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To think i know how my childs name is pronounced?

242 replies

crappymummum · 08/05/2011 14:36

So my friend says she has just had an in depth argument with one of her friends who i happen to know over my daughters name.

DD is called Luisa.Not Louisa but LuiSa as in emphasis on the S not the soft sounding s in Louisa.I think the name originates from Germany but is widely used in Spain.
My DD was born in Spain (we are now back in the UK) so i liked the thought of a Spanish name, especially as we planned on staying there for some time.My Aunt is Spanish and also called Luisa.

Apparently this argument started when the lady started arguing with my friend when she was pronouncing it correctly saying no its Louisa,it's stupid etc and how it is just an alternative spelling but pronounced the same etc etc.

This is becoming a bit of a problem as i have noticed friends/teachers etc calling her Louisa...even receiving invites to parties with Louisa on.

Should i just let them get on with it for an easy life for my daughter and just accept that Louisa is what she will be called?

AIBU to be really bloody annoyed about this woman?

OP posts:
onceamai · 08/05/2011 15:15

I feel for you and dd. I have a very unusual name which I think is pronounced as it is spelt but well over 80% of people appear to disagree. I so wanted to be called Jane or Helen as a child and that's why our own children have names with non negotiable spellings and which although aren't always in the top 10 are never too far from it. Think along James and Lucy lines.

BumWiper · 08/05/2011 15:16

myself and my brothers have very irish names but when staying with family in manchester we noticed no one could pronounce cathal and called him cockle.

wineisfine · 08/05/2011 15:17

I think there's a big difference between people pronouncing it 'Louisa' and insisting the OP is saying her daughter's name wrong or changing the spelling.

I grew up with a boy called Joss; everyone called him Josh and I clearly remember a woman telling him "you mean Josh", when he said his name was Joss.

I always make the effort to pronounce names as close as I can get to how the child/parents does - DS1 has a friend called Katja and it's not so difficult to say but some of the staff call her Katia.

It's not an enormous deal if people pronounce it 'Louisa' IMO, especially as that's our regional norm, but insisting that the OP's pronunciation is wrong is just wayyyyy out of order!

confuddledDOTcom · 08/05/2011 15:22

I get it with my daughter, but not even to a real name! It's a British name and there are famous people with the name. I get all sorts of strange names or even the masculine form of it if people have heard it said. Mum took her to Ireland last year for a week and spent the whole week saying "No, it's not a boys name" as the masculine version is more common there.

Just keep correcting, you'll get there in the end - with friends at least!

WriterofDreams · 08/05/2011 15:25

I totally agree with you wine that people telling her she's pronouncing her own DD's name wrongly is totally barking. If anyone does that she should just scoff in their face and ignore.

diddl · 08/05/2011 15:38

"diddl - Louisa generally pronounced Loo-ee-zuh, Luisa pronounced Loo-ee-sah."

Yes, that´s what I thought.

Got confused by OP saying "soft "s" in Louisa".

Groovee · 08/05/2011 15:52

Dd has a gaelic name which causes confusion and still classmates cannot spell it. When she was in nursery a child with parents who english wasn't the first language kept calling her Kelly as they couldn't work out their dd's pronounciation.

I ignore people who deliberately don't call her by her name and thank those who do.

Bunbaker · 08/05/2011 15:54

"I had an Irish friend in university called Grainne and people just refused to even try to pronounce her name and just called her 'G'""

Showing my ignorance here, but how do you pronounce it? I would say grain, but I suspect I am wrong.

Unfortunately you will have to keep correcting people. I have an unusual name so I always make a point of spelling and pronouncing people's names correctly. The problem is that until I am told the correct way I am likely to get it wrong, and I would have just pronounced Luisa as Looeeza until corrected.

This subject often crops up on name threads, and I do think that you need to take how other people will spell and pronounce your child's name into account when naming your child.

swiperstopswiping · 08/05/2011 15:59

I don't think YABU.

I worked with someone once and for some reason saw her middle name (Luisa) written down and said something along the lines of "oh, Louisa, that's a nice name".

She said "it's not Louisa, it's LuiSa" and now I know how to pronounce it. It's not bloody rocket science.

