IKEA, set to open in Hyderabad in 2017, designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories. The Swedish retail company was founded by Ingvar Kamprad, who also happens to be one of the richest people on the planet. There's a lot of things you can piece together in IKEA, but the one thing none of us has been able to get right is the pronunciation.
According to most of the world, it's pronounced 'I-kee-ya'.
According to the Swedes however, the correct pronunciation is 'ee-KAY-uh'.
Yup, apparently the legit way to say the brand is with a long 'e' (not 'i') sound at the beginning, followed by the emphasized second syllable 'KAY'. According to ABC News, the Swedes knew that the Americans would, in all probability, start pronouncing the company name differently, so they just decided to go with it and launched in America with a billboard campaign with the images of an eyeball, key, and a person saying 'ah'.
"I think they realized back then that Americans would automatically pronounce it with an 'I' sound," IKEA U.S. spokeswoman Marty Marston said. The decision was, 'Let’s go with it and let people pronounce it the way they are going to pronounce it'. It’s not mandatory that people have to do that,” she said. “We want people to be happy with the product they get and they can pronounce in the way they feel most comfortable pronouncing it."