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"When in doubt, be sure to pronounce everything in the least affected manner possible, from an American perspective."

In written works, sometimes it's not obvious how to pronounce names that are given. Sure, it's easy enough to figure out how to pronounce John Smith (usually), but seeing the name Gauthenia Vrellneick is going to confuse the heck out of anyone (probably).

This can cause issues when people try to actually discuss a character in the work, and nobody can figure out whose pronunciation is actually correct. There can be quite a bit of Fan Dumb resulting from this, often depending simply on the language construction of where fans live. When the work is a voiced work (anime, film, some video games), it might get worse as the (voice) actor might be pronouncing them in a way some fans see as wrong (again, depending on where they live).

Don't expect it to help any when there is finally Word of God on how to pronounce some of them — it might end the discussion, or you might get folks arguing over whether or not the person who answers is correct anyway. Fanon has been known more than once to override the author's intended pronunciation.


The opposite of Spell My Name with an "S", where fans know how it's supposed to sound (since it's on video or named in a syllabary) but can't seem to agree on how it's supposed to be written down alphabetically. Related to The Unpronounceable, where the names are intentionally difficult (if not downright impossible) for the mere humans to pronounce.

This is extremely common in English dubs of Anime in general, although the severity of it depends on the dub studio or even the specific voice director. This causes a certain (very loud) segment of the fandom to completely lose their shit when it happens. The reasons for mispronunciations or mis-stressings (no, they are not the same thing) of Japanese words are myriad, ranging from the translator not giving any hints on how names are pronounced, directors not being terribly concerned about it, edits from the Japanese themselves (this one happened with Eureka Sevennote ), to the simple fact that there are major differences between Japanese and English vowels and stress patterns such that stressing a Japanese word correctly can sometimes throw off the rhythm of a sentence or make it sound stilted to Western ears.


For a quick reference before going into detail below, some studios are worse about this than others. Funimation's pre-2005 work stands out in this regard, as do a number of dubs from the studio formerly known as ADV Films (especially ones directed by Stephen Foster, who has said many times he cares more about an actor's performance than their pronunciation). Outside of Texas, this phenomenon is far less common, though every studio will do it to some degree.

Generally averted in Spaniard and Latin American dubs, because the pronunciation of Japanese and Spanish aren't so different as Spanish has similar stress patterns, and due the versatility of the language, many words can be written phonetically with ease. This trope, however, comes into effect with certain pronunciations such as with syllables starting with R; in Spanish, when R starts a syllable it is pronounced strongly while in Japanese it is soft. Nevertheless this may be intentional, since a extremely correct pronunciation of Japanese would sound off compared to the rest of the dub.

It is more common in works in English and French. English in particular suffers from this a lot as it is typical to transliterate rather than transcribe — that is, preserving the spelling from the language it's from rather than the pronunciation. In other foreign languages, it's much less common, because a word is typically pronounced exactly as it is written. This also happens a lot with English-language versions of anime.

Contrast It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY" where a pronunciation guide is helpfully given. Japanese works tend to also helpfully give a kana reading (hiragana or katakana) of their texts, especially for foreign words or uncommon Japanese kanji words. Rarely you'll find a pronunciation guide in form of International Phonetic Alphabet (called "IPA" for short). Contrast also Funetik Aksent where (part of) a written work is written with pronunciation in mind, complete with an intended accent.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The otherwise good dub of Ah! My Goddess TV had this with a few names (most notably, the heavenly computer Yggdrasil; only the movie got the pronunciation anywhere close to right). Unlike most examples, AMG mispronounced more names as the show went on. Yggdrasil is hard to pronounce anyway (the correct pronunciation is something between "igg-dra-sil" and "ugg-dra-sil", as the Scandinavian 'y' sound doesn't exist in English).
  • Bakugan. Is it Back-ooh-gan, or Bah-koo-gahn?note 
  • The new Big Bad of Bleach is named Yhwach, and no one in the whole English-speaking fandom really knows how to pronounce that. Before receiving the proper romanization of the name from Tite Kubo (and still afterwards, sometimes), he was called Juhabach or Yuhabaha. Going by the romanization and the original Japanese, the pronunciation would seem to be something like /jhvax/, but of course, that's still unpronounceable in English. But you can't go wrong adding vowels: try "yuh-huh-VAHK".
    • Of course, it is this to a degree too in the Japanese - his name is derived from the biblical Tetragrammaton, the proper vowels for which are wholly unknown. Meaning, there literally is no pronunciation guide, and even the Author-given name is in and of itself a wild guess likely mispronouncing it.
  • Irene's name in Blood+ is always pronounced "eye-REEN" (the American way) rather than "ee-REN" (the French and intended way) in the English dub. Some translations spell her name as "Iréne" to make it more clear.
  • No one in the cast of Nelvana's dub of Cardcaptor Sakura could ever agree on how Sakura's name should be pronounced. Some actors even pronounce it in different ways during different times. The most common ones both have the AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle as either "sah-KOO-rah" or "sah-CUR-rah".
  • The promotional advert for Cardfight!! Vanguard on the YouTube channel has the announcer pronounce Aichi's name as 'Eye-ich-ee' instead of 'eye-chi'. This also happens in the adverts for the first Trial Decks and Booster packs.
  • The dub for CLANNAD has this to the point of it being a chronic disorder, as it seems that nobody can pronounce each others' names correctly. The actors do pronounce names wrong, but at least it's consistently wrong. One can argue it's far worse when some actors get it right but others don't. Also, many of the pronunciation problems were fixed in the After Story dub.
  • The Code Geass: Akito the Exiled dub isn't like this as in episode 2 of the dub, the narrator pronounced the nation of Britannia as "Bri-tainia", while the dub of the main series pronounced it correctly as "Britannia".
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • The Funimation dub has had a hard time with Goku's Kaioken technique. The correct pronunciation is "kye-oh-ken" (as in, "King Kai's technique", or lit. Realm King Fist), but nearly everyone except for Peter Kelamis's Goku in the uncut Ocean dubs of movies 2 and 3 says "KEI-oh-ken". King Kai must've learned it from the guy on the ¥10,000 bill.
    • The Funimation Dub of Dragon Ball Kai, however, fixed the Kaio-ken pronunciation problem.
    • The English dub also has "Saiyan" being pronounced as "SAY-en", while the original Japanese pronunciation is more like "SYE-ahn". The dub's influence was so pervasive that when the guy's on X-Play used the Japanese pronunciation they got letters telling them how dumb they are for not saying it the "right" way.
    • The girl with the split personality, is her name Lunch or Launch? In the American dub, her name was changed to Launch, whether it's for sake of pronounciation or because her name in katakana is written as Ranchi or because the company just didn't get that her name was also a food pun alongside Yamcha, Puar, Oolong, Vegeta, Raditz, Kakarrot, Pilaf, Garlic Jr, Mango, Papaya, etc, etc. Do not start a discussion about this!
    • The voice actor for Emperor Pilaf in the Ocean dub and early FUNimation dub of the original Dragon Ball called Pilaf's canine henchman Shu as "Shao". The FUNimation actor, Chuck Huber, corrected himself by the time he got to Dragon Ball GT and referred to Shu correctly from then on.
  • Digimon:
    • Ironically, Beelzemon from Digimon Tamers actually follows the syllable stress for Beelzebub noted further down the page...except most of the characters turn it into bee-AL-ze-mon instead of bee-EL-ze-mon, usually when shouting. It was confirmed not to have an A in it with the episode title Beelzemon's Big Day, but both pronunciations were still used, depending on the speaker.
    • It happens again in the dub of Digimon Xros Wars — this Data File SOMEHOW manages to screw up the pronunciation of MegaKabuterimon, whilst a later Data File for Kabuterimon uses the correct pronunciation and spelling.
    • The Italian dub of Tamers pronounced Beelzemon "BEEL-ze-mon", while the Xros Wars dub pronounces it "BELL-ze-mon".
    • The English dub of Digimon Adventure can't seem to decide if Patamon and Gatomon's names are pronounced "PAT-uh-mon" and "GAT-oh-mon" (as they themselves pronounce their names when digivolving) or "PAHT-uh-mon" and "GAHT-oh-mon" (as other characters pronounce their names on occasion). Similarly, is Patamon's Champion form Angemon pronounced "ANN-je-mon", "AHN-je-mon", or "AIN-je-mon"? (The Japanese romanization of his name, "Enjemon", suggests it's supposed to be the first one.)
    • Usually, Vilemon's name is pronounced like the word "vile" with a "-mon" suffix at the end, but when one appeared in Tamers, his name (in the English dub, at least) was pronounced "Vee-lay-mon" for some reason.
  • Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail appears to be subject to this. Based on the Japanese pronunciation of her name, "EH-roo-zuh", its English equivalent would be "AIR-za". The English dubs, however, refer to her as "UHR-zah". While it may aggravate certain fans, there do exist several words beginning with "er" that are phonetically pronounced "uhr" in English and "EH-roo" in Japanese, so which version is "right" really can't be anywhere other than in the ears of the beholder.
  • Fate/stay night: Lancer's real name "Cu Chulainn" was pronounced as "Coo-who-lin" in the original Japanese dubnote  which is nowhere near the proper pronunciation. Bang Zoom Entertainment! obviously didn't bother looking up how it's supposed to be said and just changed it to "Coo-coo-lin". It's actually pronounced "Coo-cull-un". (If they'd listened to "Black Rose" by Thin Lizzy, they'd know this.)
  • The Hungarian dub of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood had trouble with the names Xing, Sheska, Barry, and Slicer. Xing started out as "Ksing" (should be "shing"), Sheska as "Shetz-kuh", Barry alternated between "Berry" and "Bar-rie", but most absurdly, they kept saying the name "Slicer" as if it were a Hungarian word: "Shlee-tzerr" (why they didn't just translate it, as they had in the first anime, is anyone's guess). Incidentally, the voice actor who first made this blunder was also the only VA in Naruto who kept pronouncing jutsu as "yutzu". The dubbing of the first series wasn't without its faults either: Roy Mustang's actor at first mispronounced Hawkeye as "Hokey" and Shou as "So-u".
  • The dub of the Genshiken OVA episodes has this. In the first episode, everyone mispronounces Ogiue's name (as "Oh-jee-way"); in the second episode, it's half-right, half-wrong; and by the final episode, her name is pronounced consistently correctly. It's pretty obvious that the director realized his mistake halfway through recording and couldn't go back and fix the earlier screw-ups.
  • Get Backers:
    • The actors dubbing the anime had this problem, as half of them called the Teen Genius Makubex "mah-cue-bex", and the other half called him "mah-koo-bex". Usually while speaking to each other. This was incredibly annoying during the conversation between Shido and Ban that establishes Makubex's back story, but Ban has an unflattering nickname for just about everyone, so it might be in character for him to butcher it on purpose...
    • They had the same problem with Ban's surname, Midou (which they pronounced "mee-dow" for most of the first half of the show).
    • In a strange bit of irony, during the "13th Sunflower" episodes, the ADR director went out of his way to make sure that all the actors pronounced Vincent van Gogh's name correctly (hint: it's not "Van-GO").
  • There apparently weren't any guides given to the voice actresses in the English dub of Girls und Panzer regarding their characters names. It's not until around episode 4 that they hit on consistent pronunciations.
  • HA-ru-hi Su-zu-MEE-ya, or Ha-RU-hi Su-ZOOOOM-mi-ya?? The BANDAI Entertainment dub pronounces it the first way, yet there will be many many fans who lose their shit while screaming to the very ceiling about how you're wrong!
  • Hellsing:
    • Despite largely considered one of the best dubs of all time, the anime still has this. Unlike English, Japanese has no distinction between L and R, so "Alucard" ("Dracula" backwards, natch) is pronounced "Aru-kah-do" and rendered "Arucard" in the subtitles. They tried to get the dubbing team to use this (wrong) pronunciation too but the dub studio, having common sense, refused. There are a few fans who will mispronounce the name to this day, even after being corrected by the actor who played the character.
    • Also, is it Pip "Bernadotte" or "Vernedead"? Is Walter's last name "Dornez", "Dollneaz", or something else entirely?
  • The English dub of High School D×D isn't without its' faults, particularly for the character of Asia Argento. For instance in the dub, Issei's father pronounced her name as "AY-sha" (the American way), while she corrects him by saying that it's pronounced "AH-zyah".
  • Arisu Maresato in the High School Of The Dead dub. Apparently, none of the voice actors were aware that Arisu was the Japanese spelling and pronunciation for "Alice", so her name ends up being pronounced like "ah-REE-soo".
  • One of the worst examples may be Idaten ("EE-da-ten") Jump, an anime series about mountain bike racing in another world. The dub had a very brief run on Cartoon Network in the USA in the so-called 6:00 AM "deathslot". In this series, the title is regularly and constantly pronounced "eye-DAHT-en" Jump. Either the dubbers really didn't know how to pronounce it, or felt that it wouldn't appeal as much to Americans if they used the original pronounciation. It also doesn't help that most episodes were actually two Japanese episodes combined to make one American episode.
  • The English dub of Mahou Sensei Negima! (both series) mis-stresses character names pretty much all the time, Makie being rendered as "Ma-KI-eh" and Ayaka as "Ai-YA-ka" for example. This gets lampshaded towards the end of Negima!?.
    Satomi: Actually, I'm pretty sure the correct pronunciation is "Aiya-ka".
    Chisame: And don't they say "MA-key-eh"?
  • This applies in a strange way to Beyblade: Metal Fusion, the dub of Metal Fight Beyblade. The main character, Ginga (Geen-Gah) Hagane, both got his name respelled to "Gingka" and the pronunciation changed to "Jin-guh".
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, it's a French name that is mangled. Michel is properly pronounced "MEE-shell", close to "Michelle". Everyone in the English dub pronounces it, "mi-KELL".
  • Naruto: NA-ru-to, or na-ROO-toe? By this point, it's hard to tell.
  • In at least the Castilian Spanish dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka's name is consistently pronounced as "a-ZOO-ca", instead of its Japanese pronunciation, "ASS-ca". In the Italian dub, her name is pronounced like this too...kinda. In some scenes (usually by Shinji's VA), it's bizarrely pronounced as "A-zoo-ca", which is obviously wrong.
    • The announcer in the trailer for Manga Entertainment's release of The End of Evangelion mispronounces Seele as "Selluh" once and Eva/Evangelion as "Eeva" four times.
  • In what has to be making fun of this phenomenon, some of the Hilarious Outtakes on the Noein DVD's feature Yuri Lowenthal (Yuu) and Crispin Freeman (Karasu) arguing about how to pronounce "Haruka".
    Karasu: Haruka?
    Yuu: No, it's 'Haruka', dumbass!
  • One scanslation group for Parasyte consistently called the main character Shinji. Another called him Shinichi. Shinichi appears to be the correct one, but for fans who started out reading the scans chronicling the adventures of Shinji, it's just a bit strange to adjust to. (The same has happened with other characters as well, whose names changed even more drastically between scanlation groups, such as Kabuto/Uragami.)
  • Pokémon:
    • The anime occasionally has problems pronouncing Pokémon names. When reached for comment, PokémonUSA actually confirmed that 4Kids were pronouncing Bonsly wrong (It's Bon-sly, not Bons-lee) in the eighth movie. Once The Pokémon Company took over the English dub of the anime, they made a point of using the former pronunciation.
    • Suicune. Oh god, Suicune. It's apparently pronounced SWEE-cune.
    • Early on, Ekans was pronounced as "EH-kans", but come Advanced (while 4Kids was still dubbing), the Pokemon said their names as "EEK-ans".
    • Cartoon Network's run of the last Diamond and Pearl series, Sinnoh League Victors, also had the announcer somehow pronounce the word "Sinnoh" as "Sigh-no" instead of "Sin-no".
    • Arceus is pronounced "Ar-say-oos" in Japanese versions and "Ark-ee-us" in English versions. According to one of the English voice actors (Tom Wayland), Arceus is pronounced "Ark-ee-us" in English because it would otherwise sound like "arse".
    • There is also no consensus on how Uxie's name is to be pronounced, between "OOK-see" and "YOOK-see". During a moment in the Pokémon Trading Card Game when Uxie was popular, one could visit a tournament and hear it pronounced both ways roughly evenly. (All of the official materials call it "YOOK-see", which is the correct pronunciation.)
    • In the Latin American dub (which is actually a dub of the American version) Pokémon names are even more inconsistent as it seems that every actor has it own way to pronounce the names, for instance is never clear whether the Poke PEE-ka-chu (The more used pronunciation) pee-KA-chu or sometimes even pee-ka-CHU. The character says its own name all three ways, which may have lead to the confusion.
    • The Italian dub is confused too. After the release of Pokédex 3D Pro, the official Italian pronunces for many characters changed drastically compared to the anime. Some shifted from an Italianized pronunciation to the American one, but some of them also made the opposite. Muk changed from "Muck" to "Mook", Tyrogue changed from "TIE-rog" to "Tee-ROG", Charmeleon changed from "Char-ME-leon" to "Char-MEH-leon", Glaceon changed from "GLASS-eon" to "GLACE-on", Mienfoo changed from "MEAN-fu" to "Me-ann-FU" and Wobbuffet changed from "Wo-BAA-fet" to "Wo-BOO-fet".
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • The English dub for the anime uses several Japanese names for characters and fighting techniques. These are often pronounced inconsistently by the voice actors.
    • Sony's dub takes this farther. Ignoring some random name changes, Japanese names are always pronounced in the most Americanized way possible. For example, "Aoshi" is consistently pronounced "Ay-oh-she".
    • The dub of the OVA, produced by ADV Films, takes a similar approach to Sony's TV dub. "Tomoe" is consistently pronounced as "Tomo", for instance.
  • Applied In-Universe in Tamako Market. While the Prince may pronounce Choi as Cho'i, the market community call her anywhere between Cho'i to Choy.
  • This is the reason why Tenchi Muyo!'s Ayeka is named that way. In the Japanese version, her name is Aeka, which would be pronounced "EYE-kah". However, Pioneer worried that fans wouldn't be able to pronounce it, thus changing her name to Ayeka, which has been pronounced either "Aye-YEH-ka", "Aye-EH-ka" or even the old "EYE-kah".
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
    • Is Gurren "goo-REHN" (said almost like "Gren"), or "goo-ren"? Whereas the former is the correct pronunciation (if the Japanese version is to be believed), the latter is used in the Bang Zoom dub.note 
    • There's also Simon. The original opts for "Shimon", while the dub uses "See-MON". And, to the eternal frustration of fans, non-fans refer to him as "Sigh-mun".
  • It's not uncommon for an English-speaking reader to pronounce Tomie's name as "To-mee". The correct way to say it is "To-mi-ay".
  • Averted by ∀ Gundam, which includes the words Called Turn "A" Gundam in its logo.
  • Kaname Kuran in the Vampire Knight dub. Apparently, Yuki just mispronounce his name as "Kah-nuh-meh" instead of "Kah-nuh-may" like the other characters pronounced his name in the dub.
  • In The Vision of Escaflowne materials, Dilandau's last name is Albatou, but it's never said in the show, so there's no information on how to pronounce it. The Italian dub mentions him by his full name in episode three, and they pronounce it as "Al-bah-toh".
  • Xxx HO Li C has many pronunciations. Among them: Ex Ex Ex Holic, Zholic, or Triple X Holic. Oddly, it seems the correct pronunciation is simply 'holic' as the Exes are not recognized a pronounceable characters, making them essentially meaningless. The same goes for Hunter-Hunter, Kiss-Sis, and Gun-Sword.
    • Same with Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. It's pronounced "Zay-al" ("Zearu" in Japanese pronunciation), though English speakers and the English dub use "ZEX-ull".
  • Robonyan's name in Yo-Kai Watch has different pronunciations. The first is "Robo-nyan", which is heard in the Japanese and French dubs, as well as the medals for the English. The second is "Robon-nyan", which is heard in the Disney dub. The third is "Robot-nyan", which is in the Toonami Asia dub.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, the dub constantly pronounces Yusuke's last name (Urameshi) as "You-ra-meshi". On the other hand while Keiko'snote  last name is indeed "Yukimura", the dub tries to justify this by writing it as "Ukimura" in the subtitles.
    • The Romanian dub does this to the show's name. The correct pronounciation is "HAH-koo-sho", but this dub pronounces it "Hah-KOO-sho", with the accent on the second syllable.
  • Yu Gi Oh Zexal: The summoning mechanic introduced in that series, Xyz Summoning, has a very confusing pronunciation. Its pronounced 'Ick-Seez' or sometimes 'Exceed', and there are a number of fans who just go the simple route of calling it 'X-Y-Z'.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men founder and leader Dr. Charles Xavier. In English, the name "Xavier" is traditionally pronounced "Zavier". There is a large contingent of fans who pronounce it as "Ex-avier", a pronunciation used in all of the X-Men media. Lampshaded in an issue of Ultimate X-Men, where a foreman overseeing repairs on the mansion asks Xavier how to pronounce his name. Xavier doesn't actually answer the question.
    • Back in the old days before animated series and movies, there was a small group of fans who insisted on pronouncing "Magneto" with a short "e" (as in "magnet"), and as late as the 1970s Stan Lee professed uncertainty over the proper pronunciation. However, Paul McCartney pronounced it with a long "e" (as in "neat") in the Wings number "Magneto and Titanium Man", and later adaptations followed suit.
  • Batman villain Ra's Al-Ghul. Properly spelled "رأس الغول‎", has been pronounced "Raysh Al Ghoul" and "Roz Al Ghoul". The correct pronunciationnote  is somewhere between the two, though the latter is a bit closer.
    • Parodied in Batman Beyond, where Terry uses the latter pronunciation to Talia and she calmly corrects him with the former explicitly saying "but it was pronounced Raysh". Cue more internet arguing.
    • The correct Arabic is something like "Raz Al-Ghool" but Word of God is "Raysh Al Ghool", which could be a case of Fridge Brilliance because Word of God also says that it is not based exclusively on Arabic, but also Hebrew and other Semitic languages, suggesting a mixed heritage. There's also the fact that he's centuries old, and it's quite possible that there's been some degree of pronounciation shift that he's ignored.
    • On Arrow, it's variable but fairly consistent: the man himself and members of the League of Assassins say "Raysh". everyone else says "Roz".
  • Mister Mxyzptlk:
    • The infamous imp from the Superman universe — apparently pronounced MIX-yiz-PIT-lick — could only be sent back where he came from by saying his own name backwards. Oddly enough, this one actually has two names, as there was a spelling error that was retconned into a separate entity — originally, his name was Mxyztplk. (tp, not pt.)
    • The Paul Dini episode about it gave a guide. After Clark fails to pronounce it correctly, Mxy turns into a blender (to "mix") then a No Celebrities Were Harmed Yes album (titled "Yezz"), then "spit"s in Clark's face, before turning into a dog to "lick" the spittle off.
    • And before anyone asks, the pronunciation guide they gave for "kltpzyxM" was "kill-TIP-zee-ZIM". Delivered by Mxy when Superman complains.
      Mxyztplk: Aw, nuts. [disappears]
    • The DC Comics Encyclopedia confirms that pronunciation.
    • He was a frequent villain on The Superfriends (which is only natural for an animated version; Mxy is basically a toon, after all). There his name was pronounced "MIX-zel-PLICK".
  • Lex Luthor
    • Is his name pronounced Loo-thER or Loo-thOR. Unfortunately, other media have not helped as it's been pronounced both ways. Live action tends to favor ER, while animation favors OR.
  • One running gag in the Dirty Pair story "Start the Violence" is an on-going argument between the girls about the proper pronunciation of "junta". Tomboy Book Dumb Kei comments "Even I know it's pronounced "hoon-ta"". While Yuri insists on using a hard "j" (according to her, an acceptable British pronunciation, but she's no Brit) for her own reasons...
  • Watchmen:
    • Before the movie, which used "Roar-shack", there was a great deal of confusion about how you were supposed to pronounce Rorschach, although the most common pronunciation — based on someone in the graphic novel mishearing the name as "raw shark" — was "Roar-shock", taking into account how that would sound with a British accent. "Roar-shock" is also closer to his German namesake. And "Raw shark", intentionally or not, works as well in a heavy Noo Yawk accent as a generic English one.
      • The movie also identifies retired villain Moloch as "Mol-luck" as opposed to what pretty much everyone (who had never heard of the demon of that name) thought it was before hand, "Mow-lock".
    • Also, Silk Spectre's Polish surname Juspeczyk divides many (so much so that the movie only uses it written, she's referred by "Jupiter", the name her mom adapted into, instead). Correct Polish pronunciation would be "You-SPEH-chick", but in reality no such name (most probably) exists.
    • Is "Ozymandias" pronounced "oz-ee-MAN-dee-us", "oz-ee-man-DEE-us", or "oz-ee-man-DYE-us"? All three can be heard from various speakers in the movie. (For the record, the first version is the best, since this is the pronunciation of the English version of the Greek name of Rameses II, the one Shelley's poem is about.)
    • Is "Kovacs" pronounced "koh-vacks", "koh-vahks", or "koh-vash"? "Kovacs" is a Hungarian last name and pronounced "koh-vahch".
  • Tomoe, in Usagi Yojimbo is three syllables, To-mo-eh. Her sci-fi counterpart in Space Usagi was spelled Tomoeh, to help avert this. The same is true for Tomoe in Rurouni Kenshin... or at least it's supposed to be. The voice actors in ADV's dub of the OVA pronounced it "toh-moh". The same problem came up again in the Cloverway dub of Sailor Moon S, where it was decided Tomoe Hotaru would keep her Japanese name. Unfortunately, they used the "toh-moh" pronunciation.
  • X-Men's Xorn. Is it pronounced like 'zorn', or is it 'ex-orn', or even 'sorn'? 'Zorn' seems to be the way it's most prominently pronounced, but is it correct? Or k'sorn? Given that he is Chinese, it may well be "shorn", but if it's a non-Mandarin dialect it might be something else altogether.
  • Phyla-Vell. "Feela", "phila" or "piela"? It would be FIE-la, because her name is a pun on "phylum", from biology. Because her brother is Genis, pronounced like "genus". Get it?
  • What does the name of Fantastic Four foe Kl'rt (the Super-Skrull) sound like? Klurt? Klart? Kelart? Kayelartee?
  • Marvel Comics' Crystar Crystal Warrior once published a pronunciation guide for all its weird names.
  • In Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, it is revealed that each version of the Legion of Super-Heroes has a distinct pronunciation of the planet Winath. For the Reboot version it's "Win-Athe", for the Threeboot version it's "Win-Ath", and for the post-Infinite Crisis version it's "Wine-Ath". It has been noted that this was a joke made on the debate among fans on how the name is pronounced.
  • Mouse Guard has Celanawe. At the end of Winter 1152 Those Two Guys tell the audience how it's pronounced.
  • Finder has the Llaverac clan. It's anyone's guess how the double-l is pronounced: fans go for either the Spanish pronunciation ("Lyaverac", with y as a consonant) or the Welsh ("[throat]ch-laverac", very roughly).
  • Though many issues of DC's Who's Who actually did have pronunciation guides at the beginning, a number of entries where the pronunciation isn't obvious were oddly not included — like the Khund race (is that 'h' just for show, is the 'u' long or short, etc). Even stranger, many "regular word you probably know" names were included, like "Icicle".
  • The first name of the Jaime Reyes incarnation of Blue Beetle is pronounced the Spanish (Hi-meh) way, however it's not readily noticeable in the comics themselves. Many fans thus pronounce it "Jay-me".
  • Thor from Norse Mythology has Mjolnir (pronounced MYOHL-nir). Most readers, including those of Marvel Comic's Thor, mispronounce this unless they can speak Scandinavian or look it up.
    • Lampshaded in the Thor film, where Darcy, the Audience Surrogate, calls it mir-mir (pronounced meer-meer) since she can't quite say it.
    • Taken up to eleven in Ultimate Power #4:
      Spider-Man: You're the God of Thunder, right?
      Thor: Verily.
      Spider-Man: So I'm guessing that hammer of yours—
      Thor: Mjolnir
      Spider-Man: Pardon?
      Thor: My hammer is called Mjolnir.
      Spider-Man: Majohlnar? Maj-jongner?
      Thor: Mjolnir
      Spider-Man: How do you spell that?
      Thor: ᛗᛃᛚᛟᚾᛁᚱ
      Spider-Man: Right. Doesn't matter.
  • Any Runaways fans who'd assumed Karolina's name was pronounced Karo-lie-na were a little surprised when the Hulu show used Karo-lee-na. (Word of God states that the former is correct in the comics, but due to Marvel's nature as a shared universe, it has occasionally been disregarded.)
  • Depending on the adaptation and character, Supergirl's name (Kara) is either pronounced "Care-ah" or "Ka-rah".
  • Nightwing and Starfire's daughter in Kingdom Come is named "Mar'i Grayson". It's pronounced "Mary", after her deceased paternal grandmother Mary.

