Have you ever been in a restaurant and been too embarrassed to order a dish simply because you can’t pronounce it? You’re not alone, 20 per cent of people would settle for a dish they didn’t want because they couldn’t pronounce the dish they did want.
More than a quarter of us would even resort to giving the dish’s number instead of saying it in case we pronounced it incorrectly.
Afruj Miah, a spokesman for GLORIOUS! Foods, famed for their soups, dips and sauces using global flavours, said, “Over the last few decades we have become a lot more experimental with food as a nation and Brits have really embraced dishes from different countries.
“But by doing so it would appear we struggle with the pronunciation of some well-known dishes.
“Cuisine from Japan, China and Mexico can be notoriously hard to say, but Brits seem to have trouble with many Italian and French dishes too, such as prosciutto and dauphinois.
“But it’s a shame if people are avoiding ordering their favourite dishes purely because they are not sure of how to say it.
“Shop assistants and waiters will be used to customers ordering or buying food and not getting the pronunciation exactly correct.”
Nearly two thirds of those studied said that they found many foods hard to pronounce and 14 per cent said they have been intimidated by a waiter in a posh restaurant because they were nervous about ordering.
The cuisine we struggle most with is Japanese, followed by French and Chinese.
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One in twenty Brits even struggle to say blancmange correctly, not grasping the phonetic sound which is bler-monj.
More than half said they prefer it if a waiter corrects their pronunciation but 20 per cent said they would be mortified if this happened and 27 per cent went as far to say they would find it extremely condescending.
Of those polled, 54 per cent said they would welcome a phonetic pronunciation guide on food packaging and menus.
Afruj Miah said, “It can be daunting ordering food in a high end restaurant or even asking for help in a specialist food shop if you don’t really know what you’re asking for.
“Our range of soups, dips and sauces inspired by ingredients from around the world help make mealtimes adventurous for everyone – even if some of the ingredients are hard to pronounce.”
“To give a helping hand with more exotic ingredients, we are considering adding a phonetic pronunciation guide on our food packaging so those people wanting to try Gjetost, Ras el hanout and Xo sauce can do so without being left red faced.”
The study also found that more than a quarter of the 2000 adults who completed the poll rated their food knowledge as very good, although one in 20 said it was exceptional.
A third of people felt that those with a good understanding of exotic foods must be well educated whereas half said they would be a ‘foody’.
Which foods do you find difficult to pronounce? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @FemaleFirst_UK
Cara Mason @cara_mason