"Localizing" Names

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
"Localizing" Names
6
Fri, 06-15-2012 - 6:10pm
If you live in your non-native country, do you adjust the pronounciation of your name to make it easy on the locals? Bilingual+ families, do you pronounce names differently depending on the language spoken?

Before I was married, I would pronounce my last name the German way for the sake of saving time/patience. (Funny thing is that my maiden name occassionally used to be pronounced French where my dad grew up in Louisiana.)

Anyhow, the reason I ask this is because we've decided to name our daughter Valerie this fall, and I'd like to stick with the American pronounciation. So far, my mother-in-law has stuck with the German way, but I think I'll leave it up to Valerie to decide who/when/if she wants to correct people. If she's anything like my little ballet students here were, I'm sure she'll have no problem standing up for her name. ;-)

Also - have you come across any other cross-cultural issues regarding names?

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 10:51am
Haven't been on here for a very long time! We choseWe chose DD's Turkish middle name to be easily pronounceable in English and I thought her first name would be ok in both until I realised that V and W are prounounced the same in Turkish.

We changed our surname as DHs surname is really unpronunceable in English so we shortened it. I didn't want DD to be stuck with it at school although with hindsight we do live in a pretty multi cultural society so lots of people have different first and second names. I think she is more confident with a short name!

Like your DD's name, I know DH's brother would have great difficulties with his name if he were in an English speaking country as it almost contains a swear word when it's written although it's pronounced differently .
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 11:03pm

Hey Welcome back Moss!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2012
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 8:27am
Welcome back and nice to 'meet' you! We have a large Turkish minority here in Germany. One of my ballet students had two different names - she used a German one at school and a Turkish one at home. She preferred the German one. As an American, both were easy to pronounce, but I think Germans must have difficulty with the 'c' in Ecem. As a kid, we had a family who moved over from India, and their son also picked out an English name himself! His dad was entertained because he chose the word 'Bear'. :-) His real name may have been difficult to spell, but
it wasn't difficult to say. I'm curious what life will be like for our multicultural kids now that uncommon names are more common and the world is so connected online!

- JM

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2002
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 7:38am
Hi txdela. Yes, my daughter in Scotland does not know which names would be considered British and which are eg Indian, Middle Eastern etc. as they are just the names of her classmates.

Yes i can see that the Turkish "c" may be hard for Germans
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Thu, 08-16-2012 - 8:20am

Yeah I think the older generation is the one that is going to have trouble with names more than ours or our kid's. In India international names aren't yet commonly used, names are still strongly tied to culture and religious background for many, but I'm pretty sure Ishi's generation isn't going to be one used to long Indian names as more and more parents want to give their kids names that are short, and easy to pronounce in english as well, the country is going global and parents probably don't want their kids to face going to US or in Europe later in life for work or studies and face the issues they might have had with their names in the West


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