10 Gun Names You Are Saying Wrong

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I’ll admit it, I am guilty of at least two of these (though not the common ones). OutdoorHub has posted up a video on ten gun companies, names, and models that are commonly mispronounced. The video is decidedly cheesy, but includes pronunciation from native speakers in the firearms’ home language.

Full list includes:

• Mosin
• Steyr
• Kalashnikov
• Garand
• Dragunov
• Sturmgewehr
• Tavor
• Heckler Und Koch
• Makarov
• Saiga

Thanks to GlockForums for the title photo!



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Who the hell says “steer”, “sturmge-where”, or “tayver”?
    I saw this around Christmas of last year and thought it was strange. If there is no way to pronounce a certain cluster of letters using the English language, we are generally not expected to accommodate the foreign language pronunciation.

    • They at least got “Garand” right. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “corrected” to “Guhrand”. Lapua, too. It’s not Luh-poo-ah, it’s Lah-pwa.

      It’s not a big deal if someone gets it wrong, but it’s a little annoying when someone tries to correct you to the incorrect pronunciation. I try not to be pedantic when I’m speaking to people – there are better ways to spend everyone’s time than to be correcting their pronunciation, but really no, it’s not Guhrand or Luhpooah.

      I also thought it was a little weird that they were correcting differences in accent. Russian does pronounce “v” with a sort of breathy “ff” sound, but what English speaker wants to learn the twenty-five sounds that Russian has that English doesn’t just so they can say “Kalashnikov” absolutely correctly? Especially when there are some other gun-related names that people get really, really wrong all the time, like Sako or the aforementioned Lapua.

      • Hokum

        How the hell can smbd get wrong Sako? 0_o

        • Saying it “Sayko” instead of “Sahko”. Basically, pronounce it “Sock-o”.

          • Hokum

            Well that’s messed up indeed 🙂

          • Finnish is pretty weird.

          • Hokum

            Yep. By the way I would also add the DShK to that list. Because too many people calling it DeeShKa.

          • iksnilol

            I just call it Dushka, then again I do talk lovingly to guns.

          • Riot

            Oh how my flirty Russian friend confused the hell out of me with that. :p

          • iksnilol

            Ooh, flirty Russian friend? Lemme guess, female? That sounds like an interesting story.

            I always sweet talk machinery, especially guns. Some people get confused when I switch over to my native tongue seemingly randomly 😛

          • Riot

            Its not that interesting but I immediately went to hmg in my head, being a gun nut – one of those “eh?!” moments.

            “isknilol why are you calling that tool dobru something?” “Whaa? nothing, I, nothing……..sladak masina

          • iksnilol

            Something like that. Crowning moment of funny was when the Sauer jammed. It was like a one in a billion jam, the case bounced off my hand and back into the chamber, causing a halfway double feed. Luckily everybody had ear pro on or they would have heard me cursing like a cruise ship (in Bosnian of course).

          • Riot

            That doesn’t even seem possible.
            That case must of been going at some speed to get back in before the slide closed.
            I’ve heard cursing like a sailor but never like a cruise ship.

          • iksnilol

            It’s a bolt action. Sauer 200 STR. Awesome gun, better than a lazer… Too bad it also doubles as a boat anchor and one of those poles you use to vault over stuff.

            What happened was I cycled fast, which meant that my palm was open (economy of motion and all). The bolt handle was between my thumb and index finger while the rest of hand was open. The thumb was back towards me. So as I cycled that one time the case bounced off my hand.

            I was thinking there’s a decent sum of sailors on a cruise ship.

          • Riot

            There’s a decent sum of pensioners. Yeah I know what you mean with open hand. I’m guessing gloves or you’d have mentioned swearing over burnt skin.

          • iksnilol

            Nah, it was only .22 LR. It’s not like it has enough mass to get hot or anything.

            Yeah, next time maybe I should say curse like a battleship. Those should be full of sailors. Thanks for the help there.

          • Rooftop Voter

            I bet you roll around on the bed with them. I do.

          • iksnilol

            I cannae confirm nor deny that.

          • simo

            it is totally alien to most people because to doesn’t belong to the same branch on the proto european langauge branch

            but as a langauge it is actually quite simple and straight forward, no strange pronounciations, no weird grammar, every letter is done one way etc etc

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            Not to mention verb cases though, is it 13 of them?

