This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Having a foreign name that's difficult to pronounce

Growing up in Minnesota, I never thought of my name, Brad Hall, as being particularly difficult to pronounce. But, when I moved to the Southwest, and especially to California, I learned that my name was very foreign-sounding to a lot of people whose first language wasn't English. And it has to do with the pronunciation of the letter a.

If you can pronounce my first name Braaaaad, you can pronounce, and hear, the flat *a*. What I discovered is that many languages don't have that kind of sound. Many of my Spanish-speaking friends would pronounce my name as Bread, which is why my nickname became Pan, or Pan Duro. If you speak Spanish, you understand.

The a in my last name isn't exactly the same in terms of pronunciation, but it's still a difficult, and subtle sound. Often I would hear *Hill*. So I often heard *Bread Hill*.

It's all about point of view. So, if you laugh at someone who has difficulty pronouncing something in a language that is foreign to them, all you are saying is that you don't speak a language foreign to yours, and you have never tried.
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