I will be 28 years old nevertheless cannot say my personal name correctly.

This isn’t from deficiencies in energy, but due to a profoundly ingrained self-consciousness. In theory, my name should always be easy to state. Two syllables, fairly phonetic – but whenever I state it, referring on some different.


t 24, I implemented title of Su on the job. Inside my brain, the spelling was actually a significant difference between your middle-aged Causcasian archetypal Sue and me, a late-20s second generation Australian.

Few men and women called myself Su before we began functioning; sometimes my personal mum or unexpected buddy. Nevertheless the use process ended up being quick. I found myself soon launching my self as Su to anybody and everybody.

When I introduced myself personally to prospects at work, it had been “Su.” Or if they requested what I wanted is labeled as, i might state, “Su is fine.” Some well-meaning people might ask me personally (often continually), “exactly what carry out


would like to end up being labeled as?” Truth be told, whatever title


can say easiest is fine with me.

It is it really good?


y father, a primary generation Australian and Malaysian migrant, decided to leave his rather biblical used name, Joseph, for their real name, Teck, within his 40s or 50s. The idea had been which he wished to end up being genuine and happy with their heritage.

While we appreciated this motion of anti-Colonisation, I questioned whether or not it had been beneficial.

Would reverting right back to his name open him around even more vulnerability and mumbled introductions?

It really is a step that my personal mum, whoever Chinese name’s Juck (the similarity to a different term is certainly not missing on anyone), has not yet used on by herself.

How many times within my life have actually I had to repeat my title to individuals? How many times provides it kept an awkward aftertaste in functions’ mouths?

I’m certain my parents would genuinely believe that identifying my self by my full name is essential. Evidently, a lot idea was presented with into choosing it – their definition being one thing to perform with gracefulness.

Without a doubt, additionally, it is very likely this equals Squalid Cow or Majestic Hippo considering the finite number of words from inside the Mandarin language as well as the boundless few definitions.


dopting the name Su gave me a fresh sense of self-confidence whenever adding my self to people. We no further was required to grapple with whether or not to say “Su-when” or “Su-wen.” It absolutely was barely a word anymore, fairly a slip with the language.

However, there’s been occasions when the intellectual disagreement has been too just the thing for folks. Perhaps the name Su becomes difficult to cope with. We introduce my self as Su, and it also will get duplicated back to me in an amalgamation of broadly linked sounds.


Klicken Sie auf “Über uns”



There will come a place following third monosyllabic effort whenever I give-up.

“Yes, its Chu.”


think it is my face. It is the face of huge amounts of folks of Han Chinese removal living throughout the world. Can you understand this face and marry it with the name Sue? Naturally not. It’s Su.

The peak of my personal appellative despair was at secondary school whenever smoothies were extremely popular. It actually was the bane of my life to need to provide my title into the smoothie maker so that they could butcher it in five minutes whenever my smoothie was ready for pick-up.

We think many individuals who have a non-traditional or non-Western name can acknowledge whenever their unique name’s about to end up being labeled as.

1st signal is the fact that person will silently review immediately after which re-read the name once more. They’ll seem a tiny bit puzzled or possibly stoically determined. After that, while however looking at the piece of paper or condensing smoothie cup, they will make some garbled effort with probably the first and last consonant of genuine name. The center are simply a jumble of indecipherable vowels.

This type of person not to pin the blame on for errors in name pronunciation. They truly are likely attempting their utmost.


n purchase to provide these smoothie children a break, I decided upon implementing a Westernised name when buying my smoothies. I was Sally. Once more, an uncommon name and that’s a lot more akin to a frontier cowgirl than a middle college pupil in 2007. Nevertheless began with similar page, it absolutely was quick and, above all, it absolutely was easy to say.

We continue to use all of it enough time, even now. Not merely for smoothies but at restaurants, cafes and also for placing circumstances on hold at Officeworks.

Today, the name Sally rolls off my personal language just as quickly as Suwen.

If you are checking, which means there are three versions of me; Suwen, Su and Sally. A repertoire used at any given time depending on the circumstance.


right here have now been instances when I have questioned personal credibility an individual else pronounces my title better than i really do. Usually a Chinese-speaking one who has actually a significantly better understanding for the vocabulary. In the second, We’ll feel just like a failure or a fake. Some body whose labels indicates one thing, but vocalisation recommends something else entirely.

I’ve seen lots of labels getting Westernised or accidentally bastardised, based how you consider it. Shaji becomes Shay. Donchada becomes Don. Suwen turns out to be Su.

I tell myself that I go by Su making it more comfortable for other folks but really, its more relaxing for me. Instead of stumble over my personal title, I follow something near sufficient. Close adequate to simulate american naming exhibitions. Close sufficient to generate myself feel just like an insider instead of an outsider.

The fact is that i will be an outsider to both cultures. I have a Chinese title, but can’t say it precisely. I’m Australian, but have a fake Australian name. Not able to say my personal genuine name and also frightened to try. If  i cannot actually pronounce my name, ought I expect others to?

“You’re another Sue!” states my 60 year-old patient. Yup. Another Sue.


is actually a Perth-based journalist and doctor. Since 2016, this lady has authored observational parts on everyday life. She currently stabilizes composing with GP education.