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I regret the multicultural name... - Page 3

post #41 of 53
I regret my daughter's name too. It's American, well Irish actually, but we live in Italy. It has a sound that doesn't occur in Italian, and when I tell people what her name is, they usually look confused and repeat what they think I've said. Her name is Kathleen. People look at me and say, "Carlin?" The "th" is very confusing for them. Then I explain again, tell them that it's the equivalent of Caterina. They smile, and say, "Ah, Cathrin!" They get the "th" but not with the "l."

Dh and I discussed this before she was born. We knew this would happen. But we wanted to name her after my mother and just figured that we'd all just deal with the name. I myself have a name that causes problems here, so I knew how frustrating it would be. But now that we're actually dealing with it, I wish we'd changed Kathleen into something easier to pronounce like Catalina. It's too late to change it, as Italian law only allows name changes if the name is embarrassing.

Dd is only about a year old now. It will be interesting to see what she wants to be called when she's older, and what she calls herself. I often call her Kathy, which dh's family repeats as Cati. That doesn't bother me too much. I wonder if that's what she'll prefer. In the end, it will be her choice. I do hope she preserves the "th," though, and as she grows I will emphasize that she has a very special name because it's different and because it was her grandmother's name.

BTW, I love your daughter's name!
post #42 of 53
The first part of our dd's name is Anna (a pronounced like the first o in lollypop) and it gets pronounced in two different ways, depending on whether the speaker is American or some type of European. Well, actually 3 ways, as I call her AN Na (very clearly two n's in the middle) when I speak my language, dh (native English speaker) calls her "Ana."

Dd (3 yo) responds to all three and does not seem to care. In Finnish she calls herself "An na" and in English "Ana."
post #43 of 53
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I know plenty of people who pronounce their names differently depending on what language they are speaking (including me). It's quite common around here, actually.
I agree.

I love the name Zofya and I wouldn't mind having a child with that name and having to correct people on the correct pronunciation. It's a beautiful name.
post #44 of 53
for a period of time in the 2nd and 3rd grade, I insisted on being called "Tom" and then "Steve" . I have an EXTREMELY common and imo boring name, plus I was a huge tom-boy Please don't regret giving your daughter such a gorgeous name. She will surely appreciate it as she grows up and also experiment with it, which I think is a normal and wonderful thing
post #45 of 53
I can relate ... I knew full well what would happen especially when they started to become more social as they grew up. Fast forward to NOW We're Jewish, and while 3 of my kids don't have terribly uncommon names we've still always had pronunciation and people electing to give them a nick name instead of asking how to say it. We always correct commonly used nick names- I don't have anything in particular against nick names as my 2 yo have several but I don't like the ones that are used for Jaclyn ( Jackie) and Israel ( iz or izzy) No offense to anyone

My oldest dd is named Jaclyn which is NOT jacqueline... we chose the spelling because she's names after my best childhood friend. We opted for the spelling which is derived from Hebrew. We also gave her a Hebrew name which is tradition here in the states, beacause her name sounds very "American" or even mistaken for French when procounced wrong.

Our youngest dd, Na'omi is commonly called Nay or Naee( long i sound) omi. We gave her just the one very traditional Hebrew name and it should sound like Nah ( pause) omi

Our ds Israel... commonly called Izreeul. We don't use the hardcore Hebrew Y'israel unless we're speaking Hebrew but we say the english version of his name as "Israil". Does that make sense in writing?

Javen is uncommon here and in Israel. Although it sounds like the ULTRA common Jayden. He gets called Jayden all the time.

My dh's name is Micah as well as our youngest. One can imagine the multitude of mispronunciations we experience with that name LOL!!! "mihcuh" "meekuh" "Mike" "miCAH" etc.

Me? My name cracks everyone up. Kristie. Can't get that wrong and it's certainly NOT Jewish. I come from a multicultural family too... let's just say my Dad won the battle for my name. Unfortunatly most people call me Kris, which I HATE but have given up on correcting since even my mom does it.
post #46 of 53
I just saw this thread ... I'm going to be in the same position (once I actually get pregnant, have a baby, lol).

I'm Polish, and if it's a girl we plan to name her Zofia in honor of my great grandmother. I had planned on calling her Zosia, and then have the Americans do whatever they want with her name. Whether it's some mispronounced form of Zosia or just Sophie - either way I'm sure eventually the child will pick which one it likes best.

And, really, I think you can change the variations on the same name as much as you want. In my family, we always put the full name on the birth certificate and, after that, everyone just calls you by whatever form they like or want to use in a given moment.

For instance, my birth certificate name is Katarzyna. My family calls me anything from Kasia, Kaska, Kasienka, Kasiuli, Kasiaczek, Tasiacazek, Kas, and so on. Most of them are transformed into terms of endearment via their pronouncement.

However, I'm used to this - from birth. It seems weird to me to have people only call me by one version of my name, lol. Plus, then I have to factor in the Americans who have problems pronouncing my name. So, it goes through all kinds of pronounciations depending on who is speaking.

