My Name

How To Pronounce My Name

If you want to pronounce my name in Polish, then the spelling is almost IPA: [ˈɡa.ja][ˈja.rɔʂ]

If, like most people in the States, you’d like to pronounce my name in the Americanized form, it is something like this: [ˈɡaɪ.ɘ] or [ˈɡa.jə] [ˈja.ɹoʃ] with some variants possible in the two stressed vowels.

Why, you might wonder, is my name spelled so funny? ‘Gaja’ is the Polish spelling of the Greek mother earth, the inspiration for my name.

How Not To Pronounce My Name

You would think that with a four letter (or four phoneme) first name, there wouldn’t be too many possible mispronunciations; but, you’d be wrong.

I have heard a lot of very creative pronunciations of my name. Here are just a few for my first name (I’m sure you can imagine several for my last name):

  • [ˈɡeɪ.jə] (please do not call me this!)
  • [ˈɡeɪ.ʒə]
  • [ˈɡeɪ.dʒə]
  • [ˈɡæ.ʒə]
  • [ˈɡæ.dʒə]
  • [ˈɡɑ.hə]
  • [ˈɡɑ.ʒə]
  • [ˈɡɑ.dʒə]
  • [ˈʒɑ.ʒə]
  • [ˈdʒɑ.dʒɑ] (consonant harmony?)
  • [ˈɡɑ.ɡɑ] (why??? consonant harmony, reduplication?)
  • [ˈska.ja] (after replying ‘it’s Gaja’ to the question ‘what’s your name?’)
  • [ˈdaɪ.ɘ] (my interpretation of the written starbucks rendition: “dyah”)