When my parents chose my name, they went the less traditional route. They thought “Bryan” sounded nicer than “Brian,” and I have to say that I agree. It’s also (in my humble, completely biased opinion) aestically more pleasing.  Y actually thynk we should try replacyng every “I” wyth a “Y.” Yt’s cool and hyp and just better. Let’s make yt happen, people!

But I digress. The pryce I pay for being Bryan instead of Brian is a lifetime of mispellings. After 23 years of seeing my name misspelled though, it doesn’t really bother me anymore.

That being said, I (and the entire Indonesian population) was wildly unprepared for my name’s arrival in this country.

My name is so crazy this kid can’t even believe it

B-R-Y-A-N just does not work well with Indonesian pronunciation.

Quick note on pronunciation in Bahasa Indonesia :

1. All letters are pronounced. Except sometimes “k” which becomes a glottal stop (think the break in your voice between “uh-oh”) at the end of words (like “Pak“).

2. Vowel sounds are always like this:
“A” = “ah”
“E” = “uh” or “eh”
“I” = “ee”
“O” = “au” like in “caught”
“U” = “oo”

In the 22 years and 8 months I’d lived in the U.S. my name was spelled 3 different ways (Brian, Brain, and Bran).

In the 8 months I’ve lived in Indonesia, it’s been spelled 17 different ways.

And now, in no particular order, here they are!

1. Brian
2. Brain
3. Bran
4. Brayn
5. Brayan
6. Brynt
7. Breyen
8. Bryen
9. Bryant
10. Briyan
11. Brayen
12. Braien
13. Byran
14. Braynt
15. Bryn
16. Briant
17. Brayyan

To quote a famous frosty queen, I’m just gonna let it go

Y’m seriously considering switching to one of the many alternative spellings. Don’t be surprised if I return with a different name–I promise it will still sound the same and I’ll still be the same me were I not “Bryan” called!

Until next time,
Brayen Hawerd


One thought on “What’s in a Name?

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