    Fan Works 
  • Pokemon Opal And Garnet: CLOPIN. If you've seen the movie containing his namesake or have taken French- er, Kalosian- you know how it's pronounced. But if you've only read the book or read this fanfic- and haven't taken French- then you'll most likely say it wrong. To wit, it's "kloh-PAH~(n)".
    • It's even mentioned In-Universe thousands of times as a Running Gag; just to make sure that nobody gets it wrong, Clopin himself came up with a mnemonical guide that acts as a sort of Who's on First?: the first syllable is said with a long "o" as in "close"- duh- while the second, which contains a French nasal vowel sound- it's "-in", to be precise, is said like the word "pang", but the "-ng" is abruptly cut off. So, "close pang". Most of the time, the people and Pokemon who do hear about it won't cut it off completely and end up with "kloh-PAY" rather than "kloh-PAH~(n)". While this is still an incorrect pronunciation, it's interesting to note that in some cases, it has helped Clopin to realize just who's calling for him- as he himself said when Drac, a Flareavamp who always says it as "kloh-PAY", was captured by Team Folklore in the chapter "Drac Attack":
    Clopin: There's only one Pokemon who ever calls me "kloh-PAY".
    • From the same fanfic: Switeuk's name. Is it "swit-yuk", "swyt-yuk" or "swit-ook"? The answer: none of them. It's "swy-TEE-ook" — with the "ook" as in "hook". Say "swine tea hook" out loud, and you'll get it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ratatouille:
    • Averted. Just to make sure no one would get it wrong, the logo for the film includes a pronunciation guide under the title (rat-a-too-ee) One ad campaign also used a Rebus Bubble style, rendering the title as (Remy's head)-a-2-e.
    • Which lead to a moment in a Swedish commercial for said movie. The movie's title was "translated" to Råttatouille (a portmanteu of råtta ("rat") and ratatouillle). Ergo, the pronounciation was changed to say "rot-a-too-ee". But the commercial seemed to make a concious effort to have it as "rot-a-toy".
    • The Finnish translation was basically exactly the same, only that involved using an "o" instead of an "å".
  • In The Little Mermaid, the correct pronunciation of Ariel is "AH-ree-ell", but almost everyone in the movie (and subsequently, almost everyone else) calls her "AIR-ree-ell". The only one who really uses the correct pronunciation is Sebastian.
  • The first Hungarian dubbing of Transformers: The Movie turned "Cybertron" into "Kájbertron", pronounced "Kigh-ber-trohn", for whatever reason. The correct Hungarian translation for "cyber-" is actually "kiber-", pronounced "Kih-ber". Whereas the second dub kept alternating the pronunciation of the word "Decepticon" between "Dee-sep-ti-kon" and "Deh-sep-ti-kon" (this also came up in the dub of Transformers Armada). Most amusingly, a lot of times they made Starscream sound like "Szarsz-krém", loosely "Shit-cream" in English.
  • Done in The LEGO Movie with the various Real Life "artifacts", such as "the Cloak of Band-A'id" (a Band-Aid), the "Sword of Exact Zero" (the blade of an X-Acto knife), the "Po'lish Remover of Na'il (nail polish remover), and one of the main threats in the film, the Kragle (a tube of Krazy Glue with some of the letters on the label worn off).
  • In Frozen, Anna's name is pronounced "Ah-nuh" to sound more Norwegian, though many (including The Nostalgia Critic) pronounce it in the most common way (Ann-uh).
  • Doen in Ralph Breaks the Internet. Wreck-It Ralph, being a video game character made in the 80s and the arcade he's in having just caught up with technology, mispronounces various modern terms. For instance, he mangles the term "wi-fi" twice before Sonic the Hedgehog tells him the correct pronunciation in his own snarky way.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lampshaded in Young Frankenstein, where the characters get into an argument about Frankenstein (initially pronounced "fronk-en-STEEN") and Igor (pronounced "EYE-gore"). Also subverted, in that Frederick Frankenstein deliberately pronounces his name strangely to distance himself from his infamous grandfather. It doesn't last. And Igor's apparently just trolling him. (He also insists on calling him "Froderick" instead of Frederick).
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Kevin McNally was the first actor to refer to the Kraken and all the other actors followed his pronunciation. The writers, who had been pronouncing it differently up to that point, were amused and a scene was later added to the film in which the characters debate the correct pronunciation.
  • Dr. Niko Tatopoulos in the 1998 American Godzilla film ends up being called "The Worm Guy" for this reason. (The character is named for Patrick Tatopoulos, who worked special effects on the film and had the same problem.)
  • Guiron from Gamera. Good lord, I don't think the movies were even sure. It's been pronounced about as many ways as you can imagine, but the one accepted by most people sounds like Gear-on. Now try "Gyaos". Based on the Japanese spelling, it should be "goo-ee-roh-n" and "geeah-oh-s".
  • In an interview on the DVD bonus features, the director and lead actors of The Shawshank Redemption speculate that one of the reasons for the film's poor box office success was the title: "One for Shimsaw... Sheeshank... Shawsheck — that redemption movie."
  • In The Last Airbender, a great many pronunciations are inexplicably changed from the original series. Thus, Aang [Ay-ng] is pronounced Ah-ng, Iroh [Eye-roh] becomes Ee-roh, Avatar is alternately Ah-vah-tahr, Uh-vuh-tahr, and the correct version, Sokka [sounds like "sock"] is consistently called Soe-ka, and Agni Kai is now Agni Kee. The pronunciation of 'Avatar' is particularly annoying; the character's names were made up, if based on real-world languages, so saying it differently isn't that bad. But 'Avatar' is a real word, originally coming from Hinduism and now travelling into the mainstream. Why change it? According to the director, all of the pronunciations in the film were the correct way of saying the names.
  • In the film of Agatha Christie's Evil Under The Sun, a rather boorish Brit pronounces Poirot (pwah-ROW) as POY-row. It's easy to imagine this as a jab at people with this issue in real life.
  • Constantine falls victim to this. The main character's name is suppossed to be pronounced "Constant-TYNE" but instead is pronounced "Constant-TEEN".
  • Star Wars has quite a few examples, notably the rebel general who refers to Princess "Lay-ah" as Princess "Lee-ah". Billy Dee Williams is prone to this, using "CHEW-back-ah" instead of "Chew-BOCK-ah". Williams also insists that Han Solo's first name rhymes with "can" instead of "con" the more accepted pronunciation, which is particularly egregious since their characters are supposed to be OLD FRIENDS. This is even referenced in Solo when Lando intentionally pronounces Han's name wrong to rile him up and says he doesn't care what the correct pronunciation is. And you're lucky if two secondary characters in the prequels pronounce the name of a planet the same way even once ("Core-ah-sahnt" versus "Cour-ah-sahnt", "Na-BOO" versus "NAH-boo"). And a few times, "PAD-may" sounds more like "POD-may" or "PAHD-may". The first and most commonly used pronunciation is a little bit closer to the Sanskrit word the name derives from.
  • The pronunciation of Synecdoche, New York, despite being a witty pun, isn't exactly the best title for a movie. note 
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo uses anglicized pronunciations of Swedish names, in conjunction with everyone speaking English. Given that there are actual Swedes in the cast, this seems to be intentional.
  • Godfather trilogy, in-universe example: "Cor-lee-own" or "Cor-lee-own-ee"?
  • In Puma Man, Kobras (Donald Pleasence) uses the British pronunciation "Pyew-ma" while everyone else pronounces it as "Poo-ma", which MST3K poked fun at throughout their viewing.
    Kobras: You cannot escape me, Pyewma Man!
    Crow: Poo-ma Man!
    Mike: Oh, is that right, Dyonald?
  • Withnail & I: Most first-time viewers of the film are surprised to discover that it's pronounced "WITH-null". Writer/director Bruce Robinson took the name from a local eccentric who lived near his childhood home: Jonathan Withnall. He was reportedly so hopeless at spelling that he misspelled his own name on occasion. Hence, Withnail.
  • Used In-Universe in The Double, where the man who calls Simon to inform him of his mother's death has trouble pronouncing “cerebral”. As in, the cerebral accident which killed her.
  • Also In-Universe in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Roland, the Great White Hunter in operational command of the InGen team, has trouble pronouncing dinosaur names like Pachycephalosaurus.
    Roland: Pachy...Pachy...oh, hell. The fat head with the bald spot. Friar Tuck.

