Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Names That I Respond To

  1. Chang*
  2. Yang**
  3. Chang-Yang***
  4. Chang (awkward pause) Yang
  5. Yew
  6. Yong
  7. Chang Yew
  8. Yew Chang
  9. etc etc.

Living in a Western country forces one to respond to all sorts of distorted pronunciation of your name, especially when the words are not quite "Anglicised".

* Calling me Chang alone with the right pronunciation (the Malay pronunciation) used to be enough to annoy me. It got worse when people started rhyming it with "hang".

** And then, some doctors here decided to call me Yang with the rhyme of "hang" too. >.<

*** The ultimate version is to combine the two words with the incorrect pronunciation.

No, I will not succumb to crafting an English name in order to "make it easier" or make myself "blend in" better. I guess I should just get used to my names.

By the way, I am not the only victim of funny names. Xuan Ni has heard at least a dozen different pronunciation of the word Xuan. One of the Chinese doctor with the surname NG sometimes got referred to as "Doctor N-G". Poor thing.

14 comments:

day-dreamer said...

Well, I live in Malaysia AND my names are pronounced differently by different people too. It irks me sometimes, but what to do? >.<

WP said...

Oh yeah, people seem to have a lot of difficulty with Ng. I guess it's because there isn't a vowel in it, so they just can't see how it's pronounced!

My name's not mispronounced that often, but it's often truncated, which I find really annoying as well! So I correct people every time they try to shorten my name. But same here, I'm not going to get an English/French-sounding name just to make it "easier".

Still, the funniest thing that's happened to me about my name is when one of my friends wrote it as "Wee" in the "family name" column and "Pin" in the "given name" column, forgetting all about my actual surname. (or vice-versa, I can't remember) After I corrected him, another friend chided him, "Do you think we call her with her full name all the time?" That really gave me a good laugh.

Ka Lip said...

LoL @ Yew Chang: Fried Shallots

I get called Ka...

Or sometimes they say Kalip... and instead of saying KAAAAAA Lip... it becomes Kelip.

I won't get an English name either...it means I'll have to learn to respond to it as well..

(PS: I gave the name Andrew once when I went to Starbucks...but that's different...totally different...lol)

bluez said...

Whenever mom tries to anglicized Jackie Chan's last name to rhyme with hen, sis and I would instantly shoot her down.

sophisticatedsoul said...

Hahah..I am fine with being called Nooi ("egg" in Hokkien) as I have been living with that nick since primary school. :P

Wun Min said...

I thought you also respond to Youngyew due to Recom? :P

Eric Fu said...

How about Mr. Yew? :p

khengying said...

Haha number 3 sounds like my chinese name ^^

I got called 'geng' or sometimes 'king' =.="

bluez said...

> I got called 'geng' or sometimes 'king' =.="

phwoar! geng

hhhcce said...

Talking about this, you have no idea how frustrated I am. My prof keep writing down my surname as Cheen though I have tried to capitalised my surname in the email. But, I am not planning to get a Christian name as well because I think they have to learn to pronounce or spell my name correctly. I guess we share the same thought.

Anonymous said...

Prof: Yew....
CY and other doctors: yes Prof...
Prof: i mean Yew....
CY: yes, he is referring to Yew....
other doctors: me?
CY: no, not you....
Prof: yes, Im referring to Yew.....
other doctors: YES, here we are....
CY: ()£*&"*^$&*£%$*£Q

YP

changyang1230 said...

Day-dreamer: How do people mispronounce your name? Lien? :D

WP: Yeah I hate truncation too! I don't like to see Chang Y Yew in official letters, or even worse, Chang Yew. They seem to think that the second word in one's first name should be conveniently dismissed or something. :( I know adding a hyphen between the two words would solve the problem, but then again I am just too lazy to change my name to suit everyone. They should accept the fact that many Asian have first name that consist of more than one words.

Ka Lip: Clip?!

Bluez: I have never heard anyone pronouncing Jackie Chan's name right though, even among Chinese.

Nooi Hoay: But hey, your name is indeed Nooi, you can't blame people for saying the words marr... :P

Wun Min: Haha that's just a nick, in real life nobody calls me changyang1230 or youngyew lah. :)

Eric: Ya hor. But I did write Yew in the post, so that counts as the same thing I guess?

Kheng Ying: Geng Ying! :D 劲赢, sound so glorious. :P

hhhcce: Maybe you need to write in BLOCK letters, underline AND bold it. :P

YP: Lame lame lame.

day-dreamer said...

LOL @ YP's comment. Kinda creative... despite you deeming it lame. :P

Well, my names. Got many variations. Haha. But still not Lien. I think I wrote a post about it few years ago.

changyang1230 said...

It's lame because he's repeated it for many many times. :P