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Can you say "Boehringer Ingelheim"?

We are used to last names being difficult to pronounce but the same thing can be true for company names.

The Pharma Marketing Blog recently ran a good example of this: How DO You Pronounce "Boehringer Ingelheim"? reports on the pronunciation challenges of a top-20 pharma company.

If you speak German, it's easy to pronounce "Boehringer Ingelheim". But for others? Not so much.

Here is a word pictogram to help English speakers:



Naming products and companies for a flat world is notoriously difficult. It seems like the pharma business has more than its share of hard-to-pronounce names. bioMérieux anyone? How about Eisai and Reckitt Benckiser? And let's not even get started on the pronouncability of drug names...


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2 Comments:

  1. Barbara Inge Karsch said...
    I like the bear, probably because my German name is Bärbel (bear bell). And yet my parents thought that wasn't international enough and named me Barbara even many decades ago.

    Personal things aside, hard-to-pronounce business names are one thing. In the case of Boehringer, it is even easy to trace back the etymology. When Albert Boehringer founded the company in the town of Ingelheim in 1885, he prooobably wasn't thinking of globalization. When newly created products or device features give customers trouble with pronunciation today, that is a different story. I just wrote about a similar example from the software world: http://bikterminology.com/2010/10/07/you-say-aaaazure-i-say-azuuuure/.

    [Via LinkedIn]
    amaxson said...
    Just yesterday, we spoke with a vendor who talked about the problems of company/drug names when doing Voice-Over work. Sometimes, even the phonetic spellings don't help. I love the picto-gram idea!! This vendor mentioned they even called the company in question to listen to their answering service say the company name.

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