The automotive world is filled with German, French and other European cars, and it is thus to no wonder that most of the time we Indians get their names wrong. Since you are here, we are taking that you talk a lot about cars, and doesn’t want to be a laughing stock next time you are in a discussion.
We’ve thus compiled a list of manufacturers whose names people usually get wrong, and the right way to speak them. Let’s start with the brands that are available in India.
Volkswagen: Being rather popular here, majority of Indians may be familiar with how to pronounce the brand. The Germans speak ‘V’ as ‘F’, and hence Volkswagen is rightly said ‘ folks-va-gun ’. Try to give a little more effort at the end, spelling ‘Gun’ instead of ‘Gen’.
Audi: Audi must be the most mispronounced brand in India, most people speaking it as ‘o-dee’. The right way to say is ‘aw-de’, similar to how we say Ouch.
BMW: How can someone speak this wrong? Well the Germans speak ‘W’ as ‘V’ and hence Bayerische Motoren Werke is pronounced Bayerishuh Motoren Verke, and the thus we get ‘bey-em-vey‘. Fortunately this is limited just to the German market.
Mercedes: Being around for quite sometime now, Mercedes is one luxury brand that most people get right in India, and is rightly pronounced ‘mur-SEE-dus‘. However,lately we’ve been hearing lots of ‘Mer-SAY-deez’, which can be credited to blindly following the Americans.
Hyundai: The Koreans speak Hyundai as ‘Hyon-De‘. There is no ‘Hu’ sound, and the ‘dai’ is pronounced similar to ‘Desk’.
Renault: Thanks to their good TVC campaigns, Most of us might know that Renault is simply pronounced ‘Re-No‘.
Chevrolet : Again, do away with the ‘T’ and say ‘shev-ro-ley‘.
Porsche : The makers of the iconic nine-eleven (not nine-one-one) is rightly said ‘porsha‘ and not ‘porshey’ or ‘Porsh’.
Jaguar: Not that Indians have a problem speaking it, the British manufacturer is rightly pronounced ‘Jag-Yoo-Are‘. However the Americans might not agree with this, as they are more accustomed to ‘Jag-wahr’. Either one works fine.
Now let’s talk about brands that are not available in India:
Koenigsegg: Swedish much like German is a really tricky language, and that is why Koenigsegg is one of the toughest brands to pronounce. It is rightly said ‘ko-nig-zegg‘, where ‘o’ in the first syllable is pronounced as something between ‘o’ and ‘u’, while the ‘z’ is pronounced midway between ‘s’ and ‘z’. Try to give a little more punch to the two g’s at the end.
Alfa Romeo: Definitely not pronounced similar to the Shakespeare’s play. Try to enhance the second syllable and speak it as ‘Alfa ro-ME-yo‘, where ‘ME’ is pronounced as in ‘men’.
Peugeot: A really tricky french word and one that most people get wrong. Here the ‘eu’ is pronounced more like an ‘o’ while the rest (‘geot’) gets a ‘jsh’ sound, the ‘sh’ being more vivid. And thus the brand is pronounced ‘Poo-Jsho‘.
Citroen: Being another french manufacturer, people often feel that they are saying it wrong. But as far as french brands go, this is one of the most straight forward, and is pronounced as ‘SEET-tro-en‘.
Subaru: Makers of the popular ‘im-pret-sa’ model, Subaru is rightly said ‘SOO-ba-roo‘ and not ‘soo-BAA-roo’.
Lancia : Lancia participated in top-level rallying until 1992, winning 16 WRC titles on the way. Their Delta has got six consecutive wins under its name (from 1987 to 1992), also being the most successful individual model designation ever to compete in rallying. However there is no point in knowing this fact if you keep saying Lan-see-ya. Try to be a little more Italian and say ‘Lan-Cha‘, The ‘Ch’ sounding more like ‘Sh‘.