Help with a Name Debate -- Your Opinions

A transatlantic friend and I are having a friendly name debate (as we often do) and I was wanted to sound out others opinions regarding cultural preservation in names.

If you knew, for example, that you were about to meet a man called [name]Jose[/name], what would you be thinking when he told you he pronounced it ‘JOHWS’? Honestly?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Well, my first thought would be that he is latina and it is pronounce Ho-say. However, if that was not the case, then I would think it was pronounced [name]Joss[/name]. BUT, if he said it was said like “Joes” I wouldn’t be surprised.

[name]Jose[/name] or [name]Jos[/name]”? The J is pronounced like an H if you are speaking in Spanish, and the accent on the e means it is not a “silent e” but a sound like “ay”, but there is or was a famous hair stylist, [name]Jos[/name]” [name]Eber[/name], who pronounces it like [name]Joe[/name]-zay, and he is French.[name]Jos[/name]é_Eber

I would say plain [name]Jose[/name] with no accent on the e, is as valid either as a Spanish name where you infer the pronunciation of the J as an H and the e as an ”, as it is phonetically English (e being a silent e in that case). If you like the name [name]Joseph[/name] for example, let’s say you don’t really like the PH (F sound), and just want to leave it as [name]Jose[/name]. [name]How[/name] else would you spell that? If you are ignorant of its pronunciation, and just like the look of it, I would say, pronounce it ignorantly but phonetically.

Language isn’t static, if you notice, a lot of names translate across languages and are either pronounced in keeping with the local pronunciation, or altered spelling to match the “correct” pronunciation. There is nothing sacred about it, this has happened always. When you look up very old records and get all excited about fanciful takes on names in the past, you should recognize there is nothing magical about those names just because they are old, or somehow bad because people retain this habit now. They take what they hear and interpret it how they actually speak. We talk about how to pronounce a name like [name]Helena[/name] or [name]Lucia[/name] all the time - if some languages pronounce the second e like EE and some like AY, or the C in [name]Lucia[/name] like a CH, a S, or a SH, there is nothing pure about those names and which variant you choose, i.e., those names were pronounced in each language the local way. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with having an English-spoken variant of [name]Jos[/name]” that isn’t [name]Joseph[/name], in much the same way many French names that end in -ine are managed in English with the INE pronunciation, or even an EEN, which is closer to French, but still English, or even to spell it EEN, which is really making it translate clearly into English.

It is a little better, as far as I’m concerned, to pronounce a name like you would if you never heard it before, as it comes with the letters that spell it, than to try to make a regular everyday name somehow exotic by adding letters to make it seem like a faux “foreign” variation. If English is your language, you can’t make up a Russian or French or Italian variation by invention, but there is no obligation to retain a name’s foreign language “purity” because English is somehow beyond how this usually works.

What would I think about the guy whose name is [name]Jose[/name]? Or his name? Or his parents? I don’t know, I kind of like [name]Jose[/name], now that I think about it.

Phonetic spellings are really hard to make clear - I read ‘johws’ as ‘jaws’.

I’d probably think he was hispanic but with that pronounciation think he was african. No biggie though.

I would think it’s a cool nn for [name]Joseph[/name]. Other than that you would be mispronouncing a spanish name.