According to a survey of UK motorists, nearly 95 percent of people have been pronouncing the name of car manufacturer BMW wrong.

Now, car manufacturers being from all around the globe can throw up a few mispronunciations on occasion – Porsche vs Porsch-ha, for just one example.

It’s Porsch-ha, by the way.

However, BMW should be one of the easier ones, right?

Wrong.

Even though it’s just three letters, most people immediately assume that it would have the English versions of those three letters, which – being as it’s a German car – it obviously doesn’t.

It’s actually pronounced ‘bee em vee’ rather than ‘bee em double yoo’.

How would you say this? Answers on a postcard. Credit: PA
How would you say this? Answers on a postcard. Credit: PA

This piece of fascinating and important research was performed by the good folks over at Select Car Leasing.

They discovered the correct way the names of 10 car brands should be pronounced, and then asked 1,000 motorists to have a crack at it for themselves.

They didn’t perform particularly well.

Not a single one of the people who responded knew how to correctly pronounce every single one of the car brands, and 95 percent got the BMW pronunciation wrong.

Just six percent managed to successfully pronounce Hyundai.

Common mistakes – as well as the Porsche one listed above – included pronouncing Skoda the way it seems like it should in English, when it’s actually pronounced ‘Schkoda’.

It does have a little accent there above the S, so the clues were there.

The ‘V’ sound at the beginning of Volkswagen? That’s more like an ‘F’ in the native German,

As for Hyundai, that’s pronounced ‘Hun-day’. Here’s the full list:

How many of these did you know? Credit: Select Car Leasing

Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing, said: “For all the exposure that car manufacturers are subjected to in the digital age, there’s still a gap in understanding when it comes to how they’re pronounced.

“Many of them have become household names across the globe, but according to our research, that doesn’t make mispronunciations any less likely.

“Thanks to Friends‘ Joey Tribbiani in part, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Porsche features on our list, but the same can’t said of BMW – a huge 95 percent of people are unaware it’s actually pronounced bee-em-vee.

“We’ve found that even the automotive stars are being caught out, with Jeremy Clarkson and James May mispronouncing the likes of Koenigsegg and Dacia for years.

“Our survey reveals the car brands that are most confused and, for the avoidance of any doubt, the proper pronunciations via professional, regional voice actors.”

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