Porsche's Solution to Its Ongoing Pronunciation Problem/Conspiracy

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
porsches solution to its ongoing pronunciation problem conspiracy

Up until I was eleven, I pronounced Porsche in the plebeian, frowned-upon way. “I’ll take the Pour-sh,” I would tell my friends while we played racing video games and shoveled bags of chips into our mouths. Then I met an adult who actually owned one and they set me straight on the matter as I ogled their vintage 911.

“It’s pronounced a little like the woman’s name Portia,” he told me as I nodded and acted as though I understood, even though I had never met a single person with that name.

Since then, I’ve had countless opportunities to utter that name in a condescending manner, and not just regarding the brand. Several of Porsche’s models use names that look easy enough to pronounce, but aren’t. However, as the years roll on, I’ve almost stopped correcting people — as I’ve become absolutely convinced of a conspiracy where Porsche does this intentionally so those in the know can lord it over those who aren’t.

While I don’t have any real supporting evidence for this, Porsche did just release a video explaining how to pronounce the name of its newest model — the Taycan.

You probably assumed it is pronounced like the word taken, perhaps with the last syllable akin to can. But, no, it’s actually pronounced tī-khän, with the first syllable sounding identical to the business-type neckwear and the last syllable sounding like a medieval ruler presiding over central Asia.

“The Taycan will be the first purely electric Porsche. But do you know how to pronounce its name correctly? Watch the video to find out! By the way, Taycan can be roughly translated as ‘lively young horse’ because it embodies power and strength,” Porsche says in the video’s description.

Lively young horse would be an absolutely terrible name for a car, but Taycan isn’t much better, in my exceptionally wise, yet also admirably humble opinion. Presumably, the name translates better from German but I couldn’t find it used anywhere on German horse breeding websites — and I wasted an entire lunch hour looking. Very fishy.

This led me to ask five members of my extended family how to pronounce the names of various Porsche models I wrote on a piece of paper instead of eating the spaghetti my mother had prepared specifically for my holiday visit. Two got Macan wrong, three mispronounced Cayenne, and nobody knew how to say Taycan. When I corrected them, their response was typically “They probably should have spelled it that way, then.” My father, who only faltered with Porsche’s new EV, was especially annoyed — noting that “this exact thing happened when they started building SUVs.”

I know this doesn’t prove that Porsche intentionally makes these car names difficult to pronounce. but I remain steadfast in my assertion that there’s a conspiracy afoot in Germany. If they needed a horse-centric name, they could have called it the Friesian or the Appaloosa. Perhaps they were concerned with using a German breed specifically, in which case they could have gone with the Aegidienberger or Holsteiner….

Actually, those are all terrible names too. Way worse than the made-up Taycan. My apologies to Porsche’s naming team. Keep up the good work; you are clearly doing your best to cope with what you’ve been given. Just continue issuing videos to keep us up to date with your experimental (German) usage of vowels and I will do my utmost to ignore your twisted, elitist naming strategy.

[Image: Porsche]

Join the conversation
3 of 43 comments
  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Dec 18, 2018

    Or if you're William Shatner, it's pronounced "tie-KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • Mcs Mcs on Dec 18, 2018

    Since we're talking about proper pronunciations, here's a great video on Japanese car brands: youtube.com/watch?v=l3K99MpJ3Sk

  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"