What is the correct way to pronounce SAP?

Is there a correct way to pronounce the name of the ERP software SAP? It seems like the majority of my coworkers pronounce the letters S-A-P each individually, but a few use the word sap (like what comes out of a tree). Is there a right or wrong way to say it, or are both possibly correct/acceptable?

Both are valid; I’ve been a SAP consultant for 9 years, and IME multilinguals and British people almost always pronounce it “sap” while many Americans will spell it out. Indians go both ways. I haven’t worked with people from other English-speaking countries, so I don’t have anec-data for them.

Some of the people who spell it out will spell it out when it’s the program but not when it’s the company that makes it (they say SAP AG as “sap a-g,” spelling out the AG). There’s the occasional multilingual who will spell it out in English but pronounce it as a whole word in whichever other languages he uses.

The reason given for spelling it out always seems to be “to avoid confusing it with a tree’s sap,” but nobody can go beyond that when those of us who don’t spell it out ask for examples of a situation in which such a confusion might arise.

This problem only seems to crop up in English, in any other language including German people say “sap”.

“Sap” is slang for a dupe or fool, which may explain why many people pronounce the letters.

It’s mostly pronounced, not spelled out, in South Africa.

Since the question is specifically about the correct way to pronounce it, the answer is to spell it out. Although a lot of people (including employees) do pronounce it as a word, that’s strictly speaking not correct. The organisation has a whole team of people whose job is to spell out (oooh a pun, kind of) exactly what things should be called and what abbreviations are acceptable use and what aren’t. S-A-P is the correct way.

Sometimes it can be a kind of shorthand, which helps to identify those of us who collect our paycheck from the organisation and those who don’t - a bit like the Freemason’s handshake only less suspicious :slight_smile:

In the UK I’ve only ever heard “sap”, like the tree.

I tend to use S A P, though both are commonly used. Another SAP consultant here.

Inside SAP itself, I understand “S.A.P.” is preferred. Among customers, it’s Send Another Payment, Sudden Anal Penetration, etc.

I live near the German headquarters, and everyone calls the company S A P, same for the product from everbody I heard it say (including in a German joint-venture in Beijing).

That’s the thing. I agree with people who are saying that they hear the other way all the time, and that they’re often used interchangeably. I’m also in the UK and I hear it pronounced ‘sap’ all the time, particularly from customers and most particularly from new customers. However, the **correct **way to say it, as ordained by my esteemed lords and masters who ought to know, seeing as they run the company, is S-A-P.

And don’t even get me started on what you’re supposed to say for BOBJ these days. Oh, excuse me, ess-aye-pee BusinessObjects.

huh, never realised there were so many SAP consultants on the boards… wonder how many of you I actually know? it is a teeny tiny world, after all

ETA: exactly, Ximenean! Oh, except the last bit obviously, we don’t believe that ever happens…

Around here (UK) we normally refer to the product as “bloody sap”. As in “Why the hell does bloody sap not have a consistent structure?”

Ought’a be Slow anyway, that way we all get paid more.

We have a mix here. Some people call it sap(like we’re suckers) and some say S A P.

SAP is the most user UNfriendly piece of garbage I’ve ever had to use. Keys are put in at random, clicking certain buttons gets cryptic error messages graharhh! We’re working with power company linemen, people! It has to be SIMPLE!

I pronounce it “crap” when I’m forced to use it. Luckily for me, it’s not a core part of my job duties anymore.

I’m in the UK, when I used it we pronounced it ‘sap’ for short, alternatively, ‘Suffer After Purchase’.

At my last company we called it “Stop All Production”

Just called 1-800 872 17 27, their US number.
A lady says “Thank you for calling Ess Eyy Pee…” right at the beginning of the greeting on their message.

Granted, I’m not a real IT person, but I’ve always heard and said it as S A P. And the reason is not confusion with sap (that word doesn’t exist) but because it’s an abbreviation. All abbreviations are spelled out - BMW, MAN, ARD and so on.

It also helps that the American custom of choosing your words to create an acronym that also works as word on its own - like NOW or BITCH or SHIELD - is practically unknown in German language. So a lot of acronyms can’t be said as a word and are thus spelled out.

The only exceptions I can think of come from the IT area with the English pronounciation: UNIX, Linux and GNU are not spelled out, but said as one word the English way.

I’ve never heard it pronounced “sap” except in a derogatory context.

  • American IT/ERP guy