Parisian Living

Having a French Name Doesn’t Make You French

by Yvonne Hazelton
Written By

Yvonne Hazelton

Yvonne is an American writer living in Paris. She blogs at Escaping the Empty Nest. View Yvonne Hazelton's Website

10 comments on “Having a French Name Doesn’t Make You French

right on Auntie Yvonne

I’m right there with you… Yvonne Long.

This article gave me a much needed laugh outloud moment!!

Jeananne Hollenback

I have experienced the same my entire life. Even family members can’t pronounce my name or understand that it is one name, not Jean Anne! The coffee shop scenario, I just say “Jean” and it is always spelled – Gene, a typical male spelling. I love the name Yvonne. I say, embrace it! Bring a lovely new youthful spirit to her 🙂

A gorgeous collection of photos as always!!

Chantalle Millman

Ha! LOVED this article. My name is Chantalle – yes with the additional L & E. I am much older so growing up there were very few American Chantals, like today, with all the different spellings. Anyway, when I lived in Paris in the late 80’s people just assumed I was French because of the name, which was great – until they heard my butchered accent. My French boyfriend at the time, let me know that my name, Chantal was also an old lady name, like Mildred.

I love Chantalle. It’s coming back! -Erica
PS Try having the name Erica in France. A whole other can of worms. They CAN NOT pronounce it. I have to say RIK (French pronunciation) and then you know, like Eric with an A. Aie.

Your article cracked me up! That’s hilarious our name is an old lady name in France – I had no idea! I’m named after my grandmother Yvonne, who was born in 1901. My mother is a devout francophile, yet she is 100% Belgian. I had the same experience growing up with no one able to pronounce my name and everyone thinking I was French descent. What I hate is when they pronounce the Y in my name and it sounds like Yuh-vahn. How annoying!

Lol I have the opposite problem here, because my entire name is French, and people assume I’m native and speak at a pace worthy of a timed event. But I’ve had no negative reaction to “Yvonne” especially after I adjusted my pronunciation to how it’s commonly pronounced in France; in fact the reaction is often one of delight. Vive les Yvonnes!

It appears there are many! 🙂

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