          • Core

            I used to pronounce HK correctly until some know it all told me it was pronounced Heckler and Coke.. So its actually Heckler and Kock?? Amirite?

          • Tinklebell

            The “ch” sound in German is a so-called voiceless velar fricative, and it’s pronounced the same way as “Loch” in “Loch Ness”. I hope that’s not too technical and will clear it up once and for all.

          • MR

            Sock-o it to me! Wasn’t that funny in my head, either.

      • Anomanom

        I’ve apparently never heard Garand pronounced right either.

      • Ben

        Plus, if you’re going to be insufferable enough to correct someones pronunciation of “Kalashnikov”, at least whole-ass it and get them to say “Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy”!

    • Anomanom

      Ok, I did not know there was supposed to be an SH sound in Steyr, although i hadn’t considered that it’s a German name, and therefore should have the implied H. Even though i’ve been pronouncing sturmgewehr properly.

      I have never actually heard Tavor pronounced properly. And i always thought Saiga was pronounced psy-guh.

      • tb

        It looks Austrian instead of German, but who pronounces it ‘steer’? ‘Steier’ I would believe.

    • Dan Atwater

      I’ve heard people pronouncing it “tayver” a LOT. I even had one guy ask if we had “any of them Ewwy Tayvers.”

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I aint’ sayin’ it like that.

  • Ryan

    Yeah I’m Scottish, if this expects me to pronounce com-bloc nonsense in a shifty Russian accent it can swan on down the road.

    • nester7929

      Half of these were just the same pronunciation with an accent.

      • Riot

        And a specific one at that for the Russian – I’ve known a few from Moscow, St Petersburg and Lithuania and none of them pronounced “ov” as “aff”.

        • iksnilol

          As a legit person from South-Eastern Europe I’ve never heard of “ov” being pronounced as “aff”. It confuses me to hear people say “kalashnikof”.

      • DIR911911 .

        and the pc police made saying things correctly wrong a while back

        • superflex

          I love it when the media critters pronounce Nicaragua with a heavy Spanish accent rolling their r’s, even though they couldn’t understand what ¿cómo estás means

      • Grindstone50k

        Like Alex Trebek

    • iksnilol

      Scottish? I have a Scottish accent! OHMIGAWD!

      No seriously, I change between stereotypical Scottish and stereotypical Eastern European (my normal accent).. I believe it is some brain damage or something (I did hit my head good many years ago).

      • Ryan

        AW YE GO, DINNY BE TELLIN ME YER SCOTTISH N AW! KEN LIKE, EH?

        • iksnilol

          Nah, I am not Scottish n aw. I just got hit in the head good and watched Ducktales as a kid. If I was Scottish, then I guess I’d be impossible to understand. I mean, the only Scottsman with a lisp? Yeah, g’luck with that.

          Though I did work with a Scottish guy, damn good sheepshearer he was. Like blazing fast and didn’t even cut the sheep.

      • Budogunner

        Vote for Kleggie! He’ll end discrimination against the droogs, ah tellie. (Search youtube for Scroogin on a dreg.)

        • iksnilol

          Hilarious, I actually understood some of it.

    • McThag

      No true Scotsman pronounces anything correctly!

    • Peadair

      Well if the movies are anything to go by, as a Scot you already have a Lithuanian accent. So your pronunciation should be fine.

  • John

    Steyr Aug. When You Need To Drill Somebody. (TM)

    Heckler and Koch. They Won’t Laugh At Your Size. (TM)

    Tavor. For Teh Win. (TM)

    Sigh. So much money spent on the wrong kind of marketing.

  • swede

    In most videos I hear the Swedish Husqvarna with an E Huskevarna, that is wrong there is no E there

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Hus-kvarna. Svenskjävel 😉

      • iksnilol

        Uh, I’m not from Scandinavia but I live there. Who should I join in this debate?

        screw it, the popcorn is out.

  • skusmc

    Yeah… I’ve known about the Garand for a long time, but is it strange that I don’t really care how Johnny pronounced his name? The few WWII and Korea vets I’ve talked to all pronounce it the “wrong” way, and I figure it’s just as much their rifle as it is his. I’m just gonna keep doing what they do.

    • One could go mad trying to pronounce things the same way Garand did 😉

      • ostiariusalpha

        Québécois… even French people shrug at that stuff.

      • iksnilol

        C’mon man! Decide whether you are going to roll your r’s or not.

