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On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On 14 July 2011 18:45, Dirk Elzinga <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> My surname is pronounced by (American) English speakers in one of two ways:
>> [ˈɛlziŋə(ɹ)] and [ɛlˈzɪŋɡə]. When I lived in Germany, it was pronounced
>> [ˈɛlt͡siŋa]. In Frisian (its language of origin) and Dutch it is pronounced
>> [ˈɛlziŋxa]. I answer to all of them (though I have yet to be addressed by a
>> Frisian :-)). I'm not particularly fussy about it; I figure people will
>> pronounce it in a way that is most comfortable for them--in a way that
>> conforms to the phonotactics of their native language, and I'm fine with
>> that. So I don't understand why people should insist that I must pronounce
>> their foreign name according to the rules of that foreign language rather
>> than letting me use my own language to guide my pronunciation *when we are
>> speaking my language*. I'm a big fan of phonological accomodation :-), and
>> I
>> certainly don't intend any disrespect by doing it to someone's name.
>>
>>
> But those different pronunciations aren't that different from the one you go
> by, are they? I don't ask people to get the [ʁ] in my name exactly right.
> Just use the rhotic or sound that comes closest in your language. But don't
> transform my name into something else. Some people have tried to call me
> "Christopher", and I don't answer to that. That's the equivalent of my name
> in English, but I was not named in English. And I will *always* correct
> people who want to pronounce my last name as [ˈɡɹɑndsajə(ɹ)] or whatever
> that English word is pronounced like. It's OK if you can't pronounce the
> rhotic or the nasal vowel, but it's not difficult to at least approximate
> the right pronunciation ([ɡʁɑ̃ˈsiʁ]). I'm already happy with [ɡɹɑnˈsiːə(ɹ)].
> It's not a matter of forcing people to pronounce one's name according to the
> rules of a foreign language (for them). It's a matter of using my name,
> rather than somebody else's.

I think part of it in your case is that your name looks like it could
be English, so English-speakers assume it is. I certainly wouldn't
have known it was French if I hadn't been told.

Turning "Christophe" into "Christopher" is just lazy though. It's kind
of like the people who refer to Margot as "Margaret"--although that
and "Margut" are a handy way of identifying telemarketer calls...