We like to explore the deep questions around here. We’ve explored Aldi stocks, looked back on Aldi history, and plumbed the depths of the nagging presence of an apostrophe in some people’s rendition of the store. We’ve even researched whether it should be in all caps or not.
Recently, someone gave us reason to consider another, similarly deep question: pronunciation. We tend to assume we know the answer to this question because, after all, we say it all the time. So that must make it right … right? Except that’s not always true. We don’t always pronounce words correctly.
Just ask Dr. Suess.
So … what is the correct pronunciation of Aldi?
To get this right, we went to the most authoritative source we could think of: Aldi’s very own commercials. And we discovered that the answer depends entirely on what country you live in.
Let’s take a listen.
The United States
In the United States, Aldi is pronounced ALL-dee. The first syllable rhymes with ball, tall, and fall. The second syllable rhymes with bee, knee, and he. The accent is on the first syllable, although it’s not a heavy emphasis.
You can hear it in this Aldi US commercial:
Unlike the United States, in Germany — the homeland of the grocer — pronounces it AHL-dee. The first syllable rhymes with pal, gal, or the name Al. The second syllable is, like the United States, the same pronunciation as bee, knee, or flee. It’s a clipped pronunciation, with only a brief emphasis on each syllable.
You can hear it twice in this German commercial. Blink and you might miss it:
The United Kingdom and Ireland
The UK and Ireland are similar to Germany in their pronunciation: AHL-dee. The one difference is that Brits and their like seem to draw out the first syllable longer than the efficient Germans do.
For example, here is a short commercial — an advert, as they call them there — from the United Kingdom:
The land Down Under uses a pronunciation close to the UK and Germany. It sounds almost like EHL-dee, although it sounds close enough to AHL-dee that it may be a subtle difference. To our ears, the first syllable may be a little more clipped than their British counterparts.
Here’s an Aldi ad from Australia:
Well, congratulations, America — you’ve been doing it all wrong. While the rest of the world is pronouncing it AHL-dee, you’ve been pronouncing it ALL-dee. To be fair, though, you’re doing it because, well, that’s what Aldi has been telling you.
That’s still better than Aldi’s, though. Because no one, anywhere, calls it that.