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At the Job-How I say my name?

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  • At the Job-How I say my name?

    Not too long ago someone I work with left me a message on my voicemail asking me why I pronounced my name "he says it in English and not "then says it in his best attempt to sound Spanish" and adds "you shouldn't be embarrassed".
    Now,...I have never been so angry at a comment at work in my life. I was born and raised in Brooklyn and have always been very proud of my Puerto Rican heritage. Embarrassment has never been an issue with me. My response to him was that I could say my name however I want and that he should first say his own name in Italian. I mentioned this incident at work to my friends whose last names are Rodriguez, Ramirez, Paz, Torres etc and some told me to ignore it, others brushed it off by saying that's corporate america for you. My name has a double L so maybe it gets targeted more, a few days ago my manager who's Irish said to me your name is not pronounced like that...Then he tries to say it in Spanish, Instead he butchers it by saying it in English and pronouncing the two L's like a Y sound. This is the second comment I've needed to address about my name not to mention the other obvious discriminating remarks about Puerto Ricans. I want to remain professional at work, so help me out..Your feedback is appreciated
    I feel better already, now that I've written about it.

    PS I hope you could follow this post, If it's too confusing I'll clarify

    Thanks,

  • #2
    Nuyorican-Brooklyn

    First let me extend a warm puerto Rican welcome to you and even more so as a fellow Nuyorican!

    I have encountered your problem many times being raised in the city and being in corporate America. It is strange how many people think they know better than we do when it comes to pronouncing our names. I remember as a child in New York, my last name was butchered by the teachers constantly, I at first would just accept any way they pronounce my name and was content with the fact that at least I understood them, as I matured, I began to resent the fact that people butchered my name. At first, I would politely let them know the correct way of promouncing it. If they butchered it again, I would correct them again and hope that eventually they would learn the correct way. I know that at times we learn to accept the "English" or "anglo" way of pronouncing our names and not really think anything of it. Believe me in New York I was drilled enough by the nuns on the proper way of saying my name in which of course was the wrong way, however I learn to accept it only because I was not allowed to argue with the nuns. I just learn to assume that it was the way to do it in the US. Thank God, my dad told me not to challenge authority unless I felt I was right.

    If you really don't mind your name being pronounce in English then don't worry about it, tell them politely that you have been accustom to pronouncing it in that manner. If they insist, then politely insist also, this is the way I prefer and it has no bearing on my ethnicity and my love for it. I think that if you tell them exactly how you feel, firmly but politely they will get the point. I do the same when someone pronounces my name in English since i prefer it pronounce in Spanish. You will see that if you are firm and polite, people will respect your views no matter if they agree with them. It is my opinion that only uncultured individuals would put you on the spot and challenge you and if they do, then you don't have to be polite any longer.

    Sincerely,

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    • #3

      It is funny how some ppl really get names pronounced wrong and insist that they are saying it correctly.

      I have one of the easiest name to say and still was difficult for some to get it right, even how to spell it they would mess up....lol.

      I would pronounce my name my way and I felt that if they didn't get it then they never will.....I will only smile and say, ok If I don't respond to you it is because that isn't my name. Don't get upset, or let them know that it bothers you, sometimes they just want to see how you will react...so give them a big smile and watch, before you know it they will say it correctly, unless they have an accent that kills just about any name or word that comes their way....lol.

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