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Dad Considers Reporting Teacher Who Told His Daughter She’s Pronouncing Her Own Name ‘Incorrectly’

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Our names are an important part of who we are. They can reflect our culture, family traditions and are often something lovingly chosen by those who name us. Making an effort to correctly pronounce others’ names is respectful.

One parent found themselves at odds with their child’s English teacher when it came to their young one’s name.

Redditor MeltThrowaway looked for some perspective on a hypothetical situation asking “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) in the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP) asked:

“WIBTA if I reported my daughter’s teacher for not pronouncing her name correctly?“

The OP explained:

“My daughter’s English teacher refuses to pronounce her name correctly. She is has a Japanese name and we live in Japan. Her name is Kanae, pronounced Kaa-Naa-EH. Recently, Kanae told me that her English teacher(an expat from America) at school calls her ‘Kah-Nye’.”

”She told me that she told the teacher ‘My name Kanae. It’s three claps (syllables)’. But the English teacher told Kanae that she was incorrect, and that grammatically speaking that she, her teacher, was correct.“

“During my daughter’s sports day I ‘confronted’ the teacher. I explained that my daughter would like the be called ‘Kaa-naa-eh’. But she laughed and said she was pronouncing it the way it’s ‘supposed to be’ but will try her best to remember.”

“Today, my daughter told me the teacher still calls her Kah-Nye. My daughter is very very shy and it took a lot for her to correct her teacher the first time. I’m considering going to the school in the morning.”

“But is that an over reaction?”

“For some clarity; I am not Japanese, my wife is so our kids are mixed-race.”

“Our kids are fluent in English and Japanese.”

“[The teacher is pronouncing the name] not like Kanye West. But Kah. Plus Nye like Bill Nye.”

Redditors weighed in by stating:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

NTA, that’s really disrespectful. A normal teacher would probably be very embarrassed if they found out they were mispronouncing a student’s name.”~disregardable

NTA, especially considering this is IN Japan. Of course, like someone else mentioned, perhaps this teacher is going to take advantage of a Japanese-style power trip, but if so, I’d go above the teacher.”

“The teacher cannot act this way about Japanese names in Japan. What’s this teacher going to do next, tell the headmaster that their name is pronounced XYZ way America too?”

”I dare them. Americans…my mom’s a nurse in Minneapolis, worked in Labor and Delivery, so got to hear baby names all the time. Couple names son Giacomo, calls their son Jack-a-mo.”

“Mom tried to gently suggest in Italian they say Ja-como…they wouldn’t have it. Mom hopes this kid doesn’t ever go to New York and get bullied.”~Horangi1987

“I lived in Japan. Not only is the teacher being purposefully rude as a person, but she’s also being incredibly offensive to the host country customs. You should definitely report this to the school.”

“The teacher needs to comply with school expectations as well as cultural expectations of the country she’s choosing to work in. NTA”~YesNoMaybe

”If I’m not mistaken, if you wrote that name out in hiragana, it would require three symbols, right? Hiragana being a syllabic writing system, that means three syllables, right?”

“It’s not her place to tell you how to pronounce your own daughter’s name, in any case. NTA.”~Katja1236

That is correct for a lot of shy people. OP is definitely NTA, that teacher is though. Pronunciation of things is based on community and popularity of pronunciation. Names are pronounced the way their owner chose it to.”

”There are no grammatical rules on how your name is pronounced (unless it’s something ridiculous such as a being pronounced as “con-grue-niloptics”), naming is just common sense. The teacher was being pedantic.”~An*s-Fungi

Redditors agreed that the original poster was NTA and the teacher was being intentionally disrespectful.

Remember folks,  just because something is not familiar does not make it wrong. If you intentionally mispronounce someone’s name because it’s not your version of correct, YTA.

Heidi Dockery

Written by Heidi Dockery

Heidi Dockery is a Maine artist & nature enthusiast with an affinity for libraries. She studies Criminal Justice with a special focus on psychology & sociology at the University of Maine. When not studying, painting, or re-reading the works of Terry Pratchett, she volunteers & enjoys various activities most would label nerdy.