Kid names you just can't pronounce

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by lucybelle, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2012

    czacza, why are you working so hard to make this a fight?
     
  2. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I do the best I can with my students' names as well. If I mispronounce something I hope my students are patient with me. If I am wrong about it and they correct my mistake, I act with maturity - I apologize for my error, let them know that I did not mean any disrespect and move on.

    I also make it clear that I think names are important. I want to get their names right but sometimes it takes me a while to do so. I ask for nicknames on the first day and write those in on the roll sheets. I refuse to use cutesy nicknames, however. I'll do "Bob" for "Robert" but I won't do "Slick Dog" or "Baby".
     
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Really? Why do you choose to escalate a non- issue?


    :thumb:
     
  4. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    By high school, my friends and I were taking bets on which pronunciation the teacher would go with. We had to let them hang in the wind. (OK, I was a bit obnoxious.)

    To be perfectly honest, I was always more philosophical about it, but my parents pronounced my name one way (American); my grandmother and aunts and uncles pronounced it differently due to their accents (Italian), so I was used to it. It only bugged me when teachers used the Spanish pronunciation.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oh, chebrutta: I usually did let the teacher twist till the first snicker from one of my friends. I dare say they were making some side bets, too: the set of possible mispronunciations of my given name is fairly predictable (except for the one math teacher, but after three weeks of daily correction... in any case, he was kind of a creep).
     
  6. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    :lol: This was always me! I was always at the end (still am obviously) and when the teacher would go "ummm..." that's when I'd say "that's me!"
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Yup, lucybelle!
     
  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    As someone who was once told I am mispronouncing my own last name (the person in question didn't take the now-missing vowels and consonants from the Norwegian spelling), I always take a stab and ask the student if I'm right. Once I'm corrected, I say it aloud three times to test it, then apologize for calling the student "out of name".
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I don't think anyone can be expected to know how to pronounce all the names in the world. Especially with the (if I do say so myself) absolutely ridiculous spellings of many. My last name is butchered constantly and I've never once been offended. Confused, sure, but not upset.

    There are a few very common names I know but can't pronounce. Troy, for example. I was exited out of speech without fully mastering things and a couple can still trip me up...and my accent doesn't help with certain words, such as in the case of Troy. :) I'd rather call someone by their last name, said correctly, than stumble over their first name every day. And the students are okay with that. I don't believe they feel at all disrespected.
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I ha e a child this year who can't say her own name. She has given herself a nickname for me to use. Mom has said absolutely no nickname. By the way, there's no family connection for the name. Mom got it from a soap opera.
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Bless you, Christy. By fourth grade, I think a kid is entitled to work out that sort of side deal with the teacher, frankly - and it's the wise teacher who quietly goes along.

    A person's name is what the person prefers to answer to - and that can certainly shift from setting to setting.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I remember kids giving themselves nicknames in high school. One kid was named Xiu and he was tired of people saying it the wrong way so he became "Bobby". Another boy became "Mike".
     
  13. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    When I was in high school, the gym teacher mispronounced my last name for 4 years. Never mind that there were there were three of my siblings there too.

    And never mind the fact that he'd gone to school with my dad and personally remembered him and the fights they'd gotten into.

    I think he mispronounced it on purpose. :lol:
     
  14. worrywart

    worrywart Companion

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    I had a student once with a very unusual name so I looked it up online and found a site that pronounces names. After listening to it a few times, I had it down :). It's worth try if you are having a hard time..can't remember the site name but I found it on google.
     
  15. mrsenglish

    mrsenglish Rookie

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    I have a few students who I had trouble with. Honestly, I just apologize profusely and then while my students are working on something, I sit down with them and say, okay, teach me how to say your name! :) Then I just keep pronouncing it until they say I got it right. Haha.
     
  16. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    I apologize in advance for my lack of phonetic abilities. :)

    I get confused with Jorge. Some of my kids have pronounced it like "George" and other pronounce it like "Hore-hay". One Jorge I had said he pronounced it like George, but then I heard another teacher calll him Hore-hay. I asked him which he preferred, and he said it didn't matter. I stuck with George. I had a Charlize last year. I saw the name on my roster and think it's pronouned Char-leeze. No, it was pronounced Charl-zae. It took me a good month to get that poor girl's name right!!! I have pretty easy names this year. The hardest one is Nialyn. It's pronounced it Nae-leen. I pronounced it Ni-a-lyn. Charlize was the hardest by far. I think it took me a couple of months to be consistent at it. She told me it was okay - everybody messed up on her name, lol.

    Beth
     
  17. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    I am pretty good with my own students names, there aren't any that I have right now that are too difficult.

