Do You Really Know How to Pronounce These Brand Names?

By: Bambi Turner
Image: Porsche/Nike/Samsung/Kārlis Dambrāns via Wiki Commons/Ikea

About This Quiz

Global brand names have become a part of everyday life, so familiar to us that the names have become Americanized -- but when you're shopping for Samsung televisions, playing a Sega gaming system or comparing a Hyundai to a Chevrolet, how sure are you that you're actually pronouncing the names correctly? If you think you know how to say some of the trickiest brand names out there, take our quiz to show off your pronunciation skills!

We spend years in school memorizing grammar and spelling rules in our native language, but even people who get to study other languages rarely have the mastery of native speakers. Things get even trickier when it comes to brands, or even the names of individuals, as these words often don't follow basic language rules at all. That's why a brand that looks like it should be pronounced a certain way in English actually sounds nothing like you would expect in French, German, Italian on another language. Things like basic pronunciation rules, silent letters and unexpected emphasis or accents can trip up even the most well-intentioned speaker.

Think you can pronounce many of the world's trickiest brand names? Prove it with this quiz!

Sportswear company Adidas was founded by German Adolf Dassler in the 1940s. The name -- which is rumored by many to stand for "All Day Long I Dream About Sports" -- is actually inspired by Adolf's nickname, Adi, and the first three letters of his last name. The correct pronunciation is AH-dee-dahs.

Hoegaarden has been making wheat beer since 1445. Named for a Belgian village, the name is pronounced WHO-gar-den.

A brewery founded in 1366 in Leuven, Belgium, decided to introduce a Christmas beer in 1926. They called it Stella Artois, for Christmas Star, and it was so popular, they made it a permanent part of their offerings. The brand is pronounced STEL-lah ar-TWA.

Ferruccio Lamborghini started his iconic car company in 1963 to produce top-notch touring cars capable of taking on Ferrari. Because his name is Italian, the brand is correctly pronounced as lambor-gee-nee.

August Horch of Germany founded Audi in 1910. His last name means "listen" in German, which is translated to Latin as "Audi." The name is pronounced oww-dee.

Dutch immigrant John Manning Van Heusen founded his famous clothing line in 1910. Though the name may look confusing, it's pronounced van hew-son.

Edouard Heuer of Switzerland founded a fine jewelry and watchmaking company in 1860. It was purchased by the TAG Group in 1985, and the official name is pronounced tag haw-yer.

Hubert de Givenchy founded his French luxury fashion and perfume line in 1952. The French pronunciation is zhee vahn-shee.

Louis Vuitton started his iconic fashion brand in Paris in 1854. Noticing that travel trunks with rounded tops were tough to stack, he created flat-topped ones and sold them for a fortune. His brand is pronounced LOO-ee vwee-tahn.

Yves Saint Laurent and partner Pierre Berge started their luxury fashion line in 1961, eventually gaining fame for Le Tuxedo -- a smoking jacket for women. The name is French, ​and pronounced eve san lo-ron.

German car maker Porsche was founded by Ferdinand Porsche in 1931. One of the company's first projects was for the German government, and resulted in the design of the VW Beetle. The name of the company is pronounced poor-sha.

Founded in 1953 as Service Games of Japan, the name SEGA comes from a newer branch called Service Games of America. The name of this Japanese video game maker is pronounced see-ga.

Jeff Bezos picked the name for his online bookstore out of the dictionary, choosing Amazon because it was near the beginning of the alphabet and because he liked that it sounded exotic. The name of this online behemoth is pronounced ama-zun.

The name of car maker Volkswagen means "people's car" in German. Founded under Hitler in 1937, the name of this company is pronounced vo-ks var-gun.

In the 1880s, a California food company started marketing a line of coffee named after a local hotel -- the Hotel del Monte. Since del monte means "from the mountain" in Spanish and Italian, the correct pronunciation for this brand comes from these languages. It's pronounced del mon-tay.

Schwarzkopf is a line of hair-care products hailing from German. The name means "black head" in German, and is pronounced shwartz-kof.

Founded in 1964, athletic wear company Nike takes its names from the Greek goddess of victory. The name of the company is pronounced ni-key.

