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英文人名拼法千千万,那些外国人到底是如何念对的?

China Daily 2019-11-30 09:00

你有没有想过,没有哪本英语单词书是要你记人名的。

但这和现实很矛盾。哪怕范围只是局限在英文世界中,千奇百怪的名字也总能让你怀疑自己学了这么多年英文,为啥连个人名都说不对。

这就像外国人学汉语,教材中总共就那么几个“小明、小红、小黄”,一旦遇见“刘琛、王燊、吴犇”就傻了眼。

说回英语,现实中遇到Nicki Minaj或者Leila又或是Jake Gyllenhaal这样的名字,怎么发都不确定是不是对的。

正因为此,外国人也闹过不少笑话。

来自布丁网的研究者Matt Daniels等人挑选了几位名人的名字,做成填空题,收集了总共34万份网友提交的拼写答案,结果显示,网友们的拼写也是奇形怪状。

好莱坞演员斯嘉丽·约翰逊的姓Johansson在将近2万7千个答案中,只有8600人拼对了,大部分人是错在最后一个音节sson.

奥斯卡最佳男演员得主Mathew McConaughey的姓也是格外难拼,1万1千份答案中,只有6500人拼对了。

说唱歌手Nicki Minaj的名字可能是因为比较短的原因,2万7千人中有2万5千人都答对了。

拼错和读错常常是相伴相生,比方说英国王妃的名字Meghan Markle,到底应该是Mee-gan, May-gan还是Meg-n?

哪怕有人告诉你澳洲人看见这个名字会读Mee-gan,美国人会读May-gan,但是英国人又会读成Meg-n,你只会更搞不清楚这个名字该怎么拼。

英语的音形对应系统应该是世界上最烧脑细胞的系统之一了。

类似的名字还有很多,比方说下面这些:

 

有相同遭遇的名字还有:Anthony, Geoffrey, Hermione, Isaac, Penelope, Stephen, Theresa等等。

这些名词在不同国家,或者不同文化背景中,都会有发音或者拼写上的差别。

一个普遍的问题就是——别人没法读(拼)对你的名字。

在外留学的同学感同身受的一件事就是,要么得给自己取个英文名,要么就得忍受老师同学时不时读错你的中文名拼音。

哪怕在国内,如果你的名字当中包含生僻字,除非是语文老师,否则你被取外号或者用相近字代替其正确发音的可能性相当大。

但是纠正别人的发音或拼写好像不是一件容易的事。不过,有经验的人为此撰文提供了三个可行的办法。


NO 1 The Straightforward
直白型

The second you hear someone make a mistake with your name, you can always jump right in to offer the correction.
听到别人念错你名字的那一刻,你可以立马纠正Ta.

Yes, this will mean interrupting (which I normally don't advise). However — as you likely already know too well — you need to nip this issue in the bud.
没错,你得打断对方(我一般不建议这么做)。但是,你或许心里很清楚——要把这个错误扼杀在萌芽状态。

Cutting someone off mid-sentence can be a little uncomfortable. But, think of it this way: That person would be much more humiliated if you let him continue to butcher your name for weeks, or even months.
在别人说话时打断对方可能会让对方有点不舒服。但是,你得这么想:要是你任由对方念错你的名字,几周甚至几个月都念错,Ta会更加没面子。

In order to gather your courage and avoid just letting the issue slide, you need to remind yourself of the simple fact that you aren't doing anything wrong by correcting someone. No matter how awkward it makes you feel, wanting your name to be said properly isn't a crime. So, stop feeling so guilty about it.
要想鼓足勇气,不让错误继续发生,你得知道一点:纠正对方根本不是错。不管有多么尴尬,要求对方把你的名字念对又不是犯法。所以呢,快别内疚了。

What it Looks Like

Person One: "Well, it's really great to meet you, Kate. Have you—"
对方:“很高兴见到你,Kate,你——”

Person Two: "That's Kat. Sorry to interrupt, Joe! Please, continue."
你:“是Kat啦。抱歉打断你,Joe。 请继续。”


