German Car Brand Pronunciation
For years, people have been debating how to properly pronounce German car brands such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. For many of us, it was simply based on local letter sounds leading to a few varieties of how to say them properly. Now, a German YouTuber called Speed Comparer shared a video correcting the people of the world. The video not only discloses how to properly say German car brand names, it it overall quite hilarious. In this article, we will go over how to properly pronounce German car brands according to Speed Comparer.
For Audi, many people pronounce this wrong due to language sound basics. For instance, letters are pronounced different in English than German. The correct way to say Audi is “Ou-Dee”. The “Ou” sounds similar to saying “Ow” as if you were expressing a sudden pain. Saying “Aww-Dee” or “Auh-Dee” are incorrect according to the German language. Most people pronounce the first two letters of Audi incorrectly leading to the problem. Please note, it is harder to convey how a brand should sound via writing so I am doing my best to sound it out according to the video.
In the case of BMW, most people outside of Germany say literally “BMW”. In Germany, the “W” sounds different which leads to the real name sounding like “BMV”. “BMW” stands for “Bayerische Motoren Werke” which translates to “Bavarian Motor Works”. As expected, “Bayerische Motoren Werke” sounds more like “Buy-Er-Shurr Motoren Verker”. Again, hopefully you are able to sound it correctly from the text but please refer to the video just in case.
For Mercedes-Benz, most people say it exactly how it sounds “Mercedes-Benz” with a long sounded “Benz”. The real way to say this in German sounds like “Murrsaydees-Benz” where the “Benz” is very quickly stated. This is probably the least off-sounding pronunciation compared to the rest. Basically, stating “Mercedes-Benz” in German is much faster paced and sounds more direct to the point while in English it tends to drag on. This is also part of the reason many Americans will refer to Mercedes-Benz as simply “Benz”.
Opel, another German manufacturer, is another example of a mispronounced name. Most people say “O-Pall” while it should be “O-Pell!”. As stated, “Every booger drives an Opel”. Opel is not sold in the United States so it is less commonly spoke of, but still incorrectly. Speed Comparer refers to the Opel as a car for 16-17 year old girl.
One of the most popular German brands, Porsche, is stated completely wrong by most Americans. In the U.S., most people state “Poor-Shh” while it is properly stated as “Poor-Shah”. You can also think of it as saying “Porscia” where the “c” sounds like a “sh”. You may be thinking that sounds like a girls name, but it is definitely one hell of a car. Porsches are a beautiful feat of engineering and stating the name properly should be the way it is.
Lastly, Volkswagen, or VW, is another common mispronunciation. First, “VW” is pronounced like “Fahl-Vey”. This sounds completely different than speed in English but that is how it sounds. The entire name, “Volkswagen”, sounds like “Fahlkswagen”. The Volkswagen means the “car of the people”. This name probably has the biggest gap in mispronunciation due to letters sounding differently.
Saying German Car Names Incorrectly is a Way of Life