For the more seasoned traveler, it is a know fact that in Europe, names of big cities aren’t just pronounced differently, they’re often spelled differently. For that matter, in some cases , they’re completely different words. Long story short, Bucharest is no different.
The Romanian name of the capital city is : București.
Bucharest is the Anglicization of Romanian București.
What does Bucharest / București mean?
București comes form Bucur (personal name) + -ești (“patronymic, personal name suffix”).
The legend says that the name Bucuresti (Bucharest) comes from the shepherd Bucur, who founded the town on the Dambovita river. In Romanian Bucur derives from a verb ( a bucura) that means “to be Happy” , “to enjoy something”. So in my view, București could be translated as “a place to enjoy”. Hence our motto here at TTDIB “discover , explore and enjoy” București.
And today I am going to try and teach you how to pronounce it.
Bucharest pronunciation in Romanian
As already mentioned, the Romanian word is ” București ” and way to pronounce is:
…with a soft T ant the end. The “i” at the end , for that matter is almost silent.
For those of you that want to seek the International Phonetic Alphabet: way here it si : /bu.kuˈreʃtʲ/
Here’s my audio attempt on pronouncing the Romanian capital’s name in both English and Romanian, bellow:
How to pronounce Bucharest
(For more Romanian words, you can try the following article: Learn to speak Romanian )
Another question we seem to get quite allot is:
Are Budapest and Bucharest the same place?
No, Bucharest is not Budapest.
(Although famous artist playing in front of large crowds have mistaken the two cities frequently. It happened to Michael Jackson, to Lenny Kravitz and others.)
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. Bucharest is the capital of Romania. They might sound the same in English but in Romanian they are quite different:
Bucharest is București and Budapest is…oh well : Budapesta. Both cities are capitals, and they boast their unique architecture, unique culture and history.
Hope this helps!