    • TJbrena

      Cognitive dissonance extends to pronunciation too, I guess. I try to make a habit of pronouncing Garand’s name right, so even though I still call the rifle a “Guh-rand” most of the time out of habit, I at least pronounce the creator’s name right.

      On the other hand, I pronounce “.gif’ as “gif”, even though the filetype’s creator insists it’s pronounced “jiff” – the joke was that choosy developers choose .gif. I just pronounce it “gif” because it makes more sense in the English language that way – .gif’s creator is American, so there’s no foreign language excuse for that pronunciation either. And this is coming from someone whose last name is mispronounced more often than not.

      • Cymond

        I think the gif creator is trolling us. It’s a ‘graphic image file’. No one says ‘jafic image file’.

        • Giolli Joker

          For an Italian the pronounciation will always be jiff… good to know it’s supposedly right.

      • fartbarfunkle

        Some autist chewed me out at work the other day for saying jif! I guess it’s common knowledge that the filetype creator wished it to be pronounced that way? Odd. I guess it’s short for “Jraphics interchange format” 😀

  • Squirreltakular

    So the only proper way to say things is to imitate an accent of the language they came from? Dumb.

    • DIR911911 .

      and yet the natives everywhere are so happy when you say it right.

      • MR

        Look! We got stupid American to do trick! Now we go train puppy!

  • BillC

    This was dumb. LIke fart in the shower dumb. Nobody pronounces half the list even remotely the wrong way and the other half is just with a Russian accent.

  • lawbob

    The question is, how are they pronounced in ENGLISH.

    For example, do you say GERMANY, or do you say DEUTCHLAND?

    Do you say SEVILLE, SPAIN, or SEVILLA, ESPAÑA?

    “Oh, I went to España for vacation and visited Madreeth, Sevilla, and Tolehdo.”

    Hell, are we saying VOLKSWAGEN all wrong all these years, when should have been saying “volksvahgen”…

    I personally hate it here in Texas when a newscaster pronounces a Spanish word in Spanish…in an English sentence.

    They don’t do that for French words, or Portuguese words…its an affectation.

    • sterp

      We would have to pronounce it “Folksvahgen”.

      • iksnilol

        How else are you going to pronounce it? “volksvagen” sounds so weird.

    • Tinklebell

      I’m sure there are lots of pretentious hipsters who do, likely in San Francisco or some other place that’s full of them.

  • pepe romo

    I don’t roll my r’s when I say burrito.

  • Evan

    Yeah, some of these are being really nit-picky. For example “Walther” doesn’t expect English-speakers to pronounce it “Vull-tar”, but occasionally someone will “correct” me with that pronunciation. It’s been my experience that most foreign nationals are more than happy with a good attempt at their pronunciation.

  • guest

    repost!!

  • eqd

    I’m supposed to take advice from a video that spells correctly as “corectly”?

  • per gif arguments, glock should be pronounced jl-ock

  • schizuki

    It’s like watching Martin K. A. Morgan on “American Rifleman TV” pronounce anything foreign.

    “The FN-FAL, or Fyu-zee Ow-toe-mah-teek Lay-zhair was later adopted by the Austrians as the STG-58, the Schtoorm-ga-vair Foonf-zig A-[LONG DRAWN-OUT PHLEGMY SOUND]-t”

  • RangeRatMike

    It is not “wrong” to use the English pronunciation if you are speaking English. The way a word is pronounced in it’s original language is often corrupted when people pronounce it phonetically or can’t match the foreign accent and so on. Once it becomes common English usage that’s it. Although, it’s usually not considered “incorrect” to use the original pronunciation either. Things get further mangled when you use accents like New York, California, Mid West, Texan, so no need to sweat it.

    • Bowserb

      Texan? We don’t have accents…you do!

      • M40

        Pretty much everyone (with the exception of the queen of England) has an accent. Proper English pronunciation is known as “queen’s English”, and everyone else is considered to have various accents or dialects.

        In America, we use “American English” which is considered an English dialect. The mid western US is considered to be American English with “no accent”. This is what newscasters are trained to use. Everyone else in the US is considered to have an accent.

        So in reality, all we need is a video of the queen mangling various gun names, and whatever she says becomes “correct” English.

  • Bal256

    “mo-sheen nuh-gawnt?”
    You mean its not “moist nugget”?

