How to pronounce UEFA EURO 2020 player names correctly | UEFA EURO 2020


The presence of many foreign players at the highest level of football in the British Isles has helped raise awareness among locals that not all names can be pronounced as if they are English.

The advent of UEFA EURO 2020 means that English speakers around the world now have to master many complicated names and combinations of vowels and consonants that seem foreign. Don’t be afraid: join us and learn how to pronounce the names of all players correctly.


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AUSTRIA

The basic rules of the German language apply – note that an ‘ä’, ‘ö’ or ‘ü’ umlaut looks like ‘ae’, ‘oe’, ‘ue’ in English.

Stefan Lainer – Liner
Philipp Lienhart – Leen-hart
Alessandro Sch̦pf РSherpf
Karim Onisiwo – Onni-see-vo
Sasa Kalajdzic – Sasha Kal-ide-jitch

BELGIUM

Cor-twa tee-boAFP via Getty Images

Some names are pronounced Flemish and others French.

Toby Alderweireld – Al-der-way-reld
Michy Batshuayi – Bat-shoe-a-yi
Timothy Castagne – Cast-an-yer
Thibaut Courtois – Tee-bo Cor-twa
Thomas Meunier – Muh-nee-ay
Simon Mignolet – Min-yo-let
Thomas Vermaelen – Ver-mah-len

CROATIA

Rules of thumb: ‘Å¡’ is a ‘sh’, ‘č’ and ‘ć’ are a bit like an English ‘ch’, and ‘j’ approximates an English ‘y’.

Milan Badelj – Bad-el-ee
Luka IvanuÅ¡ec – Eevan-oo-shets
Mislav OrÅ¡ić – Orsh-itch
Å ime Vrsaljko – Shi-may Ver-sal-ee-ko

CZECH REPUBLIC

The accents on the vowels indicate where the pronunciation should be stressed (so ‘Tomáš’ is more like ‘Tom-aash’ for English speakers). A ‘Å¡’ is a ‘sh’, a ‘č’ is a ‘ch’, but ‘c’ is more like a ‘ts’. And ‘Å™’ is a bit like ‘rj’ in English.

Jan BoÅ™il – Yan Borjil
OndÅ™ej ÄŒelůstka – Ondjay Chell-oost-ka
Adam Hložek – H-lozhek
Tomáš HoleÅ¡ – Hollesh
Pavel Kadeřábek – Kadder-jah-beck
AleÅ¡ MatÄ›jů – Alesh Mattay-oo
Jiří Pavlenka – Yeer-zhee
Jakub PeÅ¡ek – Pesheck
Petr Å evčík – Chev-cheek
Tomáš Vaclík – Vatz-leek

DENMARK


Pierre-Emile Hoy-byer

Pierre-Emile Hoy-byerUEFA via Getty Images

This “æ” character is widely misunderstood among English speakers, while a “g” tends to be much softer than it looks.

Simon Kjær – Care
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg – Hoy-byer
Jonas L̦ssl РYo-nass Lussel
Joakim Mæhle – May-leh
Frederik Rønnow – Rern-oh

ENGLAND

Everything quite simple.

FINLAND

Vowels and accents can make a language more treacherous than it first appears (a Finnish “ä” looks a lot like the English “a” in “chapeau”).

Nikolai Alho – Arl-hoh
Paulus Arajuuri – Ara-yoo-ree
Jasin Assehnoun – Asser-known
Nicholas Hämäläinen – Hama-lay-nen
Lukas Hradecky – Lukash Radetski
Juhani Ojala – O-yalla
Teemu Pukki – Pooky
Sauli Väisänen – Vay-san-en

FRANCE


On-twan Gree-ez-man

On-twan Gree-ez-manAFP via Getty Images

The vowels often confuse English speakers. Consonants too.

Lucas Digne – Loo-cah Dee-nyuh
Olivier Giroud – Ol-iv-ee-eh Ji-roo
Antoine Griezmann – On-twan Gree-ez-man
N’Golo Kanté – N-go-lo Kon-tay
Cl̩ment Lenglet РLong pose
Steve Mandanda – Stev Mon-don-dah
Mike Meignan – Mane-yoh
Marcus Thuram – Too-ram

GERMANY

An umlaut on ‘ä’, ‘ö’ or ‘ü’ is comparable to ‘ae’, ‘oe’, ‘ue’ in English. Note: Joshua Kimmich – “ich” as in “ich bin ein Berliner” rather than Baby You’re A Rich Man.

