• Tapping into the frustration that many South Africans feel at the butchering of their names, Coke cans now feature pronounciation guides to South African names. 
  • The company says it consulted with linguists and professional writers to get the pronounciations right.
  • But it admits that it may not get all of it 100% correct. 

Many South Africans know the frustration of having their names butchered.

Two years ago, a Twitter campaign was launched with black South Africans vowing to deliberately get white South Africans’ names wrong in reaction to the constant mispronounciation of their names.

A couple of months ago, Nando’s launched an ad campaign to force spellcheckers to recognise local names instead of flagging them as typos.

Now Coke has decided to do its bit and add pronounciation guides to the South African first names published on cans.

“The Coca-Cola Share-a-Coke campaign is helping to bring South Africans closer together by learning how to say each other’s name,” a spokesperson said.

“In breaking down the pronunciation we didn’t use the official phonetic transcription you find in dictionaries. The pronunciation of our names is as unique as the names themselves.  We consulted with linguists and professional writers – we also wanted to engage consumers on how to say their names. It’s not an exact science, so it might not be 100% correct.”

In fact, the Business Insider team picked up a couple of disputed pronounciations - the click in Esihle, for example - in the guide provided by Coke.

Here's its recommended pronounciations of popular local names: 

FREDERICK: FREH-DUH-RIK                                         

WERNER: VARR-NUHRR                                              

NICOLENE: NEE-KOO-LEEN                                         

TIAAN:  TEE-AHN                                                           

CHARMAINE-SHAR-MAIN

RAEESA: RAH-YEE-SAH

ZUBAIR; ZUH-BAYR

KGOTSO: GOH-TSO

NHLAMULO: NHLA-MOO-LAW

RELEBOHILE: REE-LEH-BOO-HEE-LEH

RONEWA: RAW-NEH-WAH

LONDEKA: LOHN-DEH-KAH

LUXOLO: LOO-XOH-LOH [Click on XOH]

MASIXOLE: MAH -SEE-XOH-LEH [Click on XOH]

NOXOLO: NOH-XOH-LOH [Click on XOH]

LITHA: LEE-TUH

AFIKA: UH-FEE-KAH

CHUMA: CHOO-MAH

ESIHLE: EH-SEE-HLE [Click on HLE]

RICARDO: REE-CAR-DOH

ROWAN: ROH-UHN

ASHWIN: ASH-WIN

WHITNEY: WIT-NEE

REAGAN: REE-GUHN

DINAH: DEE-NAH

JUNAID: JOO-NAYD

SHAWN: SHO-N

KEAGAN: KEE-GUHN

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