Apr 24, 2009

MemoQ: the product name pronunciation resolved!

After protests and suggestions by native English speakers that the product name "MemoQ" be pronounced in three syllables (me-mo-cue) instead of two (mem-ock, rhymes with "cock"), a vote was held during the final Q&A session at the MemoQ Fest 2009, and the majority of attendees chose the three syllable variant. As a result, the management board of Kilgray committed to re-learning how to pronounce their own product name and ceremoniously signed an official declaration in front of a room full of witnesses....


  1. The two-syllable version is more international.... The three-syllable is especially hard to pronounce for Spanish speakers and many other non-English speakers....

    "cue" sounds OK, but it sounds like queue to me... and I do not like waiting in line ;-)

  2. Even though "cue" sounds OK, "queue" does not.... waiting in line is not very service-oriented.

    Besides the three-syllable pronunciation is not easy for Spanish speakers and probably many others.

  3. Yes, but with MemoQ, Quality is always spelled with a capital Q!

    And with amazing productivity features like TM-driven segmentation, LSPs may soon be queuing to adopt this superior technology ;-) Though as you know, the wait won't be long given the speed of support at Kilgray.

  4. The capital Q for Quality is not under discussion... it is just a question of pronunciation.... MemoQuality is a bit too much....

    Sorry, I added my previous message twice. I am not used to blogs! (remove one if you can!)

    The pronunciation of the letter in Spanish is identical to the word cow in Dutch... In Scrabble we used to remove the letter when playing in Dutch, and as a child I said, we have to remove the Q, but not the one for cow..... (Hay que sacar la Q pero no la Q de vaca)...
    Since then I have linked the two....
    All four Spanish-speakers (two from Barcelona, two from Argentina) I asked at the conference did not like the new pronunciation ;-)

  5. So pronounce it differently when you speak Spanish or Dutch. But for marketing in English, "me-mock" is not a winner. It isn't easy to remember, it doesn't sound good, and as one British attendee at the conference pointed out, many people simply don't hear the final consonant (which is why she always called it "memo" in her presentation). The goal here is to maximize the market success for an excellent product, and when English is spoken in the presentation, you won't get there with the old pronunciation. If a different pronunciation or even a different product name (ever heard the Chevy Nova story?) is needed for other markets, that makes perfect sense if Kilgray can deal with the diversity. Given their general competence I'm sure some good solution can be found. But to an US American ear, the two syllable pronunciation is a definite loser.


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