7 brand names you may have been mispronouncing

Aeropostale is expected to file for bankruptcy in the United States this week.
Aeropostale is expected to file for bankruptcy in the United States this week.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Aeropostale, a teenage fashion brand, has been in the news as it looks set to file for bankruptcy in the United States this week.

The company is planning to close 100 of its 800 global stores, but outlets in Singapore will remain open "for the time being".

Aeropostale is not a brand name that rolls off the tongue easily.

The company's official YouTube channel even has a video of its models saying its name correctly .

This is how you pronounce Aeropostale.

We look at seven other brands that are a mouthful and how to pronounce their names.

1. Nutella


Nutella is part of the Italian confectionary group Ferrero, which also sells Kinder and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. The chocolate and hazelnut spread was registered as a trademark in 1964.

On Sept 14, 2015, Nutella launched the YourNutella.com website in Singapore which sold Nutella jars with personalised name stickers.

But a couple in Valenciennes, France, took it a step further. They wanted to name their child, who wasborn on Sept 24 that year, Nutella.

According to French newspaper La Voix Du Nord, the baby was renamed Ella by the city's tribunal court.

The court explained its decision by saying that the name Nutella given to the child is "the trade name of a spread".

It added that "a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts".

This is how you pronounce Nutella: nuːˈtɛlə.

2. Ikea


The furniture giant has its roots in Sweden. In 1943, Ikea was founded by Mr Ingvar Kamprad, who lent his initials to the company.

The "e" in Ikea is a reference to the family farm Elmtaryd and the "a" refers to the village of Agunnaryd, Sweden, where he grew up.

Mr Kamprad, who is dyslexic,could not remember the number codes of his furniture so he devised his own naming method.

According to The Guardian, carpets are named after places in Denmark and dining tables have names inspired by places in Finland. Chairs and desks have masculine names while curtains have feminine names.

Ikea is pronounced like this: aɪˈkiːə

3. Louis Vuitton


The French fashion house famous for its monogrammed handbags started as a trunk-making workshop.

French businessman Louis Vuitton founded the company in 1854. It would go on to become one of the foremost fashion houses in the world, and was named by Forbes Magazine as the most valuable luxury brand in 2015.

The highly marketable brand has seen its fair share of copycats peddling counterfeit goods.

In April, a South Korean court ordered a fried chicken restaurant to pay 14.5 million won (S$17,120) for refusing to comply with a ban on using the name Louis Vuitton for its outlet.

The owner, known only as Mr Kim, had named the restaurant Louis Vuitton Dak and used a logo similar to that of its namesake.

This is how you pronounce Louis Vuitton: luːiː vwiːˈtɒn.

4. Hoegaarden


The brewery is named after its birthplace, a small town in Belgium.

According to its website, Hoegaarden monks discovered the recipe for wheat beer in 1445.

After the closure of the last brewery in Hoegaarden in 1957, there was revived interest in wheat beer among the residents.

In 1965, Pierre Celis, a milkman, brewed his first batch of Hoegaarden beer in his milk shed.

The beer sold well and by 1985, Celis was producing 300,000 hectolitres of beer every year.

Hoegaarden is pronounced like this: hoʊɡɑːrdən.

5. Hermes


The French fashion house derives its name from its founder, Thierry Hermes.

It originated as a harness workshop in Paris with European noblemen as its clientele.

Over the years, Hermes has been associated with celebrities including the princess of Monaco Grace Kelly and English actress Jane Birkin, who are the namesakes of the Hermes Kelly and Hermes Birkin bags respectively.

The Kelly bag was popularised after the princess was pictured with her Hermes bag in 1956.

In 1981, on a plane from Paris to London, Birkin met Hermes' then chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas.

When she accidentally spilled the contents of her bag, it sparked a conversation between her and Mr Dumas.

Inspired by the meeting, Mr Dumas created the Birkin, a bag that came with lock and key, in 1984.

This is how you pronounce Hermes: ɛərˈmɛz.

6. Carrefour


The French supermarket chain was founded in 1959 in Annecy, France. It was a collaboration between the Fournier, Badin and Defforey families.

Carrefour is credited for creating the hypermarket, a large store offering both food and non-food products at a low price.

The first Carrefour hypermarket opened in 1963 in Sainte Genevieve Des Bois, France. It had a floor area of 2,500 sq m, 12 checkouts and 400 parking spaces.

Carrefour opened its first store in Singapore in 1997. But in 2012, its two hypermarts in Plaza Singapura and Suntec City closed down.

This is how you pronounce Carrefour: kaʁfuʁ.

7. Fage


The Luxembourg-based Greek dairy company has sold yogurt since 1926.

Fage is Greek for "eat". The company is currently led by the third generation of the Filippou family, whose forefather Athanassios Filippou served as the founder.

Fage is pronounced this way: fɑːjɛ .

Sources: Nutella, Ikea, The Guardian, Louis Vuitton, Marie Claire, Hoegaarden, Hermes, Carrefour, Fage