  • A Brother's Price: Ordinary English is bad enough if you're not a native speaker, but with names like Kij, it really becomes difficult. And is Rensellaer pronounced with an umlaut for the ae, or is it pronounced Rennsell-a-er? And one really hopes that poor Cullen is not pronounced like the vampire family of the same name. There's also the question whether Tullen rhymes with Cullen, or not. It should, but if it's English, that's not a given.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Is Myriah Perkins' name pronounced like "Maria" or "Mariah"? Fans can't seem to decide.
  • The personal name of God in The Bible. Only the consonants — yod-he-vav-he (YHWH) are known but not the vowels. The most common guesses among modern believers are "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" (the latter of which Hebrew linguists universally agree was not the original pronunciation), but there is no indication as to the true spelling or pronunciation.
  • The very name of Thor himself. Scandinavians pronounce his name as toor (sometimes even with the "r" being silent). Anglophones tend to pronounce him as "thorr".
  • J. R. R. Tolkien took pains to avoid this:
    • All the works that feature his constructed languages have extensive guides to the pronunciation and derivation of the words used. Which is exactly what you would expect from a professor of ancient languages. Not that this has stopped casual readers from mispronouncing things left and right — nor have the films adhered perfectly to the pronunciations given by the books.note 
    • Tolkien's Elvish languages originally used K for all hard-C sounds (unsurprising, as they were inspired by Finnish) but he later changed to consistently using C as it looked more appropriately elegant and Latinate. His son Christopher (who made the original maps) disagreed with this decision, saying nobody would think "Celeborn" is pronounced "Ke-leb-orn". Hence, why the passage into Mordor is spelled "Cirith Ungol" in the text, but "Kirith Ungol" on the map.
    • The BBC Radio adaptation of The Hobbit has a bit of trouble with the dwarf Dáin of the Iron Hills. It also renders "Gollum" as "ga-LOOM", possibly on the mistaken assumption that it's Elvish.
    • Speaking of Gollum, his real name Sméagol is usually pronounced "SMEE-gol" in adaptations, although the accent might lead one to believe it's pronounced "SMAY-uh-gol". Likewise his "beloved" cousin Déagol.
    • Many people are inclined to pronounce "Smaug" like "smog," and might even think it's some sort of intentional reference due to being the name of a fire-and-smoke-spewing dragon. However, the vowels in name are supposed to be pronounced like those in "loud" or "crowd." After the film adaptations, many people joked by exaggerating the pronunciation into "Smaah-oooog."
  • Elizabeth Boyer, in her heavily Scandinavian and very Tolkien-influenced fantasy novels included a pronunciation guide in most of them, but then ended it with a disclaimer: "Whatever pronunciation works for the reader is the correct one!"
  • Jacqueline Carey has staunchly refused to publish an official pronunciation guide for the Kushiel's Legacy books, saying she prefers to let people make up their own minds (ie, Phèdre can be pronounced feh-drreuh or fay-dra or anything in between). This enormously frustrates some people, since Terre d'Ange is clearly meant to be a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of France and anglicised pronunciation just seems hugely out of place.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: While the good doctor's name is supposed to rhyme with "treacle", it's often pronounced to rhyme with "heckle". The BBC series Jekyll (essentially functioning as a sequel to the books, which were based on fact in-universe) has the 21st century characters consistently call Jekyll "jeckle", though a flashback to Robert Louis Stevenson has Stevenson pronounce the name "jeakle". This is pointed out by the characters.
  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • Despite giving an official pronunciation, there's still raging debate over how to pronounce several of the Cosmic Horrors he came up with, which was sorta the point to begin with; these words were the closest the human tongue could come to pronouncing truly alien sounds.
    • The most famous example is Cthulhu, officially pronounced KHH-loo-HH-loo, but often pronounced all sorts of ways. There's even a lot of discrepancy on how the word is even spelled. Cthulhu is the most common, but Tulu, Clulu, Clooloo, Cthulu, C'thulhu, Cighulu, Cathulu, Kathulu, Kutulu, Kthulhu, Q?thulu, Ktulu, Kthulhut, Kulhu, Kutunluu, Cuitiliú, and Thu Thu have all been used at one point or another. Just lends more credence to the idea that humans really can't say it right...
    • There have been many debates on whether or not the "w" in Dunwich should be pronounced. (It doesn't help that pronunciation of similar town names in New England occasionally differs from their British namesakes.)
  • Harry Potter:
    • Many readers (including Jim Dale, the narrator of the American audiobooks) had trouble with the name "Hermione" ("Her-my-oh-nee") from until Goblet of Fire, where she pronounces it phonetically with the note that 'Hermy-own' is the wrong way to say it. Others were under the impression that her last name, "Granger", had two hard "g"s and rhymed with "anger"; in the movies, the internal "g" is soft (GRAIN-jer). Both names do exist in real life, but are uncommon (there are 564 Hermiones and 2605 Grangers on the UK electoral register).
    • Because of this, the German version changed her name to the more easily pronounceable "Hermine".
    • This is possibly parodied in The Order of the Phoenix, where Hagrid's half-brother is too stupid to wrap his primitive mind around a name like "Hermione" and knows her as "Hermy".
    • Rowling once recalled one fan that pronounced it "Hermy-One". It amused her enough that she briefly considered making it the official pronounciation of her name.
    • Then there's the Robot Chicken take (last 15 seconds of the clip): <urban, muggle school setting> "Children, I have some sad news. Her-my-1 Granger hung herself." <bratty classmates dance in celebration>
    • On the children's TV series Arthur, the in-universe equivalent of Harry Potter is "Henry Skeever", complete with a character named Persephone, which the kids pronounce "PER-suh-fohwn" until Mr. Ratburn happens to overhear them and corrects their pronunciation (per-SEF-ahn-ee).
    • Similarly, while J. K. Rowling has said the "T" in "Voldemort" is silent, in keeping with the name's obvious French root ("flight-from-death"), many people (including movie characters, and Stephen Fry on the audio book) pronounces it. One of the geek-trio in Buffy gives it a silent T, strengthening his nerd-cred. Jim Dale did get that one right, which gets him a lot of forgiveness for Her-Miney.
    • The problems were not alone on the American books. Stephen Fry spends much of Philosopher's Stone convinced that Harry is in "gruh-FIN-dor" house. And the two of them share a belief that Harry's rival is Draco mal-FOY. Maybe because they think the word is French?
    • A lot of fans didn't realize until the first movie came out that Ginny Weasley's name was pronounced as if it starts with a J.
    • There's an actual pronunciation guide for everyone else.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The series notorious for difficult-to-pronounce Old Tongue terms — while it does supply pronunciations in the glossary, who's going to remember how to say "Tel'aran'rhiod" or "Al'cair'rahienallen"?
    • Just say "the Dream World" and "Cairhien" (KEYE-ree-ehn).
    • To make matters worse, the pronunciation guides in the glossary are not only horribly incomplete but also ambiguous and difficult to interpret. Worst of all, the books contradict each other. The name "Be'lal" is given in The Dragon Reborn as "beh-LAAL" and in The Shadow Rising as "BEH-lahl".
    • Most famously, Robert Jordan insisted that fans asking questions be sure to pronounce Taim as "tah-EEM" not "tame." Almost nobody listened, and now, after his Author Existence Failure, it seems the fan pronunciation will be the one that sticks.
    • Even the audiobooks seem unsure of how to pronounce some words, as there are subtle differences between how the male and female narrators pronounce some names and places. The readers also change their own pronunciations from one book to the next, but you can't expect them to remember how to pronounce everybody's name. As well, partway through the series they abruptly begin pronouncing Moghedien's name differently, among a number of other sudden changes.
    • The most problematic example, because it belongs to a main character who's introduced in chapter 1 and appears at least once in every book, is Nynaeve. Nobody automatically knows how to say that because it's not like any other name they've ever heard. Luckily the guide is at least consistent on this one.
    • The demonym for the people of Tarabon is, of course, pronounced "Tear-a-BONER."
  • Several of the names in The Jungle Book have this problem, particularly "Mowgli", which is almost never pronounced right (Rudyard Kipling specifically stated that the "Mow" of Mowgli rhymes with "cow"). Kipling included a pronunciation guide, "How to Say the Names in This Book", in All the Mowgli Stories (1933), but by then it may have been too late. Other examples include Shere Khan — Sheer Karn; Bagheera — Bag-eera (same as an "era" in history); Baloo — Bar-loo; and Akela — A-kay-la. When using this guide, however, it's important to remember that Kipling was employing the British silent "r" before a consonant, so "Sheer Karn" would be pronounced "Sheer Kahn". All clear?
  • On the subject of the correct pronunciation of the name "Aziraphale", Terry Pratchett says "It should be Azz-ear-raf-AY-lee, but we got into the habit of pronouncing it Azz-ear-raf-ail, so That is the right way now." The book itself features a spoof of how telephone operators tend to mispronounce peoples names.
  • Discworld:
    • And on the pronunciation of Magrat (which is meant to be a mispelling of "Margaret", so is presumably pronounced the same), he says: "Magrat is pronounced Magg-rat. Doesn't matter what I think is right — everyone I've heard pronounce it has pronounced it Maggrat."
    • And then there was the Angua fiasco. Word of God has it that Angua is pronounced "'Ang' as in Anger, 'u' as in you, 'a' as in a thing."
    • The seraph of Al-Ybi, who's mentioned in passing in a couple of books, is presumably covered by the footnote in one or other of the books which mentions that Al-Ybi is famous as the place criminal suspects always claim to have been on the night in question.
    • "'And I am Lio!rt Dragonlord,' said the hanging man, pronouncing the word with a harsh click in the back of the throat that Rincewind could only think of as a kind of integral punctuation." (The Colour of Magic), a reference to the click sound found in the !Xhosa and other languages.
    • Lu-Tze is another example, lampshaded in Raising Steam:
      Ridcully: He is known as Lu-Tze, a name that strikes fear into those who don't know how to pronounce it, let alone spell it.
    • Tony Robinson's audiobooks pronounce Ankh-Morpork with a glottal click on the "kh" and Lancre as "Lon-cruh", presumably after the French witch-hunter Pierre de l'Ancre. Elsewhere it's generally agreed that Lancre is pronounced to rhyme with "banker".
    • Hogfather has the creepy assassin Mr. Teatime (Teh-ah-tim-eh), who gets annoyed at people pronouncing it wrong, but strangely (considering his psychopathy), it isn't a Berserk Button for him. (The movie pronunciation [Tay-ah-teem-eh] is a result of Marc Warren not doing his research.)
  • Clive Barker's Imajica has some extremely bizarre names for places and people, such as "Hapexamendios", "Yzordderrex", and "Pie 'oh' Pah". Word of God is that the correct pronunciation is whatever the reader wants it to be. Same for Abarat, though not so extreme.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia had this issue with Jadis's name. The animated film and BBC adaptations used 'jah-dis'. The Walden Media films went with 'jay-dis'.
  • The Five Star Stories, home of such linguistic nightmares as Qukey, Kclapp, Nukkundolah Swans (which Word of God has apparently decreed is supposed to be pronounced Su-BAH-su), A-toll, Partolk Crytharis, Myoury Kinky, Wascha Codante & many others.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Having a working knowledge of French, Greek, and Old English helps, but even the primary cast members have names that fans can't agree on. Is Tiecelin pronounced Tee-cell-in or is it Ty-cell-in?
  • George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire: Word of God is that readers can pronounce them however they want to, though Martin's personal pronunciations come out during public readings. When the series was adapted for television as Game of Thrones, the showrunners got Martin's pronunciations and made them "official." Here's a Making-Of special with some of them.
    • While it's easy for book readers to assume that Catelyn Stark's name is a an odd spelling of "Caitlin", her nickname is "Cat", as in the feline, and in the show everybody calls her "Kat-e-lin" (as in "Katherine").
    • This is made even worse by the fact that audiobooks for the series have been done by two different readers so far, who sometimes agreed and sometimes not. And occasionally both were at odds with the author, who doesn't always pronounce his names consistently anyway. The most obvious problem is how to pronounce Jaime Lannister's first name. Is it "Hai-may", as in Spanish? Homophonous to English "Jamie"? Is it only one syllable similar to "James" without the "s"? Is it one syllable but pronounced some other way? Who knows?
    • Brienne of Tarth is a point of contention between the two audiobook readers, with one rendering it "bree-ENNE" and the other "bry-EEN". The TV show went with the former.
    • Ditto Petyr Baelish, whose first name is alternately pronounced "pet-TIRE" or like the real-world name "Peter".
    • One of the few points that almost everyone seems to agree upon is that the "ae" construction common in names of Valyrian descent (e.g. Aemon, pronounced "AY-mun"), should be pronounced like the "a" in "fame", but even that has exceptions: "Daenerys" is nearly always pronounced "dun-AIR-iss" (possibly because the diminutive "Dany" tends to be pronounced like the English "Danny"), and while most render "Maester" as "MACE-tur", there are those who will insist on either "master" or "meister." And then there's poor Aenys Frey...
    • Is Tyrell pronounced with a stressed Y or not? While it is usually pronounced TIE-rell, at one point Robert Baratheon pronounces it to rhyme with squirrel.
    • No two fans can seem to agree on how to pronounce the Dornish house Yronwood. Cases have been made for Ironwood, EE-RAHN-WOOD, YER-RAHN-WOOD, and AIR-UHN-WOOD.
  • Good luck with some of the Edenist names in Peter Hemilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy. The enhanced humans have names like Syrinx, Eysk, Sinon, and Athene. The voidhawks and blackhawks, Edenist-designed ships, are even worse, with names like Oenone and Udat. Then there are the aliens. Most of the Edenist names are classical, which makes it a little easier, but how the heck do you pronounce "Kiint"?
  • St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre always trips people up: it's pronounced "Sinjin", not "Saint John".
  • Margaret Oliphant's novel Miss Marjoribanks prompted some puzzled queries from her Victorian contemporaries. According to Word of God, it's "Marchbank".
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe is all over this trope.
    • Wedgan'tilles vs. Wedge Antilles for starters. Is the Y in Kyp a lax /I/ or the diphthong /ai/? Then you get Jabba's full name, Jabba Desilijic Tiure.
    • And, on that note, does anyone here know how exactly to pronounce "C'baoth"? Se-BAY-oth? Kuh-BOWth? See-BOTH? Any takers? In the margin notes of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Heir To The Empire, Timothy Zahn states that it's "SA-Bay-oth", and wryly notes "If I'd realized how hard it was going to be for everyone else to figure it out, I would have changed the spelling." He also says that the audiobooks tended to confuse the issue and vary; apparently there was one pronunciation guide that got Tatooine wrong. It doesn't help that some foreign language translations tend to assume the hard "K" pronunciation of the first "C".
    • In the audiobook of the Thrawn Trilogy — which is abridged to the point of losing most of its plot — Dennis Lawson, who played Wedge, pronounces Antilles as "Aun-till-is".
    • There's also the love of Wedge's life, Iella. Ee-ella or Eye-ella? Stackpole says it's the second.
    • Thrawn's full name is Mitth'raw'nuruodo. Myth-raw-nuroo-odo? Mi-thrawn-uruodo? The Star Wars Retrospective thinks it's more like Mitthraw-nuru-odo. All we know is that according to Outbound Flight, people hearing his name for the first time have a decided tendency to mispronounce it, and some never manage to say it correctly at all. In-universe, this is why he chose to go with his core name among the non-Chiss. His brother Thrass is initially reluctant to let humans use his core name, but relents after hearing them mangle his full name Mitth'ras'safis.
  • Kahlan from Sword of Truth is intuitively pronounced "KAH-lan" or maybe "ka-LAHN", although Word of God, the TV series, and (some of the) the audio books inexplicably pronounce it "KAY-lan". The odd pronunciation (what with that tricky "h" and all) probably comes from the pronunciation of Rachel Kahlandt's name, since that is quite obviously where Goodkind came up with Kahlan's name.
  • The Eye of Argon: How is "Grignr" pronounced? And that's nothing compared to the words Theis made up for no clear reason and with no clear meaning, such as "scozsctic."
  • W.I.T.C.H.: An early ad for the books pronounced Taranee as "tear a knee", but the TV series — the English version, anyway — pronounced it like "tuh Ronnie".
  • Drizz't Do'Urden. Is it "Dri-zit?" "Drisst?" Something completely different? "Drisst" appears to be correct. At the very least, it isn't "Dri-zit". (One book had someone mishear his name upon first meeting him. "The Drizzits are coming!") Likewise is his panther pronounced Guinevere, or Guen-Hwy-Var? In an audio collection of short stories, most readers pronounce the start of his last name last name like the word "do." Ice T pronounces it "dow."
  • In Byron's poem Don Juan, he rhymes "Juan" with "ruin" and "true one", suggesting he was pronouncing it "Joo-un". But most people pronounce it the Spanish way, "H-wonn". In light of the other Painful Rhymes in that poem (most of them Lampshaded), the mispronunciation was most likely deliberate. Byron's name is usually made to rhyme with "eye-ron" but actually should be said as if spelt 'birrun'.
  • The Neverending Story had Xayide. The (sequel to the) movie settled on "Zai-ee-duh".
  • Joan Hess got tired of people calling the town of Maggody, where her Arly Hanks mysteries are set, "Mah-goad-ee", so added some scenes where residents correct others' pronunciation, or rhyme it with "raggedy" in a song.
  • Fans of The Gray Chronicles are still debating how to pronounce the main character's first name, Taques. The fact that he's got both Brazilian and French heritage leads to an impressive amount of Fan Wank about it. This is precisely why he goes by Gray, which is actually his middle name, but he got tired of people who couldn't say Roreau properly. And yes, fandom can't figure that name out either. The series hangs a lampshade on this so often it's a Running Gag at this point.
  • Dune is full of Arabic and Arabic-derived words that, to this day, no two books-on-tape will render the same way. (Try pronouncing "Kwisatz Haderach" at first glance, for example.)
  • David (and Leigh) Eddings do provide one pronunciation hint in their Belgariad/Malloreon series: during a conversation with Belgarion, Ce'nedra tells him that her name actually starts with a soft "X" sound, like every dryad-kin's does (i.e. everyone in-world is pronouncing it wrong). As for every other name you encounter in that world... good luck and happy guessing.
  • The first two audio books of The Dresden Files pronounce Marcone with a long 'e' at the end: Mar-CONE-ee. For the third audiobook, there is an introduction from Jim Butcher, mostly about how the series hits its stride here at Grave Peril. From that point on, Marcone has been pronounced as simply: Mar-CONE. Perhaps he said something about it when he recorded the intro. (incidentally, the sound editing also gets much better at around book three.) Lamshaded in-series: in Changes, Harry comes across a monster called the Ik'k'uox. He resorts to calling it 'the Ick'
  • The Tortall novels by Tamora Pierce don't have pronunciation guides (even in the books that have lists of all the characters in the back) but there is a guide available on Pierce's website. Of course, by the time you get there you may be too set in your ways to change your preferred pronunciation.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four: Ingsoc. It's a Portmanteau of "English Socialism" so it is probably meant to be pronounced "Ingsosh", but one has to wonder why they didn't just spell it that way, especially since they were willing to change "England" to "Ing" instead of "Eng". There's a long tradition of abbreviating society in English schools and universities (e.g. French Soc, run by the Clubs and Socs Sec) and UK readers would interpret "...soc" as ending with a hard C. While "society" is not "socialism", Orwell's original readers might be assumed to be comfortable with the construction thing-soc. For the same reason, Eng Soc would be parsed as Engineering Society by many. The "soc." prefix in USENET newsgroups stands for "Social", but an Englishman would more likely pronounce it "sock".
  • Lampshaded in The Well of Lost Plots:
    "Mr. Grnksghty?"
    "How do you pronounce your name?"
  • Dismayed by how badly readers mispronounced his Fenarian (read: Hungarian) and Dragaeran names, Steven Brust added a pronunciation guide to the compilation editions of his Dragaera novels.
  • Dracula. The original appearance of the title character, pop culture would have you pronounce it "Drack You Luh" but there's also "Druck Ool" or "Thruck oo la".note  This problem extends to any character named Alucard.
  • The Wicked Years:
    • The protagonist of Wicked is named "Elphaba": If you read the book before seeing the musical and don't know the gag behind the name (not having been given a personal name in the original books, the Wicked Witch of the West is named in honour of L. Frank Baum's initials in Maguire's series), there's every chance you'll pronounce it with the stresses in the wrong places: El-PHA-ba rather than ELPH-a-ba. Somewhat ironic considering the pains taken to ensure that everyone knows Glinda's name is meant to be pronounced with two syllables and an extra "a" (GA-linda), although this is justified as it affects a minor plot point later in the book.
    • "Animal" and specific Animal names themselves. "Animals" (with an uppercase) are Civilized Animals and politics involving them are a big issue in Oz, while animals are just normal animals. "Animal" and "animal" are pronounced differently, as are words like "Goat" and "goat", however it's never quite told how they're pronounced differently. The only hint is that they're enunciated differently.
  • Ender's Game averts this for the most part: people with strangely pronounced names get an explanation at some point. Some examples are "Bonzo" (pronounced in the Spanish manner: "Bahn-tho") and, in the sequels, "Achilles" (pronounced in the French manner: "Ah-sheel"). The latter pronunciation actually becomes a minor plot point, when a character (who has only read the name) pronounces it in the English manner, only to be called out on reading someone else's mail. The sequels, which had a large number of Portuguese and Chinese characters, had pronunciation guides in the appendices.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • For the first eleven books of the series, the audiobook reader Allyson Johnson pronounced "Manticoran" as "Man-TICK-or-an", thanks to a misunderstood e-mail from David Weber. In subsequent books, she pronounces it "Man-ti-CORE-an".
    • Depending on your knowledge of the root language, some other names in the book can cause confusion when talking to other fans — is Silesia "si-LEEJ-ah" or "sil-es-ee-ah"? Is Andermani "and-er-man-ee", "ahnd-er-mahn-ee", or "and-er-mahn-ee"?
    • Victor Cachat has been called "ka-chat", "ka-shay", "cah-shat", and "ka-khat", at least. We finally get a pronunciation guide for his name in Torch of Freedom (its "cah-shah").
    • This applies to a number of Havenite names, which some audiobook readers pronounce in the French manner, while others go with the English pronunciation. For example, Oscar Saint-Just's last name can be read as "sahn-ZHOOST" or "saint-DZHAHST".
  • Pointedly averted in More Than This. The narration notes the phonetics of "Regine" and "Tomasz" when they first introduce themselves.
  • The character names in Relativity are straightforward enough... except for Zephyra; is it "ZEF er ah" or "zeh FEER ah"? And good luck figuring out Pechyvych.
  • Star Carrier:
    • Alien names in the books can be very difficult to figure out how to pronounce, although the audiobooks help, assuming the narrator was coached by William H. Keith, Jr.. It's specifically stated that most of these names come from the Agletsch (apparently, pronounced "ahg-LES-tia"), since all aliens in this 'verse are of the Starfish Alien type, and not all even communicate by sound. The "Turusch" are a relatively easy example ("too-ROOSH"), while the "H'rulka" (hah-ROOL-kah) are more difficult. Then you got the "Grdoch" (the only name that doesn't come from the Agletsch) and is pronounced as if there was an "i" between the "r" and the "d" with the ending sounding Scottish.
    • The author also has some fun by having the Sh'daar Masters have their own extremely-complicated names for their vassal races. For example, the Agletsch are called "Nu-Grah-Grah-Es Trafhyedrefschladreh". Good luck.
  • English-speaking readers might struggle with some of the character names for Les Misérables. Commonly mispronounced names include Javert ("ja-VEAR") and Enjolras ("ON-jol-ras" is probably about as close as you can get). And that's not getting into the title itself — there's a reason why fans generally refer to it as "Les Mis" (or "the Brick").
  • Dæmons in His Dark Materials, both the author Philip Pullman (on his self-narrated audiobook) and the film pronounce it as "DEE-mon". Although a fair percentage of the fandom still gravitate toward "DAY-mon".
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Sanderson mentions that Kaladin's name is pronounced "Kal-uh-deen", but everyone (including Sanderson himself) ends up calling him "Kal-uh-din" instead. By the second book, Sanderson has apparently given up; Rock uses the "Kaluhdeen" pronunciation, which Kaladin notes is wrong.
    • In interviews, Sanderson pronounces "Jasnah" as "Yasnah", like a Scandinavian name. There is no hint of this in the books.
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: No indication was given of how to pronounce "Fafhrd" until Fritz Leiber wrote their origin story, in which, in a whimsical touch typical of the series, the Mouser's response to Fafhrd introducing himself is to straight-up ask him "How do you pronounce that?"
  • How do you pronounce the name that translates as the Lord of the Flies? BEEL-zuh-bub, be-EL-zeh-bub, or BELL-zee-bub? be-EL-zeh-bub is probably the best, as the word derives from the word Ba'al, meaning Lord in several Semitic languages. It's pronounced with two syllables, with a glottal stop in the middle. And it's how Queen pronounced it in "Bohemian Rhapsody", and they are the highest earthly authority.
  • The Outsiders has the local rich kids being called "Socs". At first glance it seems it's pronounced "socks", but it's "soc" as in "social".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed: Leo frequently falls victim to this whenever he has to pronounce a name from mythology:
    • The Valkyrie queen Freyja gets pronounced 'fray-jah', when every other character says 'frey-ah'.
    • Hippolyta gets pronounced 'hippo-leeta' instead of 'hip-ol-ita'.
  • Saturday Night Live had a skit in 1992 starring Nicholas Cage, where he and his pregnant wife Julia Sweeney were discussing baby names. He would shut down every suggestion she had by claiming kids would make fun of their son's name: Joseph would become Joe Blow, William would be Willie Wonka, and "no Peter, no Dick, no Rod!" Finally, they receive a telegram, and the deliverer (played by Rob Schneider) reads it out to them: "Congratulations to Asswipe and Emily on your new bundle of joy! Love, Bob and Jennifer." Nicholas leans in and says, "It's pronounced Oz-wee-pay."
  • The Goodies episode "Bunfight at the OK Tea Room" has an Overly Long Gag about the pronunciation of the word "scone". The joke is that both the long-O and short-O pronunciations are correct, and which one is favoured depends on the region.
  • Buffy:
    • When a new monster appeared whose name pronunciation wasn't obvious, whoever first said the name on-screen got to decide the proper pronunciation and everyone else had to follow suit.
    • Especially jarring in "School Hard", when Spike speaks it for the first time, rendering something closer to Ahn-jeh-LUS.
    • That explains why they insist on AnGELus rather than ANgelus.
    • Lampshaded at least once, of course. "Maybe it's Mmmmmm-Fashnik, like 'mmmmm cookies!'"
      Spike: Oh, balls. You didn't say the thing was a Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik.
      Xander: Because I can't say Glarkgkl...
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The series had problems with the pronunciation of the main enemies, the Goa'uld, that seemed integrated into the characters. More carefully-spoken characters like Teal'c would pronounce it "go-AH-oold." O'Neill, on the other hand, pronounced it "GOULD."
    • Each SG-1 team member seemed to have their own way of pronouncing the name, each of them unique but internally consistent: Teal'c had his Chris-Judge-is-overpronouncing style, O'Neill had his flat Northern Middle-American. Michael Shanks had the compromise with "Go-Uld" and Amanda Tapping's Canadian-by-way-of-England gave us something like to "Go-Old". The best is Don Davis (from Missouri) playing Hammond (of Texas) drawling out "Gewld." This was actually lampshaded in the series, when they corrected an official document which spelled it as "Gould".
    • Also, the alien Tok'ra and Asgard consistently pronounce it as "Gah-oold." Perhaps intentionally, as a slur. Especially since the word literally means "god" in their language. Who wants to keep calling their enemies "gods"?
    • This briefly became Truth in Television when the geeks at the National Defense University in Washington ran a wargame. Wanting exotic-sounding names, they seized on the Goa'uld and the Ja'ffa as rival pirate clans in a fictional Gulf state. Thus, for a few days, US military personnel were struggling with (and inventing their own wild pronunciations for) the names of two fictional alien races.
    • Stargate Atlantis was similarly inconsistent with the name "Daedalus". There are a number of acceptable pronunciations in Real Life for this name, but 'ded-a-lis' isn't one of them.
    • The Kelownans originally called them the "Guld", but only because they were looking at old manuscripts. Teal'c corrected them.
    • An early episode has Kowalski possessed by a Goa'uld symbiote. For some reason, he pronounces "Jaffa" as "Yaffa". No one else does this.
  • During the improvisations over the closing credits of the original, British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, contestants got a lot of mileage out of the name of video editor Mykola Pawluk.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation, is Spock's father's name pronounced "Sar-eck", or "Sare-eck"? It's used both ways, yet I'm very sure it's supposed to be the first.
    • In TOS, the now iconic Klingons ("Cling-ons") are sometimes pronounced "Cling-ins" or "Cling-gons."
    • Can you figure out how to say Guinan without hearing it? (It's Guy-nun. Like Ruislip. What do you mean that doesn't help?)
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, everyone, including the character himself, alternates between pronouncing his name "Quark" (the way it's spelt) and "Quork" and some weird mixture of both.
  • Red Skies, a 2002 Pilot Movie set in Los Angeles, features a Chinese female police officer who teams up with an FBI task-force. The surname of the chief villain is Zhou, and the cast's pronunciation varies from perfect (the female lead is Chinese actor Vivian Wu) to all-over-the-place. Given the background, this is completely realistic, and actually adds to characterisation.
  • There's a hilarious example of this in the Poirot episode "The Disappearance of Mr Davenheim":
    Deliveryman with parrot: Mornin', sir, I've got a parrot for Mr. Poy-rot.
    Poirot: "Pwah-ROW." It is pronounced "pwah-ROW."
    Deliveryman: Oh, I beg your pardon, guvnor. I've got a pwah-row for Mr. Poyrot. (hands Poirot the cage)
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Daleks", the actors are still split pretty evenly between how to pronounce the "a" in "Dalek" — some characters (Ian, some of the Thals, the Doctor) say it like the 'a' in 'cat' and others (like the Daleks themselves) say it like the 'a' in 'father' (the pronunciation the show eventually standardised).
    • Actors in the Doctor Who serial "The Daemons" don't seem to be in agreement as to whether the word is pronounced "DAY-mons" or "DEE-mons".
    • The director of "The Time Warrior" wanted the potato-headed warrior race to be called "SON-tarans", but Kevin Lindsay, the actor playing Linx, insisted on referring to them as "son-TAR-ans". According to Elisabeth Sladen, this was eventually resolved when Lindsay announced, "It's son-TAR-an, and since I'm from the fucking place, I should know." This eventually received a bit of gentle mocking in the New series episode "The Sontaran Stratagem", when Donna insists on calling them "SON-tarans", with the Doctor repeatedly having to correct her.
    • Gallifrey:
      • The Fourth Doctor had an unusual habit, unique amongst all the Doctors, of pronouncing the name of his own home planet "Gallifrey" as "Galli-free". Perhaps a mistake? Perhaps the religiously-orientated actor interpreting it as a reference to "Galilee"? Other characters and Doctors all say "Galli-fray". This was fondly remarked upon enough to get a Mythology Gag in the audio drama "Dr. Who and the Pirates" in which the Sixth Doctor forces a rhyme in a song by using the 'Gallifree' pronunciation for that one line alone.
      • Leela starts saying "Gallifree" as well.
      • Drax, a Time Lord in The Armageddon Factor, also consistently says "Gallifree".
      • Tom Baker's character in "Day of the Doctor" says "Galli-fray" rather than the Fourth Doctor's tradmark "Gallifree". This is significant, possibly.
      • In Whatever Happened To Susan Foreman?, Susan (played, like everyone else in the cast, by The Other Darrin) uses the 'Gallifree' pronunciation, says "Menoptera" with three syllables ("men-op-tra") and pronounces "Yetaxa" "yet-AX-a" instead of the pronounciation used in "The Aztecs" itself ("yi-TASHA").
    • In syndication in the US, narration sections were added by Howard da Silva, who had not seen the stories or been given any briefing, leading to some garbled interpretations of names, such as "Darvrose" for "Davros".
    • If your only exposure to "The Ark In Space" was the novelisation (as it was for many fans), you would be forgiven for thinking "Wirrn" was pronounced to rhyme with "burn". It's actually pronounced to rhyme with "(Helen) Mirren".
    • In "The Brain of Morbius", every character pronounces Solon's name "Sollon" except for Morbius, who says "SO-lon". (The Doctor also calls him "SO-lon" in one instance at the beginning of Part 4.)
    • "The Seeds of Doom" features a Krynoid. Pronounced "Krinnoid", not "Cry-noid".
    • "The Face of Evil" introduces Leela, a character who fights with toxic Janis thorns. These were originally pronounced 'JANiss' until Tom Baker commented that 'Janice Thorn' sounded Narmfully like 'the name of an out-of-work Soap Opera actress', and suggested the pronunciation 'Jane-us' instead (which added a bit of a Faux Symbolism frisson as well).
    • "Nightmare of Eden" features a ship called the Hecate. Nobody seems sure if that makes it the "Hec-ayte" or the "Hec-a-tee".
  • MythQuest: When Alex and Cleo investigate a Welsh myth, Alex has plenty of trouble with the Welsh spellings. In a later episode, he struggles with Aztec names as well.
  • The Muppet Show: The pink cow-like creatures known as the Snowths (who provide backup for Mahna Mahna). Since the creatures' names are never made audible, fans have been confused as to the correct pronunciation; some pronounce it the way it is spelled, "Snow-th", however, because the creatures' names are supposed to be derived from the words "Snout" and "mouth" (and they are cow-like), some fans pronounce it as, "Sn-OW-th".
  • In Suburgatory Dalia's name was usually pronounced Day-lia in season one, but changed to Dah-lia in season two. Most of the time.
  • The Price Is Right: One woman mispronounces the brand name "Tidy Cats" (video).
  • Throughout the premier miniseries of Battlestar Galactica (2003), Lt. Felix Gaeta has his name mangled by several characters, some pronouncing it "Gay-taa" while others calling him "Guy-taa". By the time the series proper begins everyone pronounces his name the correct way: "Gay-taa".
  • In Soolin's first episode in Blake's 7, her boyfriend Dorian pronounces her name as a Deep South style "Sue Lynn". Everybody else, including her, pronounces it as one word with the stress on the first syllable.
  • A rather perplexing example in La Caméra Explore le Temps, as the name itself isn't very complicated; but one of the witnesses in the "Courrier de Lyon" case has his name pronounced as "Chérau" by the court president and "Chérou" by the usher, while he introduces himself as "Chéron".
  • Abby Sciuto from NCIS has a last name that's almost impossible to pronounce without hearing it spoken first. This becomes a plot point when she visits a pharmaceutical lab that gets taken over by criminals and one of them correctly says her name despite her not saying it in front of him. It helps her realize that her new acquaintance (whom she introduced herself to earlier) is in on the attack.
  • There's no consensus in BattleBots as to how to pronounce the name of the robot called Sharkoprion. The commentators call it "shar-KOP-pree-on," whereas Faruq Tareed, who introduces the bots before they fight, calls it "SHARK-oh-PREE-un."
  • Game of Thrones's show-exclusive character Talisa Maegyr introduces herself as 'ta-liss-ah' but every other time she's referred to as 'ta-lee-sah'.