Manuel Neuer – Noy-ah
Ä°lkay GündoÄŸan – Eel-kay Goon-doe-wan
Emre Can – Jan
Joshua Kimmich – Kim-ikh

HUNGARY

One of the few European languages ​​that does not belong to the Indo-European group, Hungarian is not as punchy as it seems.

Tamás Cseri – Cherry Tom-ash
D̩nes Dibusz РDay-nesh Di-boos
Péter Gulácsi – Pay-ter Goo-lat-chi
kos Kecsk̩s РAh-kosh Ketch-kay-sh
GergÅ‘ Lovrencsics – Ger-gur Lov-ren-chitch
dám Nagy – Nah-dge
Szabolcs Sch̦n РSaw-bolch Shern
Attila Szalai – Saw-law-ee

ITALY

The most common mistake is to pronounce a ‘ch’ like an English ‘ch’ – it’s more of a ‘k’. Lorenzo Insigne is difficult to spot – linguists may notice that his “gn” functions like a Spanish “ñ”.

Federico Bernardeschi – Ber-nar-desk-ee
Giorgio Chiellini – Jor-joe Key-eh-lean-ee
Federico Chiesa – Kee-ay-sah
Alessio Cragno – Cran-yo
Lorenzo Insigne – In-sin-yuh

NETHERLANDS


Georginio Why-naldum

Georginio Why-naldumUEFA via Getty Images

The sound gg is like the Scottish “loch”. The ‘ij’ has no direct English equivalent, but is milder than the ‘i’ in ‘end’ (and more like the Scottish ‘aye’, or ‘why’). The “or” is more pronounced than the English “out” – it’s like “ah-ou” are running together; so think of the “ow” when you nudge a door frame with your elbow.

Steven Bergwijn – Stay-ven Berugg-why-n
Matthijs de Ligt – Mat-ice Dull-icht
Roon’s Marten – Der-Clean
Stefan de Vrij – Stay-fon Duh-fray
Quincy Promes – Pro-mess
Wout Weghorst – Vowt Vegg-horst
Georginio Wijnaldum – Why-naldum
Owen Wijndal – Whyne-dal

NORTH MACEDONIA

North Macedonian names are transliterated from the Cyrillic alphabet so the hard work should have been done for you, but there are a few dangerous ones.

Visar Musliu – Moos-lyoo
Vlatko Stojanovski – Stoyan-ovski
Aleksandar Trajkovski – Try-kovski
Ivan Trikovski – Tritch-kovski

POLAND


Robert Lev-et-ov-ski

Robert Lev-et-ov-skiUEFA via Getty Images

Polish is a much softer sounding language than all of the ‘k’ and ‘z’ suggest. A “Ł” or “Å‚” looks a bit like an English “w”, while the subscript emphasis on a “Ä™” or “Ä…” subtly adds an “n” to the vowel. Polish ‘ch’ is a ‘kh’ sound, like in Kazakhstan.

Bartosz BereszyÅ„ski – Berresh-in-skee
PaweÅ‚ Dawidowicz – Dav-id-ov-itch
Łukasz FabiaÅ„ski – Woo-cash Fab-yan-ski
Kamil Jóźwiak – Yoz-vee-ak
Tomasz KÄ™dziora – Kend-zyor-a
Dawid Kownacki – Kov-nats-kee
Kacper KozÅ‚owski – Kos-lov-skee
Robert Lewandowski – Lev-et-ov-ski
Kamil PiÄ…tkowski – Pyont-kov-skee
Przemyslaw PÅ‚acheta – Pwa-khetta
Tymoteusz Puchacz – Pook-atch
Jakub Åšwierczok – Shfair-shock
Wojciech SzczÄ™sny – Voy-chekh Sh-chen-sni

PORTUGAL

Contrary to what most English speakers imagine, Portuguese sounds very different from Spanish. The ‘r’ at the beginning of Rui or Renato is a bit like a rolled ‘r’ in French. The second vowels in ‘Lopes’ and ‘Neves’ are overwritten into an ‘sh’ – eg Lopsh, Nevsh.

Anthony Lopes – Lopsh
Bruno Fernandes – Fur-nandsh
Diogo Jota – Dee-ohg Zhotta
Gon̤alo Guedes РGon-sarlo Gair-diss
Raphael Guerreiro – Ge-ray-ro
Jọo F̩lix РJoo-wow Fay-lix
Jọo Moutinho РJoo-wow Mo-teen-oo
Jọo Palhinha РJoo-wow Pal-een-a
Pedro Gon̤alves РGon-salvsh
Pepe – Pep (not ‘Pep-eh’)
Ruben Neves – Nevsh

RUSSIA


Meet the teams: Russia

Meet the teams: Russia

Vowels and the way they are accented present the biggest challenges for English speakers, with common first names often not sounding exactly like their transcribed equivalents – hence Igor = Igar, Roman = Raman, Denis = Dinis, Oleg = Aleg . Last names ending in ‘ov’ sound like ‘off’.

