Chinese / Shanghai

They call me Yilun here

If you called me by my Chinese name a year ago I would have needed a second or two to respond. Although I’d known my Chinese name was Yilun since I was born, few people call me that. Even my Chinese relatives and friends call me a Chinese version of “Evelyn.”

But now it’s “Yilun!” almost everywhere I go.

When my mind begins to wander in Chinese class, a sharp “Yilun! What’s the answer?” jolts me, and I struggle to recall what we were talking about.

“Complete this phrase in Chinese about marriage law,” the teacher says.

A two-minute silence ensues and the teacher calls on someone else.

“What’s the meaning of __?”

Pause.

“Yilun!”

And I struggle to give half the answer.

During training at the drama club it’s also “Yilun!” all around.

When my eyes wander during a freeze, it’s “Eyes, Yilun!”

Or, when I speak too softly, “Louder! Yilun!”

At fellowships, my name is treated more respectfully. “Yilun, long time no see!”

Other people make comments about my name. “Yilun, what a Taiwanese-sounding name!”

Sometimes I don’t even pronounce it correctly, and people begin calling me “Yiwen.” So I’ve also had to learn how to express which characters compose my name: “Yi as in the idiom for ‘refreshing’; Lun as in Zhou Jie-Lun (Jay Chou).”

As I’ve gotten used to responding to my Chinese name, I find a new identity. I may be Evelyn in America, but in China, I’m “Yilun!”

~

一年前,当别人叫我的中文名字我需要一段时间才会反映过来。虽然我从小就有中文名字,但是一直没有用。连我中国的亲朋好友都用中文发音叫我的英文名字。

可是,现在大家都叫我“怡伦!”

当我在中文课上发呆的时候,响亮的“怡伦!回答!”的声音使我震惊,于是我立即开始想老师的ppt讲到哪里了。

”完成句子,“老师说。”在中国政府规定一夫一妻制,也就是说…”

过两分钟,我一直没有回答,老师就叫别的同学了。

过会儿,我低着头看课本,听老师讲课。突然:

”顾得上是什么意思?怡伦!”

我不知如何解释。

老师急了帮我完成答案。但是到现在我也没有背。

在演员课也经常听到我的名字;其他学生基本上都没被叫过。

眼睛乱跑的时候,老师就说:”眼睛,怡伦!“

讲话声音太小,他会说:”大声一点,怡伦!“

好的时候也会说:”我们先跑五圈。怡伦带头。“

还有我喜欢听到朋友看到我就说:”怡伦,好久不见!“

有些人,听到我的名字,就会评论:”怡伦,很有台湾感觉的名字!一听就知道是台湾人。“

我自己也常常发音不准,人们就以为我的名字是”怡文。“所以我也学会解释:”心旷神怡的怡,周杰伦的伦。“

在这四个月中我习惯回答我的中文名字,甚至感觉新的身份。在美国我可能是Evelyn,但是在中国,我是“怡伦!”

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