The electric-hypercar manufacturer gives us a one-word lesson in Croatian.
Rimac has made a name for itself developing and producing some of the fastest, most powerful electric supercars ever to put voltage down to the tarmac. But just how do you pronounce that name?
“Ree-mack,” we would have thought (like the real-estate firm), or “Rye-mack.” But that's based on our (sometimes admittedly limited) understanding of the English language, and Rimac is not based in an English-speaking country. It's Croatian, which is what they speak at the company's headquarters in Sveta Nedelja, on the outskirts of the capital Zagreb – which is, incidentally, pronounced as you'd think.
We asked for the correct pronunciation and were told that "‘Ree-mats’ is actually correct, in Croatian, but since it's spelled Rimac – we settled for the international 'Ri-mak’, as this comes naturally to most people. If you wish to be really accurate then ‘Ree-mats’!"
Writers we may be, but we're not expert linguists, so we couldn't tell you how a C becomes a T-S. Fortunately, we don't have to understand it to get it right. And the folks in Sveta Nedelja seem to have come to terms with people outside of Croatia to pronounce their company's name as they see it. But if you're in Croatia or ever meet someone from the Rimac team, show some respect and use 'Ree-mats.'
Rimac wouldn't be the first automaker to see its name commonly mispronounced. “Volkswagen” should, in German at least, be pronounced “Folks-vaggen.” “Skoda” has a soft S-H at the beginning, and it's a soft E at the end of “Porsche.” There's a hard T at the end of “Abarth,” but it's a soft T in Chevrolet. (Don't even get us started on how Akon says “Gallardo,” but suffice it to say it's not supposed to sound like pig fat.)
The bottom line is that “Ree-mack” or “Rye-mack” aren't wrong, per se (unless you're speaking Croatian). They're just not authentic. Take from that what you will.