Kimchi is world's most confusing dish, pho among most mispronounced: study


A recent study identified the world's most confusing and mispronounced dishes.

About the study: The study by Remitly, a U.S.-based financial services provider, compiled the names of a total of 2,719 dishes from 167 countries and analyzed search terms like "what is" and "how to pronounce” from August 2022 to July 2023. The results purportedly reveal the international delicacies that cause the most confusion and are most often mispronounced among people worldwide.

The most confusing dish: Kimchi, a Korean dish, came in first place on “The World’s Top 25 Most Confusing Cuisines” list with a total of 946,090 annual global search volume. Kimchi, pronounced “kim · chee,” is a traditional banchan (side dish) made by salting and fermenting vegetables, such as cabbage or radish. It is typically served as an accompaniment to rice or alongside a main dish and is known to have a spicy, sour taste.

Other Asian dishes: The top 25 list also includes Vietnam’s pho at No. 8 with 491,700 annual Google searches, India’s chai at No. 15 with 337,470 and South Korea’s soju at No. 20 with 266,720. Japan’s sushi (No. 18), miso soup (No. 24) and natto (No. 25) also made the list.

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Below is the list of the world’s Top 25 most confusing dishes:

  1. Kimchi (Korea)

  2. Falafel (Egypt)

  3. Gyros (Greece)

  4. Couscous (Morocco)

  5. Tahini (Syria)

  6. Gnocchi (Italy)

  7. Gelato (Italy)

  8. Pho (Vietnam)

  9. Carnitas (Mexico)

  10. Shawarma (Turkey)

  11. Peanut butter and jelly (United States)

  12. Risotto (Italy)

  13. Haggis (Scotland)

  14. Hummus (Israel)

  15. Chai (India)

  16. Kava (The Pacific Islands)

  17. Fufu (Ghana)

  18. Sushi (Japan)

  19. Foie Gras (France)

  20. Soju (South Korea)

  21. Horchata (Mexico)

  22. Sauerkraut (Germany)

  23. Ceviche (Peru)

  24. Miso Soup (Japan)

  25. Natto (Japan)

The most mispronounced dishes: The researchers also listed the 15 most mispronounced dishes in the world based on search terms like “how to pronounce” and “how to say.” The list includes Vietnam’s pho, China’s gyoza, Korea’s tteokbokki and Japan’s ramen.

Below is the list of the world’s top 15 most mispronounced dishes:

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  1. Gyros (Greece) Yi · ros

  2. Pho (Vietnam) Fuh

  3. Gnocchi (Italy) No · kee

  4. Pizza (Italy) Peet · suh

  5. Quesadilla (Mexico) Kay · suh · dee · uh

  6. Focaccia (Italy) Fuh · kach · ee · uh

  7. Poke bowl (U.S.) Pow · kay bowl

  8. Tzatziki (Greece) Sat · see · kee

  9. Gyoza (China ) Gee · ow · zuh

  10. Baklava (Turkey) Ba · kluh · vuh

  11. Paella (Spain) Pai · eh · luh

  12. Tteokbokki (Korea) Tok · bo · kee

  13. Ramen (Japan) Raa · muhn

  14. Shawarma (Turkey) Sha · wuh · muh

  15. Beignet (France) Bay · nyay

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