Have also worked with a Karen who pronounces her name (Kaare-en) and a Cheryl with a hard CH like cherry and managed to get their names right, even thought intuitively I want to say the more usual pronunciations.

swiperstopswiping · 08/05/2011 16:00

Bunbanker Grainne is like Gron-yah.

Bunbaker · 08/05/2011 16:01

"Bunbanker Grainne is like Gron-yah."

Thank you. I have never met anyone with that name and wouldn't have had a clue how to pronounce it.

HerHissyness · 08/05/2011 16:09

YANBU to expect someone to know that you are well aware of how you spell your own daughter's name.

However, YAB a tad U to expect others to know automatically how to spell it and say it. FWIW it's not a tricky name to learn, but I suppose the fact that there ARE other versions of it doesn't help.

My DS name is unique too, and tbh everyone pronounces it wrong, all my family, Not even DS himself pronounces it right! Grin But that is being truly pedantic. Only X and I that do pronounce it 100% correctly, and that is because X is Egyptian and I have had to learn to pronounce both X name and DS name as the front end of both their names start with the same sound.

Of course his invitations have been spelt incorrectly, but I always RSVP and put his name on it, or sign the card so that they know how it is spelt. I don't make an issue, I don't blame them, it's a name that they will not have heard before.

I did correct school though, because it's their business to make sure they have it right.

Actually I know someone whose DS is called Luis, but she pronounces it Lewis, I only realised at christmas when the card got sent round! That kind of grates tbh, I'dve had to pronounce it Loo-ee-ss but he's her boy, not mine.

HerHissyness · 08/05/2011 16:10

Ooh, thanks swiper, I knew gron-ya, but didn't know how it was spelt!

ShowMeTheMonet · 08/05/2011 16:22

Think you have to accept that you chose a spanish name and you live with english people. By definition, most of the time they're going to get it 'wrong'. It was your choice for the name though so YABU to criticise people for a problem you created. I'm sure once you've nagged them enough they'll understand and change to your particular preference.

ChippingIn · 08/05/2011 16:23

Frankly the woman is barking to say that you don't know what you're on about Grin

There is a big difference between Louisa and Luisa - but unless people know it's the latter then she'll always get the former.

I hope you have told her teacher the correct pronunciation - if you have it will filter through, especially if your DD corrects people.

I think part of the problem is that us Brits generally feel a bit pretentious saying a name in a 'foreign' way Wink it feels a bit 'try hard'... so having lived in Spain I could say Luisa pretty much the way you do, but I'd feel a bit silly if everyone else was calling her Louisa - like I was trying to show off or something and it doesn't come naturally (neither the pronunciation nor the showing off!).

heliumballoons · 08/05/2011 16:23

OP, YANBU at all. My DS also spanish born with spanish relatives is Tomas with the accented a.

It has slowly become pronounced like Thomas over the past 4 years we've been here and even I say it like this too. Blush

I chose the name as was easier for Spanish and English families.

Unfortunatly I do think your lose the battle.

FWIW I think Luisa is beautiful name. My DS was going to be Sofia for a girl - can see we would have had the same problem there. Grin

issey6cats · 08/05/2011 16:26

i have a gareth who his mates call gaz (hate it)
a stephanie who everyone calls steph
and an andrew who everyone calls andy so i think you are fighting a losing battle

MintyMoo · 08/05/2011 16:43

I have a gaelic name. People always pronounce it wrong, fine, if you've just read it off my CV you wouldn't know. But when I tell you HOW it's pronounced I expect people to listen. It's 2 syllables ffs, they're really easy syllables too. I've taken to ignoring people who mispronounce it (repeat offenders I hasten to add who have been told repeatedly how to say it correctly)

I have a friend who was brought up in the country of my name's origin insist I was pronouncing it wrong. I pointed out that the sound he was making doesn't exist in that country's language, the name is from that country and therefore his pronunciation of my name was wrong. I've only met one other person with my name, she pronounces it wrong as well but I have the common courtesy to pronounce it the way she pronounces it when addressing her and use my way when discussing myself.


confuddledDOTcom · 08/05/2011 16:47

ShowMeTheMonet, did you miss the part where she is Spanish born to a Spanish family and it's a family name? Hardly like choosing a totally random name from a random country you have nothing to do with.

