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English Names

Cece Lee's picture

I am a customs person and we have just welcomed several new members onto our hall this past week. One of these students is an international student from another dorm and my first years have been very sweet and accommodating to her and I was very touched by their actions. Most international students go by an English name for comfort’s sake and it cuts down on confusion when names are called out during class or when interacting with people. I too go by an English name because my name is constantly mispronounced/misspelled and the mispronunciation of my name is actually another Korean name and so I would never know if someone was calling me or another person and would cause A LOT of confusion. My Korean name is a very big part of my identity and I value what my name stands for because it shows my heritage and the history of my family (most Korean names have unique Chinese roots and belong to certain regions of the country and so lineages can be easily traced). I feel as if we lose a bit of our identity when we decide to go by an English name because most students pick a name that they have read in a book, heard on tv or in a movie or was given to them by friends or strangers. What really touched me was that my first years really made an effort to learn our newcomer’s real name and other international students’ names on our hall. Being called by our real names brings, at least to me, comfort and I feel little bit more ‘whole’.