In this 2005 record photo, travellers view fifty percent Dome from Glacier allude at Yosemite nationwide Park, Calif. (AP Photo)


Place surname in the United claims are a hodgepodge, a seemingly arbitrarily collection, of different languages.

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This can make pronunciation a bit difficult, also for people who live here. Indigenous the Pacific Northwest come the eastern shores, part names are well known in this regard. Stop talk about 12 that them.

We start in the Pacific Northwest. As with most components of the unified States, this area is greatly influenced by its rich aboriginal American history and culture.


This giant Childhood refer wagon in a Spokane, Washington, park serves as a children's slide. It was produced by Ken Spiering.

1. Spokane, Washington

The correct pronunciation is “Spo-CAN,” no “Spo-CANE.” The name Spokane originates from a indigenous American tribe. It method “children of the sun.”

This city is situated in the northwestern part of the joined States. Spokane is known for its herbal beauty. The occupants are really outdoorsy, meaning they prefer to gain outdoor activities like hiking and also biking.

Moving under the coast, we concerned California. Many names in this state come indigenous the early Spanish settlers.

2. La Jolla, California

This sun-drenched city is commonly mispronounced “La JOL-LA.” but the correct pronunciation is “La HOY-a.”

La Jolla is a seaside community located in ~ the city of mountain Diego, California. That is quiet unclear even if it is La Jolla’s name comes from the Spanish word “La Joya,” meaning “the jewel,” or from the indigenous American term (woholle) meaning “hole in the mountains."

But moving east across the united States, we concerned not a state yet a nationwide park.


California's sequoia trees are amongst the largest and also oldest living points on Earth.

3. Yosemite nationwide Park

This nationwide park is grand and also beautiful … and often mispronounced. That is no “Yo-SE-mi-nee” or “YO-se-MIGHT.” yet rather “Yoh-sem-it-ee.” in ~ the end, don’t forget to say the “t."

Yosemite nationwide Park is set within California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

This park is recognized for its giant, ancient sequoia trees and for other breath-taking hill scenes.

Photographer Ansel Adams is well known for his black-and-white photographs that this national treasure.

4. Helena, Montana

The resources city the Montana is express “HELL-e-na,” not “Hel-LAY-na.” that is exactly how most women called Helena say their name.

Helena is located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in between Yellowstone and also Glacier nationwide Parks. However, the city’s co-founder did not come because that the scenery. They came to look for gold. The was an initial called Saint Helena. Yet the locals reduce the Saint and also kept Helena.

Besides its Gold rush history, Helena is additionally a renowned destination for people who choose to perform things outdoors, such as hiking, biking, fishing and camping. Helena is well-known for the trail system -- 120 kilometers (75 miles) the hiking and also biking trails.

Moving inland, we involved a state that does no sound together it is spelled.

5. Arkansas

The surname Arkansas method “south wind.” It originates from (akansa), a word supplied by some aboriginal Americans come describe an early tribe in the area. The together “Ark-an-saw” adheres to the French tradition of no pronouncing the final “s.”


This state is well-known for its affluent mineral reserves and natural beauty.

But the city the Hope, Arkansas is an ext famously well-known as the birthplace of previous U.S. President bill Clinton.

6. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

This is a college town in the eastern state that Pennsylvania. The “e” at the finish may confuse some people. That is no “Willks-BAR” yet rather “Willks-BARRY.”

Do not drop the critical “e” as usual sense -- and also French speaker -- would suggest.

7. Schenectady, brand-new York

This city in new York State is express “ski-NEK-tuh-dee.” The Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois country originally dubbed this area "Schau-naugh-ta-da," an interpretation “over the pine plains.”

As dutch settlers pertained to the area in the 17th century, the assignment changed. The an excellent inventor thomas Edison established the general Electric agency in this city. In the 1900s, the American Locomotive firm also made most of that trains there.

9. Carnegie Hall

Also while visiting new York City, if you to visit a music show at this renowned concert hall, make sure to express it properly. It is “ker-NEGG-ee” not “CAR-na-gee.” The stress is on the center syllable.

10. Worcester, Massachusetts

Like the city that the exact same name in England, the correct pronunciation is WUSS-TER. It is not WOR-ches-ter or WOR-sess-ter.

Incorporated together a city in 1722, Worcester, Massachusetts, is currently a vibrant, bustling city through a populace of over 180,000. This makes it among the biggest cities in new England.

Now we relocate to the South.

11. Louisville, Kentucky

If you want to sound prefer a true southerner, express this city in Kentucky together “LOO-i-vul” not “LOO-iss-vill” and definitely no “LOO-i-vill.” If girlfriend do, they will think she a Yankee from the North.

Louisville is in history a mining and farming city. And its position on the Ohio River likewise made it an important hub for transporting products by water. These days, the city has actually a diverse and vibrant economy. Louisville is likewise famous together the house of the Kentucky Derby equine race.

12. Kissimmee, Florida

This one is simple to remember. You space not questioning for who to kiss you. So execute not say “KISS-a-mee.” that “ka-SIM-mee.”

This city is located in the facility of Florida. This is another name that originates from a indigenous American tribe. However, the is not recognized whether Kissimmee way “long waters,” as in the Kissimmee River, or it describes the place where mulberries grow. Yet we do understand the name has nothing to through kissing.

So, currently if you read about or visit any kind of of these areas in the joined States, you will certainly know exactly how to say their names!

I’m Anna Matteo.

I"m Jonathan Evans.

Anna Matteo created this write-up for VOA learning English. Hai execute was the editor.

EDITOR"S NOTE: An previously version the this write-up incorrectly determined Spokane as the resources of Washington state.


Words in This Story

hodgepodge n. a mixture of various things

outdoorsy adj.

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enjoying outdoor activities

scenic adj. having, providing, or relating to a pleasing or beautiful check out of nature

sequoia n. a really tall evergreen tree the grows in California

foothilln. a hill beside a greater mountain or team of mountains

destinationn. a location to which a human is walk or miscellaneous is being sent

trail n. a beaten course through rough country such together a forest or hill range

street cred n. the acceptance and respect of human being who live in a city neighborhood