There are some words that can't be properly pronounced on the first try — even if you sound it out like they told you in elementary school. As we get closer to the Winter Olympics, one of those words that seems to pop up more and more is "PyeongChang." And even still, as much as it's in the news, I can't recall ever hearing a consistent, singular pronunciation of it. So if you're anything like me and want to know how you pronounce PyeongChang for once and for all, here's how you say it.
PyeongChang, a county in South Korea, is pronounced "peeyong-chang," so you can finally toss out the various takes you've probably used on the word. According to Business Insider, the province is just 50 miles from the border of North Korea, and coupled with the fact that the 2018 Winter Olympics is scheduled to be held there, the word has grown increasingly into the fabric of our everyday lingo. So it's only right that we learn how to pronounce it correctly, right?
As demonstrated in this video, PyeongChang is pronounced in a swift, two-syllable fashion, and contrary to popular belief (mine, at least), every consonant of the word is pronounced when saying it — including the "p." Listen to how to say it right:
The correct pronunciation is extremely important considering the 2018 Winter Olympics is being held there.
From Feb. 8 to Feb. 25, sports teams from all around the world will compete in PyeongChang, South Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The hosting is also extremely important considering the long-standing tensions that have existed between North and South Korea.
In an interview with CNN's Talk Asia in November 2017, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he wanted the opportunity to bridge divides in Asia. "I believe that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics will also be able to provide an opportunity to the entire international community," he said.
Moon added of northern neighbor North Korea, "I hope that North Korea will also participate, which will provide a very good opportunity for inter-Korean peace and reconciliation."
Since then, Moon's wish has apparently come true.
On Jan. 9, North Korea announced its decision to participate in the Olympics, choosing to send a team of delegates to the event. It's pretty big news, considering North Korea hasn't attended the Olympics in the past eight years. Following the decision, Steven Goldstein — a secretary at the U.S. State Department, which oversees American diplomacy, announced the news during a briefing. He said,
North Korea is sending an officially recognized delegation of athletes, fans, and support staff to the 23rd Olympic Winter Games, to be hosted by South Korea in Pyeongchang next month. We are confident the Republic of Korea will host a safe, secure, and successful Winter Games. Anything that lowers tensions on the Korean Peninsula is a positive development. We’re in close consultation with the Republic of Korea to ensure North Korea’s participation in the Olympics does not violate UN Security Council sanctions, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions regarding that.
Despite the apparent good vibes, some have been wary of attending the event altogether due to the tensions between the bordering countries.
In the past years, both territories have fought endlessly over North Korea's persistence in developing nuclear programs (against the advisement of South Korea). The northern territory has also seen heightened tensions with the United States, including a war of words (thankfully, just words) between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and American President Donald Trump. So it's good to see both countries finally reach a middle ground, even if for a moment.
With the Winter Olympics just days away, we can't be sure what teams will take home trophies, but the good news is that we'll at least be confident when telling our friends how awesome the "PyeongChang" games were.
To learn more, visit teamusa.org. The Winter Olympics will air live, starting Feb. 8.