How is the country name "Eritrea" pronounced?

Title says it all. . .

Thanks in advance.

More or less:


(a handy bookmark for questions like this) gives "er-&-'trE-&, -'trA-: main accent on *Er, * secondary accent on tre

Sorry, I misinterpreted the stress marks. Main stress on tre, secondary on Er


I pronounce it ur-IT-tree-a

But then I’ve got a bastardized Carolina-B’more-Wisconsin accent for which I have been laughed at on more than one occasion…

Picker your version sounds like it rolls off the tounge easier, and is closest to what I had in my head when I posed the question. Of course, I’ve been known to place the em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LA-ble before.

I always pronounced it “Air-it-TREE-ah”, but then I met someone who’d actually been there, and she pronounced it “Air-it-TRAY-ah”.


Sunspace, that’s the pronunciation all’italiana. :slight_smile:

My mom, who is Italian, grew up there and she says air-ih-tray-a. I didn’t know anyone pronounced it tree-a, although that’s probably because I have only heard it said by Italians.

Is it a country? I thought it was part of Ethiopia.

I had never heard of it until about 15 years ago when I was eating in an Italian restaurant in DC. It was manned by Ethiopians and had maps of Ethiopia. I was surprised (I didn’t know about the Colonial connection)

It’s a country now, since 1993 - it used to be part of Ethiopia. Although if I’m not mistaken, it was still “called” Eritrea at that time even though it wasn’t its own country. I’d have to ask mom to be sure.

A more accurate statement than you know. Eritrea and Ethiopia have been fighting on and off about Eritrea’s independence since before it was independent. I believe the UN still has peacekeepers in the area, and it’s pretty much been at a low simmer since the war ended in 2000, although there are other hotspots that are rather hotter. Since the breakaway of Eritrea, I don’t htink Ethiopia has a coastline anymore, so obviously that’s going to cause instability.


Odd… One of my officemates is from Eritrea, and he pronounces it “EE-tree-uh”, more or less: Three syllables, accent on the first, and with the first “r” mostly silent.

Eritrea (ear-ih-TREE-ah in normal English) was at one time an Italian colony (taken from Ethiopia, a part of the ongoing Italian aggression against Ethiopia that culminated with taking the country over in the leadup to WWII. After the war it was re-awarded to Ethiopia, and given its independence, after a prolonged resistance effort aimed at freeing it from Ethiopia, in 1993.

Doesn’t address the OP, but good for some of the other questions asked so far:

Ask Eritrean Guy

Have had quite a few Eritrean clients, and I’ve been under the impression that it was “airy-tray-uh”. This may have been deeply offensive to my clients, but was nearly always speaking through a telephone interpreter anyway, who would presumably have fixed up my mistakes.

Yeah, but remember those wacky Germans claim to hail from somewhere called Deutschland. We’re speaking English here, man! :slight_smile:

Anyway, I’ve always heard it pronounced “Air-uh-TREE-uh”

The BBC says air-i-TRAY-uh, so I’m going with that.