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Can you pronounce my name?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by 2WayParadox, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    My full name is Kevin Van Lancker, I'm Belgian so it's a Dutch name. And I personally don't think it flows nicely in English. So I was thinking of using Kevin Lanck as a pseudonym.

    Do any of you have names that don't really do all that well when spoken by English speakers?
     
  2. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    You don't need a pseudonym. Your name is easy. Buffalo is full of Polish and German names that are so convoluted you wish their owners would hand you a pronunciation guide while you're trying to say/spell it.

    Kevin Van Lancker is actually a very easily pronounced and nice-sounding name to my German-American ears, and sounds like many of the Anglicized German-type names you encounter in America.

    My last name is Schiller, and it's often mangled. People have pronounced it "Skiller", "Sheeler", and "Suh-chiller" (apparently that person didn't know the German "sch" blends into one sound). One person even dropped the R on the end like it was French, making it "Shillé".
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  3. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    Yeah, but it's my name. I'd like to avoid it being mangled.
     
  4. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    Question: does it rhyme with plonker, or with wanker?
     
  5. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    Neither, the sound of the letter a is different in English and in Dutch. In Dutch you have either a short a or a double a, each have one pronounciation. In English, depending on the word, it will sound different.
     
  6. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    Seems fine to me, or did til you said it doesn't rhyme with plonker or wanker. I think I might have to hear it to see for sure. If you're precious about your name not being mangled, go ahead and use a pen name. Personally, I'm used to numerous pronounciations and spellings of my surname, Leiper, which sounds like "leap-er" (I've had Leper, Leeper, Leaper, Leiber, Lieper Leiter, and all of the above with -ur and -or endings, and I've also have people calling me "Ally Sleeper"; meanwhile, it's been pronounced "lye-per", "lepper" and "lay-per". I've spelled it over the phone to people using the phonetic alphabet and had them repeat it back wrong. Hell, BBC Radio Shropshire has spelled it at least 4 different ways, after interviewing both my Dad and my brother on several occasions over two years.)

    I am used to it. So if people get it wrong when it's on the front cover of a book, so be it. It's my name, I'm not dropping or changing it to make it easier for other people.
     
  7. advait98

    advait98 Sage

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    My name has been mangled from all sorts of angles. Advait has turned into (phonetically speaking) "Ahd-wait", "Uhd-wait", and " Add weight" (one person even took this literally, great sense of humour) by native English speakers. I've even been called Adverb on occasion.

    It doesn't really bother me, because I know, with their accents, pronouncing my name is pretty difficult. And I'd want people to know my book by my real name, even if they end up distorting it, but that's just me.

    Kevin van Lancker actually sounds better to me than Lanck, but if listening to your name get deformed pricks at you, then you should go ahead with Lanck.
     
  8. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    Hmm, I guess I'd like one of those easy, writerly names. Like Terry Brooks for example. Easy to say, easy to remember, easy to pass on.
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    A lot of famous authors have unusual names. Take Ursula k Le Guin, for example. I think having a unique name can be both a blessing and a curse; it all depends on which side of the coin you look at.

    I don't mind my name being mangled or forgotten anymore, but I can understand where you're coming from. I think that once your writing is out there and people start paying attention, they'll remember your name regardless of its pronunciation difficulties.
     
  10. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    You've got a point there
     
  11. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    The same problem exists with character names. I like Japanese names, they sound good.

    Akane, Chizuru, etc.

    They're full of vowels and it's so easy to have a good sounding name that has the meaning you're after. But using a Japanese or even an Asian name creates expectations (and is going to be pronounced badly). I'm particular about names, they're like an anchorpoint to build your character around.

    I've read a blog about an author who names his characters after he's written the story, he places a random word wherever the name should come and then replaces them at the end. I couldn't do that.
     
  12. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    I hate it when character names don't work. I have one name that I like a lot, Adené, and I thought it was pronounced Add-DEE-nay with a slightly tapped D. Apparently, however, it's pronounced more like Ah-den-AY. I like my pronunciation much better.

    About the blog author--I sometimes do that, too. I use a placeholder name until I hit upon just the right name. It's kind of hard, knowing that until you find that perfect name you're stuck with one that doesn't fit, but it's harder to write a character without a name at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  13. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    i'd take the time to find one i like, even if it is temporary. name gens are great for that
     
  14. Lunaairis

    Lunaairis Sage

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    I've had issues with people pronouncing my last name wrong all the time. It's spelt, fryzek. But people have said it as friz-ehk. Fry-zehk, but it is pronounced free-zek.
     
  15. 2WayParadox

    2WayParadox Sage

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    This kind of thing is why I like Japanese (and prob Chinese) names:

    Background: Enma Ai is a supernatural girl that kills people that other people hate, at the cost of both the parties' lives.

    It is ironic that Ai's name actually translates as: Ai (love) and Enma (the Judge of the Underworld). A second translation of Ai, however, is accomplice, denoting Ai's role as Enma's assistant. Because her first name is never written in kanji, the actual meaning remains ambiguous.

    I mean, if you can give your character a name like this then it gets the story flowing at once.
     
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