Lychee (LEE-chee) is an exotic tropical fruit native to China and cultivated over thousands of years, which is harvested and eaten without its tough outer skin before consumption, either manually or mechanically. Lychees are especially beloved among Hawaii locals who love snacking on them between meals, either alone or combined into drinks as a delicious beverage option. If you plan on visiting Hawaii soon, make sure you learn its correct pronunciation so you can order like a pro and connect with locals without issue!
The term lychee derives from Chinese word lizhi, which can be broken down into two components: rough/bumpy (li) and branch (zhi), representing how clusters of lychee fruit grow on branches on trees in clusters on which it grows; this fruit is known as litchi or lichi in China.
As it first entered English language, lychee was initially written out as either lichee or litchi. Over time however, its pronunciation became more widely recognized and now recognized by dictionaries and food authorities worldwide as "lychee." As with other words in the language however, its pronunciation can differ depending on your location; even within one country such as Hawaii there may be distinct dialectical variations within that state alone.
Hawaiian pronunciation of lychee is lee-chee, making for a challenging sound that requires practice to master. To do this, focus on pronouncing two short, sharp syllables correctly while listening to native examples until your sound consistently produces correct sounds. Audio recordings available through language learning apps or websites or from locals for feedback will help. With time and practice you will soon be pronouncing Hawaiian with confidence and accuracy!