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25 June 2012 (How to pronounce my name in…)

June 25, 2012

While typing emails to a few French guys I worked with four years ago I found myself wondering,

“How did they pronounce my name?”

Because here in Israel, people pronounce my name in a way that I can’t quite duplicate myself. Believe me, there is nothing sillier than not being able to pronounce your own name.

Every time someone asks what my name is here in Israel, I have a moment of hesitation before I do my best to imitate the way Israelis say my name. But it comes out sounding wrong every time, me trying to pronounce my name like it’s a foreign word.

In the United States, someone gave me a bit of an epiphany about my own name when she told me this:

“Oh, so your name is basically pronounced like a ‘cowrie’ bead.”

“A what?” I asked back.

A “cowrie” bead or shell, I learned, is a type of shell the woman and I saw plenty of on jewelry and accessories in the African dance classes we participated in together. Ever since then, any time a native English speaker had a problem pronouncing or remembering my name, I would say, “Like a cowrie bead. Say COW, like the animal, then stick REE to it.”

(While this version is the closest to my name pronounced in my native Japanese, it’s not quite the same.)

I still can’t recall how my French friends interpreted and pronounced my name… I’m sure it’s something I can’t duplicate!











Much love,

2 Comments leave one →
  1. praisethelorne permalink
    July 2, 2012 10:03 am

    Today a woman at the bank pronounced my name wrongly, as Lor-en. I’m used to it since I arrived 2 weeks ago, but today was the first time I corrected someone. It’s Lorne.

    • July 3, 2012 8:35 am

      Welcome to Israel Lorne, and good for you for correcting that person!

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