There’s a strong chance you’ve been pronouncing this company’s name wrong the whole time.

The world is full of brand names with obscure pronunciations. I still feel little odd saying Nike like “bike-key” rather than “bike” and adding the “a” sound to the end of Porsche, not to mention the automaker’s proper name of Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG. And it wasn’t until I came to Japan that I realized I had been corrupting the name of Swedish interior giant Ikea for so long (it’s eee-kay-ah, not ai-key-ah).

The Taiwanese computer hardware and electronics company ASUS is no exception. Personally—and pardon the crude comparison—I always assumed it was pronounced similarly to “anus”, so “EY-SASS.”

While some Japanese people are on the same wavelength as I am, it appears many others would look at the name and pronounce it AH-SOOS since that fits into the way Japanese people would normally read the letters A-S-U-S. Oh, and since we’re on the topic, in Japanese the English word “anus” is also occasionally used and pronounced AH-NOOS.

So which of us is right? To answer that, here’s a cute commercial from 2010 which makes fun of the company’s ambiguous pronunciation and brings “asses” back into the mix.

So there you go, Japan is correct with AH-SOOS. It sort of makes sense since as corporate legend goes, the company took the name from the mythical creature Pegasus but removed the “peg” so that it would begin with the letter A. Although that still leaves “asses” as a potential pronunciation, it blows my way out of the water.

ASUS Germany tends to agree with AH-SOOS (they say it about five seconds in):

…as does this guy in Italy (three seconds in):

Just to confirm, here’s ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih giving a presentation in Japan.

Wait. What the hell?

So now, according to ASUS, the conventional Japanese pronunciation of ASUS is wrong and it should be more like “Jesus”. By that I don’t mean the English pronunciation of the man believed by Christians to be the son of God, but like the Jesus you might find eating frijoles with Jose in Tijuana, or like EY-SOOS.

Both ASUS UK and ASUS Australia/New Zealand also confirm this with an instructional video and game where you can win fabulous prizes.

So it seems the Jesus ASUS is the way to go, but if you want to be totally authentic and annoy those around you, you can pronounce the company’s Chinese characters 華碩 properly as Huáshuò. However, for most non-Chinese speaking people that’s a tall order, so the company seems cool with EY-SOOS.

Source: Golden Times (Japanese)
Videos: YouTube/HASSANZ911, YouTube/UDNDigital, YouTube/ASUS Deutschland, YouTube/AndroidBlog.itYouTube/ASUS UKYouTube/ASUS Australia & New Zealand, YouTube/singming11, YouTube/Say ASUS!