Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

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Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-11 06:03pm

This happened to me, where a European of African ancestry asked me for my "real name" instead of my English name. Her reasoning is that people who aren't European/westerners should not be asked to conform to using western names and people should learn to properly pronounce non-western names.

I find it interesting because as a Singaporean of Chinese descent, I don't see names as a strong marker of my identity. English is the primary language being used in Singapore, and the idea that I need to emphasis on my Chinese heritage seems a little strange to me.

What do you think about the idea of names and identity? Should more people, especially those of Chinese descent avoid using their English names?
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by JI_Joe84 » 2017-11-11 06:16pm

Rude? No. trying to be considerate since "proper English" names are not the names you would have had if the West hadn't been such dicks? Yes
I guess its not that big of a deal over there?

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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by JI_Joe84 » 2017-11-11 06:22pm

Ohh just fought that first part about she was a African European, I have seen African American groups totally perturbed by what happened generations ago but few from other groups. The same thing happened to Asians and Latinos in renaming people to totally erase their heritage, but rectifying that just doesn't seem to be a big priority to ethnicities out side African Americans and Native Americans.

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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by Zixinus » 2017-11-11 06:37pm

What IS someone's real name if not the one they use? My father used "Steve" because it is the English verison of his Hungarian name (István), for the sake of efficiency. He considers it is his name in English. He'd be confused if you used it while spekaing Hungarian.

Yes, when you have a name that to-you foreigners can't pronounce, it is a compromise you have to make for the sake of everyday efficiency. The level of compromise accepatble is a question. But it is probably something that peopl have done since forever in various cultures.

You can argue that people should TRY to accurately pronounce foreign names, but then you must also allow for the fact that they'll get it wrong. Then its either a choice of adopting a nickname or people getting your name wrong. And the fact that you can't realistically expect every person to be readily able to properly say names they never learned to pronoucne hte component sounds of.

Of course, it really depends on the context of situation as well. Am I in a foreign country and how foreign? How official the situation is? How much imposition is it, and not just between the would-be speaker and me but others, to do this? How techinically possible is it (for example, your name uses a different writing system than the one I am writing)?
I find it interesting because as a Singaporean of Chinese descent, I don't see names as a strong marker of my identity. English is the primary language being used in Singapore, and the idea that I need to emphasis on my Chinese heritage seems a little strange to me.
I think there is the implication in the situation that the person considers the Chinese is your "real" identity and your English name and language is an outside imposition forced on you.
Of ocurse I might be just reading that into this.

There is also the fact that historically, imposing or outright forcing new names unto people (AND making them disregard their old ones) has happaned. It is common to minority cultures. This can range from everything from simple refusal to write down anything that has unusual spelling to punishing people for using any other name (and language) than the one imposed.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-11 06:45pm

JI_Joe84 wrote:
2017-11-11 06:16pm
Rude? No. trying to be considerate since "proper English" names are not the names you would have had if the West hadn't been such dicks? Yes
I guess its not that big of a deal over there?
Well less so for Singaporeans? The decision to adopt English as an official language was very much a choice made after independence, even if it was influenced by more pragmatic business decision. I think the Chinese overseas would have adopted whatever names they feel is most practical in whatever region they are in if English isn't the dominant language.
JI_Joe84 wrote:
2017-11-11 06:22pm
Ohh just fought that first part about she was a African European, I have seen African American groups totally perturbed by what happened generations ago but few from other groups. The same thing happened to Asians and Latinos in renaming people to totally erase their heritage, but rectifying that just doesn't seem to be a big priority to ethnicities out side African Americans and Native Americans.
I think the decision to adopt a western/English name is a more conscious decision than other groups? It's difficult to use the Latin alphabet to accurately render the sounds of most Chinese words. So even if I did use my "Chinese name", people still aren't actually able to say it accurately. Having different tones makes it near impossible unless you are a native speaker or have studied Chinese extensively.

