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Legally changing my Polish name


drcolon  
14 Oct 2009 /  #1
Hi everyone, I know the thread has been inactive for some time but I just found it now, and it got me wondering what would you guys think about my situation.

I am myself a Pole, currently living in the UK and considering changing my legal name and surname to an English-friendly one. My surname is 12 characters long, quite difficult to pronounce for a non-Polish speaker, and practically no one gets it right, even after a few attempts at pronouncing it. I would not normally care much about that, but as I am training to become a doctor, people are going to call me by my surname a lot. I now more or less know how most English speakers would go about pronouncing my surname, but when it comes to foreigners, I can't really predict that and I had a few situations in which I wasn't even realizing that they are talking about me. On top of all that, some English people just don't bother pronouncing my surname in full and I just end up being called "Colon...". I can already imagine: "Dr Colon to the ICU" !!! Do you think it's a good enough reason to change my name?
OsiedleRuda  
14 Oct 2009 /  #2
Well, I will only change my unpronouncable Polish name when hell freezes over, but it's your choice!

Can easily done by Deed Poll if you wish to do it formally.
OP drcolon 1 | 5  
14 Oct 2009 /  #3
Hi everyone, I just discovered this forum, while searching for information on changing my surname in the UK. I actually found everything I needed and was just wondering what would you guys think about my situation.

I am myself a Pole, currently living in the UK and considering changing my legal name and surname to an English-friendly one. My surname is 12 characters long, quite difficult to pronounce for a non-Polish speaker, and practically no one gets it right, even after a few attempts at pronouncing it. I would not normally care much about that, but as I am training to become a doctor, people are going to call me by my surname a lot. I now more or less know how most English speakers would go about pronouncing my surname, but when it comes to foreigners, I can't really predict that and I had a few situations in which I wasn't even realizing that they are talking about me. On top of all that, some English people just don't bother pronouncing my surname in full and I just end up being called "Colon...". I can already imagine: "Dr Colon to the ICU" !!! Do you think it's a good enough reason to change my name?
Polson 5 | 1,771  
14 Oct 2009 /  #4
Dr Colon

I hope you are not a specialist of intestines... ;)

Edit: sorry, i think i wrote too fast ^^
OP drcolon 1 | 5  
14 Oct 2009 /  #5
Thanks OsiedleRuda, I now know all about Deed Polls and Statutory Declarations, I am just still hesitating whether I should do it or not.

I actually realized that I posted in the wrong section of the forum, as my situation doesn't have much to do with "Living in Poland". I now moved my question to the "Polonia - UK and Ireland" section - wouldn't really like to be banned for spamming after my first post.
David_18 68 | 982  
14 Oct 2009 /  #6
You should be proud of your polish heritage. Every surname has it's own history.

If you want to "delete" your surname then do so, but if i were you i would think twice about that.
Mister H 11 | 761  
14 Oct 2009 /  #7
Hey Dr Colon :-)

Your name is part of who you are, so unless it sounds a bit saucy, rude or just utterly hilarious when said by an English person, I would keep it.

I like to think that I (as an English person) can cope with a foreign surname and I always have a stab at saying it right and am happy to be corrected. I even like to think that I can get them right pretty much first time. Just don't expect me to spell it right ;-)

While I'm the first to say that foreigners should do their utmost to integrate and be part of the local community, it doesn't involve them having to change their surnames to sound "more English".

Also I think your parents, particularly your Dad, might feel rather crushed.
OsiedleRuda  
14 Oct 2009 /  #8
This is a thread which should be "merged" if ever I saw one ;)

You should be proud of your polish heritage. Every surname has it's own history.

If you want to "delete" your surname then do so, but if i were you i would think twice about that.

Yeah, as I said elsewhere, I'd never do it. But just because an English person may have a name which is pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove", it doesn't mean they should change it to "Luxury Yacht" to make it easier for us Poles, lol :D
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
14 Oct 2009 /  #9
I hope that your post was a joke. "make" people pronounce your name correctly...make them feel ashamed and stupid that they cant pronounce it..it works wonders :D

The English are quite able to pronounce it...its just lazyness! I work with a Polish guy that has a tripple barrel name (yep 3 times the hard work!)...we all manage quite well at work now Ive taught them how to say it!

