What did you just say?

My little girl has become a chatterbox. Anything you say, she will repeat. For a while now, she has been saying the names of every single child in her class, including their surnames.

Some weeks ago, while looking in the mirror, she pointed to herself and called her name. Her full name. It was the first time that I heard her mention her surname. And she butchered it.

You see, she had learnt her name from her teachers in school. And they obviously couldn't pronounce our surname properly. When I mentioned this to my wife, she did say that they asked her to teach them how to pronounce it just a few days before. She did her best, but left them still trying and not succeeding.

But what can we do? She spends over 9 hours a day at the nursery, so that is where she has learnt most of her speech, and we have tried to teach her the correct name, but she seems to prefer her pronounciation.

All of a sudden, I feel useless. I've seen African kids who can't pronounce their own names, in fact, I know a few (I might be related to some). And I've seen a few who speak with Birtish accents, but when it comes to their own names, they get the pronounciation spot on. I was hoping our little girl would be in the seond category, but it's looking very unlikely.

So, is it a bad thing? I don't know. But I guess this is what happens when you decide to raise kids in a foreign country. And I'm sure this is the first of many similar situations I'll have to face over the next few years.


  1. Dont panic, she will pronounce it the way you want it. Mark my words. The panic should have come if she started pronouncing very well now. Kids are known to adjust when they do things wrong than to adjust when they do it right in the first instance. At least my own kid is a good example.

  2. It'll be fine - just keep persevering. If she hears the correct pronunciation often enough, she'll catch on eventually.

    If she's still mispronouncing her own surname in five or so years' time, that's when it's time to panic...

  3. She'll get it right with time. Dont despair! LOL!!

  4. it is kinda cute you know! She'll get it cause the bottom line is, she is YOUR baby girl and you will teach her the proper way. She's just young and I'm assuming your last name is probably not one "I" could pronounce! LOL give her time daddy, she get it and you will be so proud!

  5. Don't worry things can change over time you know. My sister couldn't properly pronounce my name for years but she does it right now. Don't blame the teachers as Nigerian names are sometimes quite hard to pronounce and soon enough your beautiful daughter will be saying her surname correctly to them over and over and over that they'll pick it up :) It took me a while to learn the pronunciation of some Nigerian names but I still can't get the gb in gbenga correctly but I will keep on trying!