Friday, 6 August 2010

zzzzzezzoz Zoe

6 aug 2010

i was talking to a Chinese student and asked him his name. 'Andy', he said. i told him this is the same as his teacher's, Andrew, and that Andy is a nickname for Andrew. Andy was very surprised because he didn't know that. he said he picked the name out of the internet as he liked it.

i walked around and spoke with a Chinese girl. when i asked her name, she said 'zzzzzezzoz Zoe'. i smiled, repeated 'Zoe', and we talked about other, more relevant for the moment things.

i've seen this adoption of an English name by a Chinese speaker (both Chinese and Taiwanese) happen so often i decided to ask them why they do it a while ago. the ones i spoke with told me their name doesn't matter much. for them what is really important is their father's (family's) name, which is kept, along with the new, English name.

although i could understand and see the point in their argument, i still wonder why the need to do that. i would just simplify my name if it were too hard for foreigners to pronounce it, but i don't see people calling anything else rather than Kalina. do i have identity issues?


  1. gostaria muito de acompanhar seu blog mas não falo nada de ingles, vou voltar a atualizar meu blog se precisar de algo me deixe recados ou me adcc no msn
    bjsss obrigada pela visita

  2. nene,
    do you have identity issues? hehehe

    de vez em quando sai uns posts em portugues tambem. sua visita eh preciosa.

    abraco grande para as duas

  3. Kalina, I too find it strange to hear these adopted names. Call it ego-permeability or identity defence, I will stick to my native name (Okon) till death. I was given an English name by my father at the age of fifteen, for reasons best known to him. He did many unusual things in his life. It appears on my official documents and certificates only, but I will never introduce myself as Martins. In fact, it will cease to exist after my present study. As our oriental friends acculturate and deculturate, they will ultimately find a balance somewhere. I am sure the host natives are not too lazy to learn some foreign names.

  4. you're so right, Okon. by the way, you don't look like Martins at all :-)
    how's life treating you in Japan?
    enjoy life.