to Soho because of the constant vibrations coming from the trains leaving and entering the station. Pronounced ‘Ho-burn’

4. ‘Were-shesh-ter-shire’ (Worcestershire)

• A county in the Midlands, home of the tangy British-born Worcester sauce and bordering a ramblers’ haven; the Malvern hills. Pronounced ‘Wuss-tar-shar’

5. ‘Lugabaruga’ (Loughborough)

• In the heart of Leicestershire, students are ever-present in this well-known University town, with some of the American students struggling to pronounce its name. Pronounced ‘Luff-bra’

6. Bi-chester (Bicester)
• This historic market centre is one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire and is home to Bicester Village – the oasis of budget shopping for high-end label names. Pronounced ‘Biss-ter’

7. Edin-burg (Edinburgh)

• The capital city of Scotland is the seat of the Scottish parliament, and has deep roots in history, being a home to civilisation since the Bronze age. Tourists who visit this UNESCO heritage site for either the dominating skyline including Edinburgh castle, or the infamous Edinburgh Festival are often confused by its Celtic name. Pronounced ‘Ed-in-burr-a’

8. Pem-brook-shia (Pembrokeshire)

• A maritime county, bordered by the sea on three sides, the local economy relies heavily on tourism. Visitors to the pottery towns of Tenby or Pembroke itself however, often enunciate the tricky Welsh vowels incorrectly. Pronounced ‘Pem-brook-sher’

9. Born-mouth (Bournemouth)

• The largest coastal resort town in Dorset, the beach and resort is a popular location for tourists. With its artificial reef and the coastal processes in Poole Bay, the beach is often used for surfing. Pronounced ‘Born-muth’

10. Plie-mouth (Plymouth)

• The city of Plymouth is provides important transport links between Cornwall, Devon and the rest of the UK, is home to the UK’s ninth largest University and has the largest operational naval base in Western Europe – HMNB Devonport. Pronounced ‘Pli-muth’

Mina Fattahi, adds, “Along with common mis-pronunciations we also find a lot of confusion as to what ‘the tube’ is, where visitors can find the Lambeth Walk and whether or not the team members have met the Queen. Of course we’re around to help guests at anytime but we wanted to put on a special class over breakfast during the summer for anyone that wanted more detailed help. ”

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