When I move to Mexico, I don’t know if I should keep using my first name. In Spanish, “Joy” is pronounced “yoi,” which sounds too similar to “yo” and also “hoy” (“I” and “today”). It’s also, let’s face it, terribly unfeminine. Somehow, that soft j-sound keeps my name feminine and lyrical (Jhhhoy. Ah, like a fresh breeze, isn’t it?). Yoi, meanwhile, sounds like a springing wire, or like I might be a mental basket-case, since it’s one syllable shy of “yo-yo.”
Thankfully, my name is all real-live nouns. So, I can do a literal translation, and become Alegria Victoria. That has a nice ring to it. Or, Alegria Conquista. Even better!
I also like Victoria Victor. The way Spanish V is pronounced — a soft B — is nice, too. (pron: Beak-tore-ee-ah Beak-tor) . Hmm.
And before anyone gets too literal on me, I’m not really planning to foist off my name, although the idea of having a new, easier name is delightful. Why? Well, how many times have you, my friend, had to endure this conversation?
Person 1: What’s your name?
Person 1: Joy. Joy? Joy to the World!!!
Me (frowning): Yes. Like that.
Person 1: I bet you get that all the time.
Me: No, never.