15 German brands YOU pronounce WRONG! | Feli from Germany

Published 2020-09-23
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Adidas, Haribo, Porsche, Nivea, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Aldi, Jägermeister, aaaaand so on. There are so many German brands that are popular all over the world - which is awesome but it also means that people pronounce these brands very differently in different places. So, for those of you who don't want to mispronounce these brands any longer and would like to know how to pronounce them CORRECTLY, I made a list of 15 German brands and I'm telling you what the authentic, German pronunciation is and I'm also sharing some interesting background information about these companies!

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ABOUT ME: Hallo, Servus, and welcome to my channel! My name is Felicia (Feli), I'm 26, and I'm a German living in the USA! I was born and raised in Munich, Germany but have been living in Cincinnati, Ohio off and on since 2016. I first came here for an exchange semester during my undergrad at LMU Munich, then I returned for an internship, and then I got my master's degree in Cincinnati. I was lucky enough to win the Green Card lottery and have been a permanent resident since 2019! In my videos, I talk about cultural differences between America and Germany, things I like and dislike about living here, and other experiences that I have made during my time in the States. Let me know what YOU would like to hear about in the comments below. DANKE :)
0:00 Intro
0:43 Wrist Update
1:49 Skillshare
3:43 Audi
4:28 Porsche
5:10 Mercedes-Benz
6:15 BMW
7:43 Volkswagen (VW)
8:29 Adidas
9:37 Birkenstock
10:11 Jägermeister
10:39 Aldi
11:53 Nivea
12:18 Schwarzkopf
12:38 Deutsche Bank
13:17 Miele
13:49 Haribo
14:22 Lufthansa
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All Comments (21)
  • pigs18
    It's important to note that the "American" pronunciations are how the companies advertise their names in America. Post WW2, they often wanted to hide the German origins by giving them Anglican Anglo names/pronunciations.
  • James Houck
    I enjoyed the historical origin of the brand names, most of which I did not know. some of the pronunciation I already knew, because I grew up in the hill country of Texas, where Germans settled during the Republic of Texas days. In fact, the town of Fredericksburg had a church that spoke only German up until 1957, and most of the grocery stores and bakeries sold German made items. I pronounce things the American way, otherwise people won't know what I mean.
  • Zoë-Dawn
    Glad you mentioned Lidl!

    In the UK most call it "Liddle" so the household aisles have become the "middle of Liddle". But because I've been calling it Leedl all along, I call that section the "meedle of Leedl". I'm easily amused. 🙂
  • lx95020
    Thank you for the background on these companies including the dark history of some. Most people avoid the subject.... I never heard of Aldi (out in California) and I've always heard Audi pronounced as you do....could be a regional thing here in the US. In Mexico my parents pronounce Nivea very similar the German language. This video was awesome!!
  • andrew strongman
    I'm an Aussie and we pronounce Audi, Adidas, Aldi, and Lufthansa the same way as Germans do. We're pretty close with Porsche and Miele, although it's just as common to leave out the 'eh' at the end. We also love shortening names, so Mercedes are often just referred to as a Benz, BMW's are 'Beemers'.
  • BetaProductionz
    Ah-di-das is how my Chinese grandparents pronounce it and I kept correcting them saying it’s adi-dus, looks like sometimes Chinese pronunciation is closer to the real thing than American! Another note, I really appreciate the fact you mention every German company’s not so clean history including their involvement in ww2.
  • Years ago, a German coworker told me that Haribo was a German brand. She also told me that the ones available in the US weren’t the same as the ones available in Germany. At one point, her brother who still lives in Germany came to the US to visit her, and brought the German version of the Haribo candies. My coworker was absolutely right. They aren’t the same. They are WAY BETTER! The ones from Germany are produced in Germany but the ones in the US say on the package that they are produced in Turkey. What the heck Haribo? We want the good ones in the US! 😂
  • sevensongs
    Regional dialect changes the American pronunciation as well. Where I live Porsche, Audi, and Nivea are pronounced much closer to the German version than the American pronunciation you used.

