Monday, October 19, 2009


My heroine Lucky Boyce is fortunate to have a name that can be pronounced easily in America. Many Americans have a problem with Indian names that are not only unfamiliar but difficult to pronounce. It is no wonder then that Harinder becomes Harry, or Vikram becomes Vik.

But sometimes our names can present a problem.

I remember the time I was sitting out in the garden of my cousin's house when the neighbour came by the fence. In a typically friendly American way, she called out to my cousin and they began exchanging pleasantries across the fence.

Suddenly she tells my friend :

"You know I'm having problems addressing the guy next door. He's the new Indian who moved in last week. I don't know how you say his name"

"Why," said my cousin," its simple enough! Mr. Dixit ( dick - shit)."

"That's just it!" she commented. " I can't bring my self to say it."

"Then call him by his first name."

"That's worse," she replied, " Can I go say Hi Gopi ( go- pee) ?"

"Well, he can't help it can he?" asked my cousin and we wondered whether he was going to change it to something that would be more American.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, how true! The opposite also holds true. About the way Americans mangle Indian names and the resultant anglicized pronounciation actually butchers what is a beautiful name in the original form. And here I speak from personal experience!


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