Languages › German Pronouncing German Words in English There's a right way and a wrong way to pronounce "Porsche," for instance Share Flipboard Email Print tomeng / Getty Images German Pronunciation & Conversation History & Culture Vocabulary Grammar by Hyde Flippo Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture. Updated January 27, 2019 While the proper way to pronounce some German terms in English may be debatable, this isn't one of them: Porsche is a family name, and the family members pronounce their surname PORSH-uh. Can you remember when the French automaker Renault still sold cars in North America? (If you're old enough, you may recall Renault's Le Car.) In the early days, Americans pronounced the French name ray-NALT. Just about the time that most of us had learned to say ray-NOH correctly, Renault pulled out of the U.S. market. Given enough time, Americans usually can learn to pronounce most foreign words correctly—if you don't include maitre d' or hors-d'oeuvres. Example of Another Silent-E Another “silent-e” example is also a brand name: Deutsche Bank. It could be a carryover from the now entrenched mispronunciation of Germany's former currency, the Deutsche Mark (DM). Even educated English-speakers may say “DOYTSH mark,” dropping the e. With the arrival of the euro and the demise of the DM, German company or media names with “Deutsche” in them have become the new mispronunciation target: Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn, or Deutsche Welle. At least most people get the German “eu” (OY) sound right, but sometimes that gets mangled as well. Neanderthal or Neandertal Most informed people prefer the more German-like pronunciation nay-ander-TALL. That's because Neanderthal is a German word and German does not have the th sound of English “the.” The Neandertal (the alternate English or German spelling) is a valley (Tal) named for a German by the name of Neumann (new man). The Greek form of his name is Neander. The fossilized bones of Neandertal man (homo neanderthalensis is the official Latin name) were found in the Neander Valley. Whether you spell it with a t or th, the better pronunciation is nay-ander-TALL without the th sound. German Brand Names On the other hand, for many German brand names (Adidas, Braun, Bayer, etc.), the English or American pronunciation has become the accepted way to refer to the company or its products. In German, Braun is pronounced like the English word brown (same for Eva Braun, by the way), not BRAWN. But you'll probably just cause confusion if you insist on the German way of saying Braun, Adidas (AH-dee-dass, emphasis on the first syllable) or Bayer (BYE-er). The same goes for Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991). Geisel was born in Massachusetts to German immigrants, and he pronounced his German name SOYCE. But now everyone in the English-speaking world pronounces the author's name to rhyme with goose. Frequently Mispronounced Terms German in Englishwith correct phonetic pronunciation Word/Name Pronunciation Adidas AH-dee-dass Bayer bye-er BraunEva Braun brown(not 'brawn') Dr. Seuss(Theodor Seuss Geisel) soyce GoetheGerman author, poet GER-ta ('er' as in fern)and all oe-words Hofbräuhausin Munich HOFE-broy-house Loess/Löss (geology)fine-grained loam soil lerss ('er' as in fern) NeanderthalNeandertal nay-ander-tall Porsche PORSH-uh **Phonetic guides shown are approximate. English in Germanwith common German mispronunciation Wort/Name Aussprache airbag (Luftkissen) air-beck chatten (to chat) shetten corned beef kornett beff live (adj.) lyfe (live=life) Nike nyke (silent e) ornee-ka (German vowels) Continue Reading How to Pronounce German Words in English Take a Crack at This Guide to German Pronunciation for Beginners What Is the Longest German Word? How to Say I Love You and Other Romantic Phrases in German Here Are Learning Tips for Those Beginning German How to Say the Months, Dates, Seasons, and Days in German Denglisch: When Languages Collide A wie Anton - German Phonetic Spelling Code Learning the Alphabet in German: As Easy as ABC The German Word 'Aus' Can Be a Prefix or a Dative Preposition German to English Name Translations to Help Your Genealogy Research How to wish someone a merry Christmas in German You Won't Want to Use These Offensive German Words What Are the Meanings of Famous German Surnames? Do You Know the Meaning of the German Carol "O Tannenbaum" Can You Ask for Directions in German?