The 10 Most Mispronounced Photography Terms

Mispronounced photography terms

There are some tough photography-related words to pronounce, but which ones trip up the most photographers? SimpleGhar used the online pronunciation resource, Forvo, to find out. Which photo words did Forvo users look up the most?

The most mispronounced photography word is “bokeh,” which Forvo users have listened to the pronunciation of 20,000 times.

Mispronounced photography terms
Credit: SimpleGhar

Here’s the full top 10 list:

  1. Bokeh
  2. Aperture
  3. Pixel
  4. Palette
  5. JPEG
  6. Vibrance
  7. Aliasing
  8. Lossless
  9. Viewfinder
  10. Backlighting

But how does one pronounce “bokeh?” According to Forvo, it is “bow-kuh,” but is that correct? It is no wonder that so many people are trying to get to the bottom of the “bokeh” conundrum because many photographers can’t agree, either.

As it turns out, despite its Japanese origins, there is divergence within Japan concerning the pronunciation of “bokeh,” so there is not one true answer.

When it comes to the second-most listened-to photography term, the situation is thankfully much more straightforward. “Aperture” has been listened to 17,000 times on Forvo. “App-er-chur.” Easy.

Next up on the list is a word that should be very familiar to PetaPixel readers — “pixel.” “Pik-suhl” is the correct pronunciation. Perhaps some people think it might be “pick-sell?” It is common for PetaPixel staffers to hear someone mispronounce the first half of the site’s name.

Throughout the rest of the top 10 are a few other surprising inclusions, such as “JPEG” at number five, “viewfinder” at number 9, and “backlighting” rounding out the top 10 list.

Camera companies were not included in SimpleGhar’s “Photography terms” list, but if they were, “Nikon” would have topped the list with 43,000 listens. Nikon instead made the “Consumer Tech Brands” list in the number 12 spot.

Nikon’s correct pronunciation is an unending debate among photographers. Per Forvo’s pronunciations, all come from users in Nikon’s native Japan, English speakers routinely miss the mark.

Nikon itself says there is no debate — there are multiple correct ways to pronounce the company’s name, including the popular “Nee’kon” and “Nick-on” in the United States and the United Kingdom, both of which are a bit of a departure from the Japanese pronunciation of Nikon.

Other photography-related companies making the brand list are Sony at number three, Adobe at number six, Panasonic at 18, and GoPro in the 20th position.

Additional lists of mispronounced technology words are included in SimpleGhar’s complete article. “GIF” makes one of the lists, by the way, although SimpleGhar sidesteps the controversy by saying that the hard or soft “g” sounds are both correct.