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[Opinions] To pronounce a name the way you want - disrespectful?
This is just a hypothetical question:
Do you think it would be disrespectful to give a child a name from a foreign culture and pronounce it the way it would be pronounced in your culture? Like, for example, to name a child Jacques and pronounce it JAY-kwez? Or Siobhan pronounced see-OH-ban?
I used to like the names Sorcha and Saoirse, because I thought they were pronounced SORE-cha and SHORE-sa. When I found out the correct pronounciations (SUR-a-kha and SEER-shuh) I didn't find them attractive, but it feels disrespectful to pronounce them incorrectly. Just a note: In the 40's - 50's most people in Sweden couldn't speak English, but they still wanted to give their children "glamourous" movie star names. As they didn't know the correct pronounciation,s they often pronounced the names as they would have been pronounced in Swedish, so there are older people in Sweden called:
Steve, pronounced STAY-veh
Marilyn - MAH-ri-lyn
Shirley - sheer-LAY
Jane - YAH-neh
Janet - YAH-net
Kate - KAH-teh
Clark - slurk or klurkAnd sometimes it was the opposite way around - they had heard it, but didn't know how to spell it, so they spelled it like it would be spelled in Swedish. So Vajlet (Violet) isn't very uncommon among older women. I've also seen Mörtel (Myrtle) and Hårtons (Hortence).Does the sea exist
Because of our longing?

This message was edited by the author 4/8/2016, 12:30 PM

Tags:  pronunciation
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No. It's your country it's turned into your culture. Besides in some cultures it may not be pronoucable.
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I think the intent behind the mispronunciation is the important part, not the mispronunciation itself. If you aren't familiar with how to read a name and you use your sound system, I don't think it's disrespectful. If you've only heard a name and are guessing at how to spell it, you aren't being disrespectful. If you've been told by that parents that it's said one way, but refuse to change how you say it, then you're being disrespectful.
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I don't think it is. Many English names explicitly borrowed from French, such as Jacqueline, Michelle, Nicole, and Jeanne, are not pronounced the French way when used by anglophones. Or look at the Irish names a lot of anglophones use, like Caitlin. Most American Caitlins and many British and Australian Caitlins use the English pronunciation.Foreign names are very common in Brazil, as we don't have naming laws - it's not at all unusual to see Brazilians with English names like Jason, Kevin, Dylan, Nelson, Franklin, William, Kelly, Elizabeth, Lilian, Ellen, and Karen. People here don't usually regard it as trashy - it's pretty normal down here. We even see phonetic spellings like Daiane, Jakelyne, Natali, Jhenifer, etc.

This message was edited by the author 4/9/2016, 9:31 AM

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Names are Personal Nouns, and are only correctly spelled or pronounced as the owner of the name reveals it. Also, many popular names we use today in English are far older than the English pronunciations or spellings which convention popularizes; even the alphabet used by romantic languages of modernity is nothing more than a commercial convention, standardized by the Printing Press, which proffered cost as the determining judge to dictate which of the characters or letters would survive. My own name Barbra / Barbara / Varvara / βαρβαρα / Barbie (or any other spelling or iteration) bears the same meanings, however obscure or diverse: we are the same stammering foreigner, the same old lady, or the same beautiful, exotic stranger with a dignified, traditional maturity wrought with rigorous professionalism, while (as Barbie) we inherit the same the sparkling enthusiasm & bubbling beauties of an eternally capricious, ever regenerating youth. The evolution of names and words develop similarly among different cultures simultaneously . I find no disrespect in any alternate pronunciations or spellings of the same morpheme.
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I think disrespectful, yes in a way. But to me it would seem more ignorant than anything. Talking of ignorance, I actually did think Sorcha was pronounced SORE-sha! I love Saoirse though =)
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Of course it's not disrespectful. This is how names do spread through cultures.
Why is Abraham pronounced AY-brə-ham in English?
Adelaide, AD-ə-layd and not Ah-deh-la-EED?I guess it's a little embarrassing in a way, to have a name that retains a foreign spelling but not the pronunciation, since it reveals the name was learned by reading it and not from knowing one. But, not disrespectful.

This message was edited by the author 4/8/2016, 9:12 PM

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I would say that yes it is disrespectful to take something from another culture and purposely misuse it. What you've described happening with the English names in Sweden seems like a different situation. Seeing Caoimhe in a book and pronouncing it to rhyme with Naomi is different than knowingly doing it.

This message was edited by the author 4/8/2016, 8:51 PM

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No, I don't think so. I once visited Germany with a friend who had a lot of friends there. One of her friends was Paul, pronounced in German like POWELL. After returning, I referred to Paul to my friend's husband, saying Paul with the English pronunciation. He corrected me, saying, "You mean POWELL?" I said, "I thought it was acceptable to pronounce the name the way it is in one's native language." He then said, "It is." So I don't know why he even said that.I would have felt like an idiot saying POWELL.
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Not disrespectful, exactly, but a very good way of announcing to the world that you don't know what you're doing. It's a bit like naming your kid Charmin because you think it sounds pretty but you don't know it's toilet paper. Joke's on you, but too bad your kid has to get dragged in.
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Very similar to my thoughts
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I think a lot of names that seem common to me are probably anglicized versions of Gaelic and French names. I never think of those as disrespectful, so I'm gonna say the ones that are less common to me aren't either.
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Not disrespectful but awkward, and can lead to misunderstandings.
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Eh, I persionally would never do it. But, like you, I live in a culture where adaptations of foreign names are sometimes necessary for ease of spelling or pronunciation, so I guess I’m used to it and don’t mind so much. I’ve seenOdri – Audrey
Endi – Andy
Melani – Melanie
Mišel - Michel
Žan –French Jean
Žak - Jacques
Hejli - Hayley
Džoni – Johnny
And many others.

And check out Jamezdin, a Bosnian smush of James Dean, after the actor.
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