My name

My name appears to be quite difficult to parse for those who are unfamiliar with Catalan. I have written this page in hopes of clearing up any potential confusion.


You might want to know how to pronounce Francesc and Gispert:

  • The (broad) phonetic transcription of Francesc is [fɾən.ˈsɛsk].
    • Notice that there are two syllables and the stress is on the second one.
    • The sound of ⟨fra⟩ is the same as in infrared.
    • The ⟨r⟩ is pronounced basically like in three.
    • The sound of ⟨ce⟩ is the same as in seven.
    • The sound of ⟨esc⟩ is the same as in desk.
  • The (broad) phonetic transcription of Gispert is [ʒis.ˈpɛrt].
    • Notice that there are two syllables and the stress is on the second one.
    • The sound of ⟨gis⟩ is almost the same as in register, except that ⟨g⟩ is closer to the sound in pleasure.
    • The sound of ⟨pe⟩ is the same as in pepper.
    • The sound of ⟨rt⟩ is similar to that in art.

You can use IPA Reader with different synthetic voices to get an accurate idea of the pronunciation.

Avoiding common mistakes
  • The stress is on the last syllable, not the first.
  • In Catalan, ⟨c⟩ before ⟨e⟩ sounds like ⟨s⟩ in English. That is to say, the Catalan ⟨ce⟩ is pronounced as in French, unlike in Italian or Spanish.
  • Even if you know of a similar name in another language: no, I did not forget how to write or pronounce my name. This goes especially to anglophones calling me Frances, italophones calling me Francesco or germanophones calling me Gisbert.
  • I am well aware that not all (combinations of) sounds are common in other languages. In particular, the letter ⟨r⟩ and vowels tend to be problematic. I will be happy if you use the closest sounds that you are capable of.

Written forms

To make matters worse, my full name as it appears in official documents is Francesc-Xavier Gispert Sanchez. Here, Francesc-Xavier is my given name and Gispert and Sanchez are my two family names, one from each of my parents. Depending on the context I use different variations of my name:

  • I only write my full name when it is required that it coincide with that in official documents (for example, to open a bank account, to enrol at university or to buy plane tickets). To my displeasure, institutions who receive such forms often propagate this overly long form to other contexts.
  • I like to be known as Francesc Gispert in professional environments and academia. Only when I might be confused with someone else will I use Francesc Gispert Sanchez.
  • I would like to write my name as Francesc Gispert in all other settings. However, I often have to use Francesc Gispert Sanchez to avoid being confused with my father (with whom I share given name and first surname).
  • Unfortunately, I have not been very consistent in the past, which I hope to amend from now on.

How to address me

  • Orally or in informal settings, when you want to address me by given name, just call me Francesc. Please do not use Francesc-Xavier or any nickname.
  • If you prefer using surnames or want to distinguish me from another Francesc, call me Gispert.
  • In more formal contexts, where both given name and surname are expected, use Francesc Gispert.

My whole name formally being Francesc-Xavier is simply a matter of tradition. Nobody ever called me that and it has been quite a bother, especially abroad. Someday, after defeating laziness, I might request a legal name change.