At the same time, Chinese culture has never been hung up on the idea that having a non-Chinese name as an attempt to erase heritage in any way. People simply have both a Chinese name that they use in a more Chinese-speaking context, and an English name in a more English-speaking context.

Moreover, there's the problem of emphasizing Chinese identity over the much wider Singaporean identity. I feel more Singaporean than I feel Chinese, so asking me to place more emphasis on my Chinese name as my "real name" just makes me feel weird.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-11 06:55pm

Zixinus wrote:
2017-11-11 06:37pm
What IS someone's real name if not the one they use? My father used "Steve" because it is the English verison of his Hungarian name (István), for the sake of efficiency. He considers it is his name in English. He'd be confused if you used it while spekaing Hungarian.

Yes, when you have a name that to-you foreigners can't pronounce, it is a compromise you have to make for the sake of everyday efficiency. The level of compromise accepatble is a question. But it is probably something that peopl have done since forever in various cultures.

You can argue that people should TRY to accurately pronounce foreign names, but then you must also allow for the fact that they'll get it wrong. Then its either a choice of adopting a nickname or people getting your name wrong. And the fact that you can't realistically expect every person to be readily able to properly say names they never learned to pronoucne hte component sounds of.

Of course, it really depends on the context of situation as well. Am I in a foreign country and how foreign? How official the situation is? How much imposition is it, and not just between the would-be speaker and me but others, to do this? How techinically possible is it (for example, your name uses a different writing system than the one I am writing)?
I'm living in the UK now, so using my English name doesn't feel strange to me. And I have been using Ray as my English name back in Singapore since it is an English-speaking country.

I mean how do you define the right way to say my name? Because there are several variations to say my name based on the different dialect groups. Chinese dialects can sound entirely different from one another. Is my Chinese dialect group the right way to say my name? Or is Mandarin the right way to say my name? Or should I use the dialect used by the majority of Singaporean Chinese?
I think there is the implication in the situation that the person considers the Chinese is your "real" identity and your English name and language is an outside imposition forced on you.
Of ocurse I might be just reading that into this.
I find it difficult to see mere Chinese as my real identity. I'm a Singaporean-Chinese, so while Chinese does have a factor in my identity, it's not everything. And the English part of my name helps in forming the part of my Singaporean identity.

I feel more awkward if my identity is solely judged by my ancestral ethnicity. I chose to use my English name in Singapore and outside of Singapore. Being forced to use my Chinese name feels more like an imposition on me than the other way round.
There is also the fact that historically, imposing or outright forcing new names unto people (AND making them disregard their old ones) has happaned. It is common to minority cultures. This can range from everything from simple refusal to write down anything that has unusual spelling to punishing people for using any other name (and language) than the one imposed.
Yes, but Chinese in Singapore are hardly the minority culture by any means. Nor are people forced to have an English name. What is relevant for North America might not be relevant in the case of Singapore. I feel annoyed that people are making cultural assumption about Singaporeans while using an American/Western frame of reference.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-11 08:49pm

This is an interesting question. As a Malaysian Chinese with a similar cultural background to Ray, I personally never adopted an English name, and in most professional contexts use my given name initials + family name convention and prefer people just address me by my surname, which is the easier to pronounce.

But even in Chinese the question arises of what is my true name when spoken? My name is usually rendered in Cantonese, but it's not uncommon for mandarin speakers to render it in mandarin, which honestly is no more my name than John is Ivan. ( Legally there is no question, my name on my passport is transliterated Cantonese, but I do know how to write it in hanzi and to some, that is my "real" name. But I'm otherwise illiterate in mandarin so...)

