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Dhaka Tribune

Kamala, da Vinci among most mispronounced words of 2020

K-Pop band BTS’s full name Bangtan Sonyeondan, which translates to ‘a group of bulletproof boys,’ was also included on the list

Update : 12 Dec 2020, 09:29 PM

Kamala Harris, America’s vice president-to-be, Leonardo da Vinci, a Renaissance master, and Anthony Fauci, American physician and immunologist, are on the top of this year’s list of most mispronounced words.

The list, released by the US Captioning Company on Wednesday, identified words that were found to be the most difficult for people on television and newsreaders to pronounce in 2020, reports news agency AP News.

The US Captioning Company subtitles and captions real-time events on television and in courtrooms.

It was commissioned by Babbel, a German subscription-based language learning app with headquarters in Berlin and New York, to create the list. It generated the list by surveying its members, said the caption company.

The list reflects a year when the US presidential election and the Covid-19 pandemic dominated the public sphere, said Todd Ehresmann, senior linguist at Babbel.

Here’s how the eminent linguist broke down the correct way to pronounce the commonly misspoken words:

Anthony Fauci (AN-thon-nee FOW-chee): Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

Bangtan Sonyeondan (PUNG-tahn SOH-nyun-dahn): The full name of South Korean K-Pop band BTS, which translates to “a group of bulletproof boys” or “bulletproof boy scouts”.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (YON-nis AHN-de-doh-KOON-boh): Greek basketball player who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, an American professional basketball team.

Isaias (ees-ah-EE-ahs): The name given to a destructive Category 1 hurricane that caused extensive damage across the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States.

Kamala Harris: The incoming vice president of the US. According to AP News, her first name is pronounced “KAH’-mah-lah” or, as she explains in her biography, “comma-la”.

Leonardo da Vinci (lee-oh-NAR-doe dah-VIN-chee): An Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. He is also the painter of the Mona Lisa.

Nevada (nev-ADD-ah): A state in the Western United States; it played a central role in the US presidential election.

Yosemite: An American national park. It was notably mispronounced by President Trump in August. Several sources list its pronunciation as (yoh-SEM-it-ee).

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