In his second public speech of the day, Donald Trump on Friday continued not-quite-reading off teleprompters, this time mispronouncing the African country “Tanzania” so it rhymed with the Australian island state Tasmania.
The president pronounced “Tanzania” as “Tan-ZAY-nee-uh,” as opposed to the country’s actual pronunciation, “Tan-zu-KNEE-uh.” The flub came just hours after Trump said he spoke with “the President of the Virgin Islands,” who is himself.
It’s not the first time Trump’s mispronounced the word; as candidate, he likewise lacked a grasp of the phonetics of the word, of which assistant professor of African history at Boston College Priya Lal said there’s “no debate.”
“I would say that it really doesn’t bode well if somebody who’s campaigning to be the leader of the United States can’t even pronounce the name of the country,” she told the Guardian. “That seems like the most basic starting point, it is a serious error and it is ignorant.
Trump, weeks after repeatedly referring to the non-existent African country of “Nambia,” pronounces Tanzania as Tan-zayn-ee-ah pic.twitter.com/LyNNz5hQlV
— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 13, 2017
Internet users were quick to mock the president for his pronunciation:
Trump just made Tanzania rhyme with Insania. https://t.co/gTt8EzvJ1y
— Niall Paterson (@skynewsniall) October 13, 2017
Does the president’s teleprompter not have pronouncers in the text?
He just pronounced Tanzania: Tan-ZA-nia.
Perhaps a neighbor of Nambia?
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 13, 2017
@realDonaldTrump Ummmm that’s not how you pronounce Tanzania. But it doesn’t matter. Your zealot supporters tell me you’re “smart”.
— Scott Parks (@ParksKMBZ) October 13, 2017
Trump just invented another African country: Tanzania!
— Mark Leon Goldberg (@MarkLGoldberg) October 13, 2017
— Peter Spiegel (@SpiegelPeter) October 13, 2017
So we’re not gonna talk about how he said Tanzania…..
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) October 13, 2017
Tanzanian Devil pic.twitter.com/iKq4EfnEv7
— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) October 13, 2017