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A Hispanic couple can’t agree over how to pronounce their son Daniel’s name. Who’s right?

Katrin BolovtsovaA husband and father shared a fascinating story that caused a passionate debate over whether there is a correct way to pronounce someone’s name and how cultural heritage means different things to different people.

The post was written by a man with the username VividTavern, who we’ll call VT for brevity’s sake.

“My wife and I are Mexican-American,” VT began his story. “I’m third-generation and she came here when she was eight. As a result, she’s quite a bit more ‘Hispanic’ than me, and we’ve clashed at times because I’m apparently insufficiently enthusiastic about my heritage. After we got married, we agreed that we’d have two kids and take turns naming them.”

The wife chose first and named their daughter Rosa Maria, a traditional Mexican name. It was VT’s turn for their second child, and he named the boy Daniel. The problem is that VT prefers the Anglicized version of the name (DAN-yəl), whereas his wife uses the Spanish pronunciation (da-NYEHL).

“She introduces him as Daahn-ni-yell to everyone else and now everyone’s just following her pronunciation, which is frustrating because it was my turn to name the baby, and I feel like she didn’t respect my choice,” VT continued.

“When I confronted her, she said she doesn’t want our kids to have Anglicized names because they’re Mexican. I mean, it’s not that I have a problem with them having Spanish names. I don’t call Rosa María Rose or Rosemary. But it was (as agreed) my turn to name Daniel, and she should respect the fact that I didn’t factor in our heritage while naming him.”

VT added that his wife has no difficulty pronouncing Daniel in an Anglicized way; she has a very clear American accent. “We’ve been married five years and together for eight. She would tell me if it was about pronunciation instead of identity,” he said.

So, is VT being too controlling about how his wife pronounces their son’s name, or has she violated their agreement by choosing to say it her way? The comments section was divided.

There were a lot of people who thought that VT was wrong.

“You named him Daniel, she calls him Daniel. Why do you want her accent to somehow disappear when speaking her son’s name?” SonorousBlack asked.

“I’m Puerto Rican. My parents gave me an American name that can also be pronounced differently with a Spanish accent. My parents used the American version, but my extended family pronounces it with a Spanish accent. I use either version depending on the context. It’s never caused me a moment of stress or confusion,” ElleMuffin wrote.

Many people also supported VT because his wife agreed to let him choose the name and is able to pronounce it the way VT prefers; she just chooses not to.

“It is not an issue of accent. Her pronunciation has an entirely new syllable, and it seems very deliberate on her part,” LionMctastic wrote. “She could just as easily say dan-yell with an accent but chooses not to. She should honor [VT’s] intentions for the name.”

“He named his son what he intended to be the English pronunciation of the name; she should pronounce it in English, just as mispronouncing a Spanish name is being an a**hole,” Longtimefed wrote. “Accent has nothing to do with it; I can say Jorge, Guillermo, Jean-Claude correctly with no American accent, it ain’t that hard.”

Daniel’s mother has a decent reason for preferring the Spanish pronunciation of his name. His father also has a good reason to feel like the deal he made with his wife wasn’t honored. One way to fix the situation is to ask Daniel how he would like his name pronounced when he gets older. After all, it’s his name; he should have the final say over how it is pronounced.

Source: Upworthy
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