American exceptionalism seems to be alive and well, at least when it comes to wildly mispronouncing German names. Seriously, we almost universally screw them up, and if you’ve ever had to pronounce one of these in front of an actual German, the self-doubt that occurs is almost unreal. You can just feel their quietly judgy Teutonic glare boring through you.
Luckily for all of us, there’s a very nice young woman on YouTube named Felicia, and she is an actual German from Munich who now inexplicably lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Why Cinci? I couldn’t say, but I also can’t recommend it. Anyway, she made a very helpful video explaining how we should be saying German names but aren’t.
For example, did you know that the letter V makes an F sound in German? So Volkswagen becomes “Folksvagen” when pronounced appropriately. How do you say Audi? If it sounds like “Oddy,” then hang your head in shame, buster. It should sound like “Outie,” and so, as with many things in life, the film Clueless has shown us the truth and the light.
Now, Felicia’s list isn’t all cars, and she also includes a little history about each company along with the pronunciation, so it’s worth a watch even if you don’t care about cars (which, if that’s the case, first why are you even here and secondly, thank you for the traffic.)