Thailand for farang

How to pronounce my name

I’ve been living abroad for almost 2 years now. During that time I’ve met many people with different nationalities. What they all have in common is they all struggle pronouncing my name.

The irony about that is I changed my name a few years before I moved to Thailand. My first name used to be Soechaadaa (Suchada), my Thai name. But at school everybody made fun of it. Ofcourse that’s not amusing, but I can handle that. Another issue was nobody took me serious in the business world. Yes, it’s a racist thing. But not only those reasons. The main reason was because everybody called me “Noeke” ever since I was born.

My mom gave me that nickname. She is Thai. In Thailand it is common to have a beautiful first name, which is too long and too confusing to write and pronounce. So they give everybody nicknames. I’m not sure if that is the reason why, I’m just saying. My nickname was ‘หนู’ (H̄nū) or Noe in Dutch. The ‘-ke’ is a diminutive form in Dutch. Because I was quite tiny.

So actually my thai nickname means mouse/rat. Apparently I was born in the month of the mouse in Thailand and the year of the rat in China, so ‘หนู’(Noe) it was.

Noeke หนู(เก้อะ) My name means mouse.

I thought if I’d change my official name to my nickname me my life would be much more easy. And it was! Until I moved to Thailand. Once again natives (Thai people) laugh when they read my name or try to mimic the sounds. Most of the foreigners can’t even mimic the sounds. They’ll try and smile and then I’ll say it’s ok. Well…story of my life I guess?

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