    • JK

      Boolleet hoez

  • Mark

    Listen to the Lapua factory videos. They pronounce it lá•pu•uh, accent on the first syllable, not la•poóh•uh. They also pronounce the name of their projectiles as skay•nar, not see•nar.

    Also Sako is pronounced almost like sock-oh, not say-ko.

  • FightFireJay

    We don’t even pronounce Leupold correctly… and they’re just over in Oregon!

  • MrEllis

    Nicely done.

  • Amit Nachman

    First of all I was surprised people actually say Tay-vor lol. Also, the pronunciation is still kind of off in the video, too soft. It should be Ta’vor.

  • wetcorps

    Sounds like he used a text to speach device. Maybe because he cannot say those name the way he thinks we do.
    Who tries to prononce words from other languages with an accent anyway? Once they are common enough we make them ours, isn’t that the way languages work?

  • Ben Loong

    I remember this video. Kind of disappointing that they didn’t include Česká zbrojovka on that list. Or Fabrique Nationale.

    • Tinklebell

      You mean Fabric National?

  • Devil_Doc

    I was corrected by a VLTOR rep… It’s evidently not pronounced VILL-tohr, but UHL-tohr.

    • iksnilol

      I suspected that but it still makes no sense to write it with a V if it is intended to be pronounced as an U.

      • Devil_Doc

        The rep said it was based off of roman spelling and pronunciation, not English.

        • iksnilol

          Still, the only reason they wrote it with a V was that it was sorta hard to carve curved letters. Nowadays we don’t face that problem.

          • Devil_Doc

            I don’t write on clay tablets much either. lol..

  • SD

    How is this even a video? Yes, I’ve heard hicks call it “moisin” before, but most of these are pronounced pretty similarly here, but with an understandable accent. Heckler und Koch? So we can’t adjust the “und/&” to “and”?

  • superflex

    Well there goes two minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

  • The American Crusader

    The debate about the Garand is a little silly. Yes, John Garand pronounced it differently, but countless GIs lovingly referred to it as the M1 or GuhRAND. Get over it. Reports exist that at least one of Mr. Garand’s descendants pronounces his last name the same way we all do. Next, someone will insist we stop calling Colonels “Kernels.” 😉

  • kyphe

    Koch is just German for Cook, the only people who really pronounce it totally wrong are those Joke brothers, I mean the “Coke” brothers because they don’t like being called the Koch Brothers.

  • floppyscience

    I have never in my life heard “steer” for Steyr, “tay-ver” for Tavor, or “mark-of” for Makarov.

    On a side note, why the obsession with pronouncing foreign names perfectly in the American gun world? Do you think people in other countries strive to pronounce American names with perfect American accents? No, that’s not how accents work. A German guy knows what I mean when I say “Walther” instead of “vul-ter”, just like I know what he means when he says “smit und vessun”.

  • Taofledermaus

    I’m totally going to mispronounce them wrong now just to piss off the sticklers. CHEE A PA

  • ANC

    10 Gun Names You Are Saying Wrong

    Did they bring me the one I wanted? Then I didn’t say it wrong.

    • M40

      Absolutely correct! Everywhere you go in the world, they’ll eventually ask for your “passport”. Local linguistics often mangle that into a “bass-boat” or even a “piss-pot”. Correcting their pronunciation is a good way to get flagged for a “special” search in a back room.

      Everyone in the world mangles English into their own dialect, and we’re cool with that. So why is it that the “PC” crowd are always so anxious to foist proper pronunciation of foreign words on us? Why does this remind me of a snooty French waiter trying to correct my pronunciations of menu items? Seriously… shut up and bring me what I asked for, or I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  • Bowserb

    Besides lapua that we all say wrong, how many people pronounce Leupold correctly?

  • Travis

    I’ll concede on “Garand”, “Heckler Und Koch”, and “Mosin”, but for the majority of them, the only thing we’re doing “wrong” is not saying them in a specific accent? I’ll admit to being overly technical at times, but that’s just plain petty.

    On a random note, has anyone noticed it’s impossible to pronounce “Australia” without bleeding into an Australian accent? At least, it seems to be for me.

    • Travis

      And “Sturmgewehr”, I’ll concede on that one, too.

  • Tinklebell

    This is like the most pointless video ever. Speakers of any language, not just English, will pronounce those names with their respective accents. It would sound totally wrong otherwise.