Igor Diveev – Div-ay-ev
Artem Dzyuba – Dzyoo-ba
Alexei Ionov – Ee-o-noff
Andrei Semenov – Se-myo-noff

SCOTLAND

Most native English speakers will be on safe ground.

Jon McLaughlin – Mag-loch-lin
Kieran Tierney – Knee Cross

SLOVAKIA

Similar rules to Czech: a ‘Å¡’ is a ‘sh’, a ‘č’ is a ‘ch’, but a ‘c’ is more like a ‘ts’. Meanwhile, “ÄŽ” – with its accent in superscript – sounds something like the “dg” in “hedge”.

Michal ÄŽuriÅ¡ – Djoo-rish
Marek Hamšík – Mutton ham
Patrik HroÅ¡ovský – Hroshov-skee
Tomáš Hubočan – Hoo-bo-chan
DuÅ¡an Kuciak – Koo-tsee-ack
Juraj Kucka – Koots-ka
Milan Å kriniar – Shkrin-ee-ar
David Strelec – Strell-ets

SPAIN


Cesar Ath-pili-coo-et-a

Cesar Ath-pili-coo-et-aUEFA via Getty Images

Getting it right is difficult for the uninitiated, but the following pronunciations can bring you a little closer. César Azpilicueta’s Chelsea teammates nicknamed him “Dave” to avoid the difficulty of pronouncing his last name.

C̩sar Azpilicueta РAth-pili-coo-et-a
Sergio Busquets – Boo-skets
David de Gea – De-hay-eh
Diego and Marcos Llorente – Lorentay

SWEDEN

This “g” at the end of surnames looks a lot like an English “y”; the “j” also looks like a “y”, while the first “o” in many surnames is pronounced more like a “u”. Where there is an ‘rs’ combo, it is an English ‘sh’.

Marcus Berg – Berry
Emil Forsberg – Fosh-berry
Sebastian Larsson – La-shon
Victor Lindel̦f РLin-de-love
Robin Olsen – Ul-sen
Mattias Svanberg – Svan-berry

SWITZERLAND

In addition to Switzerland’s mix of native languages ​​- French, Swiss German and Italian – the prominence of players of Albanian, Kosovar and Turkish descent makes things even more exciting.

Eray C̦mert РJo-mert
Breel Embolo – Brail
Becir Omeragic – Bess-eer Omer-adjitch
Fabian Schär – Share
Xherdan Shaqiri – Jer-dan Sha-chee-ree
Granite Xhaka – Jakka

TURKEY


Cha-la Ser-yoon-choo

Cha-la Ser-yoon-chooUEFA via Getty Images

Umlauts do a similar job to Germanic languages, making a ‘ÅŸ’ much like an English ‘sh’ and a ‘c’ more like a ‘j’. The problematic characters are the dotless “ğ” and “ı” – both of which are very subtle sounds.

Kerem AktürkoÄŸlu – Actur-koch-loo
Altay Bayındır – Baynder
UÄŸurcan Çakır – Ooroojan Chak-r
Hakan ÇalhanoÄŸlu – Chalha-no-loo
Zeki Çelik – Cheleek
Halil Ä°brahim DerviÅŸoÄŸlu – Darvish-oh-loo
rfan Can Kahveci – Car-vay-jee
Efecan Karaca – Efferjan Karaja
Orkun Kökçü – Kerk-choo
CaÄŸlar Söyüncü – Cha-la Ser-yoon-choo
Yusuf Yazıcı – Yaz-idger

UKRAINE

Transcribed – like Russian – from the Cyrillic alphabet, Ukrainian is notably easier to pronounce. The names sound largely as if they were printed. The number of ‘ys’ may throw out some English speakers, so it should be noted that they can generally be treated as English’ i’s. An ‘iy’ is approximately the same as an English ‘ee’ – hence ‘Andriy’ = ‘Und-ree’. A “t” sounds like in Tsunami.

Heorhii Sudakov – Georgia
Viktor Tsygankov – Tsee-gan-koff

WALES

Mostly simple, but just in case …

Chris Mepham – Mepp-um


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