By on June 1, 2015

2014 Hyundai i20 WRC 1.6

How does one pronounce Hyundai’s name? Does it rhyme with “Sunday,” or with “fungi”? Google’s Android Auto on the 2015 Sonata isn’t so sure, either.

Though the automaker has tried to have North American consumers rhyme its name with “Sunday” ever since it arrived aboard an Excel decades ago, Automotive News reports the voice used with Android Auto doesn’t quite nail it with its pronunciation: “HEE’-yuhn-day.” The mispronunciation was found to occur when a driver asked for directions to the nearest Hyundai dealership.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the issue has come up: the automaker’s 11-year-sponsorship of the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London beginning this year prompted the BBC to ponder the question.

Meanwhile, the automaker poked fun at itself over its name with a Super Bowl advert from 2009, where its luxury competitors raged against Hyundai’s latest machine, the Genesis Sedan:

[Photo credit: Falcon Photography/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]

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19 Comments on “Android Auto Latest With Difficulty Over Saying Hyundai’s Name...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Japanese would have never so failed the task of cultural localization as to keep a consonant pair that was obviously jarring to their targeted market. Rather, they unnecessarily tweaked Toyoda to Toyota.

    Nor would they have been ignorant of what KIA recently meant to Americans.

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      Holy crap man, hate much? The simple fact is that Japanese is, generally speaking, easier to Romanize than English. Neither is exactly natural, obviously, but Japan has also had a lot more attention from interested Westerners than Korea has. I mean really, I focus a lot on Korean news and culture, and can even speak a little bit of Korean, but I’m still not 100% sure when someone is using the McCune-Reischauer system of Romanization (other than the usage of breves or apostrophes) or the Modern system.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I remember ads back in the day (20 years ago?) that tried to convince us that “it’s pronounced Honda.” I thought everyone before and since still pronounced it “HEE’-yuhn-die,” which is also the way Korean friends say it.

    Are you telling me that the “Honda” pronunciation actually stuck with some people? Seriously? Not just Hyundai execs who wish they worked for Honda?

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      True story: back when Honda was having problems keeping front ends together on 01-05 Civics, a tech I know used to bug Hyundai parts guys by asking for stuff for “an 01 Honda Sonata” and whatnot. He was told that “the word came down from management” that the brand name was “HEE’-yuhn-die.”

      Strange that they’ve gone back to “Honda.” I guess it sounds better when you’re trying to impress a date.

  • avatar
    sproc

    If you’ve used Google maps to navigate with any frequency, this is not surprising. I think my favorite crazy pronunciation is Escondido, CA, which unless they’ve fixed it recently, always came out as “Ess-con-dit-waah”

  • avatar
    readallover

    That`s O.K. Charlie, I still can`t pronounce Chevroret.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They never did, they just had to say Daewoo.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The R/L ambiguity is a Japanese thing, not a Korean thing.

      Don’t ever confuse Japen and Korea to the face of someone from either of those places.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Heh… a culture of excessive courtesy sort of has to evolve in a place like East Asia where all the players have been murdering and enslaving each other for millennia and the resultant martial arts fetishism means many could kill you with an eyelash.

        But don’t test the surface of that, no.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Luke, that’s incorrect.

        The Korean language has one letter to represent both L and R. This graph explains how the Korean sound is a hybrid of the two. As a result, Koreans with anything less than excellent English diction can’t do it.

        http://40.media.tumblr.com/aa76bbcf8364713a3f7b1801f325c0a7/tumblr_n9t2nqdznV1tcb3vho1_1280.jpg

        You got the part about confusing Japanese and Korean people though. Both would be entirely insulted.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Seems like if you’ve decided to make software for cars, the least you could do is have it pronounce the names correctly.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The real Korean pronunciation is “Hyoon-day,” where the first syllable is said faster than the second. Heard it every single day on TV for their cars, bank, credit company, construction, shipping/freight, and apartments.

    I say it like they do on Top Gear and drag it out, like when they were talking about the new Sonata after they had been sold in Korea. And Richard Hammond goes “Oh Hay-unh-die.”

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      No, the real Korean pronunciation doesn’t really vocalize the y, which is just an initial to shape the vocalization of the succeeding sounds, and the u is really and eo, to be pronounced like uh.

  • avatar
    Bad Bart

    Well if you’re driving a Genesis, I think they’d prefer it be pronounced ‘Audi’.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    My wife’s iPhone temporarily took over nav duties on a local trip a few years back, and advised us to turn on Chicken Coop Hill Road, which it pronounced “Chicken Co-Op Hill Road”. To this day I envision an earnest group of chickens banding together to start a business over there.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I like High-And-Dry.

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