Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The sound of my name

I did have a chuckle when I read this by Emine Saner. As a child I would always wince when anyone read my name from a register. No one could EVER pronounce my surname correctly, of course what I should have said is it rhymes with bed but I wasn't that bright back then. I can promise Miss Saner the English can butcher most cultures names even their own, if they find it easy to pronounce then they will then shorten it, at school I have heard Daisy called Days! Kitty always gets called Kit. The English don't stop at mispronouncing every ones names either, just wait until they get to the register office and try to spell it, where I teach, a simple name such as Amy has become Aimee, Abigail has become Abbeygale and so on.
Most students who arrive from Asia are so shocked at the way we masticate the vowels in their name, they actually assume a simple English name instead or shorten their existing name to something more tolerable to the ear when being called out. The poor Sri Lanken girls suffer the most, have a go at Sathurthika Kulanthaivadivel, Jornazzaman (please miss call me Jorna) Chowdhury or Prubhjote Saini.
When I chose Leyla's name I knew I was walking into a minefield of difficult pronunciation, Turkish people pronounce many words using their tongue placed in the middle of their mouth whereas the English have their tongue stuck into their teeth, we do love the letter T. Strangely they manage to squeeze an extra syllable into my first name pronouncing it A Li Son.
In the Turkish alphabet C = an English soft J ie; Cansil sounds like jansil, so I knew it was not going to be easy. I managed to find a book of names and give Emin a list from which I had to read, any I struggled with we discarded, his choice was Fatma, but that is not a very nice sounding name so I prayed one name would tickle his fancy and luckily Leyla was it. The English tend to say "Lay Lah" when it should be a "Leigh luh" but its still a lovely name. surprisingly he did not fancy Emine the feminine version of his name.

6 comments:

Esti said...

I would have thought that English would pronounce Layla (like the Clapton song). Leyla is a beautiful name.

iwantaluxlife said...

God it all sounds rather confusing! I don't know why, as I read this post it made me think of how my little boy used to pronounce his sister's names when he was a toddler, Chloe was just and still is, Chlo, Courtenay was Noutney and Claudia was Clodya - ah bless. I think Leyla is a lovely name, I love the clapton song, I also like Lola, again because of the song, in fact my Chloe calls her self Lola and when she went on her first holiday with friends last year she got a t-shirt and had Lola printed on the back!(I am sure she will grow out of it).

miss milki said...

I love the name Leyla! Its one of my 'if I ever have kids' names...I like the name Lola too but would never call my kid Lola because of the song!

auntiegwen said...

I think all the names you have chosen are beautiful.

I now wish I had called either of my daughters Grace ( which is my mum s name) but knew it would cause an almighty row with my then mother in law, and wasn't brave enough

Rollergirl said...

This made me smile. I have a 'difficult' name in real life and became so used to my name being butchered when I was growing up that I now answer to pretty much anything beginning with N. I don't even bother correcting people which is a bit lazy and they are always very apologetic when they find they've been getting it wrong!

Anonymous said...

Who is this