Precast: Nissan Qashqai, Mulally Doolally?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
precast nissan qashqai mulally doolally

Car names are a happy hunting ground for motoscribes and headline writers. Nissan Armada? Please. Versa? Vice springs immediately to mind (and not because of any other websites I may or may not have visited recently). I'm not sure if Nissan was trying to flummox the press when they settled on Qashqai as a name for their new "cute ute," but I reckon it's a big mistake. First, naming a vehicle after an obscure ethnic tribe is a bit too me-too, what with the Toureg already twisting tongues at VW dealerships worldwide. Second, the Qashqai are a semi-nomadic, Farsi-speaking Shia Muslim tribe based in southern Iran. Nuff said? Third, it's unpronounceable. I've scoured the web, and still can't find a phonetic spelling. (Little help?) And fourth, capitalizing on a tribe's identity without paying them for the privilege ain't exactly what I'd call PC. Meanwhile, Spinelli and I kick around Mr. Mulally's appointment at Ford. Figuratively speaking.

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  • Rizo Rizo on Sep 07, 2006

    Robert - Perhaps a knee jerk reaction from me, but what does the religion of the Ghashghai have to do with anything? More on the topic, the name Qashqai is really unfortunate: Firstly, I am a Farsi speaking Shia Muslim (albeit from Tehran) and I didn't know what Qashqai meant. I just presumed it was an asian name and that perhaps the car was meant for the asian market, until I read this... Secondly, Qashqai (I think Ghashghai is a closer spelling) contains a letter (along with its pronounciation) that simply doesn't exist in the Latin derived language. Gh or Q is perhaps the nearest representation of the Farsi letter ghaf. I've been trying to teach my Latin American wife for 7 years how to pronounce the letter with little success. And Ghashghai constains two of these! I don't know phonetics, but here some tips on how to pronounce the word: To pronounce the gh or q try gargling some liquid. The end of your tongue needs to hit the back of your throat (your adam's apple moves slightly up). It's like very soft g. The first a is pronounced like the a in cat. The second a is pronounced more like the u in up. The i at the end is pronounced like ee in peel. It's a stupid name for this car, especially if it is going to be marketed for Europe/America.

  • Fellswoop Fellswoop on Sep 07, 2006

    Its Fun to Find Out! "This site is an ethnographic project. It is a workshop for communication of texts, images and sounds regarding the history, society and culture of the Turkic speaking Qashqai people of the Fars region of southern Iran." also, click here---->

  • Fellswoop Fellswoop on Sep 07, 2006
    "...the Qashqai are a semi-nomadic, Farsi-speaking Shia Muslim tribe based in southern Iran. Nuff said?" Hmm. A brief web search seems to indicate the Quashqai are actually Turkic-speaking, have you heard otherwise? Additionally on the language tip, the "nuff said" is a sad commentary on how this country always needs something to fear. Here's a TTAC scoop possibility: track down the person or people involved with coming up with the name and ask them what the hell they were thinking. you know somebody had to do SOME research to come up with the name, right? Or do they just pick names out of an infinitely large hat? I mean, what happened to meticulously researched names like "Camry" that are scientifically designed by robots in high-tech labs to not mean anything in any language? (1) Perhaps they'd say: "We thought people would like to challenge nascent prejudices against all things arab and muslim and buy this transitional vehicle with an the unpronounceable name of a nomadic tribe in Iran." If Nissan doesn't change the name before they try to market it in the US, they would be banking on Americans being sufficiently intellectually incurious to ensure the secret that the name comes from a people that are *gasp* living inside the vury center of "the axis of evil." (Probably a safe bet.) If you think about it, it would be like naming a car sold during the 1950's or '60s after some obscure indigenous tribe in the USSR. -------- (1) Actually, apparently Camry does mean something, sort of, to 2% (2) of the world's population: "The name "Camry" comes from a phonetic transcription of the Japanese word kanmuri (å† , かんむり), which means "crown," as did the names of the Toyota Crown and Toyota Corona." Camry---> (2) --->
  • Areitu Areitu on Sep 09, 2006

    I guess European car companies are ahead of the curve by naming their car using alphanumerics. At least the pronounciation of the word "TOURAEG" is more obvious than something from a language that sounds like someone trying to speak Klingon with a sore throat.