Post # 1
I’m feeling kind of bummed about my new last name, which is sad because I was super excited to change it and share my husband’s last name.
I fully understand that my new name (which is Eastern European in origin) looks very unfamiliar to most Americans. But it’s 4 letter. One syllable. Rhymes with an easy to remember word. That’s how I even answer when people ask- “My name is ___. It rhymes with___.”
My 5th grade students have no problem with it. Most of them spell it correctly and they all say it correctly with little effort on my part. But I’m more frustrated with the number of colleagues who continue to say it wrong even after they have asked. And it’s not just minor mispronunciations- some of them get it so wrong that if you knew how my name was said correctly you wouldn’t even know they were talking about me because it sounds like a completely different name.
It’s also mispelled on my ID badge, on our phone directory, and was misspelled on my first paycheck after I changed it. I even wrote it on the forms myself!
Any advice, from those of you with a similar struggle? I know it may seem like I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but I’ve always told my students (several of whom come from another country) that names are important and you should be able to hear your name said correctly. I want them to let me know if I ever say their name wrong, but I feel uncomfortable correcting coworkers repeatedly.
Post # 2
goldengardenia : I have the same issue! It’s been nearly two years and people still butcher it sometimes. It’s really not hard, it’s literally pronounced exactly as it’s spelled – nothing weird about it, no silent letters, etc. People add in an extra syllable sometimes that I have NO idea where that comes from. I’ll admit that it’s a ridiculously silly sounding name so I think people think “oh…that can’t be how they pronounce it let me try and say it less silly.” Ugh. Embrace the silly – that’s what it is lol.
I have no advice except to continually correct people. They are the ones that end up looking bad after mispronouncing it a million times.
Post # 3
It’s amazing how people can mispronounce the simplest of names, isn’t it? I can’t really help too much, since I grew up with a last name that 90% of people mispronounce, so it just doesn’t bother me. My new last name, same problem. I never correct someone unless they ask me, but I wouldn’t be offended if someone corrected my pronunciation of my last name. You can correct your coworkers if you want to, but chances are if you have to keep on correcting them, it’s just not something that they give much attention to themselves.
Post # 4
goldengardenia : It’s not exactly the same, but my last name used to be a very easy word, also only 4 letters. It’s an actual English word like “Blue”, “Bird”, or “Lamp”. And whenever I’d say it over the phone I’d say the name and then just immediately spell it because I got sick of hearing, “What?” again and again becuase it’s sooooo eeeeasyyyy!
I’m not sure there’s much you can do about it, though. It IS a bummer that even your workplace got it wrong! Sheesh!
PS- my current name I don’t even say, I just spell. It’s longer.
Post # 5
My FI’s last name is hard to pronounce to the point he doesn’t even try when making reservations or whatnot, he just spells it.
I am, most likely, not taking his name due to my profession, but it would be another reason not to.
Post # 6
goldengardenia : My maiden name is European and 99.9% of people mispronounced it all the time, I guess if you grew up with it it wouldn’t bother you as much…or at least it just didn’t bother me. If I was you I’d just continue correcting them until they got it and move on. I am having a hard time believing that your colleagues (I am assuming mostly fellow teachers?) are having difficulty pronoucing a 4 letter name.
Post # 7
My maiden name is 4 letters, Eastern European, one syllable. Everyone got it wrong, all the time.
You learn to get over it. People come with different backgrounds. Vowels and consonants sound differently in different contexts. I stopped correcting people unless I interacted with them a lot and they really NEEDED to know how to say it. Eventually they’ll get it.
No one will focus on your name as much as you, so unfortunately even if they ask how to pronounce it, people are bound to still get it wrong.
Laugh it off, “Oh, it’s [name], by the way!”
Post # 8
prinzesschen : I think it must be the spelling that’s throwing them off- they can repeat it back to me correctly, but then I guess they see it written (both correctly and incorrectly, and when it’s written incorrectly the second and first letter are often switched.) and get super confused because it has a silent letter that is pretty much never silent in English. So then they drop the first letter all together and pronounce only the last 3 letters.
Post # 9
Eh, it’s not something worth stressing about IMO. I’ve always had a first name that’s apparently confusing to most people and now my new last name is also mispronounced. I don’t let it bother me except, maybe, when the officiant at our wedding mispronounced both my first name at one point in our ceremony and later announced us as “Mr. and Mrs. Mispronounced-last-name.” Not cool, although we laugh about it since she was awful in so many other ways too. It’s always bugged my husband that people mispronounce his last name, and I don’t know what to tell him to help him get over that. I try not to stress about stuff that doesn’t really matter. It’s just another in a long list of minor inconveniences in life.
Post # 10
My maiden name is a Slavic name. No one can spell it nor can they pronounce it. I’ve given up and resigned myself to this fact.
I have no advice other than this will never stop. Here’s to hoping FI’s hispanic name is easier?
Post # 11
Our last name is pronounced exactly like it’s spelled but it’s very close to another more common last name (one that a very famous person has) so we constantly get called that last name and I’ve even had that last name written on name tags and on paystubs. It’s like if our last name was “Johnson”, but people constantly wrote and said “Johnston”. They add a letter that’s not supposed to be there. It’s super annoying, but my husband did warn me about it before we got married…
Post # 12
Welcome to the club. My name has been misspelled, mispronounced, you name it, they’ve thought of it, for my whole life. It’s an Italian last name that starts with a C and I’ve had people start spelling it “Ka–oh, no? I thought it was Greek!” All you can do is keep correcting people when it happens, and even then, it’ll keep happening no matter what you do when you meet someone else. So correct them, but also let it go. This is unfortunately your life now.
Post # 13
goldengardenia : I have this problem, but I don’t care. I’ve legitimately never met one person who said my married name right the first time. Even some of my closest friends say it wrong!
Post # 14
I guess I’ve also been spoiled by having a very easy to pronounce maiden name my entire life! My first name (which has multiple “correct” spellings) would get mispelled sometimes, but no one has ever had trouble pronouncing it either.
I’m sure in time I’ll get used to it.
Post # 15
goldengardenia : My name is very easy to pronounce, but it spelled wrong all the time. Such as my name is Bird, but people want spell it Burd. Haven’t figured out a way for people to spell it correctly…