what do you have against my name?


When i was in Grade 3, 4 and 5 we had a student-teacher named Luc (yes, he kept failing and that’s why he kept coming back. at least the guy had persistence) who would “francize our names.” Of course, my name doesn’t translate and isn’t even really pronounceable for many francophones who lack the “th” sound. I do remember his insistence though that “Veronica” would be “Veronique.” Not only was this a hurtful practice for us, but it was insulting to our families who took great pains to choose names for us that would reflect who they hoped we would become or honour an individual in their past.

Last night, i entered my first Italian 202 class to meet Luc’s long-lost soulmate. My Italian professor proceeded to give us all Italian names. Lovely. Of course, again, my name doesn’t translate…I am Helena for the course. Fuck the horse he rode in on. Poor Tzingia (Croatian) was turned into Sandra. I am 100% for his non-usage of any language other than Italian in the class, but i am also 100% against translating people and places’ names into another language – and yes i know i shouldn’t pronounce the “s” in Paris, but if i drop it i get labelled a pretentious know-it-all rather than a respectful anglophone, so i don’t practice what i preach…that doesn’t mean it isn’t right.

I am pretty sure his name is Luigi. Oh, outside of the classroom it ain’t. I hereby dub you Logan. Take that name-translator man.


2 thoughts on “what do you have against my name?

  1. Joy. He could at least just “italianize” the names instead of translating them. I remember in my Japanese class we kept our names but they were written using the Japanese syllables – my name, Anabelle, became Anaberu (mostly because there are no l’s in Japanese) – which is still acceptable.

    PS: when will you put my blog on your blogroll ? “puppy eyes”

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