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“Gyros” among top food items Brits struggle to pronounce

Greek delicacy “gyros” is among the top food items Brits struggle to pronounce when they are abroad.Embarrassed about wrong pronunciation, Brit would also not order the specific food, a study found.

According to a study of 1,000 UK adults by travel company the Bolsover Cruise Club, one in ten Brits will not order specific foods because they are embarrassed about not being able to pronounce their names correctly. 

Among the list of words Brits struggle to pronounce the most are Thai sriracha sauce, Hawaian poke dish and Greek gyros.

And the results even found that traditional UK staples such as Worcestershire sauce left the nation scratching their heads.   

Gyros – Greece

What it is: Gyros are made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie and derives from the doner kebab. It is served in pita bread and comes with other fillings such as onions, peppers and salad, and tzatziki sauce.

Correct pronunciation: Yee-ros

People who got it wrong: 93 percent

Top on the list of hard to pronounce foreign food items is Shiracha (See-rotch-ah) with 96.7% getting it wrong, followed by Poke (Poh-kay) that people got it wrong at 95.2%.

According to dailymail, the survey results even found that traditional UK staples such as Worcestershire sauce left the nation scratching their heads. 

PS to make it simple: Just say “Geeros” or “This one!” and point with the finger.

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3 comments

  1. As a Brit in Greece struggling to learn Greek, the biggest problem of all is pronunciation. English has an extremely flexible pronunciation, we can always work out what a non-native English speaker is trying to say. With Greek you have to pronounce every word exactly right the first time or Greek people don’t understand what we’re saying. That’s not the fault of the Greek people of course, you learn the rigid pronunciation structure as children, but it makes it almost impossible for us Brits to practice the Greek we’re learning, and thus get better at the language, because you look at us blankly and shrug because of our terrible mistakes in pronunciation. It’s a Catch-22….

    • keeptalkinggreece

      just speak slowly like my granny when I had guests from abroad: she would speak to them Greek but “slowly so they can understand.” 🙂

    • Yes, I agree with much of this comment (unlike your comments about refugees). I can tell you an amusing story related to Greeks and their perceptions of foreigners trying to speak Greek. In the 1990s, I used to spend every summer with Greek friends in a rented cottage on Aegina. The old woman I knew was an Asia Minor refugee, and her daughter and son-in-law were university professors in France. At that time, I was a uni prof in the UK. One night, I was left there alone with the old woman who tended towards hypochondria… She decided she was dying, and asked me to go and speak to the old Greeks across the road in the taverna, playing tavli. Reluctantly, I went and tried to explain to the old Greek woman who owned the place that we needed a doctor. She came over, and chatted to the old woman for over an hour. No doctors were available, apparently.

      Anyway, the following morning the old woman I knew was completely healthy and normal, but at breakfast started laughing uncontrollably. I asked her why. She told me: “You remember the old Greek woman last night? After we had spoken for a few minutes about my health, she asked ‘What about the boy? What is wrong with him?'” [I was 40 years old at the time] So, she replied “Nothing, why do you ask?”… to which the old woman taverna owner replied, “Is he some sort of village idiot?” When informed that I was a foreign university professor, her comment was “But his Greek is so bad! There is something seriously wrong with him!”

      So, my conclusion is that uneducated old Greeks have a view of the world that is very limited. They think that either you speak Greek properly (like them, even though they do not) or you are mentally deficient. There is no conceptualisation of how foreigners trying to speak the language will cope: everything is very simple. Either you are a Greek or you are an idiot!