First, why does it matter?
One time a woman named ‘Pam’ got very angry at me for calling her ‘Pamela’. It didn’t matter to me, but it mattered to her. It’s kind of like when you’re talking on your phone really loudly but don’t realize it until other peoples’ eye daggers start piercing your vital organs. It’s kind of like putting your dirty feet on someone’s chair. If it negatively affects others, it matters.
What about foreign words? Well, there are three choices:
- Say it right or do your best trying and continually try to improve towards the correct pronunciation each time you try)
- Make a word for it in your own language (like how the Americans changed ‘croissant’ to ‘crescent roll’)
- Shut your pie-hole
Number three is hard if you need to talk about the subject, and number two makes you look culturally arrogant. Option number 1 is the best way to win friends and influence people – say it right or die trying.
Let’s run the scenario with a name. Let’s choose a Korean name like Eun Kyung Shin.
With option 3 (above) you will have to forever avoid talking about poor Ms. Shin. You’ll have to use words like ‘you’ and ‘her’ and ‘your friend’ and ‘your wife’. Eventually she will figure out you don’t know or can’t say the name and this will usually happen down the road and make for a more difficult recovery.
With option 2, after she says, “My name is Eun Kyung Shin” you say ‘So what’s your English name? Annie?” Enough said.
With option 1 you will embarrass the snot out of yourself trying to learn the name, but a breakthrough will eventually come and that person will love you for trying and finally getting it right.
So how is this related to Ubuntu?
It’s an African word.
Stop saying it incorrectly and demonstrating your ignorance.
Quit saying “That’s how we say it down here.” and showcasing your arrogance.
Learn it. It’s super easy. It’s easier than the version you are working so hard to defend. They are long vowel sounds that a baby can slobber. It’s all the same long u sound as in ‘cartoon’ or ‘soon’ or ‘He mooned me’.
So if you ended up at this post, don’t be offended. Just learn it. Thank the person who sent you here to get schooled.