Do you find yourself tripping over names of dishes and drinks while placing an order? Here's a helpful guide to some commonly mispronounced terms.
'I would like to have an expresso, please' is a phrase you will hear often at cafes, weddings and even five-star coffee shops. Unless you are in a hurry and mashing words to ask for an espresso, quick, pronounce it the way it is spelt - as ess-presso, not ex-presso.
Pasta names leave many tongue-tied, and fettuccine - a flat, ribbon-like pasta - seems to top the list. "I don't know how to say it, so I end up never ordering it," reveals Megha Sharma, a BPO worker. "The [correct] pronunciation is fay-tyu-cheeni," informs Kunal Dewan of Amici. Other tough terms are linguine (pronounced lin-gwee-nee) and tagliatelle (pronounced tah-lyah-tell-eh).
"I've seen this term in menus and always thought it was 'horse dover'," says Abhi Gupta, 25, an IT professional. Trust the French to come up with a (delicious) mouthful. Hors d'œuvre, literally 'outside of work', refers to appetisers served before the main course. The correct pronunciation is orh-devre.
This pungent South American pepper is a common topping on pizzas and burgers. It's also one of the most mispronounced terms. The correct pronunciation is hah-luh-peyn-yo.
"I always said it with a 'J' at pizza outlets… I don't think even their staff knows how it's pronounced!" says Ada Shah, 19, a college student.
When they order sake along with their sushi or sashimi, many in the city tend to pronounce it as 'saik', as in
'for your sake'. "My friend once asked for saa-kee at a high-end restaurant; it was embarrassing," says housewife Rashmi Mathur.
The correct pronunciation for this Japanese rice wine is sah-kay.
Most of us know this condiment of vinegar, soy sauce and spices as an important addition to the Bloody Mary cocktail, and most of us say it as it's spelt - wor-sest-er-shaayer sauce.
In reality, it is woos-ter-sheer sauce - 'wooster' as in 'rooster', and 'sheer' as in 'hear'.
Speak with restaurant staff and they will inform you that this is one French term that causes most people to stumble. Foy grass, foy gwah or fwah grass are the most common mistaken pronunciations for this dish, made of
fattened duck or goose liver. The correct way to pronounce it is 'fuah grah'.
This French term refers to a meal where you serve yourself from an array of dishes laid out on a table. "I used to call it 'buh-ffait' until my elder brother told me that it's 'boo-fay'," says Mitali Sood, 21. If you want to enjoy the meal under an open sky, ask the staff to set up a table alfresco (ail fres-koh; with ail as in 'Sally').
Like French and Italian cuisines, Mexican menus throw up several words that are
commonly mispronounced. Keep in mind that most 'Js', 'Gs' and 'Ls' are silent, for example, in tortilla. "Most people call it torh-tee-la, with the double 'L'," says Suman Chatterjee of Mismo, "whereas the 'L' is silent." Fajita
(fuh-hee-tah) and quesadilla (cay-suh-dee-ya) are other frequent slip-ups, he adds.