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How To Pronounce the Names of Places in Arizona

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How To Pronounce the Names of Places in Arizona

Tlaquepaque is fun to say, once you get the hang of it. It's also fun to shop there.

© Judy Hedding

When you come to Phoenix, there are certain words that are tough to pronounce. If you say these correctly, everyone will surely think you're a native Arizonan.

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: Too much

Here's How:

  1. Tempe - a city in the East Valley and home to Arizona State University. Pronounced: tem-pee
  2. Mesa - a city in the East Valley that has a large Mormon population. Pronounced: may-suh
  3. Ajo - a small city in southern Arizona. Pronounced: ah-ho
  4. Nogales - there are two cities by this name, one on each side of the Arizona/Mexico border. Pronounced: no-gal-iss
  5. Canyon de Chelly - in northern Arizona, a beautiful natural landmark. Pronounced: can-yen duh shay
  6. Mogollon Rim - the northern Arizona, marks the southern border of the Colorado Plateau. Pronounced: mug-ee-yun
  7. Gila River - southeast of Phoenix area, popular for rafting. Pronounced: hee-luh
  8. Hohokam Expressway - also known as S.R. 143, a north south road originating at the airport. Pronounced: ho-ho-kam
  9. Ahwatukee - a middle to upper middle class community in southern Phoenix. Pronounced: ah-wuh-too-kee
  10. Tlaquepaque - a wonderful collection of shops in Sedona. Pronounced: tuh-la-kuh-pah-kee
  11. Estrella - a community and airpark west of Phoenix. Pronounced: es-tray-uh
  12. Casa Grande - a city between Phoenix and Tucson. Pronounced: kah-suh grand

Tips:

  1. If the words have Spanish influence, as many do in Arizona, a "J" or a "G" is usually pronounced like an "H".  An "LL" is usually pronounced like a "Y".
  2. There are exceptions to tip #1. For instance, when renting a villa, use the hard "LL" sound (or if you aren't sure just ask for large adjoining rooms.)

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