The official line on Subaru’s pronunciation

The official line on Subaru’s pronunciation

After my blog post last week about just how do you pronounce Subaru, I sent the link to the marketing manager at Subaru NZ, Peter Douglas-Bell.

Here’s his reply:

“The Japanese pronunciation of Subaru is very even – with no particular emphasis on any individual syllable i.e. su-ba-ru.  More like we would count one-two-three without putting any emphasis on one, two or three.  However English language words nearly always have an emphasis on a particular syllable.

“I can only assume that when Subaru first came to New Zealand Kiwi’s assumed that there was some kind of emphasis and picked the “bar” part – hence NZ su-BA-ru.  In Australia, our Aussie friends also assumed an emphasis but they picked the “ru” bit – hence Australian su-ba-RU.  The Aussies like to tease us Kiwi’s that we say it “wrong” but in fact they are “wrong” too.

“I guess in summary it is a cultural difference between Japanese and English and the assumptions of people in different countries on how it would be interpreted.”

So there you go. Peter said that he could devise a mass marketing campaign to educate the public into pronouncing the name properly, but it wouldn’t sell any more cars.

After my blog post last week about just how do you pronounce Subaru, I sent the link to the marketing manager at Subaru NZ, Peter Douglas-Bell.

Here’s his reply:

“The Japanese pronunciation of Subaru is very even – with no particular emphasis on any individual syllable i.e. su-ba-ru.  More like we would count one-two-three without putting any emphasis on one, two or three.  However English language words nearly always have an emphasis on a particular syllable.

“I can only assume that when Subaru first came to New Zealand Kiwi’s assumed that there was some kind of emphasis and picked the “bar” part – hence NZ su-BA-ru.  In Australia, our Aussie friends also assumed an emphasis but they picked the “ru” bit – hence Australian su-ba-RU.  The Aussies like to tease us Kiwi’s that we say it “wrong” but in fact they are “wrong” too.

“I guess in summary it is a cultural difference between Japanese and English and the assumptions of people in different countries on how it would be interpreted.”

So there you go. Peter said that he could devise a mass marketing campaign to educate the public into pronouncing the name properly, but it wouldn’t sell any more cars.

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