Now that we have officially entered spring in the northern hemisphere, I was going to make a short, sweet post to wish you all a happy spring and a happy Friday. However, at the end it won’t be so short and I’m blaming it on Mabel. You see I recently read her post on getting our names wrong, and that inspired me to write my own little ramble on the matter.
My name is Sofia and we can blame that on my parents. Just for the record, Sofia is my real name, I am not using a pseudonym on my blog.
I understand that my parents wanted to choose a Western and Spanish name, but that would be pronounced the same way as you would literally read it in Indonesia, just to make things easier for my relatives in Indonesia. Liking the name was also another requirement. I think they did I really good job on that one.
Thanks mum and dad, I really like my name. It sounds nice (more on that a little further on) and it has a cool meaning. The name Sofia originally comes form the Greek word Σοφíα and means wisdom.
My name may sound simple enough, but somehow it often manages to create confusion.
On spelling: the English version of Sofia is Sophia or Sophie, which is also the French version. When I am outside of Spain, everyone writes my name with a ph: Sophia.
Imagine this one time I’m making an appointment to get my hair cut. The hairdresser wrote: Sophia. I point out: it’s written with an f, not with a ph. They just look at me like they have no clue what I’m on about. So I say: you spell it: S-O-F-I-A. I slowly spell it out three times. They cross out what they wrote, then wrote: Sopfhia.
This is when I decide that they will not be giving me a haircut because if they can’t understand that, they might not understand when I tell them to do something like: cut as little as possible please, only about 2cm.
Anyhow, even though I didn’t like the Sopfhia episode, I really don’t mind at all when people spell my name Sophia or call me Sophie. That’s fine.
On pronunciation: the way to pronounce my name is like you would say Sophia. Yes, like with Sophia Loren. Exactly! But when I lived in the UK, for some reason people would call me something pronounced like this: Sofaya. As if I were a sofa with another ya in the end.
Imagine this scenario. I’m sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. Suddenly a nurse pops out and shouts: Sofaya. Initially I don’t budge, because that’s not my name. Sort of as if I were a dog, I don’t automatically respond to it when I hear it. But then the nurse says it a few more times. Damn, that’s me. Yeah people call me that sometimes and I hate it.
On plain confusion: while I don’t mind being spelt Sophia, called Sophie and I hate being called Sofaya, this one just leaves me perplexed. People have a tendency to call me Sonia or Sylvia.
I can understand that when I have just recently been presented to someone and they can’t remember. But it also occurs in my professional life when I write someone an email, I sign off writing Sofia. Just under that there will usually be my contact details with my name written again. If it’s a first contact I’ll begin by presenting myself as Sofia. There it is for them to see. Yet somehow 75% of the time people reply back saying hi Sonia or hi Sylvia.
What does your name mean? Does it ever cause confusion?
Anyhow, it has already officially been spring for a few days, and the sun has began to shine a little more than a few weeks ago. My daffodils are also a sign of spring. I know in some countries they can nearly be considered like a common weed, but for me they are beautiful flowers. I received my daffodils as a gift at the end of last spring. They withered away within two days. Even so I replanted the bulbs and watered them all year long. It was worth it. They sprouted and flowered.
Happy Friday and happy spring!