Saturday, January 6, 2007

Hyundai is a South Korean group of companies founded by Chung Ju-yung in 1947 as a construction company and was once South Korea's biggest conglomerate company (chaebol). The company split into five business entities on April 1, 2003 including Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, Hyundai Department Store Group, and Hyundai Development Group. Hyundai was the 2nd largest Chaebol in 2004 based on total revenues."Hyundai" means "modernity" in Korean. It is often pronounced incorrectly as 'hun-day' in the U.S. and as 'hie-oon-die' in UK and 'Hee-yun-day' in Australia. It is often mispronounced "Hyun-dai", with the "dai" pronounced phonetically, instead of "dae" (its correct pronunciation). The former was promoted as the company's official pronunciation: early U.S. advertising for the Hyundai Excel car told readers "It rhymes with Sunday". The correct Korean pronunciation, [çʌn.dɛ], has 2 syllables and sounds like 'hyun-deh' where 'hyun' rhymes with 'shun'. The exact transliteration into English from Korean (under the current system, revisions take place from time to time) should be "Hyeondae" rather than "Hyundai".