I don't think you have to accept shortenings. My eldest has a couple of options for shortening and people know I won't have it shortened. Of course one day she'll say "I prefer to be called..." and that's her choice, it's her name but it's not up to, for example, the woman who serves in the Tesco cafe to decide (drives me mad each time we go in there!)

ShowMeTheMonet · 08/05/2011 16:53

Nope, but when in Rome and all that. I thinks its arrogant to expect people to automatically get a foreign pronunciation and get chippy if they don't. I didn't say it was random Confused Like I say, once OP has explained they'll get it but until then, you're going to have alot of this. I think its U to expect anything other than an obvious english pronunciation when in england to english parents who happen to have lived abroad and have spanish relatives. If she was fully spanish with a spanish accent, I suspect playground Mums would find the distinction easier as it's be more obvious, but to all intents and purposes, an english family chose a spanish name. And therein will be a problem until its explained.

My RL name is always spelt incorrectly and shortened incorrectly so I have some background in knowing that you cant expect mountains from people who naturally choose an obvious molehill. Human nature is always going to choose the easiest most obvious option.

emptyshell · 08/05/2011 16:55

You'd be being unreasonable if you expected people telepathically to know the pronounciation - as long as it's corrected nicely and without massive drama then it's just one of those things.

I've got a name that's spelt the less common of two variants - it's forever getting spelt wrong - I don't seek to make people feel shit about it, just comment if it's appropriate that "it's spelt the arkward way without the end letter".

The bane of my life teaching is Ah-ron/Air-on... whichever version I pick to ask the child if it's that or the other one... I've got 99% accuracy on going for the wrong one!

ShowMeTheMonet · 08/05/2011 17:00

arrogant was too strong a word. Unreasonable I mean :)

confuddledDOTcom · 08/05/2011 17:02

I never said you did say it was random. You did say she chose a Spanish name and lives amongst English people, that's what I was responding to. She chose a Spanish family name when she was living amongst Spanish people. Are people only allowed to use English names if they plan on living in England? Or only if they weren't born here, their children need to revert to English names? Or is it OK if you're obviously foreign? My partner is part Russian and if we'd had a boy we were going to go for a Russian name we found on the family tree, good job it's a girl although we're looking at a Welsh name (the second Welsh name for us as my family and the rest of his is Welsh) so is that acceptable?

The only thing she asked if it was unreasonable was being told she mispronounced her own child's name - you know, a name from the country her child was born in and is a family name from the country it comes from - not whether it's wrong for it to be spelt/ said wrong.

MintyMoo · 08/05/2011 17:21

I find it extremely rude when people tell me I'm pronouncing my name wrong, or worse that they think my Mum should have called me the English version. The English version happens to be a lovely name, but it is not my name. I'm an 80s baby and the English version of my name was very popular that decade, I went to Uni and school with loads of girls who had the English version.

I think the worst I've had include;

'your Mum called you that because she didn't love you enough to call you the English version'

'I prefer to pronounce it this way (note this way is the wrong way), I'm going to call you this instead of that' (that being the correct way I have told them)

'that's a stupid name, why don't you change it?'

People honestly can't understand it, even when I explain 'would you call an Ivan John? Or a Pierre Peter? Or a Seamus James? - No?? Then fecking call me by my name!'

I'll grant you - my name sounds slightly different when pronounced by my Mum's family who live in the country of my name's origin but my friends pronounce the syllables the same, the only differences are subtle and caused by dialect - so Mum says it slightly different to me as she can roll the R in my name without it sounding obviously rolled (when I try and copy it sounds ridiculous) and I have an English accent, she doesn't.

As long as people attempt to get it right it's ok IMO, when people are rude, or refuse to try when they've been politely told is a different matter.

complexnumber · 08/05/2011 17:27

We called DD2 a fairly usual British name and then, when she was three months old, moved to Turkey. Her name has a "th" sound in it which lots of people struggled with and would either replace the "th" with a t or an f, so she had three different pronunciations. I wouldn't even bother to roll my eyes, people were doing their best, just as I was, with all the things I pronounced wrongly.

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