Oaxaca Pronunciation In Spanish And English

Particularly when it comes to terms taken from other languages, pronunciation may frequently be a puzzling part of the language. One such word that often raises questions is “Oaxaca.” Oaxaca, a city in southern Mexico, is renowned for both its rich cultural past and the difficult oaxaca pronunciation

We’ll solve the riddle of how to pronounce “Oaxaca” in this guide and assist you in navigating the nuances of this fascinating word. So, if you’ve ever struggled to pronounce it, don’t worry; we’re here to explain this linguistic mystery.

A Synopsis History Of Oaxaca:

Let’s learn about the synopsis history of Oaxaca before knowing the correct oaxaca pronunciation. To put it lightly, Oaxacan history is extremely rich.  Regarding the precise age of the earliest indications of human life in this area, I’ve seen a lot of varying figures, although many estimates place the age at or beyond 10,000 years (8,000 BC).  The Guilá Naquitz Cave, in the city of Mitla, is home to the oldest archaeological relics in the region.

The Oaxacan highlands started to show signs of bigger settlements around 1500 BC, some of which had highly developed agriculture, construction techniques, and traditions.  Three of the biggest indigenous populations in the region were the Zapotec, Mixtec, and Olmec.

The Spanish invasion affected much of Mexico, including the mountains of Oaxaca, and it permanently altered life there.  Oaxacans first became aware of the Spanish dominance in the early 16th century, following the fall of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital (modern-day Mexico City).

Many surrendered power to the new European conquerors and were able to live in relative peace rather than fighting to the point of death.

Geographical Features Of This Oaxaca City:

You must remain aware of some of this city’s geographical characteristics before learning the oaxacan pronunciation. Geographically speaking, Oaxaca is also a diversified region.  With 370 miles of shoreline along the Pacific Ocean, there are many possibilities if you enjoy spending time at the beach.  

Puerto Escondido, a city famous for its surf breakers, is where most surfers congregate.  Like Cancun, Huatulco was built specifically as a resort community. That’s not all, though.  

The interior of Oaxaca is covered in numerous valleys and mountains with a high elevation, as was mentioned in the history part above.  The tallest peaks are about 12,000 feet tall.  There are several pine trees.  You may go zip-lining, cave exploring, or even mountain biking. Beautiful pools of spring-fed water cascade down the mountainside in Hierve de Agua.  

What Is The Right Way To Pronounce Oaxaca?

The word Oaxaca sounds like wah-HAH-kah (not OH-ha-kah), with the stress falling on the following pronunciation.

What Makes Oaxaca’s Pronunciation Unique?

Here are some further explanations on how to pronounce every character of Oaxaca correctly and how to pronounce it like a local:

The first “oa” in Oaxaca sounds like “wah.”

The “x” sounds like a “h.”

The next “a” is pronounced with a “ah” sound since it has a short a sound.

What Exactly Does “Oaxaca” Mean?

Oaxaca is the name of a state and the capital city in southern Mexico; it is not a code word or abbreviation. Oaxaca is well-known for the variety of native cultures, heritage, and culinary traditions that exist there. Although the Nahuatl term “Oaxaca” doesn’t have a particular meaning, it is highly significant both geographically and culturally in Mexico.

What Does The English Word Oaxaca Mean?

There isn’t a translation for the term “Oaxaca.” It is merely the name of one of Mexico’s 32 states, and Oaxaca City is the name of the state’s capital.

Where Exactly Is Oaxaca?

Chiapas, Puebla, Veracruz, and Guerrero are a few of the states that surround Oaxaca in southern Mexico.

Pronunciation Of Oaxaca In Word:

Phonetically speaking, the word “Oaxaca” sounds like “wah-HAH-kah.” Here is an explanation:

The initial syllable, “wah,” is pronounced similarly to the word “wah” in English and rhymes with either “saw” or “law.”

With a lot of stress on the “HAH” sound, the second syllable, “HAH,” is spoken. It sounds a lot like the English word “ha,” which describes the sound of laughter.

The last sound, “kah,” is pronounced similarly to “kah,” and it rhymes with “car.”

This results in the final pronunciation of “Oaxaca” being “wah-HAH-kah.”

Spanish Pronunciation Of Oaxaca:

You pronounce “Oaxaca” in Spanish as “wah-HAH-kah.” A breakdown of the pronunciation is given below:

The sound of “oa” is comparable to that of “wah,” which is like the English word “watt” but with a shorter “a” sound.

“Xa” sounds like “HA,” with a loud “h” accent at its start.

Like the English word “car,” “ca” has a similar pronunciation to “kah.”

Therefore, the proper oaxaca pronunciation is “wah-HAH-kah,” with the accent on the second syllable, “HA.”

Oaxaca Pronunciation In English:

In English, the word “Oaxaca” should be pronounced roughly as “wah-HAH-kah.”

The correct way to oaxaca pronunciation is as follows:

Start with a “wah” sound that sounds a bit like the “wa” in “water.”

The stressed word “HAH,” which rhymes with “aha,” should come next.

Finish with the letter “kah,” which is pronounced similarly to “kuh” but with a “ah” sound.

It’s important to keep in mind that the “x” in Oaxaca is really pronounced as a “h” in local speech, making it sound more like “wah-HAH-kah” than “oh-ax-ah-kah” as it could appear in English letters.

Tips For Perfect Pronounce Of Oaxaca:

Here are 4 suggestions to help you oaxaca pronunciation more accurately:

  • The sounds of “oaxaca” are as follows: As you practice saying [WUH] + [HAA] + [KUH] aloud, amplify the sounds until you can do so without missing a beat.
  • Make a video of yourself uttering the word “oaxaca” in its entirety, then watch and listen. Your errors will be quite simple to mark.
  • Look up pronunciation guides for “oaxaca” on YouTube.
  • Concentrate on one accent; combining accents, especially for beginners, may be very confusing. Choose one accent (US or UK) and stick with it.


Even if you overlooked it in the first sentence, the Oaxacan language is pronounced wah-HAH-kah. Although it appears that you are pronouncing Oaxaca as oh-ha-kah, it is definitely not how the Oaxacans speak it!
Beyond demonstrating oaxaca pronunciation correctly, I hope this post highlighted the magnificent Mexican state of Oaxaca, which is a haven for foodies, art enthusiasts, nature lovers, and cultural tourists.

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