  • The beatmania IIDX song "AA" has no official pronunciation. It's been pronounced as "A-A", "double A" and "double A's", among other things. To further the confusion, IIDX and Dance Dance Revolution sort it under 'A', but a remix of it named "AA BlackY Mix" appears in Sound Voltex, which sorts it under the kana ダ, presumably for its Fan Nickname ダブルエース ("Double Ace").
  • The Pop N Music song (and IIDX transplant) "?????". Yes, Fs with hooks, as in the musical notation. Is it pronounced "five F", "five forte" (or "five forté" — see below), "pentaforte", "Five Hammer" (actually the credited artist), "Hard P?" (actually the genre, and its name in the song list in PNM), "fortisisisisimo", or just "FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFU-"?
  • Aphex Twin's Drukqs. "Drucks"? "Druck-yoos"? And that's not even getting into the track titles.
  • Averted in Lynyrd Skynyrd's debut album, (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd). That's the name of the album.
  • Autechre are kings of this trope, down to their name ("aw-TEK-er" being the commonly accepted pronounciation.) Most song titles range anywhere from "Perlence" and "Cipater" to "Cep puiqMX" and "Cfern".
  • Magma sing in their own invented language, so it's anyone's guess as to the pronunciation of the words, to give an especially extreme example, "Scxyss."
  • The first time Avril Lavigne appeared on MTV's Total Request Live, the first thing host Carson Daly did was ask her how her name is pronounced. It's "AV-rill Luh-VEEN". Daly had previously been calling her "Uh-VRIL Luh-VEEN".
  • Heavy Metal Umlauts are almost always wrong, but that doesn't stop people trying to pronounce them anyway, especially if they speak a language that actually uses umlauts. Motley Crue concerts in Germany often have fans chanting "Moo-ert-lee Croo-eh" The heavy metal band Trojan made a faux pas in Sweden by applying umlaut over the 'o' on their concert T-shirts. The swedish word tröjan means simply "the shirt". Applying the umlaut over the a ("Trojän") would pretty well approximate its real pronunciation. Averted by Finnish hero metal band Teräsbetoni, where the umlaut is NOT gratuituous. The name means "reinforced concrete" in Finnish.
  • The name of the Finnish heavy metal band Children of Bodom is a shibboleth. The band is from Espoo, Finland. An Espoo native would pronounce it "boo-dum", while everyone else will pronounce it "bow-dom" or "boddom". The name refers to Lake Bodom and the unresolved murders of 1963.
  • Many a fan of Can has pondered over just how the hell you pronounce the names of the albums Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi. (It's "TAH-go MAH-go" and "EGG-uh BUM-yuh-see.")
  • Rammstein use their name in a handful of songs and it's definitely pronounced Rahm-Shtine. That doesn't stop American DJs from prouncing it Ram-Steen.
  • The Japanese band "7!!", which is pronounced "seven oops." The pronunciation is usually pointed out or even used in place of the real name, because Google doesn't know how to search for "7!!".
  • The British band Sade pronounced "Sha-DAY", is often mispronounced "Sah-day" or "Shar-day".
  • The band "!!!". To add to the confusion, it's apparently supposed to be pronounced "chk chk chk".
  • No one is really sure if the "bow" in David Bowie is pronounced like the bow of a ship, or like a bow-tie.
  • Spike Jones and Homer And Jethro titled their Take That! against Pagliacci phonetically, as "Pal Yat Chee" or "Pal-Yat-Chee". The casual fan of either who might agree with their take on Opera is thereby more likely to pronounce the opera's name right.

    • This was the case with most names until the writer started handing out the correct pronunciations to fans. Encyclopedias also had guides on how on pronounce names, but other forms of media (like video games or movies, even the writer himself in his podcast) still had them confused. The most infamous case is that of Lewa: is it "Ley-wuh", "Leh-wuh", perhaps "Lee-wuh", or "Loo-ah"? Other names beginning with "Le-" also have this issue.
    • Further, the Inika are variably called "ee-Nigh-kuh" and "ee-Nee-kuh", and the names of Onua and Onewa or Krekka and Krika are often mixed up. The second movie differentiated between Onua and Onewa by pronouncing the latter as "Oh-ne-wah", while an early European promo CD used "oh-Ney-wah". Sadly, another promo CD pronounced it as "Onua".
    • Names like Kraata, Gaaki, Kiina or Avohkii are also pronounced with double-vowels in some media and with long vowels in others.
    • Kopeke's pronounced as "ko-Peek", but many fans go by the pronunciation they had heard in their heads ("ko-Pe-ke) before the official one was made clear. Jaller has it the other way around: his name was spelled as "Jala" at first, and "Jaller" is supposed to be said the same way, but some fans pronounce his new spelling with an "-er" at the end.
    • Some dubs of the first movie pronounce Pewku ("Poo-koo") as "Pev-koo".
    • Guurahk is predominantly pronounced as "Goo-rahk" by fans and the narrator on his promo CD, although "Ger-rahk" is the official way of saying it. Some sources also interpret it as "Jer-rahk".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000:
    • Tzeentch. Given that it's a god, it only seems appropriate that there's an endless number of pronunciations used by the fanbase. 'Zeench' is the most common, the 't' being silent. 'Tuh-zeench' and 'zeen-tish' are other possibilities. Dawn of War showed the first pronunciation being used.
    • As for 'Tau', the argument is about whether it rhymes with 'cow' or with 'core'. Assuming the Tau pronounce it the same way the Greeks did, it's actually "taw".
    • Depending on who you ask, Tyranid is either pronounced 'tie-ranid' or 'tee-ranid'. They were named after the planet Tyran Primus, whose name was derived from 'tyrant', so it depends on whether you choose to look at the modern English or the original Greek pronunciation.
    • The C'tan are called 'Suh-tan' half the time and 'Kuh-tan' the other half.
    • Official sources were uninformative when asked how to pronounce "lasgun".
    • Roboute Guilliman. For decades, the lack of any distinctive pronunciation guide gave rise to a downright bewildering array of potential pronunciations. 1d4chan poked fun at this by offering some alternatives (Rowboat Girlyman, Rawbutt Jellyman, Robot Gulliver, etc). Hilariously, even Games Workshop couldn't get it straight for a while — [THQ's] Warhammer 40000 Space Marine video game gave one of the first out-loud pronunciations and went with "Ro-BOOT GWEEL-iman", but Games Workshop has since switched to "Ro-BOOT-ay GILL-uh-man", which they seem to be sticking with.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade:
    • One was the vampire clan Tzimisce, which was so awkward that not only did nobody know how to pronounce it, nobody could even get into flame wars about it because it was just that confusing. Eventually, White Wolf released a revised edition of the game that included a pronunciation — fittingly, one almost nobody had thought of (zhi-mee-see).
    • On the other hand, there has been no clarification on the clan Tremere — while most pronounce it "treh-MEER", there are some who insist it's "TREH-meh-ray". And then there are those of us that insist on "TREH-mare". One edition did specify "treh-MEER". Some fans thought that the Latin was too doggy even for them, and continued to pronounce it "TREH-meh-reh". Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, which was fully voiced, used 'Treh-MEER'. Though, despite having one as part of a subplot, "Tzimisce" only appears on a health meter and player dialogue options. "Tzimisces" is a Greek word, (a name, specifically), by way of Armenian.
    • There's also a debate over the pronunciation of Clan Brujah. (Broo-JAH vs. Broo-HA)
  • Some die hard Werewolf: The Apocalypse players insist the pronunciation of Metis (werewolf on werewolf offspring) is 'MET-is' despite 'MAY-tee' being a term for mixed race, used throughout the Americas for centuries. White Wolf hates language. Then again, there's also a Real Life example of the first pronunciation, a minor pagan deity, also Greek. MET-isse and MAY-tee are both correct when referring to the mixed races. In French Canada, MAY-tee (Métis) is masculine, and MET-is (Metisse) is feminine.
  • Exalted has everyone's favorite middle-management fate ninjas, the Sidereal Exalts. In the best White Wolf tradition, the preferred fan pronunciation (sid-EHR-ee-al) has largely trumped Webster (sigh-DEER-ee-al), even among those who know better.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Dark Elf race, the Drow. Officially, it can be pronounced one of two ways — rhyming with "cow" and rhyming with "know", and both are considered correct. Doesn't stop people from arguing that only their pronunciation is correct.
    • The Finnish translations of R. A. Salvatore and Elaine Cunningham seem to have decided to use declensions of the word "drow" that imply the end "w" is supposed to be pronounced as a consonant, which they must know would never appear in anything written in English.
    • It may be worth noting, however, that the Scottish folklore the Drow originated in used the "cow" pronunciation.
    • One of the Drizzt books has a rhyming dwarf who rhymes "drow" with "row".
    • On the topic of DND, the creator himself, Gary Gygax. It's pronounced GHEE-gacks. Even the official site got this wrong. Then so did an episode of Futurama he himself appeared in. And so did the man himself, although he mentions that in Switzerland they use GHEE-gacks.
    • Word of God, in response to a question in Dragon Magazine is that "flind" is pronounced to rhyme with "wind". Isn't that helpful?
    • Keith Baker, creator of the Eberron campaign setting, responds to all pronunciation questions about the world's innumerable hard-to-pronounce names is that all pronunciations are correct in one of the world's dialects.
    • Fans of Ravenloft's Strahd von Zarovich had to wait for the audiobook of I, Strahd to find out whether they'd been pronouncing the vampire darklord's first name wrong.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Sekki, Pronunciation's Guide, a defunct feature of the website which corrects mispronunciations of Magic's glut of terms. That feature ended before they could settle the pronunciation of Garruk. It's common to hear players pronounce it as either GAIR-rek with the emphasis on the first syllable or guh-ROOK with emphasis on the second. In a cutscene for one of the video games, Nicol Bolas pronounces it guh-ruhk with emphasis on neither syllable. Mark Rosewater later confirmed that Garruk rhymes with Eric.
  • Nobilis: Excrucians tend to have names based on medieval and Gothic words, and so it can be a bit hard to figure out how you're supposed to pronounce them.
  • Monopoly: "Reading Railroad" is commonly called the REED-ing Railroad, but it's actually the REDD-ing Railroad, which served Atlantic City until 1976 (and was named after the city in Pennsylvania and, by extension, the city in England).
  • BattleTech has the Huitzilopochtli Assault Tank, named after the Aztec god of war. It's known both in and out of universe as the Huey.

