Sunday, August 18, 2013
What is in a Name ... Continued
A while ago I commented about how my name was confusing to people who speak languages other than English. “Glen” is particularly troublesome as many languages do not have “Gl” as a syllable, nor is “Mc” used outside of Gaelic areas like Scotland or Ireland. This is led to all sorts of interesting combinations: “Gu-ren” in Japan, “Gren” in at least two Chinese languages, and “Say what?” in Bermudian. (I’m kidding about the last one :) ).
Arabic can really struggle as they do not have a “g” nor an “e”. Egyptians handle it better than others because in their dialect they pronounce “j” more like a “g” but for other Arabic speakers it's a bit of a struggle. I have had “Qlin”, “Klin” and “Grrrlin” though I prefer “Jlin”, and it is written that way on Arabic business cards. It has its downside though, I once received mail naming me as “Jaline”.
Turkish also struggles with my name, like many languages it does not have a “gl” sound. Some Turks, once they hear my name a few times, go “Gulent”, which isn’t bad. A couple of elderly Turkish ladies decided to call me “Bulent” as that is an existing Turkish name (my Turkish friends occasionally joke about this and they’ll call me Bulent for laughs). But an incident buying a bus ticket to Bursa has taken name confusion to a new level. When I went to buy the ticket they asked for my name, I said it slowly and even spelled it out. They gave me my ticket and then I boarded the bus. While on the bus I decided to read the ticket, and saw the following:
It might be difficult to read (it was really hard to take a picture of the ticket) but under name instead of “Glen McKay” it reads: