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Before we go any further, let's say the name right!

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by sub006, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. sub006

    sub006 New Member

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    I first studied the life and achievements of Nikola Tesla as a child in the mid-'50s. He had an incredible mind. particularly in maximizing the power and efficiency of electrical components. Thomas Edison, for one, stole some of his ideas when Nikola was a mere "employee". Later, on his own, Tesla gave away some patentable ideas that would have made him billions in today's money.

    But this is not news to you guys. I'm thrilled that Elon Musk has chosen to honor Tesla with a series of groundbreaking electric vehicles bering his name.

    My beef is not saying his name correctly. Tersla was a Serbo-Croatian, and his last name is pronounced "TESH-LUH", not "tess-luh".

    The original pronunciation sounds stronger and more impressive IMHO. "Tess-luh" has hardly been used in the TV and online commercials so far, so it's not to late to get it right.

    Can't be done? For over 25 years, 99% of Americans thought those little German sports cars were made by "Porsh". In the mid-'70s the company started saying "Por-shuh" in television ads, and everyone picked it up.

    Louis Chevrolet and his two brothers were top American race drivers in the 'teens and twenties of the 20th century. Talk about an easy foreign name to mispronounce! William Durant hired Louis and purchased his last name for a new GM car, and everyone pronounced it correctly from the start because Chevy dealers and radio ads reinforced the pronunciation, which became more universal after one of the brothers won the Indy 500 in the twenties.

    Maybe one of you has Elon's ear and can pass this on?
     
  2. woof

    woof Model S #P683 Blue 85 kWh

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    Interesting. Nice first post, and welcome.

    In listening to Elon, he pronounces it "TEZZ-LA", which seems to be unique to him.
     
  3. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    Americans have been mispronouncing his name for over a century. I appreciate the information, as I did not know his name is pronounced as such...but I don't think we can expect Tesla to tackle 100 years of mispronunciation.

    FWIW, in American-English Tess-luh does roll off the tongue quite well.
     
  4. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    And is an improvement over "tel-sa" which I hear (and see) a lot.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate that the original pronunciation of Tesla's name is not what is generally used today in America. But it is hardly surprising that a word that is foreign to Americans is mispronounced, and nothing is going to change that.

    And by the way, speaking as a former Porsche owner, in my experience most Americans still call one of those cars a "Porsh", even some owners.
     
  6. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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  7. Earlian

    Earlian Member

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    And yes you should pronounce the name of the person right, but a company could spell its name like they want, even if they used his name.

    If they call their company Tezzla - so be it.
     
  8. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Kind of like the difference in pronunciation of Diesel. Most Americans pronounce it dee-sul, and most Europeans pronounce it dee-zul.
     
  9. Mitrovic

    Mitrovic Member

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    If we want to make it then we really need to make it right!

    I am Serbian, born in Yugolavia, or now Croatia.

    - Nikola Tesla was a Serbian born in Croatia.
    - Elon Musk did not choose the name, he bought the company when it already had this name.
    - Tesla is not pronounced "TESH-LUH"
    - Tesla is pronounced: Nikola Tesla pronunciation: Aussprache von Nikola Tesla: Wie man Nikola Tesla auf Serbisch, Kroatisch ausspricht
    The differences here are only in the "dialects". Even in the same village the same family could have pronounced the same name a little bit different. Personally I find the first recording on this site the best, because it is spoken out clearly.

    Here in Europe we are sometimes confused with american pronunciations. E.g. the Jeans " Levis". I heard Americans pronounce it in different ways.

     
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  10. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Tesler, Telsa, etc. I've heard it all kids of ways, here in Texas.
     
  11. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    TESH-la / TESS-la / TEZZ-la -

    Those three variants are so close as to not cause confusion for anyone, nor alarm for all but the very most hyper-pedantic. I'll say tomato and I don't care what you say.
     
  12. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    There was a post quite some time ago by an MS owner who got a ticket on which the issuing police officer had written TESLER. So I guess we should also worry about spelling it right.
     
  13. Curt Renz

    Curt Renz Active Member

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    #13 Curt Renz, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    In the German of my immigrant grandparents my name is pronounced Coort Rents. That's what they called my father (their son) and me. I and almost everyone else in this country pronounce Curt Renz just as it appears phonetically to most Americans. So did my late American born father. There are many similar examples, such as Bayer Aspirin which in its home of Germany is pronounced Buyer, but Bay-er in its commercials here. Paris is pronounced Paree in French. Etc. Etc. Eventually through common usage in this country, one of the three pronunciations of Tesla will win out, and I suggest we just go along with it. Tessla is what I hear most often, in fact almost exclusively by the general public and by my high school physics teacher a half century ago.
     
  14. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    And Missouri is pronounced Mizzooree by half of Missourians, and Mizzooruh by the other half. And you want us to figure out how to say Tessluh?
     
  15. FLDarren

    FLDarren Member

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    I can't help but think I sound like Sean Connery when I say Teshla.:smile:
     
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  16. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Plus, Teshla sounds like you're drunk or Sean Connery.

    Agreed. In fact, most times I hear someone say Por-sha they're trying to sound elitist or get interpreted as such by those they're talking to anyway.
     
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  17. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I have heard Tesler also. Telsa I haven't heard, but a lot of people misspell it that way.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have the same impression. I'm aware of both pronunciations, but I use "Porsh" because it's more common and "Porsha" does sound kind of "elitist" (might get an eye-roll from some people).
     
  18. BozieBeMe2

    BozieBeMe2 Member

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    Don't for get Jag-u-ar, Jag-war, you must remember I speak Hill-billy-nees
     
  19. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I've always thought of "Porsh" as being like "Chevy" or "Bimmer" not an official pronunciation.
     
  20. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    #20 ItsNotAboutTheMoney, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
    Exactly. Porsch is short for Porsche. I don't get why anyone would think the e should be silent.

    Yes, we Brits say 'Jag-yoo-uh, which is "wrong", but so is jagwahr and jag-yoo-ahr, since it's from Portuguese from Tupi and the j in Portuguese is a zh. Pronounce it zha-'gwar, and the r depends on where the Portuguese speaker is from, which leaves a lot of potential for being a pretentious place-dropper.
     

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