I went to school with someone called "Shufflebottom" she always wanted to change her name for some strange reason!
OP drcolon 1 | 5  
14 Oct 2009 /  #10
No, not a joke, not really. Actually, it's all because I don't want to become one - Dr Colon might as well be a cartoon character.

You should be proud of your polish heritage.

As far as being proud of my heritage comes, well, maybe it's just not this stage in my life yet :P

Your name is part of who you are

I am not really ashamed of where I come from, besides it's not like I'll ever pass for an English person with my accent. My identity is more than just a name, so I don't really feel like I am going to be compromising a large part of it.

It's not the question of people mispronouncing or misspelling my name either. I am just afraid that when I will start my foundation year next year, I am going to be Dr What's-his-name and in the competitive environment it's always going to be easier for the nurse to call Dr Gray, Dr Stevens or Dr O'Malley than me.

Also, I don't have problems forcing people to get my name right in social situations, but we're talking about my patients here, I am kind of there for them, not the other way round.
Dice 15 | 452  
15 Oct 2009 /  #11
"Dr Colon to the ICU" !!!

You need to look at the bright side. If you specialized in gastroenterology the name would fit perfectly.
David_18 68 | 982  
15 Oct 2009 /  #12
It's not the question of people mispronouncing or misspelling my name either. I am just afraid that when I will start my foundation year next year, I am going to be Dr What's-his-name and in the competitive environment it's always going to be easier for the nurse to call Dr Gray, Dr Stevens or Dr O'Malley than me.
Also, I don't have problems forcing people to get my name right in social situations, but we're talking about my patients here, I am kind of there for them, not the other way round.

If you don't have any plans to move back to Poland then change your surname. But don't forget your roots, and teach your children and grandchildren about the polish history like a true polish szlachta would do!
Dice 15 | 452  
15 Oct 2009 /  #13
How do you know he is or want to be a szlachta?
Mister H 11 | 761  
15 Oct 2009 /  #14
I am not really ashamed of where I come from, besides it's not like I'll ever pass for an English person with my accent.

An English sounding name, together with a foreign accent from a country that doesn't typically have English names, tends to mean fraudster to me - but I've worked in credit card fraud before, so I tend to have a suspicious mind about such things !

It's not the question of people mispronouncing or misspelling my name either. I am just afraid that when I will start my foundation year next year, I am going to be Dr What's-his-name and in the competitive environment it's always going to be easier for the nurse to call Dr Gray, Dr Stevens or Dr O'Malley than me.

Considering you're training to be a doctor, you seem to know a lot of stupid people.

In my experience, most people only need telling once that someone's surname is said a particular way.

From what you have said, I don't think you need to go to all the hassle of changing your name legally, just to make life a little easier from people that will probably get the hang of it anyway.

Maybe rather than changing it legally, could you not just use a different name for work ?
jonni 16 | 2,485  
15 Oct 2009 /  #15
I'm used to Polish people mispronouncing my surname. In ten years here, only two or three people have got it right. I once had an old cow at Poczta Polska tell me I pronounce my own name incorrectly. The ignorant old b**ch would be fired if she was in the UK and said that to a Polish person. Even friends I've known for years get it wrong, though the pronounciation should be obvious to anyone with intermediate level English.

I wouldn't change it though.

Mr H made a good suggestion.

One possible solution is to follow the example of someone I used to know. She was a psychiatrist. Her surname was Nutter. So for obvious reasons, she usd a pseudonim (I think her maiden name) for work, and her own name outside work.

