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How to Pronounce Kratom The Proper Way

Kratom has been a popular subject of debate in the past decade. From its positive effects on well-being to its safety, many continue to rally behind the power of this herbal supplement from Southeast Asia. Still, others remain uncertain about its potential, including kratom pronunciation. 

So how do you pronounce kratom correctly? 

Although far from significant compared to topics on benefits or health risks, proper kratom pronunciation has divided the kratom community enough to warrant a serious answer; hence, the purpose of this article.

Here, we break down the most common kratom pronunciations and if there is, indeed, a “right” or “wrong” way of saying it. At the very least, settling this debate will allow you to step into a kratom shop a tad more confident. 


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image of common kratom pronunciation

Common Kratom Pronunciations

If you’ve ever felt embarrassed about mispronouncing the word kratom during a conversation, the good news is there is technically no absolute “right” way to pronounce kratom correctly. 

According to the Oxford dictionary and Merriam-Webster dictionary, there are two ways of pronouncing this seemingly simple word.

1. KRAT-um

This is one of the most common ways of pronouncing kratom. People who say it this way use a short “a” sound instead of the long “ay” sound. 

If all else fails, just remember KRAT-um rhymes with “atom.”

2. KRAY-tum

On the other hand, pronouncing kratom as KRAY-tum is the exact opposite. It uses the long “ay” sound rather than the short “a” sound. This “English” pronunciation is more common among Americans as they typically verbalize similar words the “ay” way. Pronouncing the word kratom this way is the most popular pronunciation among native English speakers.

Pro tip: KRAY-tum rhymes with “tatum.”

image of krat-um or kray-tum which one is correct

KRAT-um or KRAY-tum: Which One Is the Correct Kratom Pronunciation?

Given the official definitions established by Oxford and Merriam-Webster, both KRAT-um and KRAY-tum are acceptable kratom pronunciations. 

Choosing one over the other primarily boils down to the local accent of the speaker. Depending on where you’re from, the “a” sound may be said differently, thus leading to various pronunciations.

For example, organizations like the American Kratom Association use KRAY-tum because of their natural American accent. However, British English speakers most likely pronounce it as KRAT-um. 

Interestingly enough, some people use neither of the two, especially in Southeast Asian countries where kratom originated. They may have a more native pronunciation of their local herb. Here are some of the most fascinating pronunciations you may come across are as follows:

1. Malaysian Pronunciation of Kratom

The silent R is common in local languages, especially in Malaysia. As such, locals in this region usually pronounce kratom as “key-tum” or “kea-tum.” 

2. Indonesian Pronunciation of Kratom

Indonesian locals, on the other hand, put emphasis on the first half of the word. You may hear them calling it “kruh-tome” with the latter half rhyming with “tone.” 

3. Thai Pronunciation of Kratom

The Thai pronunciation of kratom is one of the most unique versions. In the Thai language, “t” letters are usually accompanied by an “h,” resulting in a “th” sound. As such, they pronounce kratom as “kra-thom.”

Other Kratom Pronunciations to Remember

1. Scientific name 

Kratom is derived from the Mitragyna Speciosa plant, which is native to Southeast Asia. Consequently, it’s from this region that the word kratom originated. This scientific name is pronounced as:

  • Mi-truh-jay-nuh (where “mi” sounds like “i”)
  • Me-tra-jay-nuh (where “me” sounds like “me”)

As for Speciosa, it is said as “spe-cie-o-sa,” similar to species.

image of other kratom pronunciations to remember

2. Strain types

Maeng Da is one of the most popular kratom strains. When purchasing this kratom product, you can choose among these common pronunciations:

  • Maeeneg-duh
  • Mong-da
  • Mung-da

Another complicated kratom strain to pronounce is Hulu-Kapuas. For starters, just read this out loud: “ho-loo kah-poo-has.”

A strain type that requires even more practice is Bentuangie Kratom. In simple terms, it can be pronounced as “ben-too-angie.”

Conclusion: What Is The Proper Way of Pronouncing Kratom? 

Given all these variations, the question still remains: What is the proper pronunciation?

Needless to say, kratom is a seemingly simple word with a surprisingly complex pronunciation. While KRAT-um and KRAY-tum are the most acceptable by technical standards, any other pronunciation is not automatically wrong. 

Rather, we must take into account the factors influencing the different pronunciations, especially local accents, dialects, and languages. And given kratom’s availability all over the world, hearing about its various versions should not come as a surprise.

Long story short, as is the case with most words, there is no “right” or “wrong” way of pronouncing kratom. You will definitely come across a few different ways the word kratom is said. Ultimately, what matters is that we share a universal understanding of its potential benefits, risks, and other relevant information. 

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