How to Read/Remember People's Names in the United States? As a college student, I have to do a lot of teamwork this semester. This semester I have been in some teams with American team members, and found it difficult reading/remembering their names!!! I would forget their names immediately after they introduced themselves. Writing names down may help a little bit, but I still have trouble pronounce them correctly. Common names like "John/David/Chris/Richard" are OK. But some names are not very common and I just don't know how to spell it. That really matters because it may be offensive to the other person if you don't say his/her name correctly.
Jan 13, 2017 9:32 PM
Answers · 5
If you just ask people how to pronounce their names, they'll tell you and will appreciate your effort.
January 13, 2017
I agree with Saff - it never hurts to ask, and you can always say, "Sorry, I forgot how to say/write your name...?"
January 13, 2017
Don't be afraid, it is flattering to someone to know that you are trying to get their name right. It would be perfectly reasonable to hand them a notebook and pencil and ask them to write their name for you. You could even cheat: you could say "I'd like to have a list of our email addresses. If everyone will write their name and email address on this paper I'm passing around, afterwards I'll make up a list and email it to everyone." Most people will think that's a good idea. Of course you have to follow up and actually do it, but in the process you'll have gotten a list of everybody's names.
January 13, 2017
This happens to me all the time, and I am a native English speaker. If I totally forgot what somebody's name is, and I'm too embarrassed to say "What's your name? I forgot", sometimes I just ask them how they spell their name. Except for the basic ones like David and Richard, there is a lot of variation in the way people spell their names, and even native English speakers get confused. You won't know if that woman's name is Caitlin, Caitlyn, Katelyn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlin, or what, until it's spelled out for you. If you know it's not a common short name with a standard spelling, it will seem perfectly normal to ask.
January 14, 2017
Create a funny story about their name that relates to them. "Arnold" can be "AN-OLD-friend" because it sounds like Arnold. "Aneesah" has "A-NEAT-SAc". The sillier the story the more likely you are to remember their name. When you think you know the name pretty well you can forget the silly story. This also works for remembering any piece of vocabulary
January 13, 2017
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