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Who Here Has a Foreign-Sounding Name and How Do You Deal With It?

by Moneer81
Tags: deal, foreignsounding
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Jimmy Snyder
#19
Dec3-12, 06:43 PM
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My last name is spelled as in Dutch, but my family came from Belarus. I don't like it when people pronounce it Schneider, but actually, that's what it was. Many people spell it Synder and that causes no end of problems.
BobG
#20
Dec3-12, 07:05 PM
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Quote Quote by Moneer81 View Post
Very interesting...I guess there are many last names that are hard to pronounce, but my main concern is with first names, as those tend to used on a daily basis...
Don't even get me started on first names! It drives me crazy when people pronounce my name backwards!
gmax137
#21
Dec3-12, 07:14 PM
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Quote Quote by Moneer81 View Post
...

I also realized that the key when you introduce yourself is saying your name slowly, and saying it very clearly, so they can understand it. If someone introduces themselves as John, all you need to hear is the "J" and "N" sound and you probably guess that it is John, but for less common names, one needs to hear the name fully and slowly...
I was going to suggest this. As a native English speaker, I sometimes have embarrassing difficulty with "foreign" names. This leads to discomfort on my part and I have learned over the years to ask and ask again, to make sure I get the pronunciation right. It's more embarrassing to say it wrong or avoid saying it, than to ask a few times. It is easier when there's fewer people around.
fluidistic
#22
Dec3-12, 07:29 PM
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My last name is composed of 2 names, 1 Irish, 1 arabic so that it's foreign everywhere I could possibly go unless I would live like Julian Assange in embassies.
This is still causing me troubles; since in France duing the epoch of when I was born it seems it was not possible to have the last name of your mother, they only took the last name of my father and put the name of my mother as "use" name. So that now my name in Canada (where I was born) is different from my name in France (where I lived most of my life) and now in Argentina I basically use both names, sigh.
If one day I have a child, I'll give him/her only 1 last name for sure. Lots of troubles.
zoobyshoe
#23
Dec3-12, 07:36 PM
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Quote Quote by BobG View Post
Don't even get me started on first names! It drives me crazy when people pronounce my name backwards!
I used to know a guy named "Bob" and, apparently, I always pronounced it backward without realizing it because one day he lost his temper and shouted, "IT'S 'BOB'! NOT 'BOB'!" I was so embarrassed and felt like a complete idiot for not noticing my error all that time.
trueo
#24
Dec3-12, 09:54 PM
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Quote Quote by Mute View Post
I don't have a foreign-to-english or hard to spell name and people still pronounce it incorrectly from time to time! Of course, that's because it looks/sounds a bit like a more common name, so it's more a case of them calling me a similar but incorrect name.
You do sound really foreign to think about it too. Perhaps because you are a farmer or a far far land cowboy
arildno
#25
Dec4-12, 04:29 AM
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An acquaintance of mine decided he wouldn't bother with helpless Englishmen who couldn't pronounce his name properly, so he ysed to introduce himself with:
"Hi! My name is Are, but you can call me Tom!"
lisab
#26
Dec4-12, 09:19 AM
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Monique
#27
Dec4-12, 11:04 AM
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Quote Quote by Jimmy Snyder View Post
My last name is spelled as in Dutch, but my family came from Belarus. I don't like it when people pronounce it Schneider, but actually, that's what it was. Many people spell it Synder and that causes no end of problems.
Then you misspell your own name? If it were spelled as in Dutch it would be "Snijder"
Ben Niehoff
#28
Dec4-12, 12:20 PM
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Is Arild a Norwegian form of Harold? Or something entirely different?
George Jones
#29
Dec4-12, 12:33 PM
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I can't pronounce my own name correctly, let alone names of others.
arildno
#30
Dec4-12, 12:40 PM
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Quote Quote by Ben Niehoff View Post
Is Arild a Norwegian form of Harold?
Yes.
A slightly more common form (about 10.000 versus 8000) is Harald.
Yanick
#31
Dec4-12, 08:01 PM
P: 383
My first name is Russian or Polish although it is pretty much pronounced like John with a Y instead of the J. That throws lots of people for a loop. If I make reservations for anything, I'll just use John because it saves time and effort.

Both my wife and our dog have very American names and my Russian family has lots of difficulty with both.

Living in a place like NY, it really doesn't even bother me anymore. It was slightly irritating when I was a kid and had to correct every teacher for a good couple of weeks at the start of every class. By High School I would correct them for the first week or so, then I wouldn't even bother.

But over all I'm so used to meeting people with "foreign" names that those are typically the only people whose names I can remember. After meeting 30-50 John's, Jack's and Anthony's in my life; when I hear a name like that it goes in 1 ear and out the other.
Curious3141
#32
Dec5-12, 07:27 PM
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Quote Quote by BobG View Post
I have the opposite problem - an American sounding name with a foreign spelling (Swiss ancestory with a German name). Since the spelling is easier than the American word, people invent unusual pronunciations for my name.
"Bob"? Well, Rowan Atkinson helped me understand your problem.



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