    Video Games 
  • Any of the Mohawk names in Assassin's Creed III, particularly the main character Ratohnhaké:ton. It's pronounced "Ra-don-ha-gay-don" in game but everyone just calls him Connor... which he was given by Achilles Davenport because "I am not even going to try to pronounce that."note 
    • In the previous game, Ezio's name is always pronounced correctly, but outside the game the pronunciations "Enzio" and "EE-zio" are often heard, and occasionally poked fun at by Ubisoft. The correct pronunciation is "ET-see-oh". Referenced in the second Sonic Twitter Takeover'', combined with an Actor Allusion (since Sonic's voice actor also voices Ezio):
      Eggman: That's right, it's him! Enzio! Or Ee-zio, or however you say it.
      Ezio: No no, my name is Et-see-oh-
      Eggman: (cutting him off, dismissively) Yes, nice, nice.
  • The final boss of the first two EarthBound games, which has been translated as both Giegue and Giygas. Guyguh? Gyiguh? Giygus? Guy-gas? Giga? Guygway? Guygyoo? Geeguh? There are no limits to the possible pronunciations, and no matter how unlikely it seems, there's at least one supporter for every possible pronunciation.
    • The original Japanese pronunciation is "Giigu", and it appears in the opening of Mother 2 as "Gyiyg". This suggests that "Giegue", at the least, is supposed to be pronounced "Gee-goo", though "Gyiyg" should probably be pronounced as either "Geeg" or "Gyeeg" (rhymes with Tweeg). "Giygas" is therefore likely "Gee-gas" or "Gee-gahs".
    • This official ad pronounces the English version "Guy-gus."
    • You cannot grasp the true form of Giygas' name!
    • The person who localized the name says it's pronounced as "Geegus".
    • There's also the issue of Lucas, the protagonist of MOTHER 3, whose name is deceptively harder to pronounce than it may look. Creator Shigesato Itoi has gone on record saying that he based Lucas off of a character, also named Lucas, from Agota Kristof's novel series The Book Of Lies. As the novel is French, it follows that Lucas's name, too, should be pronounced as though it is French, e.g. with a silent 's' as "luc-ah" rather than "luc-as". The rendering of Lucas's name in Japanese katakana as リュカ Ryuka, rather than ルーカス Ruukasu, also supports the French pronunciation. However, when Lucas made his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the game's announcer opted for the English pronunciation of the name, with a hard 's' sound. The No Export for You nature of Lucas's debut game, combined with the ease of using the Anglo-phonetic pronunciation for most English speakers, has rendered the issue essentially moot, but based on the katakana alone it would seem that "Lucas" was intended to be pronounced with a silent 's'.
  • Are the Draenei in World of Warcraft pronounced "DRAN-eye" or "DRAHN-eye"? The narrator in their intro pronounces it the first way. Characters in-game pronounce it the second way.
    • This is lampshaeded in one of the /silly jokes for Female Draenei.
    "Why does everyone have trouble with the name of our people? It sounds just like it is spelled."
    • Then there's the ongoing Heigan debate (is it HEE-gan, HAY-gan, or HIGH-gan?).note  Us WoW players also can't decide whether to use a hard CH or a soft CH (Archavon etc.)
    • Meanwhile, what's the difference between "x" and "xx" (Naxxramas, Axxarien, etc.) supposed to be?
    • There is also the age-old debate, stretching all they way back to the days of classic WoW, over the correct pronunciation of Scholomance. To be more precise, it comes down to whether the 'Sch' is pronounced as a hard 'Sk' sound as in 'school', or a soft 'Sh' sound. There was a lengthy forum thread on the subject and Blizzard later lampshaded this in their spoof April Fools' Day patch notes for 1.11: (It's "SKO-lo-mance", apparently).
    • The voice actors don't seem to agree on whether Sin'dorei is pronounced "sin-DOOR-ee" or "sin-dor-EYE".
    • Try getting someone who doesn't play the game to pronounce "Y'Shaarj" and see if they get anywhere remotely close to the correct pronunciation. (It's "YAH-sha-raj", pronounced to rhyme with "mirage.")
  • The Final Fantasy series... where to begin...
    • One of the longest-running debates in the fandom was whether the recurring Chocobo creatures were pronounced "choke-oh-bo", "chauk-oh-bo" or "chock-oh-bo". Square Enix eventually ended this one with a Lampshade Hanging in Final Fantasy VIII. Final Fantasy X finally confirmed the former pronunciation.
    • The names of both Bahamut and Ifrit find origins in old tales in ancient languages, so it was a surprise for most people to hear them pronounced Ba-ha-MOOT and EE-freet in Final Fantasy XII, rather than Ba-HA-mutt or i-FREET. Except in Final Fantasy XIII, Fang pronounces Bahamut as Ba-ha-mutt.
    • In Final Fantasy II, the character Josef's name should be pronounced like "Yosef", not "Joseph."
    • Starting to come up thanks to the Updated Re-release of Final Fantasy IV. In real life, both "SEE-sil" and "SES-sil" are used. Many people had assumed that Cecil had a long "E" in his name, like Cecil Turtle from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, and were thus surprised to hear it pronounced in-game with a short "E" to match the Se-shi-ru spelling in the Japanese version.
    • Final Fantasy VI:
      • In part because the character was renamed when the game was released outside of Japan, there's still no consensus on how to pronounce Sabin (known as Macias, nicknamed "Mash", in Japan).
      • Celes: "Seals", "SELL-lez", "KELL-lez" or "Se-LESS?" (Apparently the proper pronunciation is "se-LEESE." Though World of Final Fantasy pronunced it Se-LESS)
      • Gau: "Gow", "Gaw", or "Go"?
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • Happened to some extent with both Tifa and Yuffie, though most fans rationalised that Yuffie's name was an implictly Chinese name, Yu Fei.
      • Cait Sith in Final Fantasy VII. His name has never been voiced, apart from when Cid refers to him as merely "Cait" in one line of Dirge of Cerberus, pronouncing it like "Kate". It's actually pronounced "Kett shee", and is based on the Cat Sìth, a creature from Scottish folklore, which is pronounced the same way.
      • It seems like it should be obvious how Zack (as in Zack Fair) is pronounced, but the Japanese consistently spell (when writing in katakana) and pronounce his name like "Zacks", with a distinct "s" sound on the end. Similar with Rufus, who is "Roo-fows" (rhymes with "house") in Japanese media, rather than the more sensible "Roo-fuss".
      • There is some discrepancy between how to pronounce Sephiroth; the Japanese version pronounces it SEF-ee-roth, the English language versions always pronounce it Sef-er-roth. This despite the fact his second form's battle music has lyrics that include his name.
      • Before voice acting happened in the series, there was argument over how to pronounce the Turks' names. Reno was either Ren-oh, Ree-no or Ray-no (the katakana reading of "Reno" would indicate that "Ren-oh" is correct, but it's sometimes pronounced "Ray-no" by the English voice actors). Similarly, an English speaker would naturally pronounce Elena's name as "EL-en-a", but the katakana (Irīna) suggests her name is pronounced "I-LEE-na". Tseng's name was usually pronounced phonetically until Crisis Core showed it was actually pronounced "Tsahng", with a nasal sound at the end (and again, the katakana reading of "Tson" shows this).
      • Aerith. Possibly due to the continuing debate on how to spell her name (Aeris vs. Aerith), it's never been voice-acted at all. Correct pronunciation (according to the katakana reading, which is "Earisu") is Air-rith. Nonetheless there were people thinking it was 'eh-rith' or even 'ee-rith' until Crisis Core confirmed that it was 'air-rith'.
      • This is lampshaded in a video by Dorkly Originals called "Final Fantasy VII Controversy". Cloud, Tifa and Red XIII confront Sephiroth in the North Crater, and Cloud prepares to summon Neo-Bahamut (Nee-oh Ba-HA-mutt). Sephiroth corrects him that it's pronounced "Ba-ha-MOOT", but Tifa agrees with Cloud's pronunciation. Cloud prepares to drink an Ether (ETH-er) to get more "Mako Points" (pronouncing "Mako" as "May-ko" instead of "Mah-Ko" like in the games), whereupon Tifa corrects him that MP stands for Magic Points, and Red XIII says that it's Mana Points. Cloud rebukes Red XIII, pronouncing his name as "Red Ex-Eye-Eye-Eye", and upon Red's incredulence sarcastically retorts "Oh, I'm sorry, is it Red Shee? I never know how to pronounce Asian names? Why can't you have a simple name like TIE-fa?" Tifa corrects him to "Tee-fa", while Sephiroth remarks he thought it was Tiff-uh. Cloud angrily retorts that he didn't ride his Golden Chock-o-noh all the way from Nibble-heem to get a lesson in pronunciation, and urges the party to stop Sef-a-roth before he can summon Muh-TAY-or. Then, in the end, when Cloud finally summons Neo-Bahamut, the confused Summon can't figure out how to pronounce his own name, and just goes with "RED DRAGON!"
    • What about Quistis from VIII? It's commonly mispronounced as "Quiss-tis" when it's supposed to be pronounced "Kees-tis". But World of Final Fantasy adds more to the confusion and goes for "Quiss-tis".
    • Then there's Zidane from Final Fantasy IX. Zy-DANE? Zid-dan-NEE? Zid-NEE? Zee-DANE? Zih-DANE? The suggestion coming closest to the original katakana, read Ji-ta-n, is "Zee-DAHN", like the footballer. It's actually supposed to be Gitan (pronounced zhee-TAN and transliterated as Jitan), which is French for gypsy. The translators mistook that for the name of a French soccer player.
    • And what of his diminutive summoner sidekick, Eiko? Ee-ko? Eye-ko? According to World of Final Fantasy, apparently it's Ay-ko.
    • Tidus' name is never spoken out loud in Final Fantasy X or Final Fantasy X-2, and it's even inconsistent in Kingdom Hearts. Usually fans just apply their language's own rules for vowels in words (Spanish and Japanese would assume a 'e' sound, English would assume a hard vowel) while others say Meaningful Names should be pronounced based on however the name originally referenced sounds. It's pronounced and written as TEE-da in Japanese. Tidus' name is pronounced Tee-dus in the English versions of Kingdom Hearts I and Dissidia: Final Fantasy but Tide-us (similar to Titus) in Kingdom Hearts II, as well as some promotional material such as cast interviews. It really depends on whether you are using "tides" (English) or "tida" (varies by source as Okinawan for "sun" or an English->Japanese loanword) as the meaning. It should be noted that Dissidia was released after Kingdom Hearts II, so it seems that Square-Enix corrected themselves and are going with "Tee-dus" as the official pronunciation.
    • The village of Besaid is pronounced like "Beside" in Japanese (ビサイド Bisaido), but "Be-SAYD" in English.
    • Many names in Final Fantasy XI, especially Zilartian names. Zi'Tah, Kam'lanaut, frickin Pso'Xja come to mind, as well as the name of The Empire in one of the expansions, Aht Urhgan. Final Fantasy XI related podcasts are painful to listen to for anyone who can actually read names like 'Valkurm' and 'Qufim'.
    • The Nu Mou race in the Ivalice games. "New mow?" "New moo?" "New moy?" Pronunciation is given in Final Fantasy XII by Fran (Fran mentions one of their legends in passing at one point). It's pronounced "N'Mow" (there is supposed to be a 'u' sound between the N and the M, but it's almost entirely drowned out by said consonants.
    • There's also that NPC named Ktjn. Apparently it's pronounced "kitten", though the Japanese say "katreen".
    • Most of the enemies in the game also have names that aren't pronounced phonetically, at least if one goes by the Japanese readings of their names. For example, the Aerieel enemy looks like it should be pronounced "Air-ree-eel", but it's actually just said like the English word "aerial". Infamous Bonus Boss Yiazmat's name is pronounced "Yaz-mat", not "Yee-az-mat" (Yazumatto in Japanese — the name came from Yasumi Matsuno's nickname of "YAZZ" and the "mat" of his surname).
    • The Miqo'te race in Final Fantasy XIV. (Japanese pronunciation is Mikotte, so "Mi-kot-tay" is probably how it's pronounced in English.) For that matter the female names from the Keepers of the Sun tribe, is the first letter pronounced as is, or part of the name? note 
  • Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels:
    • The English dub actually changed the pronunciation of a character's name — Oerba Dia Vanille is pronounced "Worba Die-uh Vanilla" in Japanese (ヲルバ=ダイア・ヴァニラ Woruba Daia Vanira), but "Air-ba Dee-ah Van-eel" in English.
    • The Archylte Steppe's name is never said in voice acting, so most players are left guessing how to pronounce it unless they look it up. Bafflingly, the Japanese reading is アルカキルティ (Arukakiruti), which seems to indicate an extra syllable (Ar-ka-kil-tee). The best approximation is Ar-kill-tee.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Battle Revolution brought this up with some fans, as the pronunciations used by the announcer in that are different in several places than the ones used elsewhere — contradicting the anime, previous games with voice acting, and commonly-used pronunciations for those critters not yet in the anime. While generally disregarded (consensus uses the anime pronunciations, even for fans who don't watch the anime), some fans stick with the Battle Revolution pronunciations.
    • The announcer for Pokémon Stadium wasn't much better — "EEK-ans" as opposed to the accepted "EH-kans" stands out in particular. And is it "Arc-uh-nine" (Anime) or R-K-9 (Stadium)?
      • It's probably the second, given it's probably supposed to be a pun on "arcane" and "canine".
    • The anime managed to pronounce Raikou (the Japanese name roughly pronounced as Rye-Koh) as Rye-kuu.
    • In fact, the name Pokémon has several mispronunciations, as "Pokeymon", "Poke-a-mon", "Pokeyman" to name a few (it's actually "Po-keh-mon" as the accented é is supposed to indicate, but even the English Super Smash Bros. Brawl got it wrong).
    • Hey You, Pikachu! has a nasty Guide Dang It! in the form of this with its quiz show where the easy part is naming the Pokemon, yet the hard part is finding the "correct" name to pronounce it. Nidorino comes to mind as a good example because it could potentially be "nihdoh-rihno" or even "nihdoh-reno", but the correct answer is actually "nihdoh-ryno", referencing a rhino.
    • Most people figured Arceus was pronounced "AR-see-us" (which is supposed by Battle Revolution), but the dub of the movie had "Ar-SAY-us", and (ostensibly the most "official" source) threw everyone by a loop by stating it's actually "ARK-ee-us".
    • Regice is another example. In Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and Pokémon Battle Revolution, it's pronounced "REG-ee-ice", but in the anime it's "REG-ice" (see Ash's last battle v. Pyramid King Brandon). There's never been any official word as to the correct pronunciation, and both are generally accepted by the fandom. Regice (as with most legendaries) kept its Japanese name, which was written in katakana as Rejiaisu, so the former is more likely.
    • Ever notice how the announcers for the original Super Smash Bros. and Melee pronounce Pikachu and Jigglypuff as "Pee-kaw-chu" and "Jiggle-ee-puff" while the Pokemon themselves clearly say "Pee-kuh-chu" and "Jigg-lee-puff"? At least Brawl corrected that.
    • When Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were new, there was a debacle over their cover Legendaries, whose Japanese names were Diaruga and Parukia. It's "di-AH-ru-ga" and "PA-ru-ki-a", but lots of people insisted they were "DEE-a-ROO-ga" and "pa-ROO-ki-a" who then complained when the names were accurately transliterated for the English-language release. This persisted even after "Dialga" and "Palkia" were confirmed to be the intended English spellings for the Japanese versions too.
    • They weren't the first cover legendaries to have this problem: Suicune was, as can be evidenced by the page quote.
    • Rayquaza, the mascot of Emerald, has been variously pronounced as "Ray-Quay-Za" and "Ray-Quah-Za" by fans. In this case, looking at the Japanese name doesn't help (the katakana is Rekkūza, pronounced "Reck-koo-za"), but the anime does: it's the former.
    • The Bug-type Illumise looks like it would be pronounced "Ill-oo-miss", but it's actually "Ee-loo-MEE-zay". Reuniclus has a slight case of this since it's not "Re-oon-ih-clus" but "Re-oo-NEE-clus"
    • Roserade. While its masquerade theme would lead people to assume that its name was pronounced "rose-uh-rade", it's actually just "rose-rade".
    • Ferroseed and its evolution Ferrothorn looks like they should be pronounced "Fare-oh-seed" and "Fare-oh-thorn" respectively, which makes sense, because the 'Ferro' comes from the Latin name for iron, Ferrous, which is pronounced "Fare-us". However, the official pronunciation revealed by the anime and Pokedex 3D Pro say they are actually pronounced "Fur-ah-seed" and "Fur-ah-thorn" respectively.
    • The new Pokedex 3D Pro app for the Nintendo 3DS averts this, as it pronounces the name of any Pokemon as soon as you go to its page, making it much easier to know how to pronounce the name of any Pokemon you desire. It uses "Arc-uh-nine" "Ark-ee-us", "Nee-dor-EEN-a/o", and "Rej-ice" as the pronunciations.
    • The official pronunciation for "Poochyena" and "Mightyena" is apparently "Pooch-ee-enn-ah", and "Mite-ee-enn-a", despite this contradicting the normal pronunciation of "hyena".
  • Until Super Smash Bros. came out, the only time Samus Aran's name was spoken was the commercial for Metroid II: The Return of Samus. Those that didn't see the commercial would sometimes use the pronunciation "SAY-mus" instead of the correct "SAH-mus". There is still some confusion over how to pronounce her last name (if the commercial is correct, all the "A"s are pronounced the same). Brawl has Otacon pronounce the surname "Air-ran". Planet Zebes and Ridley also get this too. Even then, there's a difference in the syllable emphasis. The Melee announcer pronounces it "Sah-mus", while Metroid Prime 3 and Brawl pronounce it "Sam-is." (Interestingly, in some Midwestern American accents, these are considered the same sound and people cannot tell them apart.) In Japanese, it's written Samusu, which would be pronounced something like "Sam-oos". Her surname is Aran, pronounced "Ah-ran".
  • Armored Core has a minor one in 4/fA: Is Rayleonard Corp. pronounced Ray-lee-oh-nard or Ray-leh-nerd? US localization favors the former while Japanese pronunciation uses the latter (in Katakana: 「レイレナード」). Seeing that this is taken from a boxer's name, Sugar Ray Leonard, the former may be correct, but since it's combined into one word...
  • Kirby:
    • Recurring foe King Dedede had this going as well, mostly from confusion of how to pronounce the vowels depending on adaptations. "Dee-dee-dee", "Deh-deh-deh", or "Day-day-day"? Occasionally his name is written logo style as just DDD. Lampshaded in Brawl where the audience would appear to get into an argument over how it is pronounced. Italian translations use "Dee-dee-dee" in the cartoon and "Deh-deh-deh" everywhere else.
    • Adeleine's name is pronounced differently by different fans. Some think it's a pun on "add-a-line" and pronounce it that way, some go for "Add-a-lyn", and other fans have other pronounciations (such as "ade-le-yn-e", "ada-leen", and "ah-do-ren").
  • GLaDOS from Portal: Is it pronounced like "Gladys"? Is it GLAD-ose? GLAY-dose? Something else entirely? (Turns out, the Audio Commentaries pronounce it three different ways: Gladys, Glad-OSS, and Gla-DOSE, the former of which was spoken by her own voice actress.) One would assume that it's "glah-DOSS", as the DOS is presumably for "Disk Operating System", which is pronounced as "DOSS" It's "Gladys" according to Valve. It's also pronounced that way in Poker Night 2.
  • With eighty-plus people to keep track of, the Ace Attorney series probably has some of this.
    • This gets especially bad in Apollo Justice, with names like Lamiroir, Klavier Gavin and Machi Tobaye note . The difficulty of pronouncing the latter's name gets lampshaded when the Judge can't pronounce it.
    • There's an interesting variation in "Psyche-Locks" which usually whenever spoken aloud in a Let's Play or as in Turnabout Storm (with one exception right at the end) are inevitably called "Psych-locks", without the "e" sound (which most people by the time they can play the games know "Psyche" is said "Sike-E", even if they don't know that Psyche is the Greek goddess of the soul).
  • Gradius: "Radius" with a 'g', or what appears to be an Engrish version of "Gladius"? Both pronunciations have been used in-game, though the latter is used more often. Gradius Gaiden pronounces it both "radius-with-G", and as "Gruh-DEE-us". Gradius V pronounces it with a short "A" as in the word "action" or "lateral". If it's an Engrish "Gladius", then the "ah" syllable is appropriate. Latin doesn't have a long A sound (Technically, the way we pronounce "radius" is wrong too).
  • In the MLB Power Pros American releases, the commentator and game announcer will pronounce the player names differently. The announcer is usually correct, but it's difficult to hear him over the commentator. Considering these are real people, it can't be that hard to find the correct pronunciation, but these become frustrating when the player's names are mispronounced at their home stadium.
  • Characters in Knights of the Old Republic vary on pronouncing Taris as tar-is or tear-is (as in rip or terra, not cry). This gives the planet a double meaning, as it is a once prosperous planet that is currently in decline (i.e., mud or tar)
  • Kingdom Hearts has a lot of this, mostly caused by many bizarre names such as those of the members of Organization XIII:
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories had it rough due to being the only game where voice acting was limited to Voice Grunting, so one couldn't tell how the names of new characters should be pronounced without turning to the Japanese text. Fortunately, the fully voiced remake for the PS2 revealed all:
      • Marluxia is "mar-LOO-sha", not "mar-LUK-see-uh" as many had assumed.
      • Larxene is "lark-SEEN".
      • Vexen is "VEK-sen" in English, and "Vixen" in Japanese.
      • Lexaeus is "LEK-see-us" in English, and "LEK-say-oos" in Japanese.
      • Zexion is alternatively "ZEX-yun" or "ZEK-see-un".
    • Kingdom Hearts II added to the Organization conundrum with unspoken names like Xigbar, Demyx, and Luxord. Later games revealed Xigbar to be "ZIG-bar," Demyx to be "DEM-iks," and Luxord to be "LUKE-surd."
      • The human names of the Organization's founding members, first mentioned only in the Secret Ansem Reports, also suffered from this until later games. Names like "Even" and "Dilan" are identical to "Evan" and "Dylan", while "Braig" is "Bray-g" in English and "Brigh-g" in Japanese.
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: The title itself. No, it's not "three hundred fifty eight slash two days". According to the way this subtitle is arranged in Japanese katakana, it's "three-five-eight-days-over-two".
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep pointedly avoids this when introducing the χ-blade. That's the Greek letter "chi", so the name is pronounced identically to "Keyblade". Xehanort even notes that "kye-blade" is an alternate pronunciation, which some fans like to use in spoken conversation to differentiate the χ-blade from regular Keyblades.
      Master Xehanort: Chi. A most ancient letter. Some say "kye", but the meaning is the same.
  • Galatea from Emily Short's Interactive Fiction game of the same title is pronounced "gal-uh-TEE-uh." There has apparently been some confusion over this. Some say gal-uh-TAY-uh or similar variations.
  • The announcer in various Street Fighter games. A few examples include "Barlog" (rather than Balrog), Abb-ull (Abel) and Dan (his name is supposed to be pronounced "Dahn"). Even characters in the game seem to disagree with a few of his pronunciations. Among the fans, there's also "Rayu" (which carried into the movie and cartoon), "Zan-geef" (instead of Zan-gyeff) among others.
  • RuneScape has a mahjarrat race and many other words which have disputed pronunciations.
    • The actual name of the world is "Gielinor" (Gee-lin-or? Gie-lee-nor?), a race of lava people are "Tzhaar" (and anything related to them is equally un-pronounceable, such as one of the strongest monsters: the "Tztok-Jad"), a major city is "Ardougne" (Arr-doong? Arr-doyn?) and one god is named "Armadyl".
    • Some people joke about "RuneScape" being pronounced "Run Escape" rather than "Rune Scape".
    • Runescape's official YouTube channel now has some videos of Jagex Moderators trying to pronounce many of these words. The Fourth-Wall Mail Slot also once replied to a letter asking how to pronounce several of the Elven words.
    • Subverted now — Jagex have released an official pronunciation guide. Gielinor is "Gill-in-or", Tz Haar are just "ZAR" (though Tz Tok-Jad is "tuz-tok-JAD"), Ardougne is "Arr-DOYN" and Armadyl is "ARM-uh-dill". Still doesn't stop people from claiming Glacors is GLAY-koars (official pronunciation is GLAY-soars, as in glacier).
  • Touhou:
    • Marisa Kirisame. Despite being a western name, it is written in kanji as opposed to katakana, resulting in confusion as to whether it's pronounced "Mah-RIH-sah" as per the English pronunciation or "MAH-ree-sah" as per the Japanese.
    • English-speaking fans have trouble with some of the characters, especially Keine (Keh-ih-neh), Eirin (Eh-ih-ren), Reisen (Reh-ih-sen) and Sanae (Sah-nah-eh). In one fanfiction, Keine even notes that her family name (Kamishirasawa, which is pronounced exactly as it's spelled) is pronounced correctly more often than her given name.
    • And then there's China. Until an official pronunciation was settled, her name could be any combination of the Hoan/Hon/Hong Meiling/Mei Ling/Meirin. Or, to complicate things further, her name could also conceivably be read in Japanese, in which case it came out as "Kurenai Misuzu". Her nickname even stemmed from the fact that nobody could read her name, so they all decided to compromise with China (even ZUN!).
    • From the same game, we have Flandre. How is it pronounced? Flahn(like the dessert)-dray? Flahn-durr? Flan-druh? Given its French origin, the last is probably closest, though the Japanese pronunciation (and katakana spelling) is "Fu-ra-n-doo-ru".
    • Maribel's name is just ridiculous. You would expect it to be pronunced as is, but in katakana, it's マエリベリー, or ma-e-ri-be-rii. How this translates to "Maribel" is a mystery. Her friend Renko lampshades this, who has all but given up on trying to pronounce it and just calls her "Mary" instead.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • K9999, which is pronounced according to SNK as "K Four Nines", not "K Ninety-nine Ninety-nine", "K Nine-Thousand-Nine-Hundred-Ninety-Nine", or "K Nine Nine Nine Nine".
    • The name of K′ (that's a letter "K" and a prime mark, not an apostrophe) is always pronounced "K Dash" in Japan. In the overseas versions, his name tends to vary between "K Dash" or "K Prime" depending on the game.
  • Tales of Xillia: It's pronounced "Ex-illia" according to the katakana, but some people will pronounce it "Zillia" or "Sillia".
  • Video GameTekken is meant to be pronounced "Tek-KEN" with a long "k" sound (if you're confused about how that works, it's like the "k" sound in the phrase "black cat") and the stress on the second syllable. Non-Japanese speakers will usually pronounced it "TEK-un".
  • Tsukihime:
    • Used instory when Shiki notes that, yea, one way to pronounce SHIKI would be the same as his own name, but it's written differently so it wouldn't be obvious. This doesn't translate well at all, leading to the SHIKI/Shiki thing to actually tell them apart in conversations.
    • Not to mention Nrvnqsr Chaos... It's pronounced 'Nero' by the way.
  • A bit confusing in Fate/stay night, when Shirou complains about how Rider is pronouncing his name because it reminds him of how Saber said it. But... it's spelled the same every time. The difference is apparently Sheer-oh (how Saber mispronounces it) and Sheer-oh-oo (correct version) or something. They're using a short vowel and getting the pitch pattern wrong. Roughly, they're saying SHI-roh, when the name is more like shi-ROW.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The voice actors in Oblivion couldn't agree on how to pronounce various words and names, such as "daedra" (DAY-dra or DEE-dra) and "Cheydinhal" (hard or soft "ch"). Word of God has given definitive ways of pronouncing the name of each race. Unfortunately, nobody told the voice actors or directors. Here it is. No one seems to stick to these, of course. "DEE-dra" should be the canonical pronunciation, and then there's stuff that's totally thrown out the window like "doon-MARE" for "Dunmer", "DWAY-mare" for "Dwemer", and "BOE-mare" for "Bosmer". These usually get pronounced "DUHN-muhr", "DWEE-muhr", and "BAHZ-muhr".
    • Skyrim has it better, but there's still disagreement on how to pronounce certain words, sometimes between NPCs who have the same voice actors. For example, no one seems to know how to say "Justiciar", with Ondolemar saying it how it's spelled, roaming Thalmor agents (who, if male, have the same VA as Ondolemar) introducing themselves as "Judiciars", and Stormcloak officers saying "Justicar". Also, Madanach is apparently pronounced "MAD-a-nock", but there's an NPC (again, with the same VA as Madanach) who says "Ma-NAD-nack", for some reason.
    • The Elder Scrolls Online keeps up the trend with an Altmer and Bosmer making fun of the Khajiit's pronunciation of Cat's Eye Quay as "Key" — before revealing that they pronounce it "Kay" and "Kway" respectively.
    • From the series' lore, there was much debate in the fandom regarding the pronunciation of the "dead" creator god's Aldmeri name, Lorkhan. Former series' writer Michael Kirkbride clarified on Twitter that it's "Lore-Khan".
  • As the ninja in The Angry Video Game Nerd put it:
    Ninja Gaiden. I haven't heard that name in ages. Normally, they say "Ninja GAY-den."
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Ask anyone from the New York metro area how they pronounce Mario. Especially Mario Cuomo. Ask most people in Britain how they pronounce Mario, it's almost always Marry-O. An Italian person will probably tell you its MAH-ree-oh. "It's-a-me, Mah-ree-oh!" This pronunciation of Mario has been consistent since the 1990 commercial for Super Mario Bros. 3, but before that, Mario's name has been pronounced "Mayr-ee-oh" in certain old commercials. In fact, the pronunciation debate seems to go back to the Atari days — The famous commercial for Mario Bros. on the Atari 5200 has Luigi use "Mahr-ee-oh" while the ad's narrator says "Mayr-ee-oh."
    • "WAHR-ee-oh" or "WOAR-ee-oh"? Wario's voice actor in the Super Mario Land series commercials and in Mario Kart 64 uses the former.
    • Waluigi himself apparently can't determine the pronunciation of his name's first syllable; both "WAH" and "WAA" pop up in his voice clips. But "WAH" is the most likely correct one as Waluigi uses the Wah sound, and Wario's name is just Mario with an upside down M. Learn to pronounce that right though.
    • Bowser. Bao-ser, or Boh-ser? Quite ambiguous, but Hotel Mario, Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario Sunshine would have you pronounce it "Bao-ser". Try telling it to people that haven't played those games or watched YouTube Poop though.
    • Kamek. No one's quite sure how the vowels in his name are pronounced. The most common pronunciations seem to be "Kah-meck", "KAY-meck", and "Kam-ick". The announcer in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series pronounces it "Kam-eck".
    • To a certain extent, Lakitu can be hard to pronounce. "Lock-ee-too"? "LA-ki-too"? Turns out it's the "la-KEE-too".
    • Is Ukiki "You-kiki", "Ooh-kiki", or "Uh-kiki"?
    • The franchise's name. It's officially pronounced "Super Mario Brothers" however it's not uncommon, especially in non-English speaking areas, for people to literally call it "Super Mario Bros". The same error applies to Super Smash Bros.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis does this one weird. Pronounciations in voiced dialogue are consistent, but it quickly becomes apparent that they're based off of different romanizations than what ended up in the text. So you have thing like Rizwan being pronounced with an L sound in place of the R and the W, Sisuca like the first two syllables of "shishkabob", and Kureyah being pronounced as Claire.
  • Skies of Arcadia: the lands of "Ixa'taka" and "Nasr".
  • Chrono Trigger: Ayla's name is supposed to be pronounced "ay-la", like her namesake from Clan of the Cave Bear. It's spelled Eira in the katakana, which supports this. And how the heck is Schala supposed to be pronounced?
  • From Sonic 3 & Knuckles, there is Hydrocity Zone. Is it pronounced as a compound word or does it rhyme with "velocity"? It's "Hydro City". The kana used in the Japanese manuals are "ハイドロシティ" — Haidoroshiti — which includes the usual kana rendering of "city" (シティ); "velocity", on the other hand, is written "ヴェロシチー".
  • The GP2X Caanoo handheld is an especially confusing entrant: Is it pronounced like 'Canoe', or based on a Korean pronounciation guide? Even so, what pronounciation would it take from that?
  • In Tomb Raider, scion is pronounced "ski on" although the general Anglophone pronunciation is "sigh on".
  • With NPCs like Ruairi, Heulfryn, Neamhain, and Nuadha; places like Sidhe Sneachta, Tir Chonaill, Taillteann, and Courcle; and monsters like Glas Ghaibhleann and Claimh Solas, the MMORPG Mabinogi can be frustrating to talk about without an extensive understanding of old Irish.
  • Legacy of Kain:
    • Many of the location names are faux-German so, at first glance, names such as Uschtenheim, Ziegsturhl, Vasserbünde, and Steinchencröe can be a little daunting. And then there's Janos, whose name is actually Slavic and is pronounced YAW-nos in the game (in reality, the name Janos is often pronounced YAW-nosh).
    • There also seems to be some confusion about Raziel's name. Raziel pronounces his name raz-EYE-el, Kain and the Elder God call him Rah-ZEE-el, and Janos (justified seeing as he has a pretty thick accent) pronounces his name as RAHZ-yuhl. The pronunciation of everyone else's names stays relatively consistent.
  • Happens sometimes in sports games. For example, EA NHL '07 would pronounce Stajan (correct pronunciation: "Stay Gin") as "stay an". The next game would fix the pronunciation for some situations but leave it broken for others.
  • In the Star Control series, the alien races have some very peculiar names. The intended pronunciations were revealed in the 3DO version of Star Control II, which had voices recorded by the original developers of Star Control, and these voices are also available for The Ur-Quan Masters. But largely because the 3DO was such a failure, most players didn't hear these voices until The Ur-Quan Masters, and many even assume (wrongly) that the voices are fan-made.
  • The indy platforming game VVVVVV. Seriously, it's the letter V six times. How are you supposed to pronounce that? Well, there's several different ways. One is exactly like that: "the letter V six times", which is used in the URL for the home site (; the developer and the composer pronounce it "Vee"; many other people pronounce "Vee" an arbitrary number of times (usually six or close to it, unless they're going for Overly Long Gag); and there are even people who pronounce it literally: a very long V sound with no vowel.
  • Since Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter was released three months before Attack of the Clones, not all details were provided to Lucasarts, leading to the pronunciation of Count Dooku's name as "doh-koo".
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Zevran pronounces his name 'zev-RAHN'. No one else does. Same with Leliana ('LEL-i-anna'), pronounced 'lelli-AHNA' by most other characters. Of course, they are both foreign. It's not surprising that native Fereldans would have trouble pronouncing their names.
  • Qara in Neverwinter Nights 2. Most characters pronounce it "kwar-uh", but some say it as "kar-uh". The second, less popular pronunciation is technically the correct one if you go by English pronunciation rules.
  • "Elw" in the Wild ARMs games.
  • Castlevania:
    • In addition to the Claimh Solais example mentioned above, we have Alucard, which in the original Dub is pronounced "Al-oo-card". More recent dubs flip flop between that and "Al-you-card." They can both be correct, it depends on whether you pronounce it as it is written, or pronounce it as Dracula backwards. Though that has it's own set of problems. (refer to literature)
    • Maria Renard. Maria isn't a problem. Lenard is. "Re Nahrd"? "Ren erd"? The original japanese has it something like "Learned", which may be a reference to learning magic, but it doesn't help as far as the dub goes. There is a clue to the former though, with the character Eric Lecard (another Dub Name Change, the original was Eric Ricardo), who is strongly hinted to be Alucard and Maria's descendant. His last name is a portmanteau of "Renard" and "Alucard."
    • Then there's Juste Belmont, which has been suggested as "Just", "Joost", "Justay", etc. The actual pronunciation of the name is actually "Yoost." No clue on how to pronounce the last name of his rival Maxim Kischine, however. In Dawn of Sorrow, Dark Lord Soma pronounces Julius's name with a Y-sound as well.
    • Some of the enemies too. Gaibon. "Guy Bawn" or "Gay Bin"? Dhuron appears to have this problem, but it's simply a mistranslation of Dullahan, which averts it.
  • For anyone unfamiliar with Japanese pronunciation, Myau in Phantasy Star might be confusing. It's pronounced like "meow" (the character is a talking cat).
  • The pronunciation of Yang's name was changed between the Japanese and English versions of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. In Japan, his name is written as 「ヤン」, which rhymes with "fun" and "son". In turn, it's based off of how the name is pronounced in Chinese, which sounds like "young" (just like Yang from Final Fantasy IV, listed further up in the Final Fantasy entries). Listen to the way the announcer says it here. However, Yang's name rhymes with the word "sang" in the English version, which is incorrect.
  • This problem also arises with video game publisher Ubisoft, which is either pronounced YOU-bee-soft or OOH-bee-soft.
  • The horror/platformer flash game Gyossait. Per a comment from the game's creator in the trailer, it's apparently pronounced "gi-yo-zite".
  • Happens with consoles as well. There appears to be a generational divide in the pronunciations of NES and SNES — older gamers who played the systems when they were new favor the "each letter individually" renditions, en ee ess and ess en ee ess, while younger gamers playing them as retro consoles favor the one-word renditions "ness" and "sness". Nintendo itself used en ee ess and soo per enn ee ess. Then you have those who just say "Nintendo" and "Super Nintendo". The divide is more regional than anything else; North Americans are more likely to use the acronym-based pronunciation, while in Europe the phonetic style is the norm. "Nintendo" and "Super Nintendo" are more commonly used by older audiences who grew up with the brand name as a slang term.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid, perhaps stemming from the rushed nature of the dub, has plenty.
      • Naomi pronounces "nootropics" with the very odd pronunciation, "no-oh-TROPE-ics". In Twin Snakes she says (the correct) "nuTROPics".
      • In the original Metal Gear Solid, Meryl's voice actress pronounces "Otacon" as "Oat-a-con" in the ending, while the other two characters who use the name (Snake, and Otacon himself) both pronounce the initial o similar to the 'o' in 'box'. This is a more accurate pronunciation since the nickname is derived from the root word "Otaku", but Otacon says the word "otaku" with a long o... Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes standardised the short-o pronunciation across all characters.
      • The original PSX version describes the shaman Raven as a "shay-men" ("Vulcan Raven, giant and shay-men"), and in The Twin Snakes he is a "shah-mun".
      • Greg Eagles' Ninja tells Snake, "A fight to the death with you... Only in that can my soul find res-PYTE!". In Digital Graphic Novel, Larc Spies' Ninja instead says his soul can find "RES-pit".
      • Sniper Wolf calls Big Boss "Saladin", pronouncing it similarly to "salad-bin".
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, the otherwise very cool and satisfying scene where Ocelot betrays Volgin is ruined by neither voice actor being able to consistently pronounce the name "Volgin" — Ocelot's VA says it with a soft 'g', Volgin's with a hard G. The voice actors are also confused on how to pronounce the name of (real historical figure Nikita) Khrushchev.
    • Eli in Metal Gear Solid V is inconsistently called both "EE-lie" and "EH-lee".
  • Sega was this in the early days. While "SAY-ga" is the official pronunciation, some people had been pronouncing their name as "SEE-ga". The correct pronunciation was heard as early as 1983 in an ad for the home console versions of Congo Bongonote .
  • Enix (now part of Square Enix). is it "EE-nix" or "EH-nix"? If the Japanese katakana spelling is anything to go by, it's the latter.
  • Xevious (a Word Purée Title): Some have variably pronounced it as "ZEE-vee-us" or even "X-EE-vee-us", but the official pronunciation is "ZEH-vee-oos"... at least in Japan. In America, the pronunciation was changed to "ZEE-vee-us" to rhyme with "devious", fitting the American slogan "Are you devious enough to beat Xevious?"
  • Galaga: Is it "GAL-a-ga" (similarly pronounced like the comedian "Gallagher"), or "Ga-LAG-a"? It's the latter, since it is the sequel to Galaxian, pronounced Ga-LAX-ian.note 
  • Without very much voice acting in general, virtually none where a character's name is spoken, and plenty of Aeriths, figuring out a couple of the names in Fire Emblem Awakening can be a bit difficult. While "Panne" actually ends up subverting this, as the word is an uncommon term for a type of fabric, how in the hell do you pronounce Kjelle?note  "Tharja" seems straightforward, but in a similar vein, going by her Japanese name it'd be pronounced "Thar-ya", and "Kellam" would actually be "Kell-um".
  • Wings Of Vi: the main character's name is short for "Violet", so "Vi" would be pronounced with a long "i" (Vai). On the other hand, we have the main villain Jeh'Oul... have fun with that one. It's apparently based on the Danish "djævel", which is pronounced "Jay-ohl", more or less.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • It's debated whether "Hylia" is pronounced "high-lee-ah", "hill-ee-ah", or "hee-lee-ah". (Breath of the Wild goes with the first one.)
    • Even though it's a real word that exists outside the series, there is much argument amongst players on whether the first syllable of "ocarina" should be said as an "oh" sound or an "ah" sound, and discussions on the matter can quickly dissolve into threats of physical violence. For the record, the former is the proper pronunciation in the original language.
    • Really, a lot of characters in the series have names whose pronunciations can't easily be discerned due to the lack voice-acting. The debate over how such names as "Gerudo", "Majora", and "Saria" are pronounced still rage on, though "Gerudo" now has a consistent pronunciation due to Hyrule Warriors and Breath of the Wild (geh-ROO-doh, with a hard "G").
    • Hyrule is usually pronounced "hi-rule". The Latin-American Spanish dub of Breath of the Wild pronounces it "Eh-ru-le" ("irule").
  • The Wonderful 101, having voice acting, pronounces the names of most of the alien antagonists of the game. However, there is one exception: Heyourgah. He's killed offscreen before he even makes an appearance. The only character who tries to say his name is Vorkken, who calls him "HIGH-OAR-something", but as Vorkken has a pretty terrible track record of Accidental Misnaming (a Running Gag in the game being that he calls Wonder-Red "Blunder-Red" and Earth "Dearth") it's hard to believe he even got the first two syllables right.
  • The ancestral name of Battleborn's Mellka, Hyenyota is kinda hard to pronounce. There's actually a phonetic key in one of her lore challenges though that somewhat helps. In the same entry also, Ghalt left a note advising not to mispronounce Mellka's ancestral name in front of her. If it has to be said, practicing a few times using the phonetic key has to be done first otherwise just stick to "Mellka". He ends the note saying to "Trust me on this one".
  • In Shin Megami Tensei, we have YHVH. Is it Why-Ache-Vee-Ache? Or maybe one of the multiple ways the Tetragrammaton is pronounced in the real world[1]. Apparently, it's like the Patriots — humans can't say it and when it's spoken aloud by the COMP in recent games, it is replaced with a sound effect instead of the actual name.
  • Marie from Splatoon. Her name is either pronounced "Ma-ree" or "Muh-ree". It's likely the former due to her "calamari" pun with Callie, however the North American and European Directs still use different pronounciations.
  • Dota 2:
    • In-game and out, no one can seem to agree on whether Roshan's name is pronounced "RO-shan" (rhymes with "man") or "ro-SHAWN" (rhymes with "dawn"). For what it's worth, players don't really care which you use, and he's usually just referred to as "Rosh" anyway.
    • A lot of players get confounded by both the pronunciation of the name "Strygwyr" and how IceFrog came up with such a name. Unsurprisingly, said hero is usually just referred to by his title, Bloodseeker.
  • Warframe: The ancient Orokin Empire is variously pronounced OrOkin and ORokin.
  • ''Undertale has a minor debate on how to pronounce "Chara", with people arguing for "KAH-ruh" vs "CHA-ruh". The Japanese localisation, which renders their name as "Kyara", reveals it's actually pronounced "CA-ruh" ("ca" as in "cat"), which makes sense as it's short for "character".
    • Toby Fox has basically said that people can pronounce the names however they want, which can lead to this sometimes. Most are pretty obvious (being that they're mostly English words or puns on English words), but one that can vary is Undyne - he pronounces it "UN-dine", but occasionally you'll hear people pronouncing it "oon-DEE-nay" (like the Undine, the mythical water spirit from German folklore).
    • There can be others who get this too. Is Alphys "Al-fees" or "Al-fiss"? Is Asgore "As-gore" or "Az-gore"? Is Mettaton "Met-a-ton" or "Met-a-tun" (and is the stress on the first syllable or the last)?
  • The main character of Monument Valley, Ida. Is it EE-da or EYE-da? Doesn't help that both pronunciations of that name are accepted in real life.
  • Destiny: Mithrax complains that the Guardians keep calling him “miff-racks” instead of his proper name, Misraaks (pronounced “my-si-racks”). It’s implied that the characters have actually been badly mistranslating all of the Fallen names/terms they’ve picked up; Variks is indicated to really be called something like Varisis, and just doesn’t bother to correct anybody.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Luckily, there's a guide from the author, which is definitely handy for Sabine, Elan and Vaarsuvius.
    • On one of the calendars, Elan tries to make a pun on "sahuagin", and Roy points out it doesn't work in print because no one knows how to say "sahuagin".
    • When the group travels to the Windy Canyon, they didn't prepare any spells to combat the fierce winds because Durkon misinterpreted the name as being "windy" as in "a winding path". Vaarsuvius points out that the two words, while spelled the same, are pronounced completely differently, and they've only ever heard the name spoken aloud, so how could Durkon possibly have made that mistake?
  • Tower of God has this problem as well in the english speaking fandom. Especially with the pronunciation of Lahel/Rachel, Headon and Zahard/Jahad. As one can see, Spell My Name with an "S" applies as well, due to the Korean alphabet having several romanizations.
  • The demon K'Z'K from Sluggy Freelance. All we know is that, if you don't want your soul devoured, do not pronounce it "Kizke." Absolutely no vowels of any sort. The obvious guess would be that you pronounce k, then z, then k, either with or without stops in between. Oh, and he will devour your soul anyway.
  • Averted in Miamaska, Amity Vii sounds out all the strange names she comes across for the audience.
  • Eikre from RPG World was named by literally randomly hitting keys, as a parody of unpronounceable names. Whenever he was asked (via chat/email) how it was pronounced, he always just typed out "It's pronounced 'Eikre'"
  • Dan Shive has gotten enough of a message on how pronounce the Japanese names of some of his characters that he explains them in the FAQ. Fans were still mostly left in the air on how to pronounce "Sciuridae" until this strip provided the unlikely "Skwur-uh-dey". This is slightly bizarre as Sciuridae (See-ur-uh-die or See-ur-uh-dee) is the scientific family for true squirrels, and they could have easily just looked it up. Lampshaded: only a few strips after giving the pronunciation, the school's principal goes by the scientific name and is corrected.
  • SPRINGIETTE has given many people the headache of not knowing how to say it right. Turns out there isn't really a correct way.
  • Homestuck:
    • Several of the trolls, though not all of them. Their names are based on names or words from mythology and non-Western cultures, meaning that there usually is a correct pronunciation but you can't count on the fans being aware of it. Feferi gets the worst of it, particularly with her last name of "Peixes", and her first name having many different ways to pronounce (fe-FAIRY; fef-ERRIE, fef-EERIE...). Terezi too, whose name can be pronounced in at least five different ways depending on what you do with the vowels. According to the user who suggested her name, the correct pronunciation is "ter-REE-see" (similar to "Theresa" or, appropriately enough, "Tiresias"), consistent with the etymology ("scale" in Azeri). Pretty much no one else says it that way, except for people who don't speak English.
    • There's also "uh-RAY-dee-uh" vs "uh-RAH-dee-uh" for Aradia (to complicate matters even further, Word of God is that it's "uh-RAD-ee-uh", which is actually rather rarely used among fans), and the 398257289375 different pronunciations of Calliope. Despite the fact that Calliope is an actual figure from Classical Mythology (pronounced "kuh-LIE-oh-pee", for anyone curious). And a relatively non-obscure one, at that.
    • An in-universe example with "Caledfwlch", which neither Dave nor Davesprite is sure how to pronounce (it's "ka-led-vul-hh").
    • Let's Read Homestuck naturally ran into this problem head-on when they got around to the trolls. They went with "uh-RAH-dee-uh" for "Aradia", the common pronunciation "teh-REH-zee" for "Terezi", and "FEF-er-ee" for "Feferi". What confused a lot of fans was their pronunciation of Feferi's last name, "Peixes": they did the research and pronounced it "PAY-shehs". This is because "peixes" is the Portuguese word meaning "fish", and that is how it is pronounced in that language.
  • Drowtales, being about elves, involves a lot of long names. Listening to the animations shows there is no consistent pronunciation.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has Ysengrin. Word of God says it's "Is-en-grin". but it's more often interpreted as "Yiss-en-grin" or some other phonetic thing, since the correct pronunciation isn't easy to find.

