Friday, May 29, 2009

Watch your language

It's a funny thing. You kind of take it for granted that languages can simply be translated. And sometimes that's true. There's a word for "cat" in Arabic and a corresponding word in English. Same thing for bread, milk, bicycle and so on.

But names... names are difficult. there is no one-for-one translation of letters and syllables, so you kind of have to make do. And the result is that a painfully Anglo name like mine--melodious though it may be--gets butchered about a million different ways. And that's beside the amusing use of first names and courtesy titles, i.e. Your Favorite Blogger becomes "Mr. Matthew." (mostly because I have given up trying to explain to clerks, HR folks and the like that I use my middle name in everyday life.)

Anyway, my name has been spelled and misspelled and butchered like a Thanksgiving turkey. Mathu, Mathyo, Mathew are just a few of the options to choose from. So if I ever need an alias, several already have been thought up for me.

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