One thing that surprised me about living here is that we had to change our names. Some of us more than others. The French don't pronounce the letter H. So any name that has an H, changes, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. For instance, we have a friend here named Hope.
The French teachers said, "First of all, it would be pronounced 'Ope' and secondly no one names their children the French word for Hope here. It's just not a name."
Ruth becomes 'Root'. (don't forget to roll the 'R')
Keith becomes 'Keit'.
Michael becomes 'Michelle'. (can you imagine what that does for a teenage boy's ego?)
I can understand having difficulty pronouncing a name because you're not used to saying 'h' or 'th' but at least trying to say someone's name seems more appropriate than giving them a French name.
After about a week at school, Mr. French heard from S's teacher that he didn't respond to his name in class. "Oh, really." I said sarcastically to Mr. French. "Wonder why? Maybe because she's not using his real name!"
But you know what surprised me even more? My kids don't mind being called a new name. Now they call themselves by both their "french" names and their given "American" names. We call them whatever rolls off the tongue first.
The other day in church S heard the preacher say his name. His eyes got big and excited as he loudly whispered,
"He said SET! Not C('s name), not J('s name). Set!" He sat back proudly.
Who was I to tell him that the preacher had actually said 'sept' as in the number seven?