Student’s anger as lecturer tells her to stop complaining about her name being mispronounced

A woman was left feeling upset after a university lecturer refused to stop mispronouncing her’ name – and threatened to make her leave the class when she highlighted the issue.

The woman’s traditional name is Awhina, which is pronounced as ‘A-feen-na’ but she also uses the nickname Effy.

But her new university lecturer pronounces it ‘A-wphee-na’, and refuses to correct herself, or use the student’s nickname instead.

On Reddit, the 18-year-old asked for advice on the issue – after her friends told her to drop it.

The 18-year-old wrote: “So no one can pronounce my name at first glance. My name is Awhina (A-FEEN-NA) but I also go by Effy as a nickname.

“Well, we recently got a new professor and obviously she’d get names mixed up and stuff, but it’s been 3 weeks and she still calls me ‘Awhina’ AND she pronounces it wrong despite me telling her how to say it.

“At one point I stayed behind to talk to her about it and that she can call me ‘Effy’ if she can’t pronounce my real name. She said she doesn’t believe in nicknames and that I am ‘Awhina’ (again, pronounced wrong). She says it like ‘A-WPHEE-NA’.

“I said fine but the next day I started to call out the correct pronunciation every time she said my name wrong. For example: ‘Awhina, what is x?’ ‘A-FEE-NA. The answer is y.’

“It’s been going on for about a week and I got called back yesterday by Professor who essentially called me an a**hole and said that if I continued to disrespect her, she’d have me removed from the class.

“I told my friends, but they said they’re getting annoyed with it, that I’m holding up the class and being obnoxious.”

On Reddit, people agreed with the woman that the teacher was acting in an offensive and ignorant manner.

One person wrote: “I’m a teacher at an international school and not all of my kids have names I recognise. It literally takes two seconds to ask how to say it, write it down, and learn it.

“Jesus you don’t even have any difficult phonemes in there.”

Another said: “I honestly think it’s time to kick it up the food chain. This professor outright dismissed your very sensible compromise and has made it a point of pride to mispronounce your name; now, she is threatening retaliation.

“You are now a legal adult, she should address you with a modicum of respect.”

A third added: “It’s a Māori/Polynesian name, it’s easy to pronounce, so deliberately mispronouncing it every time seems very racist.

“If the prof has trouble remembering then she should simply write a phonetic version next to the name on her paperwork.”