Stop Saying Those Things When You Can’t Pronounce Someone’s Name

Stop Saying Those Things When You Can't Pronounce Someone's Name
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There is a lot in a name. We have already discussed the the easiest way to deal with forgetting someone’s name-but what if you don’t know how to pronounce their name in the first place?

Getting someone’s good name is more than just a matter of politeness, it’s about inclusion and respect. In an article for harvard business reviewRuchika Tulshyan, author of The Diversity Advantage: Correcting Gender Inequality in the Workplace, shares the tangible connection that someone’s name has to how they are valued at work. Likewise, a viral post on LinkedIn by Damneet Kaur explains that mispronouncing someone’s name can make them feel left out and rejected. And these effects begin long before the workplace: Studies to have found students say they are ashamed when their teachers don’t learn to pronounce their name.

With all the different names in the world, we are bound to rush a pronunciation here and there. This experience is all too familiar to immigrants and people with non-white or non-Western names in particular. However, there is a way to approach a new name tactfully, rather than making people feel inferior or otherwise. Next time you come across a name you don’t know how to pronounce correctly, here are some examples of what you shouldn’t say (and what to do instead).

Things to avoid saying when you can’t pronounce a name

I will slaughter this.

We all confuse the names, but people use this expression as a way to free themselves from expectations.

As someone who has sadly said this in the past, I understand the instinct to let someone know you’re sorry to get into the pronunciation. However, your attempt to be “shy” or self-deprecating should not come at another person’s expense. If you announce you’re going to butcher someone’s name before you even try to say it, you seem to have already given up. Once you recognize the feeling that you are going to butcher someone’s name, you can channel that self-awareness into actually asking for the correct pronunciation.

“I’ll never make it, can I call you another name?”

If someone has a nickname they like to be called, they’ll tell you. Otherwise, it’s extremely disrespectful to ask someone to change their name for your convenience.

“I’m so sorry, I’m the worst. i’m so stupid!”

There is no way to know how to pronounce all the names in the world. Don’t make a big deal out of it. There is no need for indulgent and endless excuses. These displays are more for you than for the person whose name is mispronounced. Moreover, it usually ends up putting that person in the strange position of comforting you.

Your instinct to apologize is good, but as a general rule think about prioritizing the other person’s dignity over your pride. Just ask for clarification and move on.

“Wow, that’s so unique. What does it mean?”

Even if your intentions are good, you still shouldn’t shine too much light on a “unique” name. It could come across as non-Western name fetishism, which embarrasses people and refers to them as “other”.

Think about it: do you know what your name means, Jeff?

“[weird garbled mumbling]”

If you’re going to try to say someone’s name, at least commit to that attempt.


Don’t skip a name you can’t pronounce.

Jor learn to say someone’s name, just ask

“Act with humility” Tulshian writing. If you get the name wrong, which is bound to happen– just apologize and ask for the correct pronunciation. Tulshyan says a good rule of thumb is to say, “I’m sorry I mispronounced that. Could you please repeat your name to me? » Next, listen carefully to where the person is emphasizing and where the inflections are. Repeat after them once or twice, no more. Thank them and move on.

If you have the opportunity to ask someone’s name before a meeting or announcement, take them aside and say something simple like: “Hey! I don’t want to get your name wrong, how do you pronounce it? Try to be proactive and double-check people’s names before you meet, whether or not you’re worried about a particular pronunciation – it’s a solid habit to form.

Taking the time to say someone’s name correctly is one way to convey respect and courtesy, even if it takes a bit more effort on your part. We’re yawning all the names, and we can all do better.

#Stop #Pronounce #Someones

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