We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blame it on my mother!

Recently, while eating at one of my new favorites on Via Garibaldi, I had a lovely little conversation with one of the owners.  Towards the end of our chat, I introduced myself with "My name is Karen".  He says "Nice to meet you, Carol."  I wasn't surprised, that's a very common response here. No one can pronounce Karen.  I repeated my name to him a second time, to which he replied, " Yes, Carolina, like my girlfriend's name."  At that point I gave it up as a lost cause and went back to eating my meal.

Two days later, at the same little place, the same man greeted me with "Ciao, Carol."  I just grinned and gave him a "ciao" back.

I routinely get the "Ciao, Carol" all over town. I suppose I should just be happy to be acknowledged. It's not their fault they can't pronounce Karen. It's all my mother's fault for not giving me an Italian name!

My mother, Giuliana (now isn't that a beautiful Italian name?) was born and raised in Italy. She moved to the US when she was 19 after marrying my father, who was an American soldier stationed in Naples during the end of WWII.  When my mother had us kids, she named us American names so we would fit in.  Charlotte, Karen, Denise and Charles could have been Carlotta, Camilla, Daniela and Carlo, but no, we had to  have American names!

And so I suffer with most people not being able to say my name. I'd even answer to "Hey, you", I think.

PS.  Mom- I really just want to fit in now!  Is it ok with you if I change my name to Camilla, or Carmella, or Carolina?


Andrew H. said...

Just leave it at Cara. They'll manage that!

Anonymous said...

Yes, go with Carolina, as pronounced by Italians!

But, your name is rather special, I reckon:

"Karen is a Greek girl name. The meaning of the name is `Pure `."

But, wait, there's more:

"It is difficult and perhaps inadvisable to translate names. okay we will attempt. Karen has no precise equivalent in Italian ( it is of Germanic-Scandinavian origins) it is related to Kara- Jewel. Cara ( not spelling) lit. Dear one, pretty one- is Italian and figures in the song Cara Mia- (My Dearest).-again some poetic license taken. Karen is not an Italian name!"

You've got an interesting name! What do your Lioness ladies call you?

Anonymous said...

And the Trattoria on Via Garibaldi is .... al Garanghelo?

karen said...

Ciao, Yvonne! Interestingly enough, the lionesses work hard at pronouncing Karen just right. But my last name--oh good lord, they cannot get an H to save their lives! Most of the time I usually get a big hug and "Ciao, cara" though. I wouldn't care if they called me "Dirt", I'm so happy to be with them. We row out with the Mestre group again on Thursday afternoon, I cannot wait. It's been 3 weeks since we've rowed as everyone is away on their summer holidays. It won't be long before we're back to regular schedule the beginning of September- and then it's the Regata Storica on Sept. 7. Look for me in PINK!

karen said...

No, it is Al Vecio Calice.