As far as your child being confused ... this will pass. My partner only speaks English, I speak both English and Polish. I want my kids to know Polish, so the plan is that I will only speak Polish to them, my partner English. And then they will spend summers in Poland with family (and us obviously).

I read that kids who are raised with 2 languages at the same time go through either a period of confusion or of delayed speaking. But, this is normal and does pass.

Polish was my first language, and then when I was 5 I moved to America and had to learn English. I stopped speaking for an entire year! However, (obviously) this passed, the confusion went away, and I'm quite well now.
post #47 of 53
I love the name Zosia. Our sons name is Jose. Which looks normal except we're Portuguese so its a soft j sound in Portuguese/Brazilian not an h sound like in Spanish. And we call him Ze. Zezinho for little Ze and Zezao for big Ze. He's also Kuya Ze (big brother Ze in the Philippines). He loves them all. Call her what she wants to be called! Its a beautiful name!
post #48 of 53

Hey my daughter is also named Zofia Teresa, born in 2005.  Glad to be Zofy is a country full of Sophia's.

post #49 of 53

alot of people have chimed in, and i agree both Zofia and Zosia are lovely lovely names.


I wanted to relate my cousin's story to you because it is very similar. My aunt is american from a very middle class midwestern family, My uncle is a columbian indian. Their first child my aunt named and got a very common name. Their second child, they gave a hispanic name. As a child, my cousin was a little embarrassed about being different, more ethnic named and asked to be called by the americanized version of his name...until he discovered Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill and brown power in general. Then he requested we all start calling him by his more ethnic birth name. It took a while for us all to remember the new name but we happily respected his wishes and did it.


Today that same young man works as a lawyer for charity org that helps illegal immigrants, naturalized citizens, and native americans with their legal troubles.


He gave his first born son his name.



your daughter's story is no where near done yet, it's a beautiful name, i wouldn't worry about it just yet, as long as you are honoring her feelings about her name



fwiw, I also have a strange name, that is somehow unpronouncable to everyone, even though it is pronounced just like Melissa. I also hated it as a kid (I wanted to be called Rochelle) but cherish it's uniqueness and power now

post #50 of 53

I think she has a lovely name with a great history behind it! I named my oldest Abirami which is always said wrong the first time. She goes by Abi (AH-bee) not Abby, but even though people say that wrong, too, they learn and then they say she has a pretty name. She is almost 13, at the stage where an identity crisis would have happened if it was going to about her name. And she loves her name, has not had any crisis about it. I suspect it will be the same for your daughter, too. I was amazed to see the class roster for my daughter's 4th grade class. So multicultural. There were only about 4 "normal" American names on the whole list. And several were very unique and quite obviously ethnic.


My 9 year old-- her name is Nitara. When we asked her what she wanted to be called when she started Kindergarten (her full name Nitara or her nickname Nita) she chose her full name. She is also proud of it.

post #51 of 53

I'm in the same boat. 


It's kind of a long story but we live in France and found a French name, similar to my father's since my dad's name won't work here. It was similar to an Israeli name that we would have named him but were afraid that the spelling would be a pronunciation problem for the French. Better to chose an actual French name, right??


I heard it a lot in Paris where I was living before I got married. Paris is not far from Brittany, where this name comes from (you find tons of Breton names there). But then I moved to Eastern France, who do NOT know Breton names. 


Turns out it's similar to about six male names in France so he's always "Not Roland, not Renauld..." 


PLUS he won't correct people. They massacre it! I was told by Breton coworkers in Paris to NOT let people say it that way. 


When I call the school, it usually takes them a minute to register the name. Then I usually quip "Better not say that like that with any Bretons around!" or "Yes, he won't correct people..." or something similar and cutting. "Glad I picked a French name you could pronounce!" I've even used. 


Ironically, I named the next on a totally Israeli name, that everyone can say correctly! 




Amusing side story. We went to Israel on vacation. The security lady looks at the passports, with our very Jewish last name and honestly says "Did you know that your children all have Israeli names?!?"


You don't say! 

post #52 of 53

I gave my dd a multicultural spelling of a  name that is used in many cultures, including American/English language (I don't want to post her actual name, sorry!) Think...Beatriz instead of Beatrice. The pronunciation is slightly different the way I spelled it.  However, she most often goes by the English version, though we call her both.


Her nickname is part of her name with the correct pronunciation, but we've kind of made a mess of it otherwise! I'm glad I picked the spelling I did, because it is part of my heritage, but I wish I would have been stricter about enforcing the correct pronunciation.


Dd is 6 now and pronounces it the English way-oh well!  I just find myself over explaining so people don't think I was trying to be unique with the spelling and messed it up :)

post #53 of 53

I think kids figure this kind of stuff out amazingly well. I'm Polish as well and when my baby sister (born here in Canada but Polish was her first language and what we spoke at home) would refer to me at home she'd use my Polish name, but when we were out and about (i.e. at a grocery store) she'd use an English-ized version. She was 2 or 3 at the time but already she knew there was a difference.


With DD we opted to give her an English name that is easily translatable to Polish (many aren't) so that my family has a version of her name to call her without twisting their tongues. She responds to both (she's 2.5).

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