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Oh wow... What a story! I loved the way you wrote this - I could feel your sadness in finding out one of the characters wasnt a real one... I'm learning more and more about the complexity of changing names to an English name. It's so interesting but it always makes me a little sad that people feel the need to change their Chinese name to an English name. Should I be sad? Do people do it to assimilate or because us Australians can't be bothered learning how to say something a little different?

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I think it’s both. I wonder what I would have done myself if I'd migrated to Australia as an adult. At church, I meet people who've come here from other countries, and many have indeed changed their names partly to fit in and partly to make it 'easier' for Australians to say their names. I do find it a little sad, and I usually try and get them to teach me how to say their actual names in their language. Thanks for always taking the time to read and to leave a comment, Kym! It's so encouraging.

Ronnie xo

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My dad moved from Holland to Australia and kept his dutch name 'Sjaak' but often gets confused with Jacques, shark or Shane 😂

What a good idea to ask them their original name - I think I'll do the same with some of my church acquaintances! That way you show respect for their heritage too, which is such a huge part of who someone is. You're so welcome! I love find Australian christian writers on here 💛 hope to start writing here soon too!

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I totally agree that it signals you care about and respect their heritage. It's such an important part of ministering to others.

Ronnie xo

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Oh, seems to me it worked out for you, using that old laptop - this is wonderfully written ! Funny and emotional at the same time. Of course, you're your original name! Personally i have a much more liberal/less attached view of my name. Charlotta is actually my second name and I only got it because my parents realised my first name was so quintessentially Swedish it would make zero sense anywhere else (it's as viking as it gets and means shewolf and I'm named after a viking princess character in a book they were both reading at the time😄). And of course I moved abroad as a young adult... It's fine🤷🏻‍♀️. I was a bit frustrated with my son's name though. He was born in France and consequently it says Raphaël on his birth certificat. As I sent it to the proper Swedish authorities they apparently tried to enter the "ë", but failed. I realised a few years later hé was registered as Rapha El Surname, like some Arabian prince 😬🙄... There's quite the large Chinese community here; they never use French names, just try to spell their Chinese names in a Western way according to the sound.

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I would LOVE to know what your first name is, Charlotta! Which Viking princess character are we talking about here? :) Yes, spelling out our Chinese names in a phonetic way to ‘create’ the Western version of our names is very common. Thanks for your kind words, as always.

Ronnie xo

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Well, it's Ylva. Traditional Swedish names are sometimes very literal, like Björn is literally 🐻, Ulf is 🐺 and Ylva/Ulva is female 🐺. My sister's name is Åsa (also from that book) and it just means godess (the Nordic gods being asar). The book's original title is "Röde Orm" which translates to "Red Snake/Serpent", but I think it's called "The Long Ships" instead ? The main character is Red Snake/Serpent - red because of his hair and temper and Snake/Serpent because that's his name... 🐍. Quite the story, but written in an old-fashioned way that everyone might not enjoy 😄. It begins with him trying to protect his mother's farm, but being taken into slavery instead (they did that). He's force to row long ships for awhile, but then becomes a galley slave (Andalusien muslim), then part of Almansur's bodyguard, then has to escape (friends are more important). Stops in Demark, the court of Harald Bluetooth, gets into trouble (and is injured), falls in love with Harald's daughter Ylva, tries to prove he's worthy, but one of Ylva's brothers decides to try to overthrow and kills the king and she has to flee. Red Serpent starts looking for her, ends up raiding etc in England, but actually finds her there. In order for them to get married he has to convert and that is the cause of many more aventures, but basically they live happy ever after. There's an interesting side story about a priest that gets transferred further and further north as a punishment because for getting ladies pregnant wherever he goes😄. Their paths will cross and it'll be a bit of a mess. Åsa, is Red Serpents Mother.

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Gah... sorry about the odd spelling. My phone auto corrects everything into non-sensical French and I don't always catch the changes until after posting...

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