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10+ Words Most Americans Aren’t Pronouncing Properly

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We know we’re not perfect, but if you want to pronounce foreign words and brands correctly, scroll through this list – I know I’ve been saying most of these 12 wrong for a while!

#1. Bayer

Image Credit: Bayer

It’s a German label from a German company, and in Germany they would say it BUY-er. That said, BAY-er is probably going to serve you best here in the USA, since no one would have a clue what you were talking about otherwise.

#2. Adidas

Image Credit: Adidas

No, the name of this German shoe brand doesn’t stand for “All Day I Dream About Sex,” and it’s also not pronounced uh-DEE-duhs, either. It’s AH-dee-DAHS, named for founder Aldoph “Adi” Dassler.

#3. Bokeh

Image Credit: HD Wallpaper

It’s been put into common English use because of the photo apps that use it as an effect, but the recent iPhone ad promoting their Depth Control feature is pronouncing the word wrong.

It’s not BOH-KUH but boh-KAY. Yeah, like the bunch of flowers.

#4. Moschino

Image Credit: Moschino

The letter C is confusing in Italian (in Latin, there are only hard C’s, fun fact), so while most people say mo-SHEE-no or moss-CHEE-no, the correct way it to substitute a hard K sound for the ch – mo-SKI-no.

#5. Ellevest

Image Credit: Ellevest

The female-centric investment firm isn’t pronounced EL-VEST but EL-uh-vest, according to founder Sallie Krawcheck.

#6. Ralph Lauren

Image Credit: Ralph Lauren

For anyone who didn’t watch Friends, this French brand is pronounced Ralph LO-ren, not Ralph Lo-REN.

#7. IKEA

Image Credit: IKEA

You love their cheap-but-stylish furniture and Swedish meatballs, but I have some news for you – according to Swede and LA Galaxy player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s not pronounced eye-KEY-uh, but ee-KAY-uh.

Huh.

#8. Zagat

Image Credit: Zagat

The guide to all things restaurants is named after Tim and Nina Zagat, who pronounce their last name as zu-GHAT, not ZA-gut.

#9. Nutella

Image Credit: Nutella

The actual pronunciation – NUT-el-uh – makes sense, because the yummy spread is made of hazelNUTS not hazelNEWTS.

That said, for some reason Americans insist on referring to it as NEW-tell-uh.

#10. Porsche

Image Credit: Porsche

Save a German’s ears and say this one Poor-shay (and roll the R in the back of your throat) and not Porsh (with your drawl included).

#11. Hyundai

Image Credit: Hyundai

You’re probably pronouncing the car company as HUN-DYE, but in reality, the world (which comes from the Korean word for modernity) is pronounced HUN-DAY (rhymes with Sunday).

#12. Balmain

Image Credit: Balmain

French is hard, y’all, so if you want to sound smart go with Bahl-mah in stead of BALL-MAIN.

The more you know!