Anybody who reads this blog knows my name is Marialena Gallagher. But do you know how to say it? Most people don’t. I’ll try to make it clearer phonetically: Maria-lane-uh. It might not be technically phonetic, but that’s the best I can do.
I was born early, so a name was probably the furthest thing from my parents’ minds. They wanted a form of Mary, and I think my grandfather knew someone who had the same name or something, so they went with it.
Over the years, I’ve heard all kinds of variations, from MARialena to Maryelena and definitely a few others it between. I’ve become so numb to it that I don’t even bother correcting people anymore. I know I should, I just don’t want to spend time on it.
The people who have no trouble with it at all are Spanish speakers, whether they’re native or not. Maybe that’s another reason why I like Spanish so much. No wait, I know that’s one of the reasons I love it.
One of the people who surprised me this year was my chemistry professor. On the first day of class, she said my name so perfectly I wasn’t sure what I’d just heard. It turns out she’s fluent (or close to it) in Spanish. She went on a mission trip to Argentina and picked it up there. Every time she said my name, I got so happy. It was borderline ridiculous – I was almost to the point of asking her to say my name more often.
If you still need some help with it, Michael Bublé does a pretty good job: