This is how to pronounce Beijing

January 25, 2016 ☼ Pedantry

Since it’s the capital city of a faraway land, you might be forgiven for not executing the pronunciation of Beijing with the grace of a local, but it’s really not that hard. Especially since it’s pronounced exactly how it looks.

Bay-jing

You insist upon saying “bay-zhing.” I don’t know why. Does “zhing” sound more Chinese? Is there a missing letter in second syllable westerners can see that the Chinese cannot? Or is mispronunciation a deliberate and passive-aggressive attempt to stoke Cold War flames?

Ditch “zhing.” Trust us—and the billion or so people who always get it right.