Thierry Hermes founded a company is Paris in 1837. While he initially sold luxury horse supplies, he later branched out to fashion. The name of this brand is oh-so-French, and is pronounced air-mez.

Christian Dior turned fashion on its head in 1947, creating a style dubbed by the media as the New Look. His name is French, and is correctly pronounced as kris-cheen dee-or.

It's a great American car company, but Chevy's name comes from Switzerland. Swiss race car driver and engineer Louis Chevrolet founded his car company in Detroit, paving the way for what would later be known as Motor City. His name, and the company, is pronounced shev-ro-lay.

Louis Renault founded car company Renault with his two brothers, Marcel and Fernand, in 1899. By 1908, they were producing several thousand cars a year​ and had become the biggest car maker in France. The name of this French auto brand is pronounced ren-oh.

Italian Giovanni Versace founded his fashion line in 1978. He became famous for the chain mail "fabric" he called Oroton, as well as for his line of home decor. The brand's pronunciation is determined by its Italian heritage -- ver-saa-chi.

When a pair of former Xerox employees founded Adobe in 1982, they named the company after the Adobe Creek that ran behind one of their California homes. The software and tech company is pronounced ah-doh-bee.

ASUS was founded in Taiwan in 1989 by former Acer employees. The South Korean computer giant is pronounced A-seuss.

Samsung was founded in Seoul, South Korea, in 1930. The electronics company takes its name from a local city -- Samsung Town -- and the correct pronunciation is sam-song.

Fage yogurt is made by a company that has served as a dairy in Athens since the 1920s. The name Fage means "eat" in Greek, and it's pronounced fa-hey. It's also an abbreviation for the company's original name, which translates in English to Filippou Brothers Dairy Company.

Athletic shoemaker Saucony was founded near Kutztown, Pennsylvania, in 1898. Its​ name comes from the local Saucony Creek that runs next to the factory, and the proper pronunciation is sock-uh-nee.

Cristobel Balenciaga started his luxury goods line in his native Spain in 1919. Though the company moved to Paris in 1937, the name is still based on the original Spanish, and is pronounced bah-len-see-ah-gah.

Fashion line Miu Miu was founded by Miuccia Prada in 1993 in Milan. The name comes from Prada's childhood nickname, and it's pronounced mew-mew.

Huawei is a Chinese firm that happens to be one of the largest telecom companies on the planet. Founded in 1987 to make simple phone switches, Huawei is Mandarin, and the proper English pronunciation is wah-way.

Luciano Benetton started his clothing line in Italy in 1965 with a small collection of sweaters. The now-famous fashion brand is pronounced bene-tawn.

Hyundai was founded in Seoul as a construction and engineering company in the '40s, then added a car manufacturing branch in the '60s. The South Korean automaker is one of the largest in the world, and the correct pronunciation of this brand is hun-day.

Comme des Garcons is French for "like boys" or "of the boys." Founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1969, this fashion line's brand name is all-French, and the proper pronunciation is comb day gar sawn.

Furniture giant Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943. It's name comes from its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, his childhood home, Elmtaryd, and the city he grew up in, Agunnaryd. Despite what you may have heard, the correct way to say this Swedish brand name is ee-kay-uh.

German pharmaceutical company Bayer famously patented a drug called heroin back in the late 1800s, then bought agricultural engineering firm Monsanto in 2016. The pronunciation of this brand comes from the German language -- it's buy-er.

Just because it starts with "nut," doesn't mean it's pronounced the way you might expect. The name of this sugary hazelnut spread is actually new-tell-uh, and comes from​ the Italian language.

Franco Moschino started a fine leather goods line in Italy in 1983. Today, Moschino -- pronounced moss-key-no -- is a high-end brand known for purses and other luxury accessories.

John Paul Gaultier of France started his own line of haute couture and pret a porter that caught the attention of fashionistas around the world. He later became a creative director as Hermes. Today, his line -- pronounced zhon paul go-tee-ay -- is well-known in the fashion industry.

Greek jeweler Sotirios Boulgaris opened a store in Rome in 1884. Stylized with the Latin spelling, Bvlgari, the company name is pronounced bull-guh-ree

Tim and Nina Zagat started their restaurant rating system in NYC in 1979. The brand rhymes with "the cat," with all the emphasis on the second syllable.

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