My blog puts me in touch with Porsche owners the world over. Lately, what used to be as rare as an original 550 Spyder seems to be as prolific as a Honda Accord (and this from amongst the anointed few.) What blasphemy is this that I speak of? None other than the incorrect pronunciation of our beloved brand. If you’re new to the marque then the confusion is understandable. However, if you are a long time Porsche owner then there really is no excuse. No, it's not the end of the world it you don't pronounce it correctly, you just risk sounding like a sheisskopf to those in the know...
Let’s review. The Porsche brand is of German origin and a family/surname. These two facts combine to provide an easy and definitive pronunciation.
In the German language, the “e” at the end of Porsche is pronounced. IT IS NOT SILENT. Very similar to the the word Deutsche. It's not DOYTSCH. It's DOYTSCH-UH.
Fact 2: Forget about Fact 1. This is a family name. If you listen to discussions with, or about, any of the founding family members, they all pronounce the name in one way and one way only.
This means that Porsche is never pronounced PORSH and should always be pronounced PORSH-UH.
The only correct pronunciation of Porsche is Porsh-Uh
Fact 1: Someone actually wanted to debate this with me the other night by suggesting there is no correct pronunciation. Their argument was that PORSH was just the “American” translation of the German word. I'm sure you can imaging my response, "Nein, nein, nein!! Das ist nicht richtig!" The fact is Porsche (PORSH-UH) is a family name. You don’t decide how you want to pronounce it. You pronounce it as it was meant to be. Verstehen Sie?
By the way, Porsche (you should now be pronouncing it correctly) is not the only German brand or name to suffer this fate. Take a look at the table below for other familiar examples. At the bottom is a link for the correct pronunciation of each name including PORSH-UH!
|Frequently Mispronounced Terms|
|GERMAN in ENGLISH
with correct phonetic pronunciation
(Theodor Seuss Geisel)
German author, poet
|GER-ta ('er' as in fern)
and all oe-words
fine-grained loam soil
|lerss ('er' as in fern)|
|shrer-der ('er' as in fern)
|Phonetic guides shown are only approximate.
Terms marked with the ™ symbol are trademarked brands.
Hear MP3 Audio for these words!
[Table and Audio Source: About.com]