Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ana ismee Bob

In the Arab World, my name is hard to pronounce. I say Bob and Arabs hear something else.

“Ana ismee Bob.” (My name is Bob.)

Pause.

Baba?

No not baba. (Baba means daddy and al-baba means the Pope.) Bob.

Pop?

No, Bob.

Arabic doesn’t have the “p” sound, so the “p” and the “b” often sound the same to Arabs. When I say Bob, the response is often, “Pop? Pop music?” No, not pop music. Bob.

I used to say it’s short for Robert, which usually only adds to the confusion. “How can Bob be short for Robert? Robert starts with an R,” they tell me. I never have a good answer other than it just is.

Sometimes I spell it in Arabic, if they ask, and they sometimes do, but if you pronounce it as it is spelled in Arabic, you get “boob” (which often elicits a few chuckles from my English-speaking friends). I could spell it Bab, which might be closer to Bob than Boob, but Bab means door in Arabic and it might be strange to be named Door.

1 Comments:

Blogger Butterfly said...

LoL :). Nice blogg

6:09 AM  

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