I would not have a clue how to pronounce this US name, Spokane. I am sure I would know it if I heard it said.
It is some years since it dawned on me, probably the Clinton years, that Arkansas was the same place I had heard mentioned many times in the media.
I still struggle with New Orleans. I pronounce it as I read it now, having given up trying to get it right. It seems you really need an American accent.
Speaking of New Orleans, it took me some time to realise that Potomac was not a difficult word at all, unlike Pontchartrain, as in the NO lake. Actually, that is not so bad.
2012 was a very revealing year to me.Yosemite (National Park) is not pronounced how I thought and I have now connected up with what I read with what I hear. However, I cannot say the word yet.
Of late, now we have one in our family, I have been working on my pronunciation of Maori, a native South Pacific Islander, many of who live in New Zealand. It does not rhyme with dowry, nor with sari, but somewhere in between. I mostly get it right now, by slightly pausing before I say the word.
I am lucky to live in Australia where our place names are simple, like Wurundjeri Way, a city street to the west and to the east, Birrarung Marr Park.