People are only just learning how to pronounce Qatar during the World Cup

Shola Lee

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People are only just learning how to pronounce Qatar during the World Cup

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS/Alan Smith/Alamy Stock Photo

The World Cup has well and truly kicked off, so it's about time you learned how to say Qatar properly.

The Fifa World Cup is being hosted in Qatar this year and will run from 20 November through till 18 December.

And, despite knowing that it'd be hosted in Qatar for some time, people are only just realising how to pronounce the host state's name.

The Qatar World cup kicked off yesterday on 20 November. Credit: Alan Smith/Alamy Stock Photo
The Qatar World cup kicked off yesterday on 20 November. Credit: Alan Smith/Alamy Stock Photo

As one Twitter user wrote: "How do ya'll pronounce 'Qatar' cause wow this other gent made me laugh yhooo."

While another noted: "Why do Americans pronounce Qatar 'Cutter'?"

Why indeed, well, for anyone wondering here's the lowdown on how to pronounce the host state's name.

So, as Mouna Abdulhamid - an executive director of the Alif Institute - explains: "The Arabic word for 'Qatar' actually only has three letters: qāf, ṭā and rā. These are Romanized to q,t and r respectively.

"And, unfortunately, none of them have a close English equivalent."

Many people have asked the same question. Credit: @cia_nash/Twitter
Many people have asked the same question. Credit: @cia_nash/Twitter

With there being no equivalent, it makes sense that the pronunciation can be a little tricky for some and has left many wondering what they can do to not sound like a complete t**t.

So, to start with, it's important to note that the first letter in Qatar isn't the same as an English K or Q.

Instead, it's a glottal sound, which means that it comes from the back of the throat, a part of the mouth English speakers don't regularly exercise when speaking.

But if you want to give it a go, Sarab Al Ani, an Arabic teacher from Yale, suggests that you flatten your tongue, tilt your head slightly forward so that there's only a little gap between your tongue and throat: "You have to push your tongue back a little bit to create the contact with the roof of your mouth — just a gentle touch, one second — and then make the sound."

It turns out there's a specific way to pronounce Qatar. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
It turns out there's a specific way to pronounce Qatar. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The following prominent sound in Qatar is the 't' which should be said short and sharply — you can curve your tongue down somewhat to help with this sound.

Next is a quick 'a' sound followed by an emphasised 'r' that the professor says is "closer in pronunciation to a Spanish R."

So, there you have it, there's a good reason everyone's pronouncing 'Qatar' differently, but it's best to have a go at the proper pronunciation.

Topics: Community, World News, Football

Shola Lee
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