Are You Pronouncing these Brands Wrong?
Language is a funny thing. It evolves all the time from common usage. Americans are particularly adept at mangling foreign words beyond recognition. However, Americans are not the only ones to get the following 20 brand names wrong; just looking at some of these names can give most people brain cramps.
It looks just like some exotic dish, doesn’t it? It is actually a brand of sports shoes, in case you did not know. The pronunciation is surprisingly approaching phonetic, probably because it is also an American brand, just like Schenectady (skə-NEK-tə-dee). Saucony is pronounced suh-ka-nee. If you want to be technical, it is ˈsɔːkəni, but who knows what ˈsɔː sounds like?
This seems simple enough, just two syllables with vowels nicely placed. It could be “herms” in the Anglican style but because of the accent thingy on the second e, it must be “Her-mees,” right,? No cigar. It is a case of the dropped Hs, and the “s” is actually pronounced as a “z.” The result: “ER-mez.”
You may like the way it smells, but you probably don’t pronounce it right. Who can blame you? It is easily Gi-ven-chee to any ordinary man on the street. However, if you pay any attention to the ads, you know that it is “zhee-von-shee.” You just gotta love how the difficulty of sounding it out is directly proportional to how much you have to pay.
German words often look easy enough to pronounce, but they really are not. Like the way they say thank you– danke schön—sounds like a threat. Most people pronounce this as they would say “porch” if they are falling down drunk, as in “get me to my porsh.” The correct way to say it is to cut it into two syllables, just as you pronounce a girl’s name Portia—POR-sha.
Another car brand that can be mispronounced is Audi. Most people think it is the same as that of old-time actor Audie Murphy, whose first name is pronounced with a mysteriously added “r” as in “Or-dee.” The way Audi is pronounced actually makes more sense, as all of the letters are sounded: A-u-di or ow-dee.
6. Yves Saint Laurent
This has always been a bit of a tummy tickler, because it looks as weird as it sounds. The French has never believed in making anything easy, and that includes most especially the name of their high fashion brands. The right way to say the first name is to pretend the Y is an E and the s was put in by mistake. Eve. And then you run through the last name as if you smelled something bad and had a train to catch: sahn-lo-rahn. Remember to round out all your consonants when you say Eve-Sahn-Lo-rahn with a prissy smile.
7. Moët et Chandon
Contrary to what we have always believe about French, the tail-end “t” is sometimes sounded, such as in this brand of sparkly, but not always. You say “mwet” but not “et.” Put together, you have “mwet-eh-shandon.”
We will put off the wisecracks and just give you how to pronounce the rest so that you can run off and correct your friends that are always twitting you about your plaid shirts.
8. CLE DE PEAU BEAUTÉ – clay-duh-poe BO-tay
9. GUERLAIN – gair-lahn
10. ISSEY MIYAKE – EE-say me-AH-keh
11. KÉRASTASE – kayr-a-stass
12. LANVIN – lahn-vahn
13. L’OCCITANE – lox-ee-tahn
14. LOUIS VITTON – lu-ee-vi-tahn
15. ORIBE – or-bay
16. RALPH LAUREN – ralf-LOR-uhn
17. RUCHING – roosh-ing
18. SHU UEMURA – shoe-eew-ay-murah
19. DOLCE & GABBANA – dol-chay and ga-ba-na
20. JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER – zhon-pol-go-tee-ay