    Web Original 
  • In the Peacock King Trilogy, most names are not quite pronounced as one would expect. Examples: Ebrellin-i Xaillyndesse, lampshaded with Camdheighn and Elricht Dealag'seala, who are promptly renamed Camden and Elric Briarseal.
  • Inverted by Neopets... which actually does have a pronunciation guide!
  • Dorkly Originals pokes fun at the lack of pronunciation guide in Final Fantasy VII in this video.
  • Defied by cicabeot1, on his Youtube channel description it includes the pronunciation "si-cah-bee-oh-tee-1".
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • Comes up in the review of Bébé's Kids, where everyone starts to debate how to pronounce Tone Loc's name.
    • In one of the Fuck-Up videos, he talks about his frequent difficulty pronouncing characters' names, saying that there are probably too many examples to list. Proof that even when you have the movie itself as a pronunciation guide, you can't always get things right.
  • RWBY:
    • Lie Ren provided a bit of confusion to fans, not helped at all by Nora calling him "Len" in one episode.
    • There's also Weiss Schnee, whose name is of German origin but not pronounced as such. The series pronounces it as "W-ice" not "V-ice". (Monty Oum stated that Germany doesn't exist on Remnant, so why would the name be pronounced in the German manner?)
  • Vaguely Recalling JoJo: When they try to recall their time in Calcutta, the Narrator and Enya Geil cannot pronounce Calcutta, so they say that they were somewhere in India.
  • Pokémon fan RPG Turquoise is text-based, and the fan-region has such wonderful names as Shrdlu, Krtuso, Szlazan, Acoatyle, Etaoin, Jarovesu, Xybryle...and this trope.
  • Daithi De Nogla's name is actually pronounced "DA-hee day NO-glah". The fact that his Irish accent is slightly unusual, especially for other Irish people, makes it a little more confusing.
  • The Demented Cartoon Movie has characters pronouncing "Qrrbrbirlbel" in different ways, perhaps due to their frequently-fatal stupidity.
  • Caddicarus doesn't know how to pronounce Klonoa, so he hangs a lampshade on it in his review by titling the video "I Can't Pronounce This Game" and cycling among different pronunciations throughout.
  • Happens briefly in Critical Role, when the players first meet Clarota. Matthew Mercer's super-creepy mindflayer accent leads to them having trouble hearing the name. They decide to call him Clarence, which Clarota immediately rejects. During Matt's occasional Purple Prose, he also mispronounces words — including "sigil" (which he says with a hard "g", as opposed to a soft "g"); "cacophonous" ("cacaphonous"); and chitinous (using a "ch" sound instead of a hard k).
  • Joaquin is pronounced jock-win, not wau-keen, as the spelling might suggest. Despite being a character in a podcast, a surprising number of people get it wrong.
  • From Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG:
    561. I can't play a deep gnome just to make the rest of the party have to pronounce Svirfneblin.
    716. I cannot play a race the GM can't pronounce.
    2226. The concept of vowels are not alien to dwarves.
  • Until this article was published on Cracked, there was no official confirmation that columnist Soren Bowie's surname was pronounced "BOO-ee". Looking at the comment section, it seems it was quite a shock to a lot of fans that it wasn't "BOW-ee", as in David Bowie.
  • Honest Trailers have fun with this in their "And Starring..." section where, if they encounter an actor whose name is difficult to pronounce, they'd forego making puns about the character's name and/or roles, and instead just deliberately mispronounce their real names a couple of times before giving up.
  • Felix Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, is constantly having his last name mispronounced as "Keelberg", "Kelberg" or "kuh-jel-berg". It's actually pronounced "Chell-berg" with a soft 'g' at the end.
  • DSBT InsaniT: ???'s name is pronounced 'Question, question, question', not 'Question mark, question mark, question mark'.
  • Chapo Trap House:
    • The podcasters are significantly more well-read than they have had the opportunity to actually say the words in their vocabulary, and one will garble the pronunciation of some word or another nearly Once an Episode, with the others immediately dunking on them for it. This is stereotypically Will, who once worked in the literature industry, and does all of the linking material, but Felix has also stumbled on words like "caveat".
    • The hosts frequently screw up the names of various figures they cover on the podcast, and have commented a few times that the political class of America doesn't have normal names.

