Jeffrey

jcminthedriversseat

Senior Member
USA - English
Hello all,

My name is Jeffrey or Jeff for short. I have many friends who speak limited English and they find Jeff or Jeffrey difficult to pronounce because of the "J" sound. A few years ago a Mexican-American man named Jeff told me that Spanish for Jeffrey is Ceferino (or Xefe for short). I could never confirm that he was right but I liked the name and have offered it as a nick name for those who find my extremely English name (a French version of a Germanic name brought to England by the Normans) difficult to pronounce. I certainly prefer Ceferino or Xefe over "Yeff."

I looked on behindthename.com and the nearest translation I've been able to find is Godoberto which actually translates to Godfrey which is a derivation of the same name as Geoffrey which became Jeffrey during Medieval times. As far as I can from tell the name Ceferino exists and Xefe is the shortened version but neither has an English translation according a Spanish baby names site called guiainfantil.com. Does anyone no any more about the translation of Jeffrey?

A number of people have now taken to calling me by my self-appointed Spanish nickname Ceferino or Xefe. I really don't care for the name Godoberto. Since it's a nickname anyway and not my real name, should I continue to offer Seferino as an option, should I use Godoberto instead, or should I use the opportunity to teach people how to pronounce the English "J" sound so they can pronounce my real name correctly. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Jeff
 
  • Regulus

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Costa Rica
    Wow!

    Well, I think that name has not an equivalent in spanish...But anyway, since you seem to know much more about your name than me :), I just wanna suggest you to teach people the right pronunciation. It might not work perfectly but remember it is a matter of time. I'm sure it would took you a while to learn how to pronounce Luis, Alberto, Ernesto, ... without let others guess you are not native. :)
     

    lforestier

    Senior Member
    Puerto Rico - Spanish/English
    It's interesting to note that many Spanish name are of Germanic origen since the Iberian peninsula was ruled for many centuries by a Germanic tribe called the Visigoth. My name Luis comes from Ludvic and names like Rodrigo = Roderic, Guillermo=Wilhelm,etc..
    What I find even more interesting that your Spanish-speaking friends have trouble pronouncing Jeff. There are many words in Spanish with a similar sound. I've never heard the word chef mispronounced in Spanish and that must sound much more like Jeff than Yeff. Maybe they are trying to read your name before listening to it.
     

    Chaucer

    Senior Member
    US inglés/español
    Your friends don't have difficulty pronouncing your name as "Yeff", so I suggest let it be as long as you understand they are addressing you. I was wondering if you pronounce their names, say, that have have a "trilled r" correctly-- as in Carlos, Roberto, Reyes-- as done in Spanish. Would you pronounce "Carlos" with the "r" in the first syllable "Car-" sounding like "car" (the vehicle) in English to end up saying "Car-lose" with the "o" sounded out long like in "most" which would be not be correct. If you have good Spanish pronunciation, than my point is pointless, but if not, I doubt any Carlos or Roberto is going to insist that you pronounce the "r" correctly. All they will care about is that you address them respectfully.
     

    jcminthedriversseat

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Reply to Chaucer

    Interesting we're discussing the name Jeffrey and your handle is Chaucer hehe. Yes, I do pronounce r and rr sounds correctly in Spanish. I try never to anglicize Hispanic names to fit the phoenetics of my native language. I am careful to try to learn the correct pronunciation of the names of people regardless of what language the name comes from. As a matter of respect, I make every attempt to learn to pronounce a person's name the way that person pronounces it. Sometimes I have to attempt a person's name and be corrected at least a time or two before I get it right. Some spanish-speaking people insist on calling me by my real name regardless of their difficulty in pronouncing it and they usually get it right eventually. Others latch on to the easier-to-pronounce Spanish-sounding name and never look back. If they seem as interested in learning English as I am in learning more Spanish, I usually take a few minutes help them get it right. Guess I'll continue to play it by ear.

    Thanks for the input,
    Jeff
     

    terepere

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Spain
    Isn´t it a great thing we are all trying our best to learn a foreign language??

    But then, are you aware that if you start learning a language after the age of 12 you will never ever sound like a native speaker??? Your phonic organs will be blended by then to your mother tongue... and unless the language you are learning bears some ressemblance with your own phonic system, you will always find some difficulties in pronouncing some sounds.

    But the again... so what?? Why get rid of the charm foreign accents bring into life?? I will probably never say Jeff in the right way, or Chaucer, or Washington Irving!! But that is not reason enough not to say them up loud or find a Spanish way around them. Why should I?? Too bad my parents never sent me to a boarding school in England. The world will have to put up with my accent!:D
     

    jcminthedriversseat

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Gracias por todas sus entradas. Encontré lo qué terepere y chaucer tuvieron que decir especialmente provechoso y de aclaración. Aprender una segunda Lenguaje es de verdas un viaje. Podemos pasar toda la vida para aprender. Hay muchas palabras y frases españolas que no caen facilmente de mi lengua. Hasta en inglés, que es mi lenguaje natal, todavía comito errores. Soy agradecido que la gente ha sido bastante buena aceptar mis errores y ayudarme a aprender. El viaje continúa.

    Jeff
    Por favor, correcta todos mis errores españoles (o ingleses si los notan).
     
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