Design issues

The market for these baby products is apparently an international one. Problem is, the name and pun (Diezijn = Design) is pretty much lost on anyone who cannot read Dutch. That’s a lot of people! I’ve seen people get irritated at trying to pronounce “Nijmegen”, a Dutch city, as they couldn’t possibly have known that the ‘i’ and ‘j’ together sound like a ‘y’.


(Photo: Kees)

13 Responses to “Design issues”

  1. Novi O'Magum says:

    I happen to know some people who get irritated when trying to pronounce “Scheveningen” and “Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogerychwyrndrobwll­llantysiliogogog”, but that is hardly a reason to blame the ones who created that names. And the same goes for Nijmegen, I guess.

    There’s even a couple of Dutch towns/cities that have names that are hard to pronounce for Dutchies aswell, eg. Huissen (“Huussen”), Oisterwijk (“Oosterwijk”), Goirle (“Goorle”) and Gorinchem (“Gorkum”).

  2. Natashka says:

    Blame? No blame was laid here 🙂 The point was that if you make your business’ name difficult to read or pronounce, you’re not helping your business go ‘international’. It took me a while to get Scheveningen and grachtengordel right, but these aren’t corporate names, either. And that Welsh mess of yours isn’t English, it’s Welsh 😉

  3. Kees says:

    From a globalization point of view, there is much to be said for changing Nijmegen back to Noviomagum 🙂

    BTW this particular companies’ web site also leaves some room for improvement – if you’re interested check and click on “HANDED BY” in the bottom nav bar. There’s some delightful dunglish in the “Who” section…

  4. Larry says:

    Novi, it’s Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, if you please 🙂

  5. Larry says:

    The pun doesn’t even work in Dutch! Die zijn wat? (Never mind that ‘design’ sounds more like ‘diezaain’ coming from Dutchies).

  6. Novi O'Magum says:

    @Natashka: You’re right. I have this nasty habit of defending my hometown even when an “attack” only exists in my mind 😉
    @Larry: Yeah, I knew I made a typo somewhere, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thanks for your help 😉

  7. Natashka says:

    I lived in Nijmegen for three years! There’s no need to defend something if it is not being attacked 🙂

  8. Novi O'Magum says:

    Yup, it’s all in my head…

  9. Larry says:

    Novi: You’re welcome. I’m really only able to verify the accuracy of the beginning and end of Llanfairpwll…llantysiliogogogoch. I had a friend who could recite it, while I committed Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu (still grappling with the longer ‘unofficial’ version) to memory. We had to make our own fun, as kids.

  10. mare says:

    I’m born in Nijmegen and my last name contains the letters reijn. You have no idea how people (both anglophones and francophones) have really big trouble trying to pronounce that. As far as I know the only word in English that contains a ij is marijuana. So that’s what people try to pronounce it. But with that e before it that is really hard…

  11. Anonymous doughboy says:

    According to the Wikipedia, Noviomagus is the Latin name for the towns of Nijmegen, Noyon, Speyer and Neumagen.

  12. Larry says:

    Mare: As far as I know the only word in English that contains a ij is marijuana

    ‘Demijohn’ 🙂

  13. Natashka says:

    Bijou is French, but an accepted English word as well 🙂

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