Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Your name is not about YOU

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hey what's up Stefanie the English coach here from EnglishFullTime.com

in this video we're gonna talk about something that is pretty controversial

I'm gonna go ahead and give my opinion and my take my view on this whole

subject and you can do whatever you want whatever works for you but it's

important so let's get into it okay so here's the deal when you meet

someone and you introduce yourself how do you say your name because a lot of

people say their name in their native language and this unfortunately is very

confusing for your listener if you are speaking to somebody who speaks a

different language than you do so first of all if you are a non-native English

speaker and you are introducing yourself to an English speaker and you're

introducing yourself in English the expectation would be that you introduce

yourself and your name in an English speaking type of way a way that native

English speakers will understand and what a lot of English language learners

do is they don't do this what they do is they say hi my name is and then they say

their name in their native tongue right and what that does is it makes the

native English speaker go I'm sorry what was that

or can you repeat that please or I'm sorry how do you say that it creates a

rather awkward situation and then rather than continuing the conversation and

talking about whatever you were going to talk about you end up explaining your

name for the next five minutes and where you're from and your family history and

all of that stuff okay so if you ever get tired of those conversations chances

are part of it happens because you're introducing yourself in a way that is

screaming hi I'm a foreigner I'm not from here and it makes people kind of

curious as to what your background is okay so there's some other problems

associated with this and we'll get into that but that that's I guess that's my

intro okay so the main idea that I want to share here is that when people ask

you what's your name they're not actually asking you what is the name

that your parents called you when were born that's not what the question

is the question is actually what should I call you okay and that's actually

really really important because if somebody is saying hey what's your name

but really they're saying what should I call you if you answer in your native

tongue okay that's actually an unfair expectation you can't expect them to

pronounce your name in your native tongue because they don't speak your

native tongue and you are the ones speaking their native tongue right so my

rule of thumb is this when you speak a language say your name in that language

so either say your name in the accent of that language or change your name

completely so that people of that language can know what they should call

you now a lot of people have huge problems with this and they actually get

really offended maybe I offended some people just now but they say oh my gosh

what no my name is my identity this is the name that my parents gave me this is

who I am and I honestly just kind of feel like

when people say stuff like that maybe you haven't traveled enough or at all

and I know that sounds harsh but it's true because or maybe you haven't

interacted with enough people from different cultures because once you

encounter this problem again and again and again and again and again and people

cannot say your name that's when you realize hmm maybe it's not about me and

my name maybe it's about making the other person feel comfortable and

helping them know what they should call me plus it's kind of cool to take on

multiple identities if you will and have you know different names for different

groups of people and we have this actually in real life already it's like

your family has nicknames for you but at work they call you something else and

maybe at school something else I don't know and growing up the same thing

happened to me at school I had my regular name Stefanie my family called

me Stef or Stefie sometimes my mom called me Stefie J which was a

combination of my first name and my middle name

name is Janelle so the J from Janelle she would call me Stefie J and then on

my water polo teams my my teammates would call me by my last name okay so we

have we actually in real life we have multiple names that we use and they

serve different purposes and different functions right depending on the group

of people that were with the environment that we're with the expectations that we

