How To Pronounce Kratom?

by | Dec 1, 2022 | Kratom Advocacy

Kratom is not only a controversial but a badly pronounced herb. This South Asian plant has several worldwide pronunciations because of different languages and accents. But even in the United States alone, consumers have different elocutions for the plant.

But how do you know if you are pronouncing it the right way? Cradum? Cratom? Cratum? There is only one way to find out, read and see how a majority of the people say it.

Because if you are a kratom proponent and have to talk about it, at least you say it the right way or at least in a way that people can understand that you are referring to Kratom. While some of the kratom pronunciations are mind-boggling, others actually make sense.

What are the Different Ways of Pronouncing Kratom?

The pronunciation of “Kratom” can vary depending on regional accents and dialects.

Generally, the most common and widely accepted way to pronounce “Kratom” is:

  • KRAY-tom

However, some variations you may come across include:

  • KRAH-tom
  • KRAH-tehm
  • KRAY-tehm
  • KRAH-tuhm

The differences in pronunciation are often subtle and influenced by individual speech patterns and accents. Any of these variations are usually fine as long as the word is recognized and understood.

Pronunciation matters because it is how we say the word in our head. Here is how many people read and say Kratom. It’s hard enough to understand the colors of kratom, but nevermind the kratom strain names. Basics are white, red, green, and yellow kratom.

Currently, there are three most commonly used pronunciations:

Number 1: KRAY-tum

  • This is how most Americans pronounced Kratom. When you say it, you feel it rhymes with Tatum. If we split the different syllables, we see that this pronunciation has a long A sound, which comes out like “ay.” As Long A sounds are pervasive with certain American accents, many Americans have defaulted to this pronunciation.
  • For those who read Kratom, the spellings are easy to pronounce, especially if they haven’t heard it spoken before. But don’t settle just here because it is no way the only way that this word is read.

Number 2: KRAT-um

  • Kratom can be pronounced as KRAT-um, which sounds like the word atom when said while reading. The difference with this pronunciation is that you say it with a short a sound, similar to an “a” in bat. While pronouncing A as “ah” is more correct in standard English, many American dialects are not familiar with this pronunciation.
  • So, who wins between the two? Kratom can be pronounced as KRAT-um or KRAY-tum. Both pronunciations are common in the American kratom community.

Number 3: KEH-tum

  • Another way Kratom is pronounced is KEH-tum. And this pronunciation is more common among South Asians.

How is Kratom Pronounced in South East Asia?

Kratom is a plant that is native to South East Asia, specifically countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.For many years, the native people in these areas have used it for traditional purposes

To pronounce “Kratom,” consider how the native people who have used this plant for a long time say it. Because the plant is important to their culture, it’s likely that their pronunciation is the most accurate and authentic.

However, it is important to note that there may be variations in pronunciation even among the indigenous people of different regions. Each region may have its own dialects and accents, which can influence the way they pronounce the word. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with individuals from the specific region or community to get the most accurate pronunciation.

Furthermore, due to the increasing popularity of Kratom in Western countries, there has been a growing interest in standardizing its pronunciation. Some experts suggest that the most widely accepted pronunciation in the English language is “KRAY-tom.” This pronunciation has gained popularity among Kratom enthusiasts and is commonly used in the Western world.

Ultimately, the correct pronunciation of Kratom may vary depending on the context and the individual’s cultural background. It is always respectful to consult with those who are knowledgeable about the plant and its origins to ensure accurate pronunciation.

But It isn’t that easy because in South Asia, too, some people say it differently than others. Or in different parts of the continent, people have their ways of saying the herb. Here is how people allocate the herb in South East Asia:

The Malay

The way Malay people from Malaysia say Kratom is influenced by their language. They often don’t pronounce the letter ‘r’. So, when they say Kratom, it might sound like “Keatom” or “Key-tum” to people who don’t know this pronunciation.

Malay people from Malaysia pronounce the word Kratom differently from other dialects or accents. This gives it a unique touch. This pronunciation difference is only for Malays in Malaysia and may not be the same in other places or languages.

To break it down further, the first sound, “Kea” or “Kay,” is similar to pronouncing the word “key.” The second part, “tum,” is pronounced like the word “atom.” Malay people pronounce Kratom as “Keatom” or “Key-tum” in their dialect.

