As a result of the exposure of diverse names, many people encounter trouble pronouncing them.
Not everyone is a linguist, and what may seem to parents is a simple name, might be one that’s difficult to remember for others. Take the triplets Xaquelina, Yajaira and Waseemah, for example. “How do you pronounce
them?” is the first question that comes to mind. It is not surprising that acquaintances have to stop and think, “What are the triplets’ names again?” Their grandparents probably would have preferred Jane, Sarah and Joyce! The children may have difficulty pronouncing and spelling their own names, too.
Another example is a Japanese girl who, in 1961, fell in love with an American soldier while vacationing in
New York. She was so smitten that she immediately decided to move to the Big Apple and marry her beloved soldier. After a few years, a baby boy was born. They called him ‘Satsuki’, which in Japanese means ‘May’.
During his younger years Satsuki acted like a real smart aleck. He drove his teachers crazy almost every day! One of them, an English teacher, was short-tempered and
high-strung. Every time Satsuki annoyed
him, the old man went red in the face
and shouted: “Tzatziki, stop it!”
The teacher wasn’t aware that ‘tzatziki’ is a famous dish from
Greece. From the first day that
Satsuki was called Tzatziki, the
class adopted ‘Tzatziki’ as his real name.
That boy is now a man, over 40 years old
and married. However, every time he sees his
old classmates, he is greeted with “Hey Tzatziki,
how’s life in Greece these days?”
When choosing a name, be sure it’s one that’s easy to pronounce. It’s no fun if people have
trouble reading your name from a list over and over. It can be really unpleasant at school,
especially if your classmates are laughing every time the teacher mispronounces your name.
The same rule applies here: if you’re not sure whether a name is easy to pronounce, draw up
a list of names, e-mail or read it to your family or friends. Then ask them if they have any
trouble with the pronunciation and spelling. Since there will be several names on the list,
you won’t give away the name you’re thinking of.
“Mickeeya was the first of three names we liked for our daughter. We thought it was a perfect name,
but it soon turned out that a lot of people around us thought Mickeeya was too complicated.
Mickeeya became Micki, more or less automatically. In hindsight, we think that
name suits her
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