Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kobi, Kobe, Koby

Yesterday, I met my old, programmer friends, and above are the dogs I played with.  They were so cute.

First, three of us are not native speakers of English, and because Lisa is Taiwanese and does not speak Japanese, we are speaking in English.  We all came to the U.S. in our adulthood, so I let you imagine our conversation and pronunciation.

"What are their names?" Nobuko asked Lisa.

"This is Kobi,” Lisa points to her golden retriever, “and that is Tobi."

"Kobe?" Nobuko said and tried to confirm.

"No, not Kobe.  His name is Koby with y."

They went back and forth to confirm the spelling of the dogs' names.  I didn’t say anything because for some reason, this conversation amused me a bit.  I thought even if native speakers were talking, we would not know the difference among Kobe, Koby, and Kobi. 

“Well," I said, "Koby, Toby, Noby!”