The name of the company Xiaomi is constantly heard by people who are more or less interested in mobile technologies. This Chinese company has long since moved away from releasing exclusively smartphones, trying itself in a wide variety of related technological areas. Just speaking about Xiaomi, we are constantly confused about the pronunciation of the company name. It is sometimes called Xiaomi, then Shayomi, then Chaiomi or Siaomi … I must say that most people mistakenly pronounce the name of the Chinese brand. How to speak correctly?
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What does the word Xiaomi mean?
In Chinese, the word Xiaomi is formed by two characters. The first literally means “small” 小and the second is “rice” 米… In fact, a direct translation of the word from Chinese will give the phrase “little rice” or “grain of rice”. But what does this have to do with the tech giant?
It’s all about the brand concept. In Russia, there is a proverb “Bread is the head of everything”. In China, the symbol of prosperity is just rice. According to Xiaomi marketers, the products of this brand should ultimately be needed by every person in his daily life, like rice on the Chinese table.
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How to pronounce the word Xiaomi
There is a special romanization system for the Chinese language – Pinyin. It allows you to read a word written in Chinese letters. The characters underlying the brand name will be read as Xiao (xiao) and mi (mi). The correct pronunciation will be “Xiao-mi”, with the stress on the second syllable. Moreover, its sound should also be stretched – “Xiao-miyi”.
His opinion on the pronunciation of the name of the company was expressed by its (now former) vice president Hugo Barra, who once held a similar position at Google. At the BGR India event, the businessman explained the origin of the company name and suggested calling it Shao Mi. Barra explained that the first syllable should sound a little longer than the second and that it would be correct to start a word with an exceptionally soft letter “w”. To repeat the Chinese manner of pronunciation, the businessman recommended thinking about the English phrase “show me the money ”(show me the money).
But it’s worth considering Barr’s background. It is likely that the Brazilian simply does not have enough knowledge of the Chinese language and pronunciation of words depending on the region and dialect. And an English-speaking person, in principle, has difficulty in pronouncing the syllable “sya”. Thus, there are only two correct variants of the brand pronunciation – “xiao-mii” and “shaoo-mmi”. And to call the brand “xiaomi”, as many are accustomed to, is a mistake.
Back in 2010, Xiaomi could timidly call itself “little rice”, but today it has grown significantly. According to the latest estimates, the company’s value is already $ 46 billion. For a while, Xiaomi even ranked third in the world among smartphone manufacturers. But the Chinese have ambitious plans, for which they are actively conquering more and more new markets. And more and more people in the world are beginning to use the word Xiaomi in their everyday life to refer not only to their smartphones, but also to a wide variety of gadgets.