There’s no shame in it — most of us mispronounce things, especially the foreign names of luxury car brands. Most importantly is how you pronounce it correctly now. Read on.
For the common folk, saying ‘oo-di’ instead of ‘au-di’ is ignorable. But when it comes to gearheads, it could be seen as a cardinal sin. Luxury car brands come forth with names as exotic as their cars. Very often, given translation, regional accent and cultural heritage, pronunciation of these names can get quite tricky. For example, the Englishmen say BMW, as its initials simply spell out. However, for Germans, it’s “bey-em-vey”. Even though they both stand as initials for ‘Bayerische Motoren Werke’. I bet that’s something new you learnt today.
This linguistic and cultural twist often leads to mispronunciation of these luxury car brands and today, we’re going to be clearing a few of them.
Correct pronunciation: “Ko-Nig-Seg”.
Commonly mispronounced as: “Keo-nig-sigg/Koe-nigg-seg”.
This Swedish hypercar-maker’s name is undoubtedly as exotic as the machines they build. Interesting fun fact about Koenigsegg is that they’e been lock horns with Bugatti since the year 2000 for the crown of having built the world’s fastest production car. However, they’re much lesser known than their rival and also quite hard to pronounce. We’ve actually heard tons of people say keo-nigg-seg, jumbling up the ‘e’ and ‘o’. However, all you need to do in order to get this right is drop the ‘e’.
Correct pronunciation: ‘Poo-jsho’.
Commonly mispronounced as: “peo-geo-t”.
French is undoubtedly one of those languages where accent matters, much like Arabic. So we don’t blame you to messing up this title. For the case at hand, the fix it simple, try not getting lost between all those vowels there. It’s a simple dual syllable word : ‘poo-jsho’. We can understand the confusion given all those vowels.
Correct pronunciation: “lam-ber-gini”.
Commonly mispronounced as: “lam-bo-gini”.
When we think luxury car brands, we think Lamborghini. Be it movies, music videos, motorsports or pop culture, Lamborghinis pack an Italian punch (and engine growl) of their own. However, this we’re messing up its Italian name. After countless Western references as ‘Lambos’, we forget how it was meant to be pronounced locally in Italy. The ‘bo’ is actually ‘ber’ and the ‘gh’ needs to be eased up a little.
Correct pronunciation: “paw-shuh”.
Commonly mispronounced as: “porsh/por-shay”.
Porsch, Porscha, Porsch-e, we’ve heard it all and it’s another classic German mix-up. It’s certainly weird how even the simplest of words can get confused between accents. In Europe, it may be pretty easy to pronounce given the regional accent but take this to the American or Asian roads, and you’ll this name very differently. The ‘shuh’ becomes a ‘shay’. More so, there’s slightly lesser emphasis o the ‘r’.
Correct pronunciation: “wai-rah”.
Commonly mispronounced as: “hua-ra/huay-ra”.
The name of the brand is pretty straight forward. However, the case in question is their most famous model, the Huayra. Before we talk about it, how about you give it a try without reading the correct pronunciation? Well, you can see why this caused quite a linguistic stir in the motoring community as it made a debut. The model is actually named after Huayra-tata, a Quechua wind God. That too, is no easier to pronounce. The ‘h’ in Huayra, is silent, that’s the trick.
Correct pronunciation: “Cit-roh-een”
Commonly mispronounced as “saiit-ro-en”
As complicated as French can be, it doesn’t always have to be. That’s what’s causing a confusion amongst the common folks here. Citroën’s actually very simple: ‘Seet–ro-in’. The same way you’d say ‘sit’ in ‘sit on a chair’ You can also make the ‘r’ nasal, if you wish, just to give it a more authentic French twist.
Correct pronunciation: “mah-zeh-rah-tee”
Commonly mispronounced as: “mes-sa-ra-di/mes-ra-ti”
Isn’t it mildly infuriating to hear someone mispronounce the simplest of syllables? That’s the case with Maserati. It’s pretty simple and in fact the simplest of luxury car brands to pronounce given its Italian origin. It’s simple, ma-se-ra-ti, let’s not unnecessarily complicate things here. This really didn’t need a spot on this list but we’re tired of hearing this beautiful brand go mispronounced.
(All images: Courtesy brands)
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.