What’s in a name?

Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

Okay, I have a confession to make: I’ve been butchering my friend Yar
Kaw’s name for a long time now and Hla Henry finally set me straight.
His name is spelled Yar Kaw, but pronounced (ya-KOH), like Yocco’s
Hotdogs (for those from Allentown, PA). No, I don’t think there’s any
connection there. Jaco (Yocco) is the Karen transliteration for Jacob
or James, so for all practical purposes I can now switch between two
or three names as we interact together.

What happened, was the Thai have a heard time transferring vowel
sounds into English and the Karen don’t have last names. So, mixing
those two ingredients produced “Yar Kaw” on the refugee paperwork. The
US government processed that as Mr. firstname Yar surname Kaw, and so
for all legal purposes his last name is now Kaw. James Kaw.


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