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Saturday, March 16, 2013

That's Not My Name

Courtney is not a name commonly heard in Germany. I found this out immediately upon arriving in Germany the first time, when the man I had arranged to pick me up said, "You're Courtney?! I thought it would be a man."

Years later I have now been dating a German for nearly 2 years, and my name has always been a sort of issue. I don't think he ever actually said my name for the first year of us dating because he was embarrassed of his pronunciation. I have gotten used to the typical way that Germans say my name though. The weird way the say the "R" and make the "NEY" at the end sound more like "NAY" is just fine. 

This past summer, though, I went to my boyfriend's family reunion in the Alps. I was meeting many of his family members for the first time, and my name was soon brought up as an issue among his uncles. 

"Your name is too hard to say," one of them told me.

Well, okay. I don't know how to respond to that...

"I'm just going to call you Kate," he says.

Kate really sounds similar to Courtney to you? That's what I am thinking but don't dare to say. But sure, fine. I can be Kate. 

Anyways, as Romeo once said:  
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet 


  1. Just have them pronounce your name like the German name "Kurt" and the German word "nie" - "Kurt-nie". I don't understand why it is such a problem?

    1. I think it is just that people get worried about mispronouncing someone else's name to the point where they would rather just not even try.

      But I would certainly rather have someone try and pronounce my name incorrectly than just never say my name at all.

  2. When I was in Germany for a month in high school I ran into an automobile while riding a bike (no injuries). You think you have fun with Courtney, try Craig! My name went from Craig to "Queseck" in a note from the Mercedes driver. Go figure. I will never forget that. Many said "Kreck" and when I was introduced one time the one lady thought it was "Dreck".

    1. Hahah! Yeah, doesn't sound nice to have your name confused for Dreck....


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