Wikipedia says the American pronunciation of the country is "/ˈmɔːldaɪvz/". But I asked a few American friends and they all pronounce it as "/ˈmɔːldiːvz/".
I searched "Maldives how to pronounce" on Google and the results are overwhelmingly "/ˈmɔːldiːvz/".
Interestingly, the Cambridge dictionary says "the Maldives" is pronounced as "/ˈmɔːldaɪvz/" in American English but if you play the audio, it is "/ˈmɔːldiːvz/".
I also searched "Maldives" on YouGlish. I checked 10 videos under "US" accent and 10 videos under "UK" accent and they are all "/ˈmɔːldiːvz/". I only found two videos under "Aus" that the people in them pronounce it as "/ˈmɔːldaɪvz/":
- Explore and travel with the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program at 23rd second.
- Get Help Improve Faster at the beginning
So my questions are:
- Are both pronunciations correct but "/ˈmɔːldaɪvz/" is just used far less than the other one?
- Or is "/ˈmɔːldiːvz/" the only correct pronunciation and the two "/ˈmɔːldaɪvz/" cases in the two videos above are mispronunciations by native speakers?