Are you saying it right? How to pronounce these pharma company names

pronounce pharmaceutical bayer boehringer eisai (Kjoonlee)

Increasingly creative drug names can necessitate some impressive linguistic dexterity, but pronouncing the names of the companies that make them can also present a challenge in itself. So here we outline how to pronounce the names of 6 pharmaceutical companies which might trip you up.

How do you pronounce Bayer:

  • Although commonly pronounced "bare" or "bay-er", the pronunciation of Bayer in German is actually closer to "buyer". Like the German football team Bayern Munich.

How do you pronounce Boehringer Ingelheim:

  • Perhaps the classic example of a hard-to-pronounce company name, articulating this company name is easy when you know how. Follow the "bear-ring-her" in-gel-hime approach (where the g in "gel" is like the g in "gull") and you can't go far wrong. Below is a video that takes a look at the pronunciation of Boehringer Ingelheim and made me smile. You'll never need to call it "BI" again.

How do you pronounce Eisai:

  • At just 5 letters long, this Japanese company's name is deceptively hard to pronounce. You could potentially say it several ways – "ee-say", "i-say", "ee-say-i", "ee-i-say-i" – but which is correct? Well, none of those, actually. To give a helping hand, Eisai post on their UK website the correct pronunciation, which is "ā-zÄ«". The "ā" is pronounced as in "day", and the "zÄ«" as in "sigh". "ay-sigh". To remember it, think "ace high". Eisai.

How do you pronounce Élan:

  • The name of this Irish pharmaceutical company shouldn't cause too many difficulties, but the strong presence of the acute accent on the "é" in the logo might be cause for concern. In fact, the accent helps you out. Rather than "ee-lan" or "ellen", the é should be pronounced as it is in résumé or café. Or even think of Beyoncé if it helps. É-lan.

How do you pronounce Gilead Sciences:

  • If you're saying it "gil-eed", hold it right there. It's "gil-ee-ad".

How do you pronounce Reckitt Benckiser:

  • The first part of this company's name is said how it's written, but the second half requires a bit of adaptation. Rather than "ben-kiss-er" it, it's pronounced more like "ben-keez-er".

Have we got any of these wrong? Are there any other company names you think people stumble on? Let us know in the comments below.

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