have okay so now let me tell you what my experience was like when I went to

Argentina in Argentina they speak Spanish right and I can't introduce

myself like hola me llamo Stefanie right I can't go from Spanish to English

because people would be like if he if they honey okay right they don't say

Stefanie in Spanish that's not how they say it in Spanish they say Estefania

okay or Estef actually they don't really call me Estef okay they would say

Estefi right okay now if I think about that in English Estefi I'm like oh my

gosh that is not who I am I am NOT Estefi like that sounds weird but I am

Estefi in Spanish that's who I am and that's what my name is because that's

how it translates and that's how it's easy for everybody to say my name if I

required everybody to say my name with my native accent that would be confusing

and if I introduced myself all the time with my native English accent that would

be confusing as well and that would make other people feel uncomfortable so what

I have found works for me and what I encourage my students to do is learn how

to say your name in English learn how to say it with an English accent so when

people go hey what's your name you can just tell them your name and move on to

whatever it is that you're going to talk about because I'm sure your name is not

the most important thing that they're there to discuss right now I say this is

controversial because not everybody agrees with this point of view and my

husband does not agree with this point of view one day you guys are gonna meet

Renzo on this channel he's awesome but this is I think this is hilarious

because I stand by this opinion so strongly and my own husband doesn't

agree with me my husband's like no this is my name and this is how I want to

introduce myself and that's fine if he likes introducing himself his name with

a Spanish accent to English speakers then he can do that but what I've

observed because I've seen this happen so many times and I'm just like babe why

do you keep doing this like don't you get tired of it basically people say hey

what's your name and he goes Renzo and they're like what Renzo and then

he eventually after saying his name a couple times he goes but you can call me

Renzo or Ren and they go oh okay okay okay Ren that's great

because that's what people are truly asking they're not really asking what

your name is they're saying what can I call you because we we've been given

names so that we can know what to call people around us right for what other

people can call us so anyhow I have had this conversation with Ren so many

times I'm just like babe when you're with English speakers and they ask what

your name is just say your name is Ren you know how to say Ren and native

English speakers do not use the "R" sound okay they can't roll their tongue very

well or at least a lot of them and it's just awkward and and not only that but

they don't know how to perceive the sound because they're not used to

hearing it so when they hear what I saw they're not sure what they're hearing

and automatically their brain is going like oh my gosh I don't understand this

I need to make sense of this what did he just say okay and people freak out and

it's uncomfortable so back when I used to do private English classes I don't do

private classes anymore one of the first things that I would ask

the students is what's your name so we can get to know each other and they

would almost always tell me their name in their native language and every

single time I would have to have this conversation with them where it's like

okay what should I call you because I don't want to understand your name I

don't know how to say it I don't feel comfortable making those sounds in

English this is an English class you're speaking with an English speaker this is

not your native tongue so what should I call you and then we'd have to have this

whole conversation I would have to let them know look

basically this entire YouTube video that's why I'm making this YouTube video

because I've told this to so many people already that I'm like I'll just make a

video about it but basically if you want to have that conversation about where

you're from and your name and blah blah blah and talk about that for five

minutes then go ahead and say your name in your native language but if you want

to just say your name and quickly move on with the conversation then learn how

to say your name in an English way okay using English sounds so I will give you

a quick example of this in Spanish if someone's name is Andrea okay and that I

add that's hard for an English speaker to say I speak Spanish so I can say it

but instead of saying hi my name is Andrea okay which is difficult for an

English speaker you could say hi my name is Andrea Andrea instead of forcing all

of the people around you to learn how to say Andrea you can learn to say Andrea

Andrea you can say Andrea or Andrea or Andrea or Andrea whatever you like like

that's the cool part about it you can kind of say it the way you want to say

it but you're making it easier for people around you now I've rambled on

and on and on about this for several minutes as if this is a new thing but

this is actually not new and I discovered this when I had lots of

students from Asia because as you guys know students in China Japan etc the

languages they speak and the sounds that they make if you want a native English

speaker to say those sounds it's like forget it there's no way

okay we can't read the language we can't understand the sounds so a lot of native

speakers from these countries especially professionals they have two names they

have their English name and they have their name that they were given at birth

okay and so when I do classes with these students and I say what's your name they

say oh you can call me Jennifer or you can call me Emily or my English name is

Jennifer my English name is Emily okay whatever it is that's very common and I

love that because it's like okay boom I can call you Emily great let's move on

let's talk about what we're here to talk about now this

is especially important in professional environments and a lot of professionals

take on an English name if they are working with English speakers okay

because again it just eliminates a barrier right if your name is so

different and so strange in the English language that people don't know how to

say it at all that creates a barrier and I actually have a friend who started a

resume writing company he's the CEO of the company and I was talking to him

about this one day and he said yeah sometimes people in HR they get so just

nervous about you know calling people that have weird names that they might

just look at your resume and move it to the back of the list and save you for

last they might contact you last or not at

all just because they're like I don't even know what this person's name is or

how to say it and it makes them uncomfortable and people are gonna do

what's easiest first right so is that fair no but it's the way that it is so

we have to observe these things realize that they exist and then just decide

accordingly if you want to be like Renzo and make everybody try to pronounce your

name the way it is in your native language you can do that just like he

does that and if you want to take my advice and just learn how to say your

name in English the way an English speaker would say it or create a new

name for yourself entirely you can do that too at the end of the day all

behavior creates reactions right and more behavior and it's just gonna be

you're doing something and people are gonna figure out how to handle it so as

long as you're aware of what's going on in other people's minds etc then you can

decide what is the best way for you to handle this but again my advice is learn

how to say your name in English and/or adopt an English name for yourself just

because it makes things a lot easier right it's like hey what's your name

boom you tell me your name great let's move on with the conversation and

there's no weirdness or awkwardness or anything like that

okay so like said kind of controversial hopefully

nobody got offended because we looked at this from all different angles and like

I said you can do whatever you want okay and with that said I just want to let

you guys know that we are working on a complete pronunciation course and if

you're interested in that just go to the description there's a sign-up link for

anybody who's interested in joining me on the beta version of this course the

beta version is going to be the first round of the course where I test

everything with the students I can only accept a small number of students in the

beta version but like I said if you're interested go ahead and sign up on the

pre-registration list just so you know when it's ready I'm really excited about

it and it's gonna solve problems like this like you know knowing how to say

your name and an english-speaking way and stuff like that alright so that's it

you guys and I hope you learned something in this video let me know what

you think what your opinion is down in the comments and if you want tell us

your name right so we can see is this a strange name would we have problems

pronouncing this in English or not there was one time you guys I kid you not I

got an email from somebody named HarS#!t may even have to beep out that name on

the audio because sometimes YouTube doesn't like when we cuss and there is a

cuss word in that name it's Har$#!t okay now for an English speaker that is

strange right I wouldn't want to go around introducing myself as hi my name

is Har$#!t right and I mean no offense absolutely no offense to anybody with

that name or anything like that it's just that a word in one language might

mean something completely different in another language and we need to be aware

of that and sensitive to it because it can create a lot of embarrassment for

people a lot of issues and see now I'm I need to stop this video because I'm

going on and on and on there's so much I could say about this anyways I hope you

guys get my point let me know what you think in the comments and yeah I hope

this helps take care bye

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