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A client has a very-difficult-to-pronounce name which is a tongue twister for me. Don’t intend to butcher the name, but just can’t say it right. Personally, if someone from another culture said my name a bit differently, I just wouldn’t mind. This client is touchy about it. How do you handle this?

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Go stand in front of a mirror and practice saying it 100x a day. We’re in client services, putting in the effort to learn something as simple as pronouncing a client’s name correctly shouldn’t even be a question.

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This 1000%. If you can’t go to the trouble to say their name correctly then why should they trust you to go the extra mile for anything? Weak

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Ask for clarification on pronunciation. Then make genuine efforts to work with them. Do not give them a nickname unless they come forward with one they would like you to use

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Google how to pronounce <<client name>>. There are YouTube videos to help with pronunciation

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Deliotte and Toosh?

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Touché

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Practice and learn their name. If they can pronounce your name correctly, you should learn to pronounce theirs. I don’t have a difficult to pronounce name but it can be pronounced different ways depending on culture / language. I prefer to be called by my name the way I pronounce it. If I correct someone and they continue to say it, I avoid confrontation enough that I won’t call them out on it but I’ll make sure to introduce myself by name on every call. It’s embarrassing when people who work for me see that I’m taking direction from someone who continues to mispronounce my name.

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Sometimes it helps me to see the name printed. If I’m really struggling I’ve phonetically written out their name so I can remember/visualize and refer back to it. And as someone else mentioned practice saying it- I would add practice saying their name out loud - not just in your head.

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What’s the name? Just say ‘hey dude’

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Ask them to help you get it right. If that means practising repeatedly, then do it. As someone with a hard to pronounce name, I always help people out when first meeting them and acknowledge it can be tricky to pronounce. It’s often a great ice breaker too. If you’re still getting it wrong after meeting me multiple times and hearing my name pronounced though, then yes, I too am going to be ‘touchy’. It’s my name after all, a huge party of my identity, and making an effort to get it right isn’t asking a lot.

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Learn the name. Practice it. Beyond the work setting, it's just basic human decency.

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Ask for clarification and end by saying that’s a beautiful name. Repeat a few times so you memorize it

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I usually watch YouTube videos on the pronunciation and practice at least 10 times before I can say it correct

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How important is this client? ;)

To be fair- client or not most people appreciate having their names pronounced correctly.

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Use his last name as “Mr. whatever” if that’s easier. Tell him you are too polite to use his first name if he inquires about it

Just a matter of time til someone actually calls someone "Mr. Whatever"

As a person who had my last name butchered for years, I became numb to it. For me there was a standard way Americans would say it and I just sort of assumed it wouldn’t be pronounced correctly. There were times that my last name was so poorly pronounced it was comical and it did annoy me. When someone asked how to pronounce it was a nice gesture and I appreciated it. That simple act went a long way. One other anecdote when I first went to Spain, I checked into the flight and the ticket agent pronounced my last correctly. My heritage isn’t Spanish or from Latin or South America but the pronunciation of my name using a Spanish alphabet is phonetic. It was a liberating experience for that trip. I wish there was an easy American phonetic dictionary that we could use to show pronunciation next to your name. Anyone know of one?

Indeed, making all investments to get it right, but doesn’t happen overnight. So the interim is whats really the challenge. His name has certain sounds that are only produced deeper in the throat (which doesn’t come natural for me). I run a lot of his meetings on his behalf, and hence have to call his name out several times. In the thick of it, screw up some times.

Maybe go with”sir” or “chief” until you get it right lol

Ask them to write it for you phonetically. Once you see it written how you would pronounce it, it should click in your brain. I’d be touchy too if someone I was paying hourly couldn’t be bothered to learn how to say my name.

Ask if it’s ok if you call them by an English-sounding first name. Most people with hard to pronounce first names have one picked out already (eg my Chinese friend sometime goes by Alex)

Sir. Or Milady

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