But yeah I would be... Amused if someone tried to get offended on my behalf because I deliberately manipulate how I render my name to fit arbitrary conventions for simplicity. Though I do think given name/family name to be more clear than first name/last name since Asian convention is family name first, which I am forced to invert if following western convention. Which is why I prefer to render my name as given name initials surname ( e.g KY Lee) rather than the awkward sounding given name surname construct. (E.g Kuan Yew Lee). Lee Kuan Yew is of course also known as Harry Lee and 李光耀 Li GuangYao...
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-11 09:04pm

Anyway, asking for the background of my name or what my "Chinese name*" is when I already gave you my "transliterated into English from Cantonese" name isn't rude, anymore than asking where I'm from is. I'm perfectly happy to talk about my heritage and the meaning behind my name and origin. People also commonly ask where in China my family is from and it's not wierd ( most Malaysian Chinese of my generation are 3rd gen, my grandparents were born in China)

But insisting that the name I gave you isn't my real name or asking where I'm "really from" as opposed to where my grandparents are from is of course rude AF.

*In Malaysia Chinese language=mandarin, American Chinese notions that that's not true are just not a thing here.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-11 09:13pm

AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-11 08:49pm
This is an interesting question. As a Malaysian Chinese with a similar cultural background to Ray, I personally never adopted an English name, and in most professional contexts use my given name initials + family name convention and prefer people just address me by my surname, which is the easier to pronounce.

But even in Chinese the question arises of what is my true name when spoken? My name is usually rendered in Cantonese, but it's not uncommon for mandarin speakers to render it in mandarin, which honestly is no more my name than John is Ivan. ( Legally there is no question, my name on my passport is transliterated Cantonese, but I do know how to write it in hanzi and to some, that is my "real" name. But I'm otherwise illiterate in mandarin so...)

But yeah I would be... Amused if someone tried to get offended on my behalf because I deliberately manipulate how I render my name to fit arbitrary conventions for simplicity. Though I do think given name/family name to be more clear than first name/last name since Asian convention is family name first, which I am forced to invert if following western convention.Which is why I prefer to render my name as given name initials surname ( e.g KY Lee) rather than the awkward sounding given name surname construct. (E.g Kuan Yew Lee). Lee Kuan Yew is of course also known as Harry Lee and 李光耀 Li GuangYao...
I find a lot of these cultural discourse about identity seems quite exclusionary towards regions that aren't that well known in popular media or well known to the western world. The frame of reference used in modern cultural discourse about identity and names feels entirely alien to me. The thing that does annoy me is the assumption that my framework of looking at identity must be the same as people from African descent, just because I happened to be part of a world that was colonised by the British.

Take Indonesian Chinese for example. English names are very often the way which they use to mark their identification as Chinese, because Indonesian Chinese were forced to adopt Indonesian surnames. So English names does express Chinese-ness in Indonesia.

I feel like the current discourse about identity is a little oversimplistic that it ended up neglecting others less well-known cultures? How Asian-Americans see their identity is very different from how Asians in Asia sees their identity. It's much harder to talk about an Asian identity if you are actually from Asia, than someone who is of Asian-descent in a western country.
AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-11 09:04pm
Anyway, asking for the background of my name or what my "Chinese name*" is when I already gave you my "Cantonese" name isn't rude, anymore than asking where I'm from is. I'm perfectly happy to talk about my heritage and the meaning behind my name and origin.

But insisting that the name I gave you isn't my real name or asking where I'm "really from" is of course rude AF.

*In Malaysia Chinese language=mandarin, American Chinese notions that that's not true are just not a thing here.
In my case, I understand she had a very different reasoning and why she personally wanted to use her ethnic name over her official given name. She's making an assumption that I am oppressed and being forced to conform by using an English name. But it's hard to say this is the case, because there are much Chinese in Singapore that are perfectly fine without having an English name, and there's probably more cultural pressure to only use my Chinese name. But I am just wondering even that should be seen as offensive because that is once again making another set of cultural assumption about me. Does it feel like I'm forced to be a "Chinese" in order to counter against colonialism?
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-11 09:30pm

Yeah I get that. I mean it is colonialism that is responsible for my first language being English, the causal chain is very clear, but to me it is not inherently a bad thing. I guess what I should say is it's not inherently rude to ask. But it is rude to press the issue or imply negative forced conformity.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-11-12 02:17am

Why was she assuming that you had a non-western name at all ?

When I was in High School, one of the girls in my class had a surname of "Church". This is because her family, when they moved to New Zealand, decided to change their surname to something that fitted in. That was several generations ago, before she was born. As far as she is concerned, "Church" has always been her real surname.

There is a Youtuber I follow who goes by a different surname to his birth surname to distance himself from an abusive childhood.

So I see people saying that their name is x in a similar way to people saying their gender is y. I will go with whatever they tell me. The only difference is that I know people do lie about their name in ways that can cause me problems.

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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-13 08:25pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-11-12 02:17am
Why was she assuming that you had a non-western name at all ?

When I was in High School, one of the girls in my class had a surname of "Church". This is because her family, when they moved to New Zealand, decided to change their surname to something that fitted in. That was several generations ago, before she was born. As far as she is concerned, "Church" has always been her real surname.

There is a Youtuber I follow who goes by a different surname to his birth surname to distance himself from an abusive childhood.

So I see people saying that their name is x in a similar way to people saying their gender is y. I will go with whatever they tell me. The only difference is that I know people do lie about their name in ways that can cause me problems.
I think because I'm someone foreign?

On a side note, I have been thinking about the problem of even using English or any language to render a foreign name. Especially in the case of a Chinese name, it's difficult to render the phonic sounds and the tones of the Latin alphabet. At the same time, the Chinese language could not render the most European names accurately either.

At the end of the day, it's not easy to say the names in a language different to your native tongue. Even those that spend years learning Chinese, for instance, might not be able to get the right tone for the characters. And it's important because a slightly different tone can mean a dozen other characters in Chinese. So even a "close enough" sound might still be wrong.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by Korto » 2017-11-14 06:04am

There's a guy whose daughter goes to my kid's scouts.
He's Asian appearance (I'm in Australia, so "Asian appearance" means Oriental--Chinese, Japanese, etc; not India, Pakistan, etc), Asian accent, his wife is to, and his name's Geoffrey.

Occasionally I really do wonder if that's actually his name, or he just got sick of having us Aussies butcher his real name.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-14 06:24am

Korto wrote:
2017-11-14 06:04am
There's a guy whose daughter goes to my kid's scouts.
He's Asian appearance (I'm in Australia, so "Asian appearance" means Oriental--Chinese, Japanese, etc; not India, Pakistan, etc), Asian accent, his wife is to, and his name's Geoffrey.

Occasionally I really do wonder if that's actually his name, or he just got sick of having us Aussies butcher his real name.
I take it it's the accent that makes you wonder? ( I ask this because I assume no one is doubting if "Micheal" is the board owners real name ;) )
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-14 07:16am

Korto wrote:
2017-11-14 06:04am
There's a guy whose daughter goes to my kid's scouts.
He's Asian appearance (I'm in Australia, so "Asian appearance" means Oriental--Chinese, Japanese, etc; not India, Pakistan, etc), Asian accent, his wife is to, and his name's Geoffrey.

Occasionally I really do wonder if that's actually his name, or he just got sick of having us Aussies butcher his real name.
I think a number of ethnic Chinese who grew up in an English speaking world have both an English name and a Chinese name. The difficulty in pronouncing Chinese does make some people adopt an English name, but I don't think it makes our Chinese name any more real than our English names.

I think the western world perhaps give too much attention to the importance of names as a form of identity? I'm looking at the wikipedia article about Chinese names and I realized just how many names a Chinese person can have that I am not even consciously aware of.

We use diminutive names, nicknames, and others very often in our daily lives. I don't think we place more importance on an "official names" because we see names as something to be used differently in different context.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-14 07:17am

AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-14 06:24am
Korto wrote:
2017-11-14 06:04am
There's a guy whose daughter goes to my kid's scouts.
He's Asian appearance (I'm in Australia, so "Asian appearance" means Oriental--Chinese, Japanese, etc; not India, Pakistan, etc), Asian accent, his wife is to, and his name's Geoffrey.

Occasionally I really do wonder if that's actually his name, or he just got sick of having us Aussies butcher his real name.
I take it it's the accent that makes you wonder? ( I ask this because I assume no one is doubting if "Micheal" is the board owners real name ;) )
I think Mike does have a Chinese name that he uses when he is in Taiwan? ( I remember him saying he has Taiwanese relatives and he visited there quite often)
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-14 07:30am

ray245 wrote:
2017-11-14 07:17am
AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-14 06:24am
Korto wrote:
2017-11-14 06:04am
There's a guy whose daughter goes to my kid's scouts.
He's Asian appearance (I'm in Australia, so "Asian appearance" means Oriental--Chinese, Japanese, etc; not India, Pakistan, etc), Asian accent, his wife is to, and his name's Geoffrey.

Occasionally I really do wonder if that's actually his name, or he just got sick of having us Aussies butcher his real name.
I take it it's the accent that makes you wonder? ( I ask this because I assume no one is doubting if "Micheal" is the board owners real name ;) )
I think Mike does have a Chinese name that he uses when he is in Taiwan? ( I remember him saying he has Taiwanese relatives and he visited there quite often)
Probably, yeah.

I don't know about in a North American or Australian context, but in a Malaysian/Singaporean Chinese context both the "English" name and the "Chinese" name are both "real" names, even if one is only used in professional contexts and around westerners or at church ( if you have a "Christian" name ) and the other is used among friends or family or only when speaking Chinese.

At least I've never met anyone of malaysian Chinese heritage who didn't have at least a nominal Chinese name even if they used an English name almost exclusively even when speaking Chinese.

The caveat here though is the "English" name, if not given to you at birth by your parents or at baptism can be just something you picked out because it sounded cool or went well with your Chinese surname in which case I think a good case can be made for it not being your "real" name, in much the same way that the nickname by which I go by online and by which my close friends call me ( which isn't this account name, FWIW) isn't my real name, despite it being a part of my identity - it's still fundamentally a nick name.

But only you can decide if that is the case or not...
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-14 07:53am

AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-14 07:30am
Probably, yeah.

I don't know about in a North American or Australian context, but in a Malaysian/Singaporean Chinese context both the "English" name and the "Chinese" name are both "real" names, even if one is only used in professional contexts and around westerners or at church ( if you have a "Christian" name ) and the other is used among friends or family or only when speaking Chinese.

At least I've never met anyone of malaysian Chinese heritage who didn't have at least a nominal Chinese name even if they used an English name almost exclusively even when speaking Chinese.

The caveat here though is the "English" name, if not given to you at birth by your parents or at baptism can be just something you picked out because it sounded cool or went well with your Chinese surname in which case I think a good case can be made for it not being your "real" name, in much the same way that the nickname by which I go by online and by which my close friends call me ( which isn't this account name, FWIW) isn't my real name, despite it being a part of my identity - it's still fundamentally a nick name.

But only you can decide if that is the case or not...
Yeah. I think people forgot that even simple words like "Ray" cannot be rendered by any Chinese character. It simply makes no sense for me to transliterate my English name to a Chinese context.

What's frustrating about people like the girl who argued against the dominance of western influence is that they are still using a very western discourse to talk about the whole issue of identity. I can't think about 身分 in the way I think about the English word identity. Our understanding of identity as a construct still relies heavily on a western construct of ideas and discourse.

I just find it funny that those that argue against a western discourse ended up using a western discourse.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-14 07:59am

Why does the question of transliterating Ray into mandarin even come up though? I would assume if you were speaking mandarin you'd either code switch and say "Ray", or just use your Chinese name?

I'm assuming you're following the usual convention for malaysian Chinese of your full name being effectively something like "Harry Lee Kuan Yew" though

Where your English name is Harry, your family name Lee and your Chinese name Kuan Yew + its rendering in mandarin pinyin/hanzi if desired.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-14 08:06am

AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-14 07:59am
Why does the question of transliterating Ray into mandarin even come up though? I would assume if you were speaking mandarin you'd either code switch and say "Ray", or just use your Chinese name?
I think people don't understand just how different the two languages are. It's difficult to transliterate a Chinese word to an Indo-European language if it is at all possible. For example, I will use the mandarin pronunciation of a person's name even if it was written in English. I will not pronounce it according to English phonics because I don't feel like I am pronouncing their names correctly in that case.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by AniThyng » 2017-11-14 08:13am

ray245 wrote:
2017-11-14 08:06am
AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-14 07:59am
Why does the question of transliterating Ray into mandarin even come up though? I would assume if you were speaking mandarin you'd either code switch and say "Ray", or just use your Chinese name?
I think people don't understand just how different the two languages are. It's difficult to transliterate a Chinese word to an Indo-European language if it is at all possible. For example, I will use the mandarin pronunciation of a person's name even if it was written in English. I will not pronounce it according to English phonics because I don't feel like I am pronouncing their names correctly in that case.
Ah okay true. I don't even actually pronounce my surname properly ( e.g how it's supposed to sound in Cantonese) when speaking English myself!
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by Ralin » 2017-11-15 07:26pm

ray245 wrote:
2017-11-14 08:06am
It's difficult to transliterate a Chinese word to an Indo-European language if it is at all possible. For example, I will use the mandarin pronunciation of a person's name even if it was written in English
...How so? Pinyin is standardized and widely used at this point. Usually doesn't include a tone mark and any given Euro-American person might not know how to pronounce it, but unless it's Cantonese or some other fangyan knowing how to transliterate something into Latin script is pretty straightforward.

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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-11-16 03:13am

The person probably thought, out of consideration for you, that you were using your English name as a "stage name" and had another non-English name as the birth name you're actually comfortable with. The person probably wasn't aware of the linguistic complexities of South East Asian societies and how there are quite a bunch of folks who are ethnically Chinese but are more comfy with English than with the language of their revered ancestors (this is my case).
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by ray245 » 2017-11-16 05:34am

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
2017-11-16 03:13am
The person probably thought, out of consideration for you, that you were using your English name as a "stage name" and had another non-English name as the birth name you're actually comfortable with. The person probably wasn't aware of the linguistic complexities of South East Asian societies and how there are quite a bunch of folks who are ethnically Chinese but are more comfy with English than with the language of their revered ancestors (this is my case).
I know. My point is that making such presumption that SEA is similar to how things are like in Africa or the West is problematic. Yes, Southeast Asia is colonised like most of Africa, but how it was colonised as well as how these regions became independent is quite different.

I'm uncomfortable with the implications that Singapore is defined by its ethnicity.
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Re: Is it rude to be asked to use your "real name"?

Post by Korto » 2017-11-16 06:56am

AniThyng wrote:
2017-11-14 06:24am
Korto wrote:
2017-11-14 06:04am
There's a guy whose daughter goes to my kid's scouts.
He's Asian appearance (I'm in Australia, so "Asian appearance" means Oriental--Chinese, Japanese, etc; not India, Pakistan, etc), Asian accent, his wife is to, and his name's Geoffrey.

Occasionally I really do wonder if that's actually his name, or he just got sick of having us Aussies butcher his real name.
I take it it's the accent that makes you wonder? ( I ask this because I assume no one is doubting if "Micheal" is the board owners real name ;) )
Well, the accent and appearance together.

If he was Asian appearance with a Western accent, then I'd figure he's 2nd generation, 3rd generation, whatever, and his parents gave him a Western name to fit in better. Or his family's been here since federation and he's more "Australian" then I am. You know, whatever.

If he was Western appearance with an Asian accent, then I'd assume he grew up in Asia, but his Western parents gave him a Western name.

But being Asian appearance and Asian accent, really makes me doubt "Geoffrey" was the name he was born with. It could be, I can think of ways it could be (he had one Western and one Asian parent, he got his name from one, but his looks from the other; his parents really admired some bloke named Geoffrey; list goes on), but they're pretty unlikely.

So, did he get his name officially changed, or is it just what he tells people? And what was his original name?

I wonder sometimes, but it's really not important.
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