Random Poll: Do you pronounce your last name the way it’s spelled or the way it’s supposed to sound?

I started writing this post last October but never finished it. I’m finally digging it out of drafts…

After my Random Rant regarding the mispronunciation of the word “karaoke,” a couple of commenters brought up the topic of people “mispronouncing” their own last names.

I admit that I am one of those people who goes around and “bastardizes” my own last name by pronouncing it the way it’s spelled, instead of the way it is supposed sound (in Chinese). I know how it’s really pronounced, but I really hate having it misspelled more than I hate having it mispronounced. Is that silly or what?

Assuming your last name is of Asian origin, do you pronounce it as it’s spelled or as it’s supposed to sound?

RamenGrrl tipped me off to a website that CalPoly Pomona developed to help the campus community more accurately pronounce some common Asian first and last names. In some cases, they provide helpful hints, phonetic pronunciations, and/or sound samples spoken by native speakers. Native speakers who were/are Cal Poly Pomona students provided all sound samples (in .wav format) for Cambodian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese names.

I listened to a lot of the Mandarin pronunciations… accurate and pretty cool. What do you think?

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Author: jozjozjoz

jozjozjoz is a taiwanese-american gal who lives and blogs underneath the hollywood sign and who doesn’t clean her fishtank unless the fish starts to do the backstroke. she is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but cannot stop from bumping into door handles, cabinet doors, and anything else that protrudes or has a sharp edge. she does not run with scissors for this same reason. she can pet the fur off a dog but don’t ask her to go anywhere near a horse. or a moth. or a roach. her dealings with L.A.’s finest (aka the parking violations department) are legend, as are her giant sneezes. Other than the two too many joz’s, jozjozjoz is a perfectly normal, relatively sane individual who defies the odds, reaches for the stars, and carries moonbeams home in a jar. She’d rather be a fish… but not in her own dirty fishtank. http://www.jozjozjoz.com