Latinos rarely hear their names pronounced correctly. At NAHJ, they finally do.

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Latinos often have to sacrifice the correct syllables, accents or pronunciations of their names in order to be understood.  These crucial parts of our identities are rarely spoken correctly. At the National Association of Hispanic Journalists conference, however, attendees get the opportunity to hear their name said the right way.

Seven Latinos share their stories of surrendering the correct pronunciations of their names, and the joy hearing the pronunciation of their name spoken correctly brings at the conference.

Iris Melina Olmo goes by her middle name after having others struggle to pronounce “Iris” for most of her life.

Juan Pablo Lopez struggles with sacrificing both of his names in a society that usually pronounces a single first name.

Gabriela Yibirin tells Americans they can pronounce her name by remembering the sandwich brand, “Jimmy Dean”.

Diego Ortiz Quintero felt his name was easier for Americans to pronounce after the release of “Go Diego Go”.

Santa Brito grew up having people ask her if her name was pronounced “like Santa Clause.”

Luis Alberto Gonzalez learned to train others to say his name correctly.

Zaira Perez was ecstatic to hear her name pronounced correctly the moment she got to the door of the Intercontinental hotel.


Fabianna Rincón is a junior attending the School of Communications at American University. She reports in English and Spanish and aspires to focus on political journalism. Reach her at fabiannarincono [at] gmail [dot] com or on Instagram at @fabianna.rincon.

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