Could you give me your name with IPA (pronunciation) symbols?

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Sep 30, 2011 06:23 pronunciation
Yesterday, I realized that I had been calling Mary in a wrong way for whole two years. From the spelling (although I know spelling always betrays us in English), I thought it was pronounced /'mæri/ ('ma' sounds like that in the word 'mad'). I recognized an unmistakable diphthong from the mouths of an English man and Mary herself. It's probably /'meəri/ ('a' is pronounced like the diphthong in the word 'hair'), or perhaps also /'mɜːri/ (like 'mur' in the word 'murk') according to my search on the internet. Is this right?

Come to think of it, I have mistaken pronunciations of names including very common English names many times during the two years. At least, I made mistakes in the pronunciations of five names of my colleagues. In all cases, it took several months to realize my mistakes. It's just so awkward.

The thing is, I can have the spelling of their names, but I can't find the IPA symbols (pronunciation symbols) for names easily. So I just repeated what I heard. Partly because my listening was biased by the spellings, I couldn't notice the difference until the time my pronunciation failed to work.

In once case, once I thought i found my mistake, and asked the person how to pronounce his name correctly. 'Is your name this or that?' He said his name is this, so I was satisfied. I called his name in the correct way since then. A couple of months later, it turned out that I had failed to catch his answer correctly. He actually said his name was that, but I heard it was this.^^

So please, for the heaven's sake, give me your name with IPA symbols when you introduce yourself to me!

If you ask me, I don't know how to describe my own name with IPA symbols, because I don't know IPA symbols for Japanese.