My Friends Call Me Hitler
I often have funny experiences in this country concerning my name. It doesn't seem like it would be a difficult name to pronounce in this language. "Ha" shouldn't be to much of a stretch from their "hai" or "he" sounds and "na" is one of the most common sounds. And yet many of my friends struggle.
Here are some of my favorite local versions of my name:
1) "Hanner" - I tend to hear this from friends from the northern part of the country and it's probably my favorite. It has a cute, affectionate ring to it. It is also the closest to my actual name, so I feel loved when I hear this misnomer instead of the others.
2) "Helen" - I haven no idea how they come to the conclusion that my name is Helen. The only correct letter is the first one. I guess there is an "n" in there, too, but it's just wrong. I have one friend who has called me Helen for a year now and I don't have the heart to tell her I sometimes don't know who she is talking about.
3) "Hiller/Hitler" - This one is just outrageous! I haven't heard it used myself, but my roommate told me about it. Her friend called me some sort of version of Hiller for a couple of hours, regardless of how many times my roommate stated my name for her to hear it correctly. I don't think she was actually saying Hitler, but at points in the conversation, it sounded just like it. The best part of the conversation went as follows... "Yeah, Hannah studied History and German at the university in America." "REALLY? I didn't know Hitler was German!" (Needless to say, my poor roommate could not figure out how the topic had switched so quickly.) "What? You didn't know what? Yeah, he was German." "I had no idea Hitler was German. That is amazing!" "Wait, no, HANNAH is not German. She is American." "Oh, then why did Hitler study German?"