Here is how to prounounce my name correctly in English.




In IPA (see here for IPA help)

juː’ʤiːniə ʧɛŋ

Non-technical version

Eugenia is like “yoo-JEAN-ia”.

Cheng is exactly how it looks phonetically: Che- is like the che- of “check”, -ng is like the -ng of “sing”.

In other languages

In languages other than English I am happy for “Eugenia” to be pronounced in the ways of that language. There are straightforward pronunciations in many languages including French (in which I am “Eugénia”), Italian, Spanish and Russian.

Notes on my Chinese name

It seems that sometimes people see “Cheng” and try and use some prior contact with Chinese to interpret the pronunciation of this in their own way. Some people have tried to tell me that I am pronouncing it “wrong” because of something to do with “correct Chinese pronunciation”.

First of all, I believe everyone is entitled to declare how their name is pronounced, at least in a language like English that does not have consistent spelling-to-pronunciation rules.

Secondly, if you are actually trying to be correctly Chinese, in fact my family is from Hong Kong so we use the Cantonese pronunciation of the Chinese word, and thus the pronunciation in Mandarin Chinese is not relevant. The pronunciation of “Cheng” that I’ve given above is a very close Anglicisation of the Cantonese pronunciation of my family name: 鄭

My full Chinese name is 鄭樂雋.