    When I did have trouble was when I studied abroad in college. I had a placement in a primary school outside London. Many of the students were Turkish. I had the hardest time getting their names right! For one, I was not familiar with the Turkish names, so I had no context to help me remember how to say it. For another, obviously all of the children/staff had British accents. So I would try and repeat their name back to them but it just never sounded right. Luckily the kids loved 'teaching' the American teacher how to say something so they helped me a lot to get them right! I remember one of the first days I had to call kids back to switch out their library books to take home... It was a struggle!
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Turkish is definitely a challenge, Rebecca - and home-counties British English on top of it would be even more so. (I believe Turkish has a retroflex /r/ like that in most varieties of English, but if, memory serves, /r/ after a vowel is always pronounced rather than rendered as a schwa or offglide the way British English does. For the record, if you ever see an account of r-controlled vowels that tells you they're diphthongs, either it was written for British English or it's borrowed uncritically from a source that was written about British English.)

    I've been known to render students' names in phonetic transcription to help me reproduce the syllables and the stresses correctly. A native of Southern California wouldn't bother transcribing "Jorge" as [hor•he], because that's just how it's pronounced - but the linguist Jorge Hankamer pronounces his name like "George", and I had to transcribe it that way in my notes for a couple of weeks to ensure getting it right.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I found a helpful site :

    http://inogolo.com/

    :)
     
  20. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    One of the challenges with Turkish are the vowels:
    ü and ö for example.
    English has these vowels we just don't write them like that.
    for example ü sounds similar to the u in /suit/ or /rude/ and the ö sounds similar to the i in /sir/ or the u in /assure/. It just trips people up to see a foreign symbol and having to remember the sound.

    And one thing that's kinda hard is that it's so hard to tell which names are female or male. With a lot of foreign names it's not that hard, of course there are exceptions, but with Turkish it's just confusing.
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I teach HS. I will never get kids who won't tell you they prefer to be called something else. I had a girl named Cricket. After a few days I realized she was writing Danielle on her papers and all her friends called her Danielle (middle name). I asked her about it and she just said, "I like to see if teachers can figure it out." :mad: I'm more than willing to call kids whatever they want, within reason, but they have to tell me!

    I haven't had too many names I've had problems with. I have a kid named Colton and I always feel like I put a weird stress on it...
     
  22. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Teacher Groupie, we did use a textbook but I really don't remember what it was called. It was orange.
     
  23. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Ok, so I have to ask...one of the names I've had every year is Fernando. It's my understanding that in the proper hispanic pronunciation, it should be fer-NON-do. However, I hear almost every other adult saying fer-NAN-do. I've asked the kids and they're just too nice to correct me...they always say either one, but I want to pronounce it right! Does anyone know which is technically correct? The pronunciation website posted pronounced it fer-NAN-do and that was listed as the only pronunciation. Have I been wrong in saying "non"?
     
  24. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    "Non" is the traditional pronunciation. A lot of my students Anglicize their names at school, though. Jorge is pronounced like George, and Sara is pronounced like Sarah. Even Yenifer prefers to be called Jennifer. They actually don't like it when the teacher tries to use traditional pronunciation. I had 4 Francisco's last year, and they all preferred it pronounced like San Francisco, not "Fron". Just ask the student which one he prefers.
     
  25. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I have a few kids whose names I "Anglicize". I have a Dana (dah-nah), Angel (ahn-hell), Abigayle (ah-bah-guy-ILL). I pronounce them like reading an English word. They like it. They'll say "no you have to pronounce it like the teacher in here because we speak English!" (the kids take science in English)
     
  26. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Um. Turkish actually has four high vowels with varying degrees of roundness:

    <i> spells /i/ (front high unround, pretty much English "ee")
    <ü> spells /y/ (front high round, the vowel that the French spell y or German ü in Rühe 'rest' or y in typisch 'typical')
    <I> spells /ɯ/ (back high unround, the vowel that we sloppy speakers in Southern California tend to pronounce in "good", but definitely not a phoneme in English)
    <u> spells /u/ (back high round, the vowel in English "hoot" /hu:t/but not the vowel in "hume" /hju:m/, which is a diphthong)

    French /y/ absolutely stymied me during my freshman year at college, in spite of Mme Crosby's Sorbonne-honed best efforts. It wasn't till encountered the sound again in German class four years later that it made sense - but my German prof was also my linguistics prof; she gazed at me benignly and murmured, "It's front high round, Fraülein," and it all clicked.
     
  27. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    I had the same experience when pronouncing a Spanish name the Spanish way. The student said, "You can say it in English, everyone else does."

    I really liked the Spanish way though...
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is very much my experience as well.
     
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