Should You Pronounce Something The Original Way Or Adapt To Your Local Surroundings?
The reality is no matter how you say it, people will judge you for it. Some may think of you as arrogant if you pronounce Cartier the French way, while other consider you to be a peasant if you say it the American way.
French Sounding Brands
1. Audemars Piguet (OH-duh-MAHR PEA-GAY)
Audemars Piguet is a watch brand, and it has a soft G.
2. Baume & Mercier (bohm AY mer-SEE-AY)
The ampersand is A because it’s French and it’s very soft; it’s a mid-range watch brand.
3. Balenciaga (Balen-see-iaga)
It used to be Spanish BalenTHiaga with a TH, but today, it’s French-owned, and they prefer to say BalenCiaga.
4. Breguet (breh-gay)
It’s not breg-wet, it’s breh-gay.
5. Chopard (Show-Par)
Chopard is without the d at the end.
6. Cartier (kɑːtjɛ)
When you say Cartier, the R comes from the back of your throat which is typical French.
7. Chanel (shu-nel)
Next up is Chanel. It’s C-H-A-N-E-L. Yes, it sounds simple but when you go to China, you’ll see a lot of shirts saying channel number five with a double N, in my opinion, there are not many things as embarrassing as wearing fake brand-name shirts that are spelled incorrectly.
8. Christian Dior
Again, that soft R in the end, not the American R.
9. Comme Des Garçons (Comb-day gar-Son)
This means as much as like boys, and it has that little hook at the bottom of the C.
10. Dom Pérignon
If you want to learn whether a Dom Perignon champagne is worth it or not, please check out this video.
11. Façonnable (fa-so-Nah-bluh)
It’s pronounced fa-so-Nah-bluh.
12. Goyard (go-yah)
Goyard is pronounced go-yah without the D at the end.
13. Gianfranco Ferré (Italian Brand)
It’s Italian and the R here are pronounced at the front of your tongue so it’s jon-fran-ko fer-ra.
It’s pronounced jzhiv-on-shee.
15. Hermès (Air-mez)
Probably one of the most well-known luxury brands is Hermes. It has an H in the beginning but in French, usually that’s silent, so it’s not H-ermes, it’s Air-mez. The name originally stems from Greek mythology but today, it’s more synonymous with this French luxury brand.
16. Hublot (ooh-blow)
It’s not hub-lot. It is with a silent H.
17. Lanvin (lahn-vahn)
A brand with great French tailoring tradition is Lanvin.
18. L’Occitane (lock-si-tahn)
A brand that produces really great soaps is L’Occitane. It’s very confusing because you have two C’s in a row which is not something you typically see in English language.
19. Longines (long-gene)
It’s not long-Gean or lon-jeans, it is long-gene.
20. Longchamp (Long-shaw)
A very similar brand is Longchamp. You call it Long-shaw.
21. Louis Vuitton (Loo-ee Vwee-tahn)
Probably one of the most popular brands out there, it’s Louis Vuitton.
22. Moet Et Chandon
The next brand is the most famous Champagne house in the world, and it consists of two words. It’s a mo-we without the T and shon-don, however, when you pronounce them in a row, it’s called mo-weT shon-don, you say the T because it is a Dutch name.
23. Moncler (MON-kler)
The next brand is known for winter gear, and it’s often mispronounced as Mon-clay, however, the correct pronunciation is MON-kler.
24. Miu Miu
The next brand is a subsidiary of Prada which is Italian, but it’s more spelled French, its mew-mew.
25. Piaget (pee-uh-zhey)
If you’re into watches, you’ve likely heard of Piaget. You don’t hear the T.
26. Stella Artois (Stella-ar-twa)
A relatively popular lager beer from Belgium is Stella Artois.
27. Vacheron Constantin (VASH-er-on CON-stan-Tan)
Another famous luxury watch brand is Vacheron Constantin.
28. Vilebrequin (vil-bra-ken)
This brand is famous for their swim gear, and it’s called vil-bra-ken.
29. Yves Saint Laurent (Eve-Sant-Lau-ron)
He’s probably one of the most famous designers in the world and his name is Eve-Sant-Lau-ron sometimes it’s also abbreviated to YSL which is a lot easier.
German Sounding Brands
I’m originally from Germany and most Americans pronounce all these brand names wrong all the time so here is how to pronounce them originally.
30. A. Lange & Sohne (Ah-lahn-guh-oond-zo-nuh)
First up is the famous German luxury watch brand A. Lange & Sohne. They assume it’s a French name, but it is German.