    Western Animation 
  • This is the case with Ren of The Ren & Stimpy Show, whose last name is "Hoek". Stimpy and other characters will usually pronounce it as "Ho-eck", but it has been pronounced on the show as that, "Ho-ack" and "Hork". In the pilot "Big House Blues", the narrator at the beginning pronounced it "Hoke", and Ren angrily corrected him.
  • Alfe in The Problem Solverz. The name is two syllables, pronounced "Al-fay", and all of the characters in the show pronounce it that way. However, in writing, especially to those unfamiliar with the show, the name looks like it should be pronounced like "Alfie" or just "Alf".
  • In the Hungarian dubbing of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ricochet is constantly referred to as "Ricochette", with "ch" as in "chicken" and an audible "t" at the end.
  • Transformers Prime's dub, in the same language, has some difficulty keeping the names straight. Ratchet is "Wretch-eat", Soundwave became "Ssaahnd-wave", Bulkhead is "Baalk-hed", Bumblebee is "Bahm-boel-bee", and Cliffjumper is either "Klif(f)-jahm-pehr" or "Klif(f)-jum-purr".
    • As evidenced by the awkward way Unicron's name is spoken — "Youh-nick-ron", as opposed to the way it's been pronounced evreywhere else: "Oo-nick-ron" — maybe there is a guide that tries to provide phonetic pronunciations, but is bad at it. Note that other dubs almost always translated the names, so the actors would be used to saying those, not their English originals.
    • These are just mildly annoying, and only Prime's and Megatron's actors seem to have trouble with the names — Megs even mispronounced Laserbeak as Laserback, who's actually a different character. Smokescreen saying "construction" instead of Conctructicon is another legitimate blooper.
  • The 2008 Italian redub of The Transformers features multiple pronounciation issues, with Ratchet being called "Rat Chet" multiple times, and in a pair of episodes Dirge's name is pronounced with a hard "G".
  • Gravity Falls has the yandere girl .GIFfany. When first meeting Soos, .GIFfany pronounces her name with a hard "G" (/ˈɡɪffəniː/), not a soft "G" (/ˈdʒɪfəniː/), and the name is pronounced between these two multiple times throughout the episode. Soos even brings up the question of how the name is meant to be said. This is in reference to the long-standing debate on the pronunciation of ".gif."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Rainbow Dash, yet again the Hungarian one, keeps pronouncing Thunderbolts as "Thann-der-baltz". The character itself can either be correctly "Dash" or "Dessh".
    • In Brazil, Sunset Shimmer's name rhymed with "heimer" instead of "simmer".
    • In-universe for Rarity, as she insists on pronouncing her name Raa-atie. Everyone else pronounces it Rere-atie. Oddly, this is never commented on.
    • On the English-speaking side of the fandom, there was some brief confusion regarding the background pony Lyra (who was never identified by name in the show, but was given a name in the toyline) over whether her name was pronounced "LIE-ra" or "LEER-uh". The former pronunciation was much more common and was eventually confirmed to be canon in the 5th season episode "Slice of Life".
    • In the Italian dub of "A Dog and Pony Show", Spike keeps pronouncing Sapphire Shores's name as "Saf-FEER Shores", while everyone else uses the correct pronounciation.
  • According to the Goofy short The Art of Skiing, the correct pronunciation of "skiing" is "sheeing." The same insistence showed up on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, prompting the rejoinder, "Yeah, well, you're full of skit."
  • In Ivanhoe: The King's Knight, Bois-Guilbert is pronounced without the "T" being silent as it should have been.
  • Pirates Passage lampshades this with the Moehner's. Jim explains it is pronounced "Meaner" but looks like "Moaner."
  • A reference to this trope amongst comic book fans comes up in Big Hero 6: The Series. Two comic fans Fred and Richard get into an argument over a (real life) super-villain named Globby. Richard opts for "Glue-bee" while Fred calls him "Glob-bee".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender: For some reason, the character Mai has her named pronounced like "May". Given the Asian-influenced setting, you'd think it would either be pronounced like "My" or spelled "Mei".
    • The name "Kya" is pronounced differently in different incarnations of the series. In the original pilot to Avatar The Last Airbender, Katara's name is "Kya" and it's pronounced as "Ki-ah". In The Legend of Korra Katara's daughter is named Kya, pronounced "Ki", after Katara's mother.

    Real Life — Languages in General 
  • Chinese Characters. To be fair, most characters follow a standard part x next to part y formula, where the character relates to x in meaning and is pronounced something like y, but this doesn't apply to all characters, and there's no way to tell if a character is working on this system, or which part is phonetic. To make matters worse, a character formed this way used in Japanese, for example, using native pronounciation and not borrowing the pronounciation directly from chinese, will not be pronounced the way the phonetic component would have you believe, making it look entirely like an arbitrary, nonphonetic symbol.
  • Foreign diplomatic families assigned to Moscow found the Cyrillic alphabet confusing. Seeing the Russian word for "resturant" written down as PECTOPAH, there was a distinct tendency to pronounce it as though it were in the Latin alphabet. This became a running joke at the British Embassy: "What time does the pectopah open? Which pectopah shall we dine at tonight?" et c.
    • Even the Slavic languages that use the Latin alphabet tend to be confusing for English speakers because they have consonant blends that don't exist in other languages. The "sh" and "ch" sounds are spelled, "sz" and "cz", respectively, while the "j" sound is spelled "dz".
  • Greenlandic is infamous for this. To someone who has never seen the language before something like "Inuit tamarmik inunngorput nammineersinnaassuseqarlutik assigiimmillu ataqqinassuseqarlutillu pisinnaatitaaffeqarlutik" doesn't even look like a real sentence. God forbid if you're non Greenlandic and you actually have to say it.
  • Many Hebrew names can lead to this, so many editions of the King James Bible spell the names out phonetically, with the syllables separated by hyphens. This is often referenced by parodies written In the Style of... the KJV, such as Private Eye`s take on contemporary news from the Middle East:
    "And lo, Shar-on journeyeth into the land of Us, to the House that is White, there to meet with the King of Us, which is called Dub-ya."
  • The entire Hungarian language. You ever tried studying it? It has 14 vowels, with only very subtle differences between many of them. Even with a native speaker helping out, it's very hard to get it right.
    • Dutch has more vowel sounds than that, including several that don't exist in other languages (don't even try pronouncing the "ui" or the "ij". You'll fail note  ).
      • To be precise, Dutch has 13 "pure" vowels and 4 "pure" diphthongs, however phonetically Dutch has 29 vowels (vowels and diphthongs combined). To make it even more confusing, there are two diphthongs that can be spelt in two different ways but still sound the samenote , although depending on one's dialect they may be pronounced like two different vowels. And let's not start about local dialects.
    • And then, of course, there's the infamous Dutch G. KREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAUGH!
  • Nearly all Japanese words that have been added to the English language are mispronounced. The most common offender is to use the wrong vowel sound for trailing "e"s. "Karate" ("ka-rah-teh") and "sake" ("sa-keh"), for example. Karaoke is one of the worst offenders; it should be "ka-rah-oh-keh". A good rule of thumb is to think of all "e"s as having an accent on them, especially if it's a trailing "e". "Karaté", "saké", "karaoké", etc. It's also true with "kamikaze" (it's actually "ka-mee-ka-zeh").
    • Another very subtle but important facet of the Japanese language that is utterly absent in English (and, thus, almost indiscernible to an English ear) is the practice of lengthening vowels on specific words by holding the sound just a split-second longer, which can change their meaning. A famous Rakugo comedian, Katsura Sunshine, often Lampshades this for laughs with a few examples: Obasan note  and Obaasan note ; shujin note  and shuujin note ; komon note  and koumon note .
  • Do not expect any non-scientists (or even some scientists) to pronounce the Latin-derivednote  scientific names of organisms correctly. One of the worst cases is probably Troodon, which almost everybody pronounces "TRUE-don" instead of "TROW-uh-don" which is correct.note 
    • It doesn't help that there really isn't a one true way to pronounce Latin, as, historically, all countries that used it as a scholarly language ended up using it slightly differently, bending the pronounciation to fit their own language better.
    • In Latin, there is no soft C sound, all Cs are read like Ks. Cue every Latin student ever pronouncing cinnis (ash) as Sin-us, not Kin-is. Likewise, V's were pronounced as W's. This means that Caesars famous line "Veni, vidi vici" is actually pronounced as "Way-nee, wee-dee, wee-kee". Which sounds considerably less cool than the way people usually say it. (Note: Classical Latin. High Church Latin introduced the soft C, and also the sound "vuh" for V.)
    • Also Nqwebasaurus note  and Piatnitzkysaurus.
  • Serbo-Croatian languages zig-zag around this trope. Bosnian and Serbian neatly avoids this by having everything spelled as it is pronounced, e.g. Paul McCartney would be Pol Mekartni. (Warning: Do not try to back-spell into original language. Results in phonetic equivalent of "Blind Idiot" Translation.) This is often ignored nowadays for languages that are well understood by the populace, mostly German and English.
    • Croatian on the other hand largely sticks with the original spelling for Romance and Germanic languages (Paul McCartney would still be Paul McCartney), while foreign Slavic names are adjusted for Croatian. This even applies for some exotic languages like East Asian languages where the spelling is either English or Croatian, depending on the translator (e.g. "Deng Xiaoping" and "Deng Šaoping" are both usable).
    • As for foreigners pronouncing Serbo-Croatian words and names, a couple basic rules: The sound English speaking folks recognize as "J" is written as "Dž" or if softer "Đ" in Bosnian, "Ž" is the "G" in "genre" the Bosnian "J" is pronounced as "Y", Š = Sch, Č = Ch, Ć = Ch (soft), "C" is always pronounced as "TZ" in "blitzkrieg" — never as "K", "Lj" and "Nj" are separate letters and pronounced as very soft "Ly" and "Ny" (they are a common feature of Serbo-Croatian baby speak.) The vowels are never pronounced as you think and you're probably accenting them too much- also there are preciously few around for English/American ears. One more thing, "*cough*" and "*spit*" are not letters of the Serbo-Croatian alphabet — no matter what many foreigners seem to think.
  • The Vietnamese alphabet has been around for more than 300 years and changed very little, not to mention all the peculiar rules that have been there from the beginning, so beware of Vietnamese words and names — they might not be what they look like.

    Real Life — Places 
  • Almost anything from pre-1500s America, including Tlaloc, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, Nezhualcoyotl, Twantinsuyu, and any other name of a Native American god
    • I see your Huitzilopochtli and I raise you a Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli ("tlahuizcalli" = dawn, "pan" = in, "tecuhtli" = lord), so "Lord in Dawn").
    • Almost any Mesoamerican name, for that matter.
      • Oaxaca, anyone?note 
  • When the river in question is within the state of Arkansas it is pronounced the "ar-kan-saw" river. When the river in question is within the state of Kansas, it is pronounced the "ar-kansas" river.
  • Native Maine residents refer to the city of Bangor as "Bang-gore" despite everyone outside of the state (including in Wales where the name originated) referring to it as "Bang-er". There's also the town of Calais, pronounced exactly the way it's spelt ... in English. Cal-is.
  • Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (best known for its namesake, Bryn Mawr College), pronounced "brin mar". The original Welsh pronunciation is more similar to "brin mowr".
    • Other Welsh-derived town names in the area include Tredyffrin (TruhDIFFrihn), and Bala Cynwyd (Bahla KINwood). These towns are part of a whole "Welsh Tract" west of Philadelphia (mostly in Montgomery County, but also extending into Chester and Delaware Counties), originally settled by Welsh colonists.note  The names have long since been anglicized (Lower Gwynedd Township is pronounced like "gwen-ed" not "gwin-eth"), and indeed some names are not even really Welsh (e.g. Gladwyne), as the Welsh names of some of the older Main Line towns (e.g. Merion, Radnor, Haverford, and the aforementioned Bala Cynwyd) were seen as rather stylish in the 1850s and 60s.
      • The Welsh language in general often seems to have been deliberately designed with the aim of confusing the English, as a Take That! for Edward I's conquest.
  • The city of Cairo is pronounced like "Ky-roh", different from how it looks. Unless you're talking about the one in Illinois, where the locals say "Kay-roh".
  • Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh. Not "doo-KEZ-nee", but "doo-KANE". Which is almost the exact opposite problem fans of the film of The Shawshank Redemption have when reading the original novella: seeing main character Andy's last name, pronounced "doo-FRAIN", spelled as "Dufresne". Though the vowel sound "u" doesn't sound anything at all like the english "oo" in french.
    • Considering all the harm done to languages in Western Pennsylvania (Versailles pronounced ver-SALES; Buena Vista receiving the nickname BYOO-nee), it's actually surprising that Duquesne is actually pronounced correctly.
  • Even people within the city written as 各務原 in Japan can't be sure how the city's name should be pronounced. The city hall uses "Kakamigahara", the two rail operators that serve the city have their own way of calling it; JR calls it Kagamigahara while Meitetsu calls it Kagamihara. What's more, the local schools decides it's Kakamihara.
  • The French tire manufacturer Michelin. Is supposed to be pronounced "Meesh-lan". Amusingly, people will often get it right (or at least a lot closer than "Mitchell-in") when talking about Michelin star restaurants. Presumably there's not much crossover between people who talk about high-class restaurants and people who talk about tires — even though the tire manufacturers are the same company who publish the Michelin Guide (the point of the Guide, which first appeared in 1900, was to show people interesting places they could go by road in these newfangled automobiles—the further people go in their cars, the more they'll wear their tires out, the more they'll need to buy new tires).
  • Mississippi has a lot of these. The city of Biloxi, on the Gulf Coast is pronounced like "Bi-LUX-ee" not "Bi-LOX-ee", The local river, Tchoutacabouffa River, is pronounced, "TOO-ta-ca-BUFF-a". Gautier, a small town 20 miles east of Biloxi is pronounced , "GO-shay" or sometimes, "GO-chay". Saucier, a small town 20 miles west of Biloxi is pronounced, "SO-sure".
  • Georgia has their own pronunciations of more famous places: Houston County (HOW-ston, not HYU-ston) and Albany (al-BEN-ny instead of AL-ba-ny). There's also Dekalb county with a silent "l", though some sound it out anyway.
  • Missouri residents remain bitterly divided over whether their state's name should end in an "ee" sound or an "uh" sound. Dave Barry Slept Here jokingly refers to this division as the Missouri Compromise, though unlike the actual Missouri Compromise there is no clear dividing line.
  • Washington State has several cities and towns with names that are either Native American words or derived from such. Two of the more irritating ones are the city of Puyallup and Sequim. People from out of state tend to pronounce them "poo-YAA-lup" and "see-kwim" (think "sequin"). They're really pronounced "pyu-AH-lup" and "skwim."
  • Worcester, Massachusetts. It's not Warchester, it's not Warsister, it's Woostah — think "Worce-ster".
  • The United Kingdom:
    • Americans tend to emphasize the last syllable in names ending with "-ham". Brits are always amused to hear Americans talking about "BuckingHAM Palace", when the native pronunciation is more like "Bucking'm".
      • English places ending with "-bury" have the same issue. Many an American musician has announced how excited they are to be playing GlastonBERRY festival to stifled laughs from the crowd. The local pronunciation is more like Glaston-bree.
      • On the other hand, anything with the word "berry" in it (e.g., strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.) is also pronounced the same way in the U.K..
      • Also occurs with many places in Australia, including the state capitals of Melbourne ("Melb'n" vs "Mel-BORN") and Brisbane ("Brisb'n" vs "Bris-BAYN"). Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade noted this in one of his news posts when visiting Melbourne for PAX Australia:
    Jerry: Melbourne is actually pronounced Mel-Byn, as though it were a wizard.
    • Tip: Pronounce the word ten times really fast and by the end you'll get a likely approximation of how it's said. And yes, for the record, that is how these places got less-than-obvious pronunciations: people slurring words / being lazy.
    • Cambridge, the University city in Cambridgeshire, is pronounced "came bridge". Cambridge, the village in Gloucestershire, is pronounced "cam bridge". By the way, Gloucestershire is pronounced "GLOS-ter-sheer". Similarly, "Leicester" is simply pronounced "Lester". Rochester is pronounced (mostly) how it looks, however.
    • The English town of Shrewsbury is notorious for disagreement over whether it should be pronounced as spelt, or as "Shrovesbury". So notorious, in fact, that whenever the town is mentioned on radio or TV, this is almost guaranteed to be the first thing that gets brought up. On the whole, the locals don't actually care.
      • This is also true of Pontefract (traditionally 'Pumfrit', a bastardisation of the original French pronunciation, nowadays more commonly 'Pon-te-fract') and Cirencester (traditionally 'Sissister' nowadays more commonly 'Sirensester').
    • The English town of Southwell has people (even locals) disagreeing over whether it should be pronounced "South-Well" or "Suth-ell", with people claiming that the one they don't use is posh. Apparently (according to a local radio feature on pronunciation) even the BBC doesn't have an "official" answer and tells presenters to use whichever version they would usually.
    • Gotham, England. No, not "Goth-am", it's "Got-ham", similar to cities like Nottingham and Birmingham. Oh, and it's not actually "got-ham" either, it's "goat-um".
    • Loughborough is a name that has stumped many foreigners. The correct pronunciation is "LUFF-bruh". Dave Gorman, in an episode of Modern Life Is Goodish, did a bit on this name where he ranted about how un-obvious the pronunciation is, followed by saying that he likes to tell American tourists that it's pronounced "lowbrow". One anecdote (possibly a joke) that's told quite a few times is an Australian coming to England and asking a native how to get to "looga-barooga".
    • Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch averts this by actually including a pronunciation guide on its sign (Llan-vire-pooll-guin-gill-go-ger-u-queern-drob-ooll-llandus-ilio-gogo-goch). It's not exact (the "ll" is a sound that doesn't exist in English, which kind of sounds vaguely like a "cl", and the "ch" is pronounced as if in German), but it's the closest a non-native speaker is probably going to get. Just say Llanfair PG.
    Real Life Companies and Groups 
  • Al-Qaida. In the US, it seems, it's usually pronounced "Al KYE-duh" or "Al KYE-uh-duh" (emphasized syllable rhyming with "dye"). In Britain, the media usually pronounces it "Al Kah-EE-duh." Just don't say "al-kayder". Please.
    • The American pronunciation, especially the one that adds a short, neutral vowel in the middle, is closer; the Arabic has four syllables and contains both /q/ (a uvular sound that doesn't exist in English and is very hard for English-speakers to pronounce, and /ʕ/ (or /ʢ/, depending on dialect), a pharyngeal (or epiglottal) sound which also doesn't exist in English and is virtually impossible for English-speakers to pronounce. Arabic names in general tend to be awful for English speakers, since they contain many sounds that don't exist in English, including (besides the ones mentioned) the h in Muhammad (like an English h, but more from the throat — and definitely not like a German ch) and the "S" in "Saddam" (which involves constricting the airflow through your pharynx while saying "s"—much harder than it sounds, since most people hardly realize that they can control their pharynx). Another tough one is the name of Muammar al-Qaddafi/Gaddafi, which nobody seems to be sure how to spell it either (both are acceptable: the "Q" spelling reflects Standard Arabic, while the "G" spelling reflects Libyan Arabic).
  • The pronunciation of Antifa, whose ideas will not be elaborated on, is almost more controversial than the group. Some pronounce it Ant I Fah but Anteefuh is just as common with Anit-Fash note and even Aunti-fah-dah also occasionally being heard. It doesn't help matters at all that, despite being known for protest/riots, the group coordinates online and rarely meets outside of their rallies. So even within the group there are some arguments about pronunciation.
  • Björk. The umlaut on 'o' is NOT gratuitous.
  • Nobody seems to be sure if the fossa's name is pronounced 'foosa' (as seen in the film Madagascar), or with a short 'o' like how it's spelled.
  • Honda. Most people say "Hon-duh" when, since it's a Japanese company with a Japanese name, it's more like "Hohn-Dah" Honda's own marketing division pronounces it the way "most people" do, so at this point you may as well concede that they're right. Sort of like how another Japanese automaker decided that "Mazda" would be an awful lot easier than "Matsuda".
  • Inversion; The correct Korean pronounciation of "Hyundai" is something like Hyun Die; most American pronounce it "Hun Day" because the company's U.S. division always has, the automotive divison going as far as putting "rhymes with Sunday" in its early print ads. British/Irish advertisements (and, consequently, motorists) use the more accurate (but still wrong) "hie-UN-die". And Australians pronounce it "hee-UN-day", a weird mixture of the American and British versions. Go figure. ("Hun-Die" (very no "y") has been spotted in the southern US, but this is probably just a complete misreading of the name. )
    • The real (i.e. Korean) pronunciation of Hyundai (in the transliteration system currently favored by the Korean government it is spelled "hyeondae") is actually closer to the common way of pronouncing it in the US than "Hyun Die". While "hyun" (being a single syllable) is a somewhat accurate representation of the Korean pronunciation using English orthography, "die" is blatantly wrong. Since most Anglophones seem utterly incapable of pronouncing a long "e" sound (not the English "e" but roughly like a longer version of the "e" in "bend") without corrupting it into a diphthong (the "ay" in "day") if a syllable ends with the vowel "e" in many foreign languages, "hyunday" is really the closest the vast majority of monoglot Anglophones are going to get to the original pronunciation. In summary, if you want to be as faithful as possible to the Korean pronunciation, "hyunday" (two syllables) really is your best shot.
    • Maya Rudolph had an SNL character that stretched it out into four syllables: high-YON-die-yay.
    • "Hün-die" and "Hyoon-die" have both been present in Finnish TV commercials.
  • Would-be deadly militia group Hutaree (a word they made up that means Christian Warrior) has been pronunced "Hootery" and "Hatari" by the news (Colbert went with "'Hatari', no relation to Atari").
  • Then there's Jaguar where some Americans insist on pronouncing it Jag Wire, instead of Jagwarr. Which gets more complicated since it's a British auto maker and the British pronunciation is Jag-u-war, meanwhile the word itself is Tupi and can be Haguar or Yaguar.
  • Australians pronounce auto maker Nissan as "NISS'n" and Britons as "Niss-an". Americans come far closer to the original Japanese with "NEE-sahn".
  • Shampoo company Pantene is "Pan-ten" in Britain, an anglicisation of the original French pronunciation, but, in America it's "Pan-teen".
And in Scandinavia, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal it is "Pan-tehn-uh" with the final "e" pronounced.
  • Another car company, Porsche ("porsh-uh", like the feminine name "Portia"). It is not pronounced "Porsh", people. The "porsh" pronunciation has become fairly standard in the English-speaking world, to the extent that anyone who pronounces it correctly risks being labelled snobby or wrong.
  • Car company Peugeot — which is French — gets pronounced "per-zhou" in France and England. But in Ireland it's usually 'pew-joe' and in America it's 'poo-got'.
  • The name of the Rothschild international banking family is pronounced by most English speakers with the "s" as part of the first syllable thus sounding like "Roth's Child", but the "s" is actually part of the second syllable and thus should be pronounced more along the lines of "Rote shillt" or 'rot schild'. This is because the name is German in origin and means "red shield".