So keep your surname, by all means, but consider adopting a professional name while at work. After all, lots of actors and singers do, and certainly some doctors.
niburak - | 36  
15 Oct 2009 /  #16
When I arrived to US my polish names were some how changed to very difficult to pronounce version. I had to wait to change them back to original polish form until I became US citizen. Regaining my real name made me fill very good.
1jola 14 | 1,879  
15 Oct 2009 /  #17
Marcin is a very cool name, keep it. If you must change it, change it to Jola. :)

Names do matter though. In a study I read while back, in the US, the same CV sent to companies with the name Leslie Jones received much more attention than from Latifa Jones.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
15 Oct 2009 /  #18
Marcin is a very cool name, keep it.

No, he should change it to Arnold. Fits better with him, I think.

change it to Jola.

What kind of name is that? Sounds like a dog's name: "did you take Jola out today? He's gonna p*ss all over the place if you don't".

Names do matter though.

Looks do matter too. Unfortunately.

>^..^<

M-G (hires only capable ppl. Grumpy)
1jola 14 | 1,879  
15 Oct 2009 /  #19
You're not only grumpy, but somewhat primitive. Jola is a female name, short for Jolanta. With your main hobby of sniffing after foreign females aroud Amsterdam, I'm surprisied you haven't sniffed out one yet.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
15 Oct 2009 /  #20
You're not only grumpy, but somewhat primitive.

I'm glad we have a highly evolved female here to correct a grumpy and primitive, perhaps even mysogynistic M-G. I am so grateful for that.

sniffing after foreign females aroud Amsterdam

I haven't been in Amsterdam for over 10 years, I think.

I'm surprisied

Be aware, you're gonna be surprised a lot more on here.

>^..^<

M-G (grumpy!)
Mister H 11 | 761  
15 Oct 2009 /  #21
When I arrived to US my polish names were some how changed to very difficult to pronounce version. I had to wait to change them back to original polish form until I became US citizen. Regaining my real name made me fill very good.

Are you saying that your name was changed without you doing it yourself ? How could that happen ?
niburak - | 36  
15 Oct 2009 /  #22
How could that happen ?

I got my "one way" passport from Poland. I was emigrating to US and transitional stop was in Germany (for two months). In Germany emigration clerk fill out my emigration forms, sill them in the envelop and shipped me and my family to US. When I discover what name is on my form I want my real name back, but I was advice that would be easy and faster change my name after naturalization. So I did.
inkrakow  
15 Oct 2009 /  #23
I am myself a Pole, currently living in the UK and considering changing my legal name and surname to an English-friendly one.

What's the Polish government's view on name changing? Will they issue you a passport/dowód for your new name?
andrewwright 8 | 65  
15 Oct 2009 /  #24
Why change your name?You are who you are,How many doctors in the UK working in hospitals and surgerys that us English cannot say there names? millions,so keep your polish name and if the English patiants want to see you then they have to learn your name,SIMPLE

MR WRIGHT the one and only lol
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
15 Oct 2009 /  #25
It's not the question of people mispronouncing or misspelling my name either. I am just afraid that when I will start my foundation year next year, I am going to be Dr What's-his-name and in the competitive environment it's always going to be easier for the nurse to call Dr Gray, Dr Stevens or Dr O'Malley than me.

You're studing in the UK do you think you are the first person with a long foreign name? Do you think they all changed their names? NOPE...get over yaself...
OsiedleRuda  
15 Oct 2009 /  #26
Yeah, could have been worse, I wonder if he realises how long Sri Lankan names are, lol :)
Nika 2 | 507  
15 Oct 2009 /  #27
You're studing in the UK do you think you are the first person with a long foreign name? Do you think they all changed their names? NOPE...get over yaself...

totally agree.
People, stop thinking that if your life somewhere is tough it's because you're PL, you have PL name, you studied in PL.
Never ever in my life would I change my PL name & surname - love it just the way it is - it would be like denying everything that I am...
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
15 Oct 2009 /  #28
I fully agree that you should not change your name. Just carry a block of 4 by 2 timber around with you and every time one of us dumbo Brits mispronounces your name just give us a wack around the head. We will soon learn the correct pronunciation;)

Keep the name please

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