It’s not ah-Di-das, it also doesn’t mean all day, I dream about sports. Instead, it’s a brand that was founded by Adolph Dassler, and his nickname was Adi. Adi Dassler became Adidas. As a side note, the brand was founded in the small Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach. His brother Rudolf Dassler founded another sportswear brand which is called Puma, Poo-ma. I it’s just ironic that two iconic sportswear brands or iconic shoe brands come from the same podunk German town, Herzogenaurach.
32. Breitling (brEYE-tling)
Another famous mid-market watch brand is Breit-ling. The Germans similar to the French have the R that comes from the back.
33. Bayer (BAY-Uh)
This brand is most well known for aspirin, and most people in the US call it Bay-er, however, it’s called BAY-Uh simply by which in German has another meaning which is a Bavarian.
34. Porsche (Poor-she)
The next brand is one of the most commonly mispronounced one in the US, and it always hurts my ears. It’s called Poor-she. Ferdinand Porsche was the founder.
35. Hugo Boss (hoo-go Boss)
The brand is actually German and was founded by its namesake, Hugo Boss. The company became really big when they manufactured World War two uniforms for the German military.
One of the most famous German car companies is Mercedes-Benz. So how did the German car company come up with this name? The company originally consisted of Daimler Benz, as well as their chief engineer, Maybach. Emil Jellinek is a successful businessman and had heard about the company. He visited them, he bought a car he liked, and he kept ordering more and decided to become a car dealer, however, he wasn’t happy with the performance and wanted to tune the cars and race them, and so he did and very successfully. His daughter’s name was Mercedes, and so he named his cars Mercedes. It’s a bit similar to AMG which is kind of a tuner for Mercedes cars, and by the way, AMG in German is called A-em-gi. So Jellinek was very demanding, and Daimler was annoyed by him, but Maybach thought he had good ideas, and so they worked together on performance cars and so they had a thirty-five horsepower performance car in 1903 that won all the races it started in. Jellinek trademarked the name Mercedes in 1902. Later on, it became Mercedez-Benz (with a hyphen), and it has remained so until today.
37. Miele (me-leh)
This is a German high-end brand for vacuum cleaners and kitchen appliances.
38. Schwarzkopf (sch-warzkopf)
If you’re into hair products, you might have heard of Schwarzkopf which means as much as black head. It’s a famous German brand for hair products.
39. Tag Heuer (Tag Hoy-a)
Another watch brand with a German sounding name.
It means as much as people’s wagon and the company was founded on May 28th in 1937 in the newly found town of Wolfsburg which was just built to build cars
of the brand. Their first and likely most famous car is Kafer which means as much as the beetle. Now the beetle was designed by Porsche who you know is the other famous German car brand which is more focused on race cars the Volkswagen was supposed to be the people wagon that was affordable and reliable.
41. Wüsthof & Zwilling J.A. Henckels
If you’re into cooking and good knives, you’ve probably come across these two brands; one it’s called Wus-thof, and the next brand is called tsviling-yot-ah-Henck-els.
42. Alfa Romeo (Alfa-ro-mayo)
It’s Alfa-ro-mayo. It’s an Italian name so use the R in the front.
43. Cerruti (che-roo-ti)
A famous cloth producer is Cerruti.
44. Ermenegildo Zegna (er-me-ne-geel-do zen-ya)
Originally a cloth weaver but today, they also produce men’s clothing. It’s a soft G, and you don’t say the Z very hard.
45. Ferrari (f-er-AH-ree)
This one seems easy, and most people in the US use the American R. In Italy, they use that R in the front rolled with your tongue.
46. Lamborghini (læm-b aw r-GEE-n ee)
From roughly the same area around Bologna is Lamborghini.
47. Loro Piana
Another cloth weaver that is now very well known for their cashmere is Loro Piana.
48. Maserati (m-ah-z-uh-r-r-ah-t-ee)
A luxury car called m-ah-z-uh-r-r-ah-t-ee.
49. Moschino (moss-kino)
An Italian fashion brand.
50. Prada (prah-duh)
The next one seems likewise simple. Again, rolled R on your tongue.
51. Ralph Lauren
This one has been a subject of discussion for a while. Some call it Ralph LAUren, others call it Ralph lauREN. The company says the proper way to pronounce it is Ralph LAUren. Ironically, the founder is only known as Ralph Lauren, however, his real name was Ralph Lifshitz which I gave it to him, he’s not very marketable and he did well by choosing a different, more American sounding name.
52. Vitale Barberis Canonico
Another Italian cloth weaver by the name of Vitale Barberis Canonico often, abbreviated to BBC, it’s simply easier to say.