    Real Life — People 
  • Amanda Seyfried's last name is almost never pronounced correctly, ranging from "say-freed" to "see-fried" to "seg-freed". She pronounces it "sigh-fred"
  • Neve Campbell has this problem with some people from the UK and especially Ireland — where the name "Niamh" is pronounced 'neve' (or 'nee-av' depending on where you live). Her name is pronounced "nev".
  • There are not a lot of silent E's in German (or Dutch, meaning that when Play The Game said that an E in Dutch is never silent and has to be pronounced, they were right): Anne Frank's first name has two syllables ("ann-uh"). Or technically three, seeing as her full name is Annelies Marie Frank. She also had a friend Sanne — which is meant to be pronounced "san-uh".
  • Brett Favre. Lampshaded in There's Something About Mary.
  • Charlize Theron praised Graham Norton for pronouncing her last name correctly. Most people would say it as "thair-on" when it's actually "therron".
  • Many interviewers pronounce Cate Blanchett's surname incorrectly, it's Blanchett, not Blanchette, pretty obviously because there is no E on the end. It's perhaps understandable seeing as Blanchett is a surname with French origin, but Cate herself has confirmed many times that Blanchett is the correct pronounciation.
  • Demi Moore's name was generally pronounced "demmy" for a while before she made it clear it was meant to be "d'mee". A surprisingly large number of people regarded this as an absurd pretension along the lines of Marias who insist on "ma-rye-ah" or Alices who insist on "a-lease", despite the fact that this is pretty much the only time anyone has ever heard this name.
    • Exaserbated by Demi Lovato, whose name is pronounced "demmy", and who is now arguably the more well known Demi.
    • "Ma-rye-ah" is the older pronunciation of the name in English. "Ma-ree-ah" is the Spanish and Italian version which has only recently taken over the English-speaking world, as well, with the former version only being used nowadays when there's an "h" on the end of the name, such as Mariah Carey.
  • Sir Edmund Halley of comet fame is sometimes pronounced "Hayley" (as in Bill Haley and his Comets), but nowadays you're more likely to find fellow scientists insisting that it's supposed to rhyme with "galley". A few diehards, however, insist that it's actually "Hawley".
    • And those diehards would only be partially right. Halley lived more than 300 years ago, so his name would have been pronounced as roughly "Hawley" in his lifetime, but the English language has changed enough since then that the pronunciation rhyming with "galley" is now correct. Unless they want to pronounce his first name as "Edmoond", they are wrong.
  • Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series. It is so bad that the first question he is usually asked in interviews is how to pronounce it.
    "It's pronounced 'Owen', so stop making that noise like a car wooshing past you at the Grand Prix." — Neil Gaiman
  • Pasta magnate Ettore Boiardi averted this trope with his canned products, by spelling his name phonetically as "Boyardee" on the packaging.
  • Eva Braun's surname is pronounced "brown". Anything else is wrong.
  • Geologist George William Featherstonhaugh, whose last name is pronounced "FAN-shaw."
  • Gugu Mbatha Raw might trip up some English speakers. Her last name is pronounced "M'bahta- Raw", with the "th" sounding like a solitary "t"
  • The chef Heston Blumenthal pronounces his own name with "th" taking its usual English value (like in "menthol"), but most other people affect a Germanic pronunciation — even the narrators of Heston's own documentaries (when he isn't doing his own voiceovers).
  • Isaac Asimov's name has presented innumerable difficulty to science fiction fans, both trying to remember how to spell it and trying to figure out how to pronounce it. (This includes his first name, which frequently comes up as "Issac", despite being relatively common.) Notable example: Joel Robinson never manages to pronounce Asimov correctly (or even fluently) when the Good Doctor is mentioned in early episodes of MST3K. Which may be one reason why they eventually dropped the Asimov jokes.
    • Isaac Asimov himself devoted an entire editorial in his magazine to the proper pronunciation and spelling of his name.
    • The usual English pronunciation has the stress on the first syllable; in Russian, (Озимов) it's on the second, so a-ZEE-muf.
      • A similar thing happens in translations of Chuck Palahniuk's works into Russian and Ukrainian. They spell his last name "Паланик" (Palanik) and "Поланiк" (Polanik) respectively, even though the original spelling in both languages is "Палагнюк".
  • Many people still think the Row in J. K. Rowling rhymes with cow. Actually, her last name is pronounced "rolling".
  • Kim Basinger. Long or short A? Hard or soft G? Lampshaded in The Simpsons, when Homer calls her "Kim BASS-in-jer" and she responds "It's BAY-singer!"
  • Kyle Hebert ("Hey-bear") has the same problem. Worse, it's so close to "Herbert", it's sometimes misspelled as well.
  • One guest on Mock the Week referred to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "Where's me dinner Dad" presumably because he couldn't pronounce the actual name.
    • In the American media, "I'm a dinner jacket" has been used. The pronunciation is really something along the lines of "ACH-mah-din-uh-jad".
  • Professional golfer Louis Oosthuizen once did a commercial for Ping clubs that lampshaded how people can't get his quirky Afrikaans surname correct. ("It's 'UIST-hay-zen', by the way.") A year later, he's asked about this by a Golf Channel reporter and gives a different pronounciation, closer to 'Ust-hyezen'. In general, if you're not fluent in Dutch or Afrikaans and you pronounce it 'Ust-hayzen' or 'Oost-hayzen' everyone will know who you mean.
  • Matt Groening. Pronounced GRAY-ning, not "Groaning". (His ancestors in Germany would have pronounced it to rhyme fairly closely with "churning".) Probably doesn't help he spells it "Groaning" in the Treehouse of Horror episodes.
    Groening (into intercom): Doris! Activate the super-tuned defense systems!
    Doris (over intercom): Yes, mister Groening ("GROW-ning")...
    Groening: It's GRAY-ning!
    Doris (condecendingly): Are you sure?
    Groening (sadly): No...
  • Meshell Ndegeocello. Born Michelle Johnson. It doesn't help that she's changed her name and its spelling several times; on her first major label album, she included instructions on just how to pronounce it (Mee-shell N-deh-gay-o-chel-o).
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. It looks harder than it really is.
  • Many people are caught off guard by Ralph Fiennes (probably best known as Lord Voldemort or Amon Goeth) as, despite appearing to be spoken close to "Ralf Fee-nez", it's actually pronounced "Ray-f Fines".
    • In general, in a certain region "Ralph" rhymes with "safe".
  • Rene Auberjonois' name is so frequently reduced to hash that part of his convention shtick involves tutoring fans on how to pronounce it. For the record, it's a French pronunciation with emphasis on the second syllable: "aw-BEAR-zhon-wa".
  • While FDR pronounced his name "ROSE-a-velt", earlier President Teddy (a distant cousin) pronounced it "ROOS-a-velt."
  • St. Augustine, both the 4th-century Christian thinker and the Floridian city named in his honor, is pronounced "AW-gus-teen" (the month of August, plus "teen"). Nevertheless, some maintain the pronunciation of "aw-GUS-teen" or "uh-GUS-tin" or variants.
  • Saoirse Ronan. Poor girl probably had to constantly correct people on the pronunciation of her first name her whole life. It's pronounced 'Sur-sha'. When she was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert had her read several Irish names that would likely be mangled by Anglophones. She also recalls getting picked up from an airport by someone with a sign reading "Shelley Ronan".
    "Shelley Ronan is probably still at that airport."
  • Penn Jillette claimed on his vlog that Dr. Seuss should be pronounced as if it's in German. Theodore Geisel himself used to say "Seuss rhymes with voice", while a collaborator of Seuss's wrote of him:
    You're wrong as the deuce
    And you shouldn't rejoice
    If you're calling him Seuss
    He pronounces it Soice
  • The late, great TV writer and producer Stephen J. Cannell (rhymes with "channel")
  • Likewise, you're likely to mostly see "Steve Blum" printed out, and probably not realize it's supposed to be pronounced "bloom".
  • Tone Lōc: Perplexingly averted. The confusion over how to pronounce his name is rather baffling. Isn't the guide in his name?
    • Not for the majority of English speakers, whose language has almost no such pronunciation marks. We see them so rarely that when we see them, we don't know what they are, so they don't register. For this reason, people now spell "résumé" without the accent marks and "Naïve" without the diaeresis.
  • To anyone familiar with WCW, it's made perfectly clear how head announcer Tony Schiavone's name is pronounced ("Shu-VAHN-ee"), but people less familiar with him often mispronounce it as either "Shu-VOAN" or "skee-AH-voan".
  • Will Meugniot, comic book artist/creator and producer of such cartoons as Exosquad, X-Men and Spider-Man Unlimited, has a notoriously difficult to pronounce last name. It's "Min-ee-ot"; you can hear it in the latter series because the editor of the Daily Byte was modelled and named after him.
  • Vic Mignogna. It's "min-yon-uh", for the record, but you'd never guess that if you've only seen his name in credits.
  • Vincent van Gogh: IPA [fan χoχ]. If you know Klingon, it's van ghoH. And if you don't, the funky &#967 letters are pronounced like one is clearing their throat.
  • Dara Ó Briain. It's pronounced "oh-BREE-un". You'll annoy him (and his fans) if you pronounce it "oh-BRYE-un".
  • Adolf Hitler. Almost everyone on the planet pronounces his surname "HIT-ler", but given that it was originally a misspelling of the German surname Hiedler, the correct pronunciation should be "HEET-ler". There's also "AD-olf" vs. "AY-dolf" for his first name (going by German pronunciation rules, the former is correct).
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic. It's pronounced "YAHN-ko-VICK". Call him "YAN-ko-VICH" and you'll out yourself as a non-fan.
  • Greek basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo's name is almost always mispronounced. His first name is "Yannis", not "Gee-an-is". His last name has multiple "correct" pronunciations, either the Nigerian way, "adet-kumpo" or the Greek way, "antet-kumpo".

    Real Life — Other 
  • There are far too many people who pronounce "Adobe" as Uh-Doeb. Some even go as far as to make fun of the people who pronounce it correctly! (PS: correct pronunciation = "ah-D'OH-bee.")
  • Almonds. The L was originally silent and thus the word pronounced "ah-munds."
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • The legendary sword Claíomh Solais shows up in videogames a lot, where it confuses the hell out of anyone who doesn't speak Irish. The correct pronunciation is "CLEE-(u)v SULL-is".
    • Also, Cú Chulainn. The first word is pronounced "Koo", and the second is the Irish form of "Cullen" (though with the c modified into ch, giving it a guttural "kh" sound). In particular, most Japanese media transliterates it as "Kuu Hurin". Final Fantasy XII gets somewhat more creative with "Kyukurein".
  • The Dachshund dog breed. Sure, if you know German, it's easy as hell, but you still hear "dash-hound"/ "dawk-suhnd" a lot.
    • Actually, if you are German, you'll probably say "Dackel" anyway.
    • Keeshonden is much more commonly mispronounced. It is usually said to be "keesh-hound", but, technically, it's something close to "kays-hund".
    • In a similar vein, Xoloitzcuintles have their breed name mispronounced constantly. It's SHOW-low-eats-QUEEN-lee, and people usually have more trouble spelling it than saying it.
  • From the early days of the internet through to the present: GIFs, the old standard for indexed color stills and animated graphics. Do you say it with a hard "G" as in "graphics", or a soft one, as in "jiffy". As this one was used in text as an acronym far more than it was spoken, its usage was codified long before its pronunciation.
    • Hard G — JIFF/JIF is another image format based on JPEG, and "jif" is also short for "jiffy", which is an amount of time. Not to mention that G stands for "graphic" so the acronym should also have a hard G.
    • Soft G — On the flip side, the original developers of GIF pronounced it "jif", often saying "choosy developers choose GIF." And the same argument can be made for JPEG; The P stands for "Photographic" which means it should be pronounced "jay-fegg."
    • It's weird to hear "PNG" pronounced as anything other than "pee-en-gee", but the official pronunciation is "ping". Not to be confused with the network diagnostic tool, but it's hard to imagine any situation in which that confusion would arise in practice.
    • The prefix "giga-" is always pronounced with a hard G today, but, at one point, (when consumer technology was not yet sufficiently advanced for it to be in the lexicon of the average person) it could alternatively be pronounced with a soft "g". Back to the Future famously uses this pronunciation when referring to "1.21 jigawatts", as it's the pronunciation used by a physicist that Robert Zemeckis consulted.
  • Also, the Clay Warrior of legend who has been adapted into both Pokémon and many forms of fantasy (most notably D&D). "Golum" (the typical US pronunciation), or "Go-lem" (the British)? There's a joke based on this in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Flamel apparently uses the US pronunciation, because Sophie asks him, "Golem? Like in The Lord of the Rings?"
  • There was the little girl of perhaps ten or eleven, on a Saturday morning zoo show on British TV, who was innocent of the subtleties of French pronunciation. Given a link to do concerning the afternoon's sporting attractions, she read off the autocue:
    And this afternoon at two, we go to Murray Walker who will commentate on the Grand Pricks of South Africa..
    (Producer) I think you'll find it's pronounced "Grond Pree"...
    (Little Girl, after a second's consideration) Well, it says "Grand Pricks" here!
  • Heroes stars Milo Ventimiglia and Hayden Panettiere have trouble with their last names, both pronouncing and spelling. For the record, it's Vent-eh-meal-yah and Pan-ah-tee-air. Their costar Masi Oka occasionally confuses interviewers with his first name; it's pronounced Mah-see, not Massy.
  • The word for an undead spellcaster sometimes gives rise to mispronunciations. It rhymes with "witch".
  • "Lingerie" is almost universally pronounced ("lahn-zhuh-RAY") in the English-speaking world. "Lan-zhe-REE" (first syllable rhyming with "can") is about as close as an anglicisation is going to get, but most people pronounce the first syllable with a long "ah", with some going on to pronounce the third as "ray" with emphasis. Lengery rhyming with revengery (if that were a word) would work, too.
  • Also from the internet: is it Ludicrous Gibs as in "giblets", or "gibbons"? Gib is short for giblet; this pronunciation is used in the tutorial level for the original Unreal Tournament.
  • The Irish name 'Ciaran' can vary in pronunciation depending on where in the country you are. The more common variations are 'kee-rawn' (playing up the Irish language sound) or 'kee-run' (which is more anglicised). But in the north of the country, you're likely to hear 'kee-ern' too.
  • Similarly the Welsh name Sian is likely to be mispronounced outside the UK as 'see-an' or even 'shan' (which is a bit closer). The actual pronunciation is 'shahn'.
  • "Meme" is pronounced as one syllable, "meem", by the inventor of the word and concept Richard Dawkins. Yet many advocate a Japanese-influenced two-syllable pronunciation of "me me", "may may", or other variants.
    • Or the same as French même which happens to mean "same".
    • Incidentally, the word is supposed to rhyme with "gene", since the definition of "meme" is a "cultural gene".
  • The official pronunciation of RFID (a tiny chip present in many employee IDs and clothing items in stores) is "are-eff-eye-dee", although people frequently mispronounce it as "ARE-fid" or "RIFF-id".
  • Anytime the word "Shaman" appears. Someone is going to argue whether the first syllables has a long or soft "A". The terrible part? Both are technically correct.
  • "Sovremenny" is pronounced, approximately, "Suv-reh-MEN-niy". The final y actually stands for two sounds, the first being a hard "i" which does not exist in most dialects of English, and the second like the y in "may". Since the hard i is also transliterated as "y", such words are most commonly transliterated with just one y, instead of "iy".
  • The acronym UFO, short for Unidentified Flying Object, was coined by USAF Captain Edward Ruppelt. He himself pronounced it you-foe, but it is now widely pronounced as separate letters. Notably, the study of UFO phenomena, ufology, isn't pronounced the same way as either of these—the consensus seems to be like you-fall-oh-gee.
  • The UNIX editor vi is not pronounced as "vye", but "vee".
    • Actually, it's even vee-eye — it literally being two letters as a shorthand (v.i., for Visual Interface).
    • Linux in general is rife with mispronunciations. There's line-ux and leenux for the kernel. Deebian for Debian — named as a portmanteau of its creators Debra and Ian Murdock. You Bantu for Ubuntu — pronounced "Uh-boon-too". SUSE, per Word of God, is pronounced "Sooz-uh", like John Phillips Sousa. Libreoffice tends to shift between the Spanish "Lee-bray" and the (correct) French "Lee-bruh" — confounding the matter is Richard Stallman's slogan to "think in Spanish" and distinguish between gratis (free as in beer) and libre (free as in speech).
    • GNU is pronounced, per Word of God, "as one syllable with a hard G, like 'grew' but with the letter 'N' instead of 'R' " — like "new" with a hard 'G' sound. Despite this, letters are often individually pronounced to reflect the (official) acronym GNU's Not UNIX. Gah-noo is not unheard of, either.
  • The official pronunciation of the SQL database language is "S-Q-L", but a lot of database administrators pronounce it as "sequel," as in "Microsoft Sequel Server" or "MySequel."
  • Faust. It's pronounced "fowst" (rhymes with "house"), not "fawst" (rhymes with "sauce"). This applies to both the famous literary figure and Lauren Faust.
  • Asperger Syndrome is variously pronounced with a hard G or a soft G. Given that Hans Asperger was Austrian, the hard G pronunciation is most likely the correct one, but some people reject that pronunciation because they think it sounds like "ass burger" (which was poked fun at in an episode of South Park).
  • There is debate over how each year of the 2010s should be pronounced. Most people pronounce each year as "two thousand xx", while many other people pronounce each year as "twenty xx" instead. The folks who prefer the latter of the two pronunciations argue that a year such as 1991 wasn't pronounced as "one thousand nine hundred ninety one", which is debunked by the folks who prefer the former pronunciation that 2001 wasn't pronounced as "twenty oh one." This is also argued by the latter half that by doing that, one would be pronouncing two vowels, which wouldn't sound easy. But this is debunked once again by the former half that pronouncing the year "twenty eleven" is also pronouncing two vowels, which doesn't make much of a difference. In short, the years of the 2010s could be pronounced however anyone else prefers.