Indo People

Indonesians have their own unique way of pronouncing and referring to Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia. This fascinating aspect of Indonesian culture adds an interesting twist to the already intriguing nature of Kratom. The pronunciation of Kratom in the Indonesian language is distinct and captivating to many who encounter it.

The Indonesian pronunciation differs from the commonly used English pronunciation. The way Indonesians say Kratom is characterized by a melodic and rhythmic quality that is both enchanting and captivating. The way it sounds is often said to be like music, with a rhythm that flows smoothly and captivates.

The peculiar way Indonesians say Kratom reflects the deep-rooted cultural significance of the plant in their society. Kratom has been used for centuries in traditional Indonesian medicine and is deeply ingrained in their cultural practices. The unique pronunciation serves as a testament to the reverence and respect Indonesians have for this natural substance.

Furthermore, the Indonesian pronunciation of Kratom adds an element of mystery and allure to the plant. The unusual pronunciation makes people curious and want to learn more about the cultural and historical background of Kratom in Indonesia. This language feature helps us learn about the plant and its importance in Indonesian society.

The fascinating way Indonesians say Kratom also highlights the rich linguistic diversity of the country. Indonesia is home to hundreds of distinct languages and dialects, each with its own unique pronunciation and intonation. The variation in the pronunciation of Kratom across different regions of Indonesia further emphasizes the country’s linguistic richness and cultural diversity.

In conclusion, the Indonesian way of saying Kratom is a captivating and intriguing aspect of Indonesian culture. The unique way Kratom is pronounced makes it even more interesting, showing how important it is in Indonesian culture. This language quirk helps us learn about Kratom and Indonesia’s diverse culture. It’s called “Kratom.”

The word has two parts. The first part sounds like “spa” but with a “kra” sound. The second part combines the sounds of “T” and “H”. When you first hear the Indo pronunciation, it may be hard to understand.

Thai People

In Thailand, Kratom is very popular and its name is pronounced differently. Mitragyna Speciosa is a tree from Southeast Asia and the locals in Thailand say “Kruh-tome”. This pronunciation reflects the way the word is phonetically spoken in the Thai language.

Kratom is an ancient remedy and part of Thai culture, known as “Ithang” or “Kakuam” in the country. The Thang Meaning in Southeast Asia, Kratom is commonly known as thang, kakuam, thom, ketum, and biak.

The pronunciation of Kratom as “Kruh-tome” is a result of the unique phonetic characteristics of the Thai language, which differ from English pronunciation. People in Thailand have their own way of saying it, and everyone in the country knows and accepts it. This pronunciation is often used in local markets, traditional medicine shops, and among the Thai community.

The pronunciation can differ in Thailand due to regional dialects and accents affecting how words are spoken.

However, “Kruh-tome” is still a popular way to say it in Thailand. When saying it this way, you stress the “Kruh” part and say “tome” like “tone” for skin tone. This unique pronunciation adds to the cultural diversity and linguistic nuances surrounding the usage and understanding of Kratom in Thailand.

Is there a Universal pronunciation for Kratom?

Different pronunciations are used around the world, so how do we determine the correct one? Like with other words, people often look to the Oxford dictionary for the universal pronunciation. However, even the dictionary lists two intonations for this word.

The dictionary mentions both “KRAY-tum” and “KRAT-um” as correct. These pronunciations are already discussed above.

Other Ways to Refer to Kratom?

Do you want to save yourself from saying it the wrong way? Use other words for the herb. For instance, the herb is also referred to by its scientific name. What is the scientific name in the first place?

As mitragyna speciosa is a herb, it has a biological name based on the family of plants it belongs to and other scientific classifications. And this is how speciosa is mainly referred to in research articles and journals. So scientifically, it is called Mitragyna Speciosa. But how do you say this?

It is pretty easy! It is pronounced as either, Mi-Tra-ginah or Me-Tra-ginah.

So the difference lies in ’mi’ and ’me.’ In the first case, MI sounds more like ’I’ as in “I am,” while in the second case, ME is like “me.” There is not much confusion about these pronunciations because both are equally correct and used.

Bottom Line

What matters is that you can get your message across, so don’t stress too much about how you say it. If you are too concerned, you can stick to the pronunciations mentioned in the Oxford dictionary, but otherwise, it doesn’t matter a lot. Different pronunciations are based on regional dialects, so there is no right or wrong way to pronounce kratom.


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