Porsche or Porsh-ah? Ultimate guide to mispronounced carmakers
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Porsche or Porsh-ah? Ultimate guide to mispronounced carmakers

Is it Nike or Nikey? Does scone rhyme with shone or stone? The line between correct and incorrect pronunciations is often a blurred one.

Even the biggest brands fall victim to it, and car manufacturers are no different. To put the debate to bed once and for all, Select commissioned a survey of 1,000 Brits and picked out some of the most mispronounced carmakers.

Including some of the most established brands in the country, the results may surprise you. Have a look at the UK's most mispronounced carmakers in our graphic below. For avoidance of any doubt, we’ve also dropped in the correct ways of saying them – accents are optional!

Do you know your Vs from your Ws?

You might think you’ve already got BMW down to a T – how wrong can you go with three letters? Quite, it turns out. In the German alphabet, W is pronounced as V, making the correct pronunciation bee-em-vee – only one in 20 got it right.  

And to make matters more confusing, V is said as F, so Volkswagen is pronounced fokes-vah-gun and VW is actually eff-vee. Mind bending.

It’s Porsch-ah! 

VW’s parent company, VW Group, also owns Porsche and Skoda. To pronounce the former of those, think Joey from Friends: add an ah on the end and you’ve got it – porsh-ah.

For Skoda, notice the accent above the S. This implies a sh sound, so it’s actually said shkoh-dah. We think this sounds better, actually, but nearly 90% of respondents disagree.

Forty years of UK sales and still mispronounced 

Hyundai’s been selling in the UK since the early ‘80s, but the South Korean builder still finds itself the second-most mispronounced on our list. Generally known as hi-un-di to Brits, the correct way of saying it is hun-day.

Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg – deliberately misspelt by Jeremy Clarkson and co on Top Gear – may also look like a tongue twister, but don’t let its 10 characters throw you. Here, the correct method is koh-nig-zegg – note the double G at the end for extra emphasis.

Lancia, former builder of iconic road cars and beyond-iconic rally vehicles, is still active, but has since faded into mediocrity. Its correct pronunciation has also waned from memory, with nearly 70% calling it lan-see-ah. But, applying the same rule as you would to ciabatta bread, it’s actually lan-chah.

That also applies to Dacia, despite it being a Romanian brand, but strangely most respondents got this one right. Although Dacia Sandero super fan James May refers to it as day-see-ah, it should be dah-chah. Just give the TV ads a listen.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024