NO 2 The Sympathetic
共情型

Messing up someone's name can be pretty embarrassing for the person who does it — particularly when he or she is called out. This is why it can be helpful to offer that person an excuse for the error.
把别人名字念错其实还挺尴尬的——尤其是念错的人被挑出错的时候。这也就是为什么你得给对方一个台阶下。

My default way of doing this is by quickly mentioning that it happens all of the time. Just that simple comment makes that person feel like less of a schmuck for butchering your name, and also makes your correction a little more lighthearted.
我一般都会在纠错之后迅速跟对方说我的名字经常被念错。就这么简单一句话会让对方觉得自己没那么蠢蛋,也会让你的纠错行为听起来轻松许多。

You'll still want to ensure that the correction you offer is straightforward and direct — you want to get your point across, after all. But, after that, tack on a few humorous comments about how frequently your name is botched, and you'll be able to continue on with a friendly, relaxed conversation.
不过你还是得清楚地把错误纠正过来——毕竟你不想让对方继续念错。但是在那之后呢,加几句幽默的话,说你的名字老是被念错,这样就可以让对话继续友好轻松地进行下去。

What it Looks Like

Person One: "Your work on this project is impressive, Katrina."
对方:“你在这个项目里的贡献非常大,Katrina.”

Person Two: "Thank you so much! My name is actually pronounced Katarina."
你:“谢谢你!我的名字其实是Katarina.”

Person One: "Oh, I'm so sorry about that."
对方:“啊,不好意思。”

Person Two: "No worries! It happens all of the time. I blame my parents."
你:“没事啦!我名字老是被念错,我爸妈负有重大责任哈哈哈”


NO 3 The Subtle
含蓄型

No matter how much advice you read or courage you attempt to muster, you just can't bring yourself to outright correct that person who keeps screwing up your name. Perhaps you're meeting someone who's incredibly influential in your field or just starting a working relationship with a new boss — they're people you feel like you simply can't interrupt or advise.
不管你看过多少建议或者鼓足多大勇气,你可能还是没法直接纠正对方。有可能对方是你专业领域内的大牛亦或是你新工作中的老板——这些人讲话你可能不敢打断。

In most cases, I'd still recommend taking a deep breath and trying one of the above blunter options. But, if you simply can't jump in and do it, it's time to get a little sneakier. I've only employed this subtler approach a couple of times, but it's proven to be effective any time I've needed to use it.
大多数情况下我都还是会建议你深吸一口气,直言不讳纠正对方。但是假若你做不到,那就得含蓄一点了。我只这么做过少数几次,但是这个方法还是挺有效的。

When someone manages to get your name wrong, you attempt to use your own name in a sentence back to him or her. It's not always the most natural thing to weave in. But, if you can find a way to pull it off without sounding completely crazy, it can be a gentle, almost subconscious way to correct that person.
当对方说错你名字之后,你得在下一句回复Ta的话中用上自己的名字。可能听起来不太好自然插入自己的名字,但是假如你顺利且自然地说出了自己的名字,那这种纠错方法就很委婉了,几乎是下意识地纠正了对方。

What it Looks Like

Person One: "So, how did you find yourself on this career path, Kate?"
对方:“所以,Kate,你对自己的职业是怎样规划的?”

Person Two: "After getting my degree, I took some time to think to myself, 'Kat, what can you truly see yourself doing for the next 10 years?'"
你:“拿到学位之后,我就跟自己说‘Kat, 放眼未来十年,你觉得自己会在干什么?’”

怎么样,学到了吗?

你都有过哪些被叫错名字的经历呢?留言告诉我们吧。


Notes

nip /nɪp/v 掐;夹住
botch /bɒtʃ/ v 笨拙地弄糟(某事物)
sneaky /ˈsniːki/ adj 悄悄的;偷偷摸摸的;鬼鬼祟祟的


编辑:陈月华
实习生:王丽
来源:The Pudding; Stuff.co.nz; Wikipedia; PBS; 独立报; themuse.com
Cover image: Photo by Jessicah Hast on Unsplash

 

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