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2 First Names

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We live in Japan. DS is 15 months old. He has an American name which I use to call him. He also has a Japanese name which DH (and everyone else) uses to call him. Am I confusing him by having it set up this way or is it workable this way? He still does not seem to really recognize (either of) his name yet and I am wondering if I should just forget it and just pick one to call him from now on. (He's with me 24/7, but still does not seem to respond when I call him.) Also, at about what age do most kids start to recognize their name?

I personally prefer to just have everyone call him by his American name, but all the Japanese here always pick up on his Japanese name. Formally, on his US passport, his first name is American and his middle name is Japanese. But in Japan, his formal name is a combination of the two, American-Japanese.

Just wondering what opinions others may have of our situation. Thanks!
post #2 of 8
I am in the same situation.(I live in Okinawa, my DH is half.) Our kids have American first names and Japanese middle names. I always call them by their American names in the begining , and DH and his family use their Japanese names.I have found that this works out just fine, the kids learn both names,although over time it seems one name or the other becomes the "primary" name. My older daughters have kept their American names, my son strongly prefers his Japanese name.Things are undecided for my baby DD.
Keep using the name you prefer, he will learn it, although in the end he may prefer his Japanese name, you just never know. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 8
You're not confusing him. Think of it this way: how many kids have a name plus a couple of nicknames? Maybe one their parents use, and one that only their grandmother uses, that sort of thing. It's really normal for kids to grow up hearing multiple names for themselves, even where it's not a question of different cultural preferences.
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post

Just wondering what opinions others may have of our situation. Thanks!
My kids have both Chinese names and European given names added to the Cantonese transliteration of their Chinese family name. We use them inter-changeably, usually pronouncing the Chinese name in Cantonese.

At school they usually go by their European given names. In government offices and hospitals, by the Cantonese pronunciation of their Chinese names.

They don't seem to have any problem with it. We also have nick-names for them, and also sometimes call them by their family "title" (e.g. Jiejie - older sister and dai-dai, younger brother).

I also have multiple names and identities
- called Ms. family name I was born with (my father's);
- called by Mrs. my husband's family name (socially);
- called by the nick-name my parents gave me;
- called by my family "title" by my in-laws;
- called Mama by my kids in private; referred to as "mum" in public;
- called sweetie, honey, honey-pie, lohpoh, etc by my husband.

I know who I am and my kids know who they are too.

The main thing I try and do is avoid using one name for when they are "in trouble" because my father roaring out My Full Name (including middle name) used to be a signal of being in Big Trouble.
post #5 of 8
My son, who's 8, has two names. He has a longer legal name that is French and shortened form that's American.
It has never confused him. I always figured if he could learn a French and English word for everything else why would having a French name and an English name be so different? It's also not so different from a kid being named Robert and some people calling him Bobby.
post #6 of 8
Our kids have two names, and they have to work in three languages. And then there's the nicknames from those. Several nicknames.
They're fine with having several nicknames and people calling them different things. Doesn't matter.
post #7 of 8
Our kids have French first names, with Chinese middle names. DH's last name is on all of their birth certificates. My last name is used whenever the children have their names written in Chinese (ie attending Chinese school).

I refer to the oldest by a diminutive of his Chinese name, as well as "older brother" in Cantonese. The other kids are referred to as "sister" (older or younger depending on frame of reference) "daughter" and "little brother". My dad likes to refer to each of them by their Chinese name. My in-laws call them by their French names.

no confusion so far... especially when ice cream or a favorite food is involved
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the reassurance! i am glad to hear others are in the same situation and that i can continue as is without worrying.
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