You’ve Probably Been Saying “Miele” Wrong This Whole Time

published Aug 27, 2019
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Credit: Minette Hand

If you’re hip to home appliances, chances are you’ve heard the brand name Miele before. Headquartered in Germany with locations in over 100 countries, the popular home appliance company—think: washing machines, cooktops, dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators—is the name behind 6.1 million domestic and commercial appliances across the globe.

Founded in 1899 in Herzebrock, Germany, engineer Carl Miele and businessman Reinhard Zinkann originally launched Miele as a cream separator manufacturing company. However, in the 1900s, the company first introduced washing machines before launching vacuum cleaners—which would become the first appliance by Miele available in the United States.

Today, the company offers a slew of state-of-the-art appliances ranging from cooktops and ovens to ironing systems and refrigerators, as well as commercial-grade countertop coffee makers that are every bit as environmentally conscious as they are sleek and savvy. 

Credit: Courtesy of Miele

“The company has a strong commitment to make Miele the most sustainable in the industry,” says Kevin Pchola, head of public relations at Miele. “Wherever possible, Miele conserves resources, saves energy, and reduces emissions. We’re aiming for zero climate impact at our production locations and support the 2°C target set by international climate policy. That’s why we have been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2004 and keep doing our part to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.” 

Now that you know more about the history and global impact of the company, how do you know whether or not your pronouncing Miele correctly? “It’s a very common mistake,” Pchola says. “A lot of people in the United States tend to Americanize the name and pronounce it like they read it, ‘Mee-Lee’.”

How to Pronounce Miele

According to Pchola, the right way to say Miele is mee-luh. “While it is a challenge to phonetically spell the name in its correct German form, the closest way to educate customers in the United States on how to say it is “Miele, like the name Sheila.”

And there you have it: The correct way to say Miele actually rhymes with name Sheila— so just think shee-luh/mee-luh.