How do you actually pronounce quinoa?

Keen-wah or kin-oh-wah?

Press Association
Last updated: 3 May 2018 - 11.36am

We’ve all been there, haven’t we. When you’re out with that mate who shops in Waitrose and who knows what quail’s eggs taste like.

That one. And you find yourself in a situation where you have to attempt to pronounce the word quinoa, and of course you pronounce it wrong and are met with a patronising giggle. Lol, “it’s actually keen-wah”, they say.

“Thanks”, you say.

Turns out a lot of shoppers are having trouble pronouncing some of the names of the growing stock of international food and drink in UK stores including the dreaded quinoa.

So how is it done? Here’s how:

Dr Catherine Sangster, head of pronunciation at the Oxford English Dictionary, said: “These pronunciations can be unexpected or controversial. Some speakers will want to say the name in a completely authentic manner, matching the original language, and other speakers will be influenced by the spelling or prefer to anglicise the sounds.”

Good. It’s nice to know we’re all in this together.

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