~ my name ~

29 April 2002

my name is Thalia. it is not an Indonesian name. my mom made it up.

here in the United States, once in a while i get asked how to pronounce my name. to tell you the truth, i don’t get too hung up on the pronounciation of my name.

first of all, there is no correct way to pronounce my name, since my mom just made the name up. so far, she calls me taleeya.

secondly, every language has different ways to pronouce letters. back in Indonesia, people ignore any letter H that comes after a consonant. that’s just the way Indonesian dialect is. also, the letter T sounds a bit different than English T — it’s lighter, less breathy and sounds almost like D.

when i was applying for college in the US, i called the registrar offices asking if they can send me the college applications. i would spell my name in my Indonesian tongue — t-h-a-l-i-a, and almost every single college application spelled my name incorrectly; phalia and dalia are the common ones. oops.

when i was in college, my name was pronounced in 4 different ways by americans — thaalya with soft t, theileeya with soft t and soft h, taalya with hard t, and teilya with soft a — and i still knew they were referring to me. i guess i have accepted the fact that in English, the letters t-h-a-l-i-a can actually be pronounced in 4 (or maybe more) different ways.

that brings me to the third point. all the different pronounciations of my name mean the same to me. when one of my professors in college called me theileeya, a friend of mine said, “hey, that’s not your name…” well, i think it is. the English language has many homographs (one of two or more words that have the same spelling but differ in origin, meaning, and sometimes pronunciation), which leads to the importance of pronounciation. homograph doesn’t occur as often in Indonesian. so, i don’t consider pronounciation as a crucial part of my identity.

now, depending on which language i’m speaking in, i pronounce my name differently. my indonesian version would be taleeya, the english version would be taalya. my point is, we all know accents exist and as long as you make the effort, the english way or the indonesian way, they’re both okay for me.

~ comment (8) ~

it’s interesting you make this statement. for me, my name is sounds, and not spelling. :) of course, if you can’t pronounce it do to accent, then whatever’s closest, haha. but it’s interesting you accept so many diff pronounciations, indeed!

tek | 1 May 2002 - 02:09 | reply

I don’t have a problem with my first name (I guess my name is a common one). My last name though, is so annoying~-_-;;; some teachers at school usually address students with “Mr. [Lastname]” or “Miss [Lastname]” - but when it comes to me, they stuck, and use my fist name instead…

felisha | 3 May 2002 - 02:41 | reply


AREEPEN CH. | 30 December 2002 - 01:52 | reply

FYI: In Greek mythology, Thalia is one of the Greek Muses, and she resides over comedy and light poetry. Her attributes are the comic mask and a shepherd’s staff. Thalia is also the name of one of the Graces (Charites).

Rachel | 29 January 2003 - 05:29 | reply

I just named my newborn Thalia. My husband and I intended it to be pronounced with a silent h. I can’t believe how confused people seem to be by this. I think it is a beautiful name and hope my daughter takes the same attitude that you have in her years to come.

| 27 February 2003 - 10:24 | reply

My name is Thalia too. Thalia Campos to be exact. My mother claims to have made it up as well. I thought the pronunciation of the name was funny b/c that’s exactly how people pronounce my name. I don’t really mind but I hate when they call me Tallia…..like Tall.

Thalia Campos | 18 April 2003 - 06:29 | reply

interesting because my name is phalia. people always pronounce it like f-a-i-l-u-r-e. then i say no i am not a failure but it does sound similar. i have never met anyone with my name but I see on website that in other countries it is not unheard of. i am really searching to see what my name means and why mom my mom name me phalia because i am African American. i think it would be interesting to know what it meant and also to know whether or not she knew why she name me phalia. by the way my middle name is marie and when people can’t pronouce my name i tell them to call me pha (fay) or phalia marie then they ask me am i french. :) no I am not. i rather people call me fay. i have seen many people with the name Thalia but never phalia. i think it would be nice to know someone with the same name I have. i think all name are derived from something whether it is good or bad and hopefully mine was good.

Phalia | 27 July 2003 - 09:54 | reply

My name gets pronounced a variety of ways: the one I usually use “L”eece The same first sound as in Eleanor and second as in “fleece”. But I also get “E”-lease and “L”-ease and “E”-lees and Ellis. Some people even manage to put an “sh” in the middle: E-leash or Ah-leash. That kind of annoys me. The funny one was when the nurse when I was born wrote my name as “Alice” because I was born in Belgium and in Dutch the way my mom said my (French) name was the way they said “Alice”

Elise | 12 July 2004 - 12:30 | reply