The pastas we’re all pronouncing incorrectly

You’re in for a rude awakening when you realize that you can’t pronounce the majority of pasta names from the Italian culinary dictionary.

You are in my eyes.


We all know that’spaghetti,’ or gnocchi, is not worth explaining (it’s actually pronounced’spugget-tee,’ which is a fun roll of the Italian language). But there are other things lurking beneath their pasta sauces, ready to make us fools.


First: ‘penne. You’d assume it’s “pen-nay.” Nahh-aaah. Actually, it’s pronounced ‘pehn’. Yes – neh! Not nay. It’s true that there’s a play of words here, but it becomes confusing. Nah, neh, nay.


What about ‘lasagne? You would think it was pretty simple. You’d think it was as simple as the sheets themselves. It’s “la-zahn” not “la-zahh”. Yay! I didn’t either. It was a little mind-blowing.


Here are some more brain twisters. It’s a word that can trip us up, and it often does. No, it’s not ‘oh-ree-eh-chett-eh’, it’s ‘oh-rek-kee-ett-ay’. It’s fun to imagine all the testers bent down at our screens and phonetically saying words as if they were toddlers learning their ABC’s. Expand your pasta mind!


Finally, ‘pappardelle.’ You could have been forgiven for saying ‘pah par-del lee,’ but it is actually pronounced ‘pah par-del lay.’ Some might think it’s a small difference but the mispronunciation is similar to a butterfly. It could even upset the world’s balance or shift tectonic plate. Let’s make sure we get this right, shall we?

Preply is an online language-learning platform that has analysed Google searches to determine which pasta names were the most searched about. Here are some interesting facts:

Google searches for pronunciation help on ‘gnocchi’ are huge, with 153,000 people looking for guidance each year.

The second and third most popular searches are spaghetti (101,460) and ‘penne,’ with 33,890 and 101,460 searches, respectively.

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