What’s your name?

what's your name

What’s your name

What’s your name? started in February 2020, during the Mother Tongues Festival in Tallaght. The aim of the project was to show the range of names that people have as a way to demonstrate not only that Ireland is the home of many languages, nationalities and identities, but also that while we can be different, there are many things we have in common. Names are something we all share, and in every language there are “easy” and “difficult” names, long ones, and some that are less common and more difficult to spell or pronounce. During the festival we came across many people of all ages who had a story to tell about their own name, and that was the case.

A project on identity with a scientific twist!

We wanted names to be transcribed in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) which is a way to help anyone pronounce any word. Most dictionaries will have the IPA transcription next to the word, to help the reader identify the pronunciation. By transcribing names, we wanted also to show that it is possible to pronounce names correctly, because the “I am not able to say it” is an excuse.

Our name is part of our identity and our history

Sometimes people decide to shorten their name because they perceive it as being hard for others to write or pronounce, sometimes they adapt their name to sound more Irish/English to fit in. But our name is the first thing we say when we meet someone for the first time, and it is the name our parents gave to us, so it is strongly linked to our identity. 

Our short documentary was produced to raise awareness of the diversity of names. The message is very clear and simple, but the documentary can be used in class to have discussions on a range of topics, from language to bias and prejudice.

We hope your class will enjoy it!

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