    Also super interesting, if someone asked for Adidas on the German accent I'd still know exactly what they were asking for with barely a blink. It doesn't sound as different to me as it apparently does to you!
  • More Cowbell
    The interesting thing about communication and language is that people change words to make it fit their culture and oftentimes, to make it easier to say.
    In some of the cases in the video, the German companies advertised those brands with American pronunciations to market them in the USA
  • KDZ Gaming
    My grandparent was born and raised from Germany, and they moved to Michigan, USA back in 60s. Every time i pronounce German brands, they would correct me to pronounce it the right way like you do. So i am so used to saying lot of German ways now days and i got friends would get confused with my pronunciations on German brands at times cuz it is German English pronunciation not American English pronunciations yet they would try correct me on that at times too lol. So after watching this video, I was technically saying right way entire time. 😂😀
  • Captain Nathan
    Great informative video. My mother’s maiden name was Henze and while she knew her father’s father was born in Hanover and that he was a ship steward she didn’t know much else about that side. However, when my husband & I were in Italy quite a while back, we sat next to a man on business from Germany. When I told him my mother’s maiden name was Henze and I pronounced it Henzee he immediately corrected me and said it should be pronounced Hen zeh. My first German lesson!!! Hoping to visit there in 2023.

    Appreciate all your great information about the country of part of my heritage.
  • Having learnt German after learning English was an exciting time for me. Something I really liked was the structure. I quickly got the how to, regarding pronouncing. Also the grammar after a while was not too bad. The only persisting issues for me were the 3 genders "Der, Die und Das" and the pronunciation of "ch" combination, such as in "rauchen". Other initially odd combinations like "ei" or the difference in "v" and "w" I overcame quickly. Of the presented business names, the origin of Trader Joe was a surprise for me. And I expected you to also mention Siemens (& Halske, oder Schuckertwerke). Then, how about Zeiss? All the others I had already known. And probably been using stubbornly the German pronunciation in my conversations here in the US. Although, after decades in the US, I frankly have lost my ability to speak German - I still can read it adequately for my minimal needs.
  • Aussie
    I like how German Girl in America gives the history not just the pronunciation. Clear, fun and quick moving too. Well done!
  • Rick Haydn Horst
    When my father was in the US army, they sent him to Korea, and when he returned he came back wearing an Adidas shirt. It was back in the late 1970s and blue with three white stripes on the shoulders. Given where he obtained it, I assumed it was a Korean brand. I was about nine or ten years old at the time. Thank you for setting me straight on that!
  • fiily
    Glad I took German for 4 years in high school, as learning a new language was not just that, but you also learned about that language customs, culture, and history.
  • 90ld3n 60y
    I used to learn German language in Goethe Institut long time ago and I still have difficulties in pronuncing the OE parts 🤣
    All in all I'm Indonesian and we spell A-Z in same way as German, except for the V and Y. Wunderbar! 😁
  • Rolf Halme
    I knew how to pronounce all of these. However, my native language isn't English, but Swedish, which is closer to German than English is. I actually also knew the story behind Adidas, but again I have an advantage because I used to work at a logistics company that ran the Adidas logistics for the nordic and Baltic countries. The stories behind some of the other companies were interesting and enlightening.
  • D Zee
    I grew up with grandparents that all spoke German, so I picked up some German rules of grammar, but there were some surprises here. I admit I saying Nivea ("NIV-EE-ah") but had no idea it was a German company, so I will now start saying it correctly as niv-AYE-ah. A track coach told us all about the Adidas/Puma story, but I had no idea Aldi was Albrecht discount or that there was a north/south in Germany or that Trader Joes was owned by one of them. Next time I go there in my OW-dee, I'll know.
  • My Mum was born in Germany, and my grandparents always corrected my pronunciation. You warmed my heart. I miss them so much! 🇨🇦❤️
  • Mariana Flores
    Hi Feli! I’m from Mexico and at least three brands (that I can remember) we pronounce them pretty close if not the same. And I always thought Mexican Spanish was 100% different than German! Lol