The word “woonmall” is in direct competition with the word “woonboulevard”. A “woonboulevard” is simply “a row of furniture retailers”. In Dutch, “mal” (the closest word to “mall”) is an adjective that means “silly, foolish”. If they think they will sell more furniture using a Dunglish name, then IKEA and its unpronouncable Swedish furniture names must really be a silly and foolish international furniture retailer.
July 25th, 2005 at 4:15 pm
At least IKEA’s product names make sense, if only to Swedes …
My guess is that ‘woonboulevard’ (or ‘woonwinkelcentrum’) would have required a bigger and more expensive poster.
July 26th, 2005 at 3:53 pm
Isn’t ‘mall’ here just an -admittedly ugly- borrowing from English, instead of proper Dunglish?
July 26th, 2005 at 7:42 pm
I like your suggestion that there could be such a thing as proper Dunglish 🙂
A Dutch acquaintance of mine came up with the idea that a “woonmall” has all the stores indoors, whereas at a “woonbouvelard”, one has to go outside to go into the next store. She could be onto something.
July 28th, 2005 at 1:26 pm
Well, I suppose proper Dunglish would be when English and Dutch truly collide, e.g. when Dutch speakers mean to speak English (even for a Dutch public), but bungle it. Not just using a loan word like computer, OK or mall.
GOod point about the indoors/outdoors distinction. Maybe we borrowed the word mall along with the concept of an indoors shopping centre. I wouldn’t know a proper Dutch word if you mean exactly that. A winkelcentrum can be outside, too, while a boulevard is indeed definitely not indoors. Woonplaza? (or would that be Ditalian?)
August 13th, 2005 at 8:07 pm
I’ve also been wondering how this should be pronounced (Dutch pronounciation): Woonmal or Woenmol?
October 12th, 2005 at 5:26 am
can someone in the know pls confirm the true english pronunciation for Ikea. Phonetic spelling wld be great!
October 12th, 2005 at 2:05 pm
The right pronunciation is ee-KAY-a and not i-KEY-a.
November 29th, 2005 at 8:07 pm
Thanks so much Natasha! I will be certain to advise the many on the CORRECT pronounciation.