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  1. #1
    Vytas D is offline Newbie
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    Need help from native English speakers

    Hello. This should be an easy task, even amusing. Here is the story from the beginning. I’m a musician from Lithuania. As a musician, I’m in constant need to introduce myself to the English speaking community worldwide. As a Lithuanian, I don’t have perfect English skills, I’d say, I can’t “feel” the language to a certain degree, and I’ve got the surname that is difficult to read and pronounce for any non-Lithuanian. I’ve considered choosing a kind of “stage name”, but I feel the risk of coming up with something ridiculous. Recently I came across the information about Americans of Lithuanian descent who originally had a family name exactly like mine, but changed the spelling according to English language traditions making it look rather common in the English context, while the pronunciation remained quite reminiscent of the previous. So I thought, once this “transcription” has been done a long time ago and the new version has spread, maybe I shouldn’t invent anything new trying to adapt my names or creating some completely new fictional pseudonym, but just use this “naturalized” variation instead? The (sur)name I’m talking about is “DISCAVAGE”. And my question is: what comes to your mind first, when you read/hear it? What does it imply? You shouldn’t force and push yourself towards any conclusion, because the answer “nothing” is even the most desirable. I assume, however, that some associations may arise, although the word means nothing per se. That’s why I’d like to know how it sounds: dark? comic? neutral? What mood has it got? I wouldn’t care about that, but in artistic terms such things do matter. Thanks in advance for your thoughts, I appreciate your help. By the way, my first name (shortened version) is Vytas – you can make some comments about its “colour” too, and how you’d read it without any instructions given (would you think of the correct pronunciation, which is “VEE-tus”?). I’m curious!
    Last edited by Vytas D; 29-May-2008 at 18:43.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    I think your surname sounds just fine and interesting. In fact, if we're talking about artistic, I think it's perfect. Don't change or alter it.

    Just one person's opinion!

  3. #3
    Vytas D is offline Newbie
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Thanks a lot! Actually I posted the already altered - anglicized version, because I saw no sense in submitting the original. And if you say it's OK, I won't alter it even more.

  4. #4
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    What's in a name?

    I'm not sure that anglicising the spelling of your surname would confer any commercial or artistic advantage, and perhaps the opposite. It's true that immigrants to the US commonly adapted their names the better to fit in, but that's not your case, and it's not usually done today, especially with the increasing numbers of Eastern Europeans, Africans, Asians, Latin Americans, and Pacific Islanders in American and European profesisonal sports. If the American politician Zbigniew Brzezinski could thrive on an "unpronouncable" name, so, too, can you. What you might do, then, is continue to spell your surname in the normal anglicised version of the Lithuanian, but have it pronounced more or less the way you suggest, so you would be introduced at concerts as "/VEE-tis/ Discavage".

    By the way, from the spelling "Vytas", Anglos would naturally pronounce your name /VAI-tis/ or /VAI-dis/. In Western Europe, the name "Vitus" is historically associated with what was sometimes called 'St Vitus' Dance', a dancing mania that occurred between the 14th and 17th centuries. I don't imagine a lot of people would know that now, but it might have commercial possibilities. Here's the link to Wikipedia:

    Dancing mania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Good luck!
    Last edited by iconoclast; 31-May-2008 at 17:56. Reason: omission

  5. #5
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Vytas D View Post
    The (sur)name I’m talking about is “DISCAVAGE”. And my question is: what comes to your mind first, when you read/hear it? What does it imply? You shouldn’t force and push yourself towards any conclusion, because the answer “nothing” is even the most desirable. I assume, however, that some associations may arise, although the word means nothing per se. That’s why I’d like to know how it sounds: dark? comic? neutral? What mood has it got? I wouldn’t care about that, but in artistic terms such things do matter. Thanks in advance for your thoughts, I appreciate your help. By the way, my first name (shortened version) is Vytas – you can make some comments about its “colour” too, and how you’d read it without any instructions given (would you think of the correct pronunciation, which is “VEE-tus”?). I’m curious!
    Hi Vytas, and welcome.

    Some people might read your first name as vigh-tus, <igh> as in sigh, because the syllable <vy> is similar to the syllable <by>.

    As for your family name, Discavage, thumb's up . It sounds like it reads. I have no feelings one way or the other about its meaning. Mind you, <Disc> is kind of music related, isn't it?

  6. #6
    Vytas D is offline Newbie
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Thank you all for your useful comments! Now let me introduce myself by my official name and surname, as written in my documents: Vytautas Diškevičius.

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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Your interesting question made me wonder how native English speakers feel to my name when they hear mine. My name is Kim Soo Hwan. Whenver I introduce myself to native speakers, they expectedly seemed to be confused and had difficulty trying to pronounce my "awkward" Korean name. What comes up to your mind when you hear my name?
    For fun, I request you Lituanian writer to answer my question too.
    Personally your name led me to think up "Discover Cave and Savage". I know my answer sounds silly. But it`s my first impression to your name :)

  8. #8
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    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Vytas D View Post
    Thank you all for your useful comments! Now let me introduce myself by my official name and surname, as written in my documents: Vytautas Diškevičius.
    Wow! Impressive.

    I'd rather have a hard-to-pronounce name than the one my friend has, Iona Hoover. (Hoover is the name of a vacuum cleaner, and Iona is pronounced I own a ...).

  9. #9
    Vytas D is offline Newbie
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by HUFS1999 View Post
    Your interesting question made me wonder how native English speakers feel to my name when they hear mine. My name is Kim Soo Hwan. Whenver I introduce myself to native speakers, they expectedly seemed to be confused and had difficulty trying to pronounce my "awkward" Korean name. What comes up to your mind when you hear my name?
    For fun, I request you Lituanian writer to answer my question too.
    I'd say neutral. Just normal. No associations, at least nothing silly.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need help from native English speakers

    Your reply laughed my head off! lol~

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