General Question

kheredia's avatar

When you come accross a difficult name do you at least attempt to pronounce it correctly or do you just wing it?

Asked by kheredia (5561points) June 24th, 2009

I know sometimes it’s inevitable to butcher a name or a street but after beeing corrected don’t you think people should at least attempt to say it right the next time they say it? Is it that some people just don’t care if they say it wrong?

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19 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I ask the person how it is pronounced if I don’t know. Then I say it 3 times in a row to commit it to memory.

Tink's avatar

I try to pronounce it right because I don’t like when others do that to me

SuperMouse's avatar

My maiden name and married names were both constantly mispronounced, as a result of having my name butchered thousands of times over the years, I ask if I think I can’t pronounce a name correctly. Many, many people continue to mispronounce my name even after I have told them how to say it correctly and I think you are right, these people just don’t care.

You know what else really steams my bean? People who correct the spelling of my name. My first name is spelled in a unique way and even when I spell it for people they are kind enough to correct my error. Argh!!!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’ve always figured if small children can get their tongues around, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” then other uncommon names deserve a good attempt.

gailcalled's avatar

The only one I can’t quite get right is Ahmadinejad.

Clair's avatar

A street name, I’ll try to wing it and if someone knows the correct pronunciation, I’ll try to remember. But if it’s a person, I’ll say, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to mispronounce it.” I wouldn’t want someone to think I didn’t care or respect them enough to bother to learn the right way.

Fred931's avatar

I’m immature enough to be excused for intentionally screwing up someone’s name if it’s complicated enough.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Ahmadinejad. pretty much exactly how it’s spelled really.

now names like “Rikialria” give me problems.

(real-kia-ria) by the way O.o

chyna's avatar

@gailcalled At least you can spell it. That’s more than I could do.

gailcalled's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: Did you get the “l” in the wrong place in Rikialria? (real-kla-ria doesnt quite match.)

@chyna: I cheated.

cookieman's avatar

I am assigned about a dozen new students every seven weeks. I try really hard to pronounce their names correctly. I always ask if I was close and, if not, ask if they wouldn’t mind pronouncing it for me.

I think it is extremely rude to not make the effort.

My last name is often mispronounced, so I will correct them. While most people are gracious about it, I’ve actually had a few people over the years say, “Oh, whatever” or “close enough”.


RedPowerLady's avatar

I think it is very important to pronounce a person’s name correctly. I often will be straightforward and apologize for getting it wrong. There was one gal though who no matter how hard I tried I could not pronounce her name correctly. Most other people called her by an Americanized version of her name and I didn’t know if she appreciated that so I wasn’t comfortable with it. I then avoided saying her name because I felt it was completely inappropriate to ask her how to pronounce her name for the 50th time.

Xtacy's avatar

My last name is Leijon (pronounced leeā€¢on). It has never been pronounced correctly. My advice is to attempt. It shows that you actually care and people respect that…well good people do. On second thought, most people wouldn’t care. Well not the ones I’ve met. Dang. Am I working to hard when I don’t have to?

tinyfaery's avatar

I really make it a point to learn how to say someone’s name correctly, if possible. Some I’ll just never get. The other day at work one of our client’s told me that I was the only American to ever say his name correctly. I thought that was sad. People don’t even try. And what’s so hard about Bharwani?

augustlan's avatar

I usually attempt it with “Am I getting your name right? <Insert Name>?” I think it matters.

Jack79's avatar

I make absolutely sure I pronounce it as it’s supposed to, because people can be insulted otherwise. If I can’t do it, I simply ask the person and give it my best sure. If I can’t pronounce, I’m pretty sure most other people can’t either, so that person must have been used to it by now. I’m pretty good though, because I speak several languages so I can guess that for example the Belgian guy I’m meeting later today (Jan) is called “yaaan” and not “djahn”.

MissAnthrope's avatar

When I was growing up, my name was not popular in the least, and no one seemed to ever be able to get it right. Speech impediments and accents aside, even after I told someone how it’s pronounced, I would still get people calling me other variations. It is a bit irksome, like, what you’re calling me isn’t my name.. it’d be like if your name is Bob and I persisted in calling you Bub. Maybe some people wouldn’t care, but it grated on me. I basically taught myself to not give a shit and generally don’t bother correcting people, especially if it’s someone I’ll never see again.

So, because of this experience and knowing what it’s like to be on the receiving end, I definitely make an effort to pronounce people’s names correctly. Your name is part of your identity, it’s respectful to take that extra few seconds to learn it correctly, and you generally make people happy simply by showing you care.

wundayatta's avatar

I pride myself on being able to figure out how to pronounce it from how it is spelled. I can generally do this with slavic and latinate languages. I have more trouble with Asian and Scandinavian languages. Portuguese is hell, too. So I ask for help, and then try to sound as native as I can.

gailcalled's avatar

I used to be Mrs. Calder at Coulter St., or several variations of that.

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