Last night, we met a young woman named Claudia. She's been in Galicia about a year now, originally from California. She's in her 20s and is already a more accomplished traveler than us. Go Claudia. She, along with her friend Noah, was a wealth of knowledge about what to do in the area -- we love finding non-locals who've adopted a city as their home.
As the evening progressed, she was introduced to a local who's name escapes me right now. Hey, I was drinking. And I'm rubbish with hames. Anywho... when Claudia introduced herself to me, an obvious American, she pronounced her name as "klahd-ee-uh", as I would expect. An hour or so later, when introducing herself to the Galician new to our conversation, she said "cloud-the-ah". I looked at her quizzically, and she said "that's how it's pronounced here."
Interesting. I suppose I knew that at some level, and obviously people from Galicia would put their local (think Spanish/Portuguese) accents on foreign names. We tend to Anglo-ze names (picture the exchange between Butch and Esmarelda Villa Lobos in her cab in Pulp Fiction) and vice-versa. And I, like Alex Trebek, try and pronounce someone's name the way it was said to me. We all do, to a certain extent. When you meet "hay-soos", you probably don't call him "Gee-zuhs" the rest of the evening. Unless you're being an asshole. Or it's the rapture.
But changing the pronunciation of ones own name to match the local dialect is interesting to me I wonder if I should start introducing myself as Ay-Vho while I"m here in an effort to blend in? Nah. Won't help.