Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be able to improve their pronunciation of Chinese names this week.
The College of Business will host a workshop Friday, Nov. 16, on Chinese name pronunciation as part of International Education Week.
“International Education Week showcases the efforts of programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States,” according to the Global Nebraska website.
This week promotes opportunities to experience new cultures and highlight diversity around the campus.
Chandra Schwab, a lecturer in the College of Business and graduate student, said the idea for the event came from the frequency of faculty and staff asking her for help pronouncing Chinese names, as she is also a Chinese language instructor.
However, she thought it could be a clever idea to include a session in International Education Week because of Chinese students’ presence at UNL.
“Everyone likes to know that people care enough to try and say their names correctly,” she said in an email.
Xingyu Liu, a freshman accounting major, said that he knows and understands how hard it is to pronounce Chinese names.
He said before coming to the U.S. people in China told him he would need to change his name as a symbol of American culture.
“I just searched a list of American names from the Internet, and then I picked one that I like,” Zehang Li, a freshman business administration major, said.
Li said he feels uncomfortable when students don’t attempt to pronounce his Chinese name, but he understands it is difficult.
“I don’t care if they are making mistakes when they pronounce my name, but if they don’t try to pronounce that correctly, I will feel sad because I feel like they are not trying to pronounce it, and they are making many mistakes in pronunciation,” he said. “So, I will prefer them to call me my English name.”
Schwab said she used a Chinese name for the same reason when she lived in China. She said it was just easier to use a Chinese name rather than explain how to pronounce her American name all of the time.
“I think it is an individual’s choice,” said Schwab in an email.
However, Schwab thinks that this event will be a good opportunity for the public to learn a bit more about Chinese language.
The event will be held this Friday 12-1 p.m. at College of Business - Howard L. Hawks Hall in Room 032. The event is free to the public and no registration is required.