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its all in the name October 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 11:54 pm
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Don't you hate it, when you're reading a book, and the author decides to give one of the characters a ridiculous name that you can't pronounce.

So every time you come to the name, you have to either just say the first couple of letters then mumble over the rest, or you make up a name to call that character and use it instead. I find some of the Irish girls names can be tricky.

But I'm reading a book at the moment and there is a character in it called Wojciechowski. Which I think must be some kind of personal joke for the author. He even writes about how hard it is to pronounce and gives the guy a nickname, which he hasn't actually used much yet. So I'm just leaving the jcie part out. I call him Wochowski.

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41 Responses to “its all in the name”

  1. Waterbaby Says:

    If you were in Poland, you'd need to know how to pronounce it, it's the third-most common surname. And doncha hate it when you go online to see how it's pronounced and get vɔʲtɕɛxɔvski

  2. Snowy Says:

    It's be Wokka for me.

  3. cat Says:

    lucky I'm not in Poland then – I'd be on first name terms

  4. cat Says:

    ah yes, the australian version – don't tell me that, now I'll be calling him that

  5. Waterbaby Says:

    Sup'ose Mateusz and Agnieszka are easier, comparatively, yes.

  6. Caprica Says:

    I like Wokka. 😉
    And cat, I think you are not far off. Missing a syallable I think. We have many Polish here in the Chicago area–only second to Poland itself! Disclamer. Often I have no idea what I'm talking about in re: things I know little about. I'm Scotch English German extraction with a Scotish last name. I believe Aussies would call me "Macca."

  7. Emjay Says:

    LOL. Someone lent me a book recently and inside the front cover they had written out the character's names and how they related to each other! She said there were so many she got confused who people were! There were lots of Turkish and Armenian names so it was actually quite helpful – though I would never admit it!

  8. Worker Says:

    Wokka it would be for me as well !!

  9. cat Says:

    lol – well I was thinking more along the lines of George. I worked with a polish guy once and his name was George. Although of course we called him Georgie

  10. cat Says:

    I give up on the ones that have too many characters. Once I got to the last chapter and there was this big reveal as to who the murderer was and I couldn't even remember which one he was.

  11. cat Says:

    you'd definitely be macca – I find it extremely hard to read scottish books because I read with an accent and it's very tiring being scottish for too long

  12. cat Says:

    lol – its funny to think of this guy as wokka – I won't be able to take him seriously anymore.

  13. So true!
    Actually this is the reason (well one of them) I have never read Anna Karenina. the names in that were just killing me.

  14. Design Shark Says:

    Have you ever read "Battle Royale"? All their names are crazy Japanese ones, so after each name they give the kid a number. Extremely hard to keep up with, but after awhile you start to give them new names, like Yoshi. 🙂

  15. LeendaDLL Says:

    l listened to The Illiad as an audio book. I didn't even have to pronounce the names but still couldn't follow them. I finally just decided that everyone was "some person" and found it really didn't matter that I couldn't keep them differentiated in my mind.

  16. Waterbaby Says:

    Polish George is Jerzy. So possibly he had his name Westernized so as not to be confused with the animal that gives milk? Wojciechowski = Voy-cha-huv-ski. Now we can sleep at night. Or at least I can.

  17. Waterbaby Says:

    @Design Shark – Japanese names are actually very easy, some of the easiest in various world languages, once you're familiar with the pronunciation of consonant/vowel combinations (which are not complicated or difficult to learn).

  18. cat Says:

    well we probably westernized it for him – I can sleep at night now because I just finished the book

  19. cat Says:

    lolol – some person – haha, how do you know what the hells going on?

  20. cat Says:

    lol – what Yoshi, Mario, Sonic,

  21. cat Says:

    lol – I haven't read that either.You just have to give them australian names.

  22. Here is a list of the character names from Spark Notes:
    http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/anna/characters.html
    they are just so bloody long!
    Gabriel garcia Marquez is another one I have had trouble (his characters often have very similar names to one another) but in his case, I have managed to break through the name barrier. Should give AK another try one of these days.

  23. cat Says:

    oh yeah – they're tough ones

  24. snoringKatZ Says:

    "It's Wojciehowicz! Spell is just the way it sounds…"(Please tell me I'm not the only one who thought of Barney Miller just now…)

  25. cat Says:

    well you thought of it before me because I had to Wikipedia it – and there he was – Wojo
    I don't think we got that show here

  26. snoringKatZ Says:

    I don't think we got that show here I should have guessed that. You can watch episodes on IMDB, though! I still think it's one of the funniest shows I've ever seen. I actually valiantly try to pronouce all the names I find in novels. It bothers me when I hear people pronouncing them differently than I have in my head."It's pronounce NOO-kyu-ler…"

  27. An Ex-Expat Says:

    Ha! Yo are just reading them. How about trying to promouce them correctly? 😉 I've been doing volunteer work at a local campaign office and on the 1st day I was given a list of people to call with some pretty hard to pronounce names. I hoped I would get them right if they picked up so as not to cost the candidate a lost vote. Made it thorugh safely.

  28. LeendaDLL Says:

    I followed the action instead of the names. Come to think of it – that's kind of what I do in real life too.

  29. cat Says:

    oh I have no idea what peoples names are in real life – I forget as soon as I meet them

  30. cat Says:

    oh that takes too much effort!! It's always funny listening to the guys calling a football game or a horse race – they stumble over the names a fair bit

  31. cat Says:

    lol, Katz I don't even know what IMDB is
    I know – it's funny when I discuss a book with a friend and mention a character and she says – who's that? Because she's been pronouncing it as something else.

  32. LeendaDLL Says:

    Internet Movie DataBase – GREAT online tool!as for meeting people, I usually say, "I'm terrible with names. I'll forget your name in under 2 minutes. Please don't take it personally." Then, a few minutes later, I usually end up saying (honestly), "See… forgot it already!"Conversely, I couldn't care less whether or not someone remembers my name.

  33. cat Says:

    I usually can't remember their name because I'm having a minor panic attack because they're normally standing too close to me. Now that I go up the the oldies home and hang out with the girls once a week I've made it a mission to remember two more names each time I go. Rose and Ruby last week.

  34. undereden Says:

    I think they should put a glossary of all the names in the back of the book. Complete with pronunciations. That way there will never be any doubt. But no. They dont do that. Nobody listens to me. 😉

  35. cat Says:

    lol – I'd probably never look at it anyway. It's like those books that come with maps in them, with arrows and tracks all over them, that I guess are relevant in some way – I never look at them.

  36. undereden Says:

    Haha, yeah I never look at the maps either, but I think its hilarious that theyre there. I would look at the names though, because it drives me insane not to know how to pronounce it. Then I always feel stupid talking to someone about the book because I never had the names right, lol.

  37. cat Says:

    like the poor girl in Harry Potter – Hermione – I heard people call her some strange things.

  38. undereden Says:

    Yes, that is a truly awful name. If it wasnt for the movie, I'd have had no clue how to say it either! 🙂

  39. Christine Says:

    LOL! Yes… I couldn't agree more! I've actually read a few books, and then listened to audio versions of them later. I always butcher the names terribly. They never sound anywhere close to what the narrator says.

  40. cat Says:

    now thats an idea – books could come with a little audio tape pronouncing the names


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