Fancy yourself a car enthusiast? While being an enthusiastic car owner and a good driver are both part of your overall street cred, a lot of it comes down to being able to talk the torque.
And where many of us can come undone when showing off our automotive prowess is butchering the pronunciation of brand or model names as badly as Kim from Kath & Kim used to pronounce 'chardonnay' (she said 'kar-don-aye', for the record).
Some may seem obvious, while others can spark full office debates, but there are some car monikers manufacturers claim people just can't seem to get right.
And although alphanumeric naming systems are du jour these days, especially amongst the luxury brands, there remains a contingency of clever, confusing or straight-up unintelligible titles out there.
To brush up on our car speak, we asked representatives from some of Australia's major car brands to share the mispronunciations that plague them – and set the record straight.
Now, spelling them? That's another matter entirely.
Škoda – 'Shko-dah'
Most people disregard the 'shhh' noise at the start of this Czech manufacturer's name.
Octavia – 'Oct-ah-via'
The middle syllable is an 'ah' and not an 'ay' in the name of Skoda's mid-size offering.
Karoq – 'Cah-rock'
Don't let the 'q' fool you – there's no fancy footwork required to pronounce the name of Skoda's smaller SUV.
Kamiq – 'Kam-ick'
Skoda's incoming compact crossover ends in more of an 'ick' than an 'eek'.
Porsche – 'Por-shuh'
Cayenne – 'Kay-enn'
With the emphasis on the second syllable.
Taycan – 'Tie-karn'
Volkswagen – 'Volks-vag-gen'
The proper German pronunciation sees the 'w' become a 'v', but otherwise a Volkswagen rep told us ‘Volks-wah-gen’ does just fine.
It's worth noting, though, that regional dialects will often have the 'V' in Volkswagen pronounced as an F (hence, it is the origin of a word commonly used in English conversation: folks!)
Touareg – 'Tooa-reg’
However, according to a Volkswagen spokesperson, "the car gets its name from the Saharan tribe, pronounced ‘twa-reg’".
Ghibli – 'Gib-lee'
Although the temptation when saying the name of Maserati's luxury executive car is to soften the first syllable in a European manner – 'zhee' – it actually has a hard 'g', like the 'g' in 'give'.
Tesla – 'Tez-lah'
Not even Elon Musk is sure about this one. When asked in an interview with 60 Minutes in the US how he pronounces his electric car brand, he said: "Actually, I think I probably say it with a slight 'z' sound, I hadn't thought about it!"
Like you're saying the first name of former royal Meghan Markle while letting out a sigh of relief.
Alpine – 'Al-peen'
No, not 'alpine' as in skiing, but 'al-peen' as in... French?
Captur – 'Cap-turr'
Aussies are tempted to say 'captcha', but the 't' in the name of Renault's SUV is a hard 't'.
Huracán – 'Hoo-ra-kahn'
A Lamborghini rep told us they get a lot of 'hurri-can'.
Urus – 'Ou-russ'
Apparently, this one is often pronounced 'youris'. You-yikes.
Countach – 'Coon-tach'
This one has also apparently been historically challenging for many.
Haval – 'Hav-el'
Hyundai – 'Hee-un-day'
Or you can run the first two syllables together like Americans do and end up with something that sounds, as the old Super Bowl ad used to say, 'like Sunday'.
If you don't know what we're talking about, you can watch it here.
Tucson – 'Tu-son'
For the love of all things good, don't pronounce the hard 'c'.
Geely – 'Gee-lee'
While many of us (in this office included) say 'Geely' with a hard 'g' like the one in 'geese', it's actually a soft 'g' like the one in 'gin'.
Peugeot – 'Purr-jo'
This video sums it up...
Citroën – 'Si-troh-en'
This one takes a fair bit of French finesse, as per this video.
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