Hi,

So I have lived in Spain now for almost 10 years and I will be applying for citizenship soon. As part of this process I can pretty much chose my Spanish name. Or I can keep my polish name.

The problem is that my name is very polish, like Grzegorz Filipowski. Every time someone has to write it down and look me up in a database I have to show them my ID. When it happens over the phone I have to spell it. Every time I meet someone they ask me what’s my name is and then repeatedly try to pronounce it while I say ‘yeah… close enough’. It’s pretty annoying and it would be solved by simply changing my name to something Spanish like Gregorio González or something.

What do you think? Would you see it as a practical thing to do or as a stupid intent at impersonating a real Spaniard?

  • kersploosh@sh.itjust.works
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    8 months ago

    I don’t know how it would be received in Spanish culture, but in the US this is common. I know several people with Chinese, Vietnamese, and Polish names who have either adopted Anglo-American names, or changed the spelling and pronunciation of their name to make life easier. In my opinion it’s not a big deal. Also, it’s fun when you get to know someone well enough to learn their “real” name.

      • MissJinx@lemmy.world
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        8 months ago

        How do people call you? They may have a “nickname” or a spanish name right? You don’t have ro have a spanish name just a more “western” one. You don’t have to translate you surname either just “americanize”. For exemple Grzegorz Filipowski can be Greg, or Gregor Filipo.

  • BeardedBlaze@lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    I asked myself the same question when getting US citizenship (also born Polish). Ended up not changing my name (although in English few letters aren’t exact, like using L instead of Ł). I don’t mind showing my ID, but just like you, people still manage to mess it up. It often ends up being a starter to interesting conversations, which personally I’ve enjoyed. Having a real unique name can have an advantage - I’ve never received a bill that wasn’t actually for me, unlike my American friends with common first name/last name combinations.

  • LemmyKnowsBest@lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    Yes if it feels comfortable to you and will make your life easier, change it.

    I had my name legally changed in 2018 to something I feel more comfortable with. Love it. No regrets.

    • ExLisper@linux.communityOP
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      8 months ago

      How was the transition? Did you correct everyone when they used the old name or do you just let old friends keep using it? I would just let my polish friends/family use my polish name obviously.

  • ani@endlesstalk.org
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    8 months ago

    Yeah that name makes sense. Is that surname to combine with the name? because it doesn’t resemble your Polish surname. I think “Gregory Filipo” would be closest to your Polish one

    • ExLisper@linux.communityOP
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      8 months ago

      I can’t come up with another example in polish but my surname could be translated to Spanish equivalent, same as first name. It’s like if you’re George White and change it to Gregorio Blanco.

  • Txopi@lemmy.ml
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    8 months ago

    That’s a personal decision. You could list the pros and cons and then take a decission.

    I think you can use Gregorio for your daily life (probably you already do that) and sometimes, when you have to do a legal operation, be patient as until now.

    I’m a 100% Spanish person and I have the same difficulties as you! Mi name and surname are Basque (a language spoken in Spain, but different to Castilian Spanish; there are millions of Spanish people with Catalan names too + all the people from Europe, etc.).

    Every time I have to spell my name or my surname (or both), I do it. And personally I have no intention to change them. My name and my language, as my family and my history, are important parts of my identity, and I’m proud of them. I’d recomend you to do the same, here in Spain and in any other place of the world. Also to speak Polish to your childs if you ever have any.

    But as I said before, it’s a personal decision and if the legal stuff you have to do sometimes are a real problem for you, change your name. Just be sure that you will not regret later for giving up a part of your identity.

  • jmbmkn@beehaw.org
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    8 months ago

    Seems reasonable to change your first name to make your life more convenient, but unless people encounter these names, they’ll never used to saying them.

    In the UK it takes knowledge to know how to pronounce Irish names but one you’ve met a few Siobhans and Eoins you get used to it.

    There is an element of historical oppression here though. Some people choose to use an Irish spelling because, well, the English keep trying to erase other cultures. That example didn’t work out as well as I thought it would.

    • ExLisper@linux.communityOP
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      8 months ago

      Oh, they will never get used to saying those names because they are just not able to make polish sounds. In polish there’s a lot of weird sounds like ‘szcz’ (shsh) or thinks like ‘prz’, ‘zsz’, ‘dżdż’ that foreigners just can’t reproduce. My name is like that. And even if they learn to kind of almost say it they are never able to write it. People at work always make mistakes when writing my name.

    • ExLisper@linux.communityOP
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      8 months ago

      Just the spelling? No, polish is to weird. As in my example, you can’t spell Grzegorz in Spanish, you can only translate it to Gregorio or something.

  • thetreesaysbark@sh.itjust.works
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    8 months ago

    As someone who doesn’t speak Spanish at all, you could espanify your last name so that your name would be

    Gregorio Filippo, or something similar?

  • joelthelion@lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    How about using your Polish nickname (surely you have one?)? This would likely be easier to spell for the average Spaniard, while staying closer to your identity than going full “Gregorio González”.

    • ExLisper@linux.communityOP
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      8 months ago

      I can use nicknames with friends but when someone has to write it down it’s usually a legal matter (like talking to some official or bank) and they need my real name. And they need first and last name.

        • ExLisper@linux.communityOP
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          8 months ago

          Yes, I could kind of do it for first name but I would still have to change my last name. When for example I call customer support and they ask me how to refer to me I just tell them something like ‘Greg’, something they can pronounce. But more often the need my actual name.

    • MomoTimeToDie@sh.itjust.works
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      8 months ago

      It isn’t about length, it’s about how you use it. Take it from a 5 character last name where 3 characters aren’t spelled how they’re said