Most of the general public has a tough time pronouncing foreign names of luxury designer brands. While some of the names are fairly straight-forward, others may be pronounced much differently than the spelling. Mispronouncing the name can be embarrassing in social circles, especially when others do know the correct way to say a name. One such brand is Cartier. It's a highly desired line of jewelry and fashion accessories, so it's a name that is said with some degree of frequency. The question on nearly everyone's mind when they start a conversation about a Cartier piece is how to say the name of the brand correctly, except few are willing to ask publicly. We've done the research to find the correct way to pronounce Cartier, and here's what we found.
Multiple potential pronunciations
Youglish takes us on our first adventure with a few different ways to pronounce the name Cartier. While going directly to the source can provide an immediate rendering of the correct pronunciation, it's more fun to get the opinions of others first. Using UK phonetics, Cartier comes out to be pronounced as a three-syllable name as Ka tee ay. The site points out that how you actually pronounce it depends on the country of your origin and its respective accent.
Forums are abuzz with information
We decided to find out what the common collective wisdom on pronouncing Cartier had to say about it. The Quora forum gives us yet more information to digest about the topic. We saw some long drawn out explanations of the pronunciations that were believed to be correct, with some insisting that the name is pronounced Car ti yay, keeping the emphasis on the r, with no stress until the last syllable. Some even went so far as to suggest that no syllable should be emphasized. Others argue that the r should remain silent or skipped over. With no definitive verdict to be found (not even a general consensus), we decided to get the opinions of others.
Yet another opinion
Pronounce Names offers two other renditions of the pronunciation, complete with phonetic descriptions for the possibilities and wave files so you can hear the word as it is being enunciated. The two possibilities include Car Tea A and Khar tee air. Once again we have recommendations that could lead many astray with information that is little more than guesswork.
Boca Raton Pawn deals with a variety of high-end brands. The staffers who must pronounce the name regularly felt comfortable sharing their opinions on the right way to say it in conversation. First, they take us through a brief history of Louis-Francois Cartier as the founder of the brand. They acknowledge that at first glance, the name does look as though it would be pronounced Car Tee Air, making some who have said it this way at least feel a little better about the situation. They go further to say that since the name is French in origin, it should really be pronounced Car Tee Aye, without pronouncing the last r in the brand name.
Why it's important to get this right
We're having a lot of fun here, but it's only because we all know that mispronouncing a high-end brand name in some social circles can have some real ramifications. It's not only embarrassing, it gives potential rivals or jerks ammunition to make you look uninformed in front of others. Our pride is often on the line with perhaps a small piece of our dignity and self-respect. People generally like to think that they have a grasp on enunciation. While some really don't care about such things, others will avoid saying a name if they don't know how it's pronounced. It gives you a sense of pride, somehow, to have confidence in pronouncing a brand name or phrase most people struggle with.
Which pronunciation is the right one?
After all, is said and done, the correct way to pronounce Cartier is going to depend on the circles you run in. If you're from the United States, you will say Car tee ay, although your friends are more likely to say Car tee air. If you're from the United Kingdom, you're going to drop the sound of the R letters and say Kah tee ey. If you're from France you'll use the accent and inflections of the dialect. It's not more complicated than that. Attempting to pronounce a foreign name in the full accent of its origin may be fine in some circles, but in most, it will make you appear a bit on the pretentious side. This, however, is a matter of choice.
What's in a name? Sometimes quite a lot. Professionals in the jewelry or retail sales industry have a lot at stake when talking with consumers about a brand name item. The proper pronunciation is essential in some cases. In high-end circles, mispronunciation can be embarrassing and make you look uninformed to others if they do know the right way to say it. Customers dealing with sales staff may lose confidence in your knowledge of the brand if you can't even say the name the right way. There are situations where you may amend your pronunciation to fit in with the crowd, but this is a matter of personal preference. Cartier is a French name and although there is a lot of disagreement about how it should be said, the bottom line is that it's okay to go with a natural way of saying the name that is in line with your country of origin or native language, and the dialect that you most commonly use. This is one of those situations where it is good to know the correct pronunciations so you have that under your hat when needed.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker