A woman is wondering if she is overreacting over her in-laws calling her son a different name.
A new mother has reached out for advice after her in-laws continue to call her son by a variation of his name in their native language. The woman, who has chosen not to reveal her son’s name for privacy reasons, explains that her partner’s family all call him by a name that is similar to the English name they have given him.
I won’t be sharing his name for privacy but it’s similar to us naming our son George and they call him Jorge (pronounced hor-hay) or us naming our son Jacob and they call him Jakob (pronounced yak-ob),” she explained.
Despite the fact that her son’s name is something that can be pronounced correctly by his partner’s family, they continue to use the variation of the name. The woman has expressed her frustration, stating that she sees the two names as different and that it’s simply not her son’s name.
“I’m conscious that as a monolingual I may be overreacting, but I’m really bothered by it,” she said.
The woman’s partner, who is fluent in English, has not corrected his family’s use of the variation of their son’s name. He reportedly told her that it doesn’t matter. However, the woman is seeking advice on whether or not she is wrong to be bothered by the situation.
The name that the in-laws are using is also a valid name in their native language, which has added to the complexity of the situation.
What Others Are Saying
Many people have weighed in on the situation, with some expressing support for the mother’s frustration. One person said, “Learning to correctly pronounce a person’s name is a basic sign of respect. When people refuse to use the correct pronunciation, it indicates they can’t be bothered or don’t care enough/respect the person enough to make the effort.
However, not everyone agrees that the situation is worth getting upset over. One person said, “Oh man, of all of the things to be bothered by.”
Others have suggested that the child should ultimately have a say in what he is called. “Your son, once he’s old enough, should be the one that decides what he prefers they call him,” one person noted. “The way to resolve this might be exploring ways to connect him to the culture without calling him a different given name.”
Another person suggested that the in-laws may be intentionally using the variation of the name in order to connect the child to his paternal culture. “They are honestly both his name or a representation of his name just in another language,” they said. “Your son will also probably grow up to be bilingual so you might want to brush up on the language your husband speaks just in case.”
As of now, it remains unclear what the best course of action is for the family. However, it’s clear that the situation has sparked a debate about the importance of correct name pronunciation and the role of cultural identity in naming practices.