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how are these german-american names? updated in first post - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Just out of curiosity, how do Germans pronounce your name?
Rahel ~ kind of like 'raw-hell' . I hate that name. If I liked it, I wouldn't care, but I cannot stand the sound of it. Rachel, however, I like. But the hard "ch" makes that name for me somehow.
post #22 of 37
Crashing this thread from "new posts". I think your girl first names will be no problem at all. Mareike is beautiful and I don't think you'll run into too many pronounciation problems once you tell them how to say it. Upon the initial reading (like a class attendance sheet) it might look like Ma-REE-ka, but I think Americans are very forgiving of "ei" being an "I" sound and they will get it right away. I know a Meike from Germany, too!

My dd's best friend is named Anika (just one N) and pronounced the German way. I think they've run into a few people who say Ann-i-ka, but I haven't heard them complain much about an-EEE-ka. Her nickname is Ani and everyone seems to get that and I think 95% of people get Anika right, too.

Carsten is fine. It sounds like Carson so I think it won't be a problem for a boy.

The "J" names, though, are going to be a problem every time someone sees them. Americans just do not do the "y" for "j" sound very well unless you're in an area with a heavy German/Scandinavian influence. I am acquainted with a man named Jan and I still have to remind myself to say YOHN instead of JAN and I know better. I think Americans are better at H for J as in Jose/HO-ZAY. Jonas and Jonah are very popular names right now, too (I know at least 3 under 10), so I'd really be inclined to go with Carsten. It wiill be pronounced correctly every time and Jonas is guaranteed to be mispronounced initially if not repeatedly. If you really love the German J I'd consider a name that doesn't have such an obvious American doppleganger like Johann or Johannes. Janine will also be mispronounced, but since it's a middle name I think that won't be a huge deal. Maybe you could use Jonas as a middle name?

hth
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bremen View Post
i am ok with jonas being pronounced joe-ness sometimes.
i know mareike will not be easy to spell, but i am worried more about the pronounciation.
it is like mariah with a k stuck in.
we don't know yet if we will be living in the us or germany, so that makes names so much harder!

i love torsten, but df vetoed it too.
does carsten sound like a girl's name to an american ear?
i think of kristen kirsten kiersten and wonder about it.


i am thinking with nn of yo, mika, and ani, they should be ponouncable enough.
i guess i am more looking for support than opinions.

really, i feel like americans are more adaptable to unusual names.
i lived in germany and switzerland for almost 4 years total.
the only times my name, rachel, was pronounced correctly were when other native english speakers said it

I know a Karsten (He's a German ex-pat) No one I've ever heard of has a problem pronouncing his name.

I've never heard the name Mareike before this thread. Based on what you wrote I think I'm pronouncing it correctly and it's not at all challenging. I'd expect people to screw it up before being told how to say it, but be ok after you pronounce it for them. I think it's a really pretty sounding name.

Jonas will always be pronounced joe-nas first, but if you don't mind correcting them it's not like yo-nas is hard to say.
post #24 of 37
I say go for it if you love it.
I have an unusual name and have spent the past 29+ (LOL) years pronouncing it. It's really not that big a deal, imo. It bothered me when I was younger, but it hasn't as an adult.
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel_eva View Post
i agree with this.
i also like astrid for a girl, axel for a boy.
Hey, that's my name (Astrid). :-) My middle name is Johanna (with the German Y pronunciation). My mother is German and I was raised German here in the states. I have yet to actually meet another Astrid in person though. The worst mis-pronunciation of my name is usually Astride as in how you might ride a horse. I've never been called anything close to a turd, thankfully.

-Astrid
post #26 of 37
I had plenty of Astrids in school, but I grew up in Germany It is funny how kids pronounce names correctly and adults stumble over it all the time. I'm spelled with only one N, which makes no difference in German on how you pronounce Annika at all. But Americans then pronounce it like in Tanika and it is so wrong, especially if you add my husband's Italian last name that was heavily misspelled once great-great-great-grandpa arrived in Ellis Island - people say my first and last name totally wrong. Btw I get the wrong A-nee-ka about 90% of the time from adults. On the phone, at the store, bank, everywhere... I'm seriously thinking about changing my spelling to Annika legally on the green card and driver's licence to avoid the issue.
post #27 of 37


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bremen View Post

jonas william (always yo-nass, not joe-ness)
 

My 9 month old is Jonas Gabrielius, we live in USA, and i can tell you for sure that americans NEVER in a million years will pronounce it yo-nass orngbiggrin.gif Sometimes i try to correct them, but they forget the right pronounciation the next second orngbiggrin.gif So if you are ok with joe-ness, it's fine.. I'm not, but oh well, i will just have to deal with it smile.gif


 

Quote:

We're a Catalan-American family living in Catalunya and our kids are Joaquim and Ona. While people aren't sure what to do with Joaquim when they see it, nobody has had problems once they hear it... also, the nickname is Quim (Kim). !


I love love love Joaquim! I was considering naming my son Joakimas, but my husband was stuck on Jonas since very early in my pregnancy...

post #28 of 37

my dd's name is Eva, which we pronounce the way that all non-english speaking countries pronounce it: Eh-va.  she loves her name, but EVERY english speaker we know calls her A-va.  it is a slight pronouncation difference,i usually don't bother re-correcting people after the first time, cause english only speakers don't have the ear for it.  but sometimes it makes me nuts.  i am considering pushing the E-va english pronounciation cause at least it is a correct pronounciation.  dd goes back and forth between correcting people and just accepting it. but lately she has been trying to get everyone to call her natasha or violet (her pretty princess-y names) so, maybe we'll end up with her asking for a new name anyway...

my point is, if pronounciation really matters, don't choose something you have to explain everytime you meet someone. it gets old.

and dd2 has decided that she likes the E-va pronounciation best, so she calls her sister E-va. 

post #29 of 37

My neice is Heidi so I like that name also.

 

I like all your choices.

post #30 of 37

How about spelling it Yonas, so Americans will get it right? We named our oldest Yanek (and not Janek) exactly for that reason. Of course, now that we're in Belgium everyone wants to call him Yannick, but they learn :-)

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabry View Post

How about spelling it Yonas, so Americans will get it right? We named our oldest Yanek (and not Janek) exactly for that reason. Of course, now that we're in Belgium everyone wants to call him Yannick, but they learn :-)



But if German correctness is all-important here, Yonas is just as incorrect spelling-wise as Joe-nas is pronunciation-wise, I don't see that as much of a solution.  Plus to Germans the Y spelling may come across as ignorant, and to many Americans it will just look weird.

 

If you are living in America, why is it so important to have a name pronounced like it would be in Europe, especially when the American variation is considered perfectly acceptable and even common?  To so many here, it seems the only "good/correct" way is the European way.  And for better or worse in so many things, once a variation or "mistake" becomes widespread and accepted enough somewhere, it actually becomes the new "good/correct" version in that place.  Some might see enforcement of Euro-pronunciation here as kind of snobby, actually.  I'm not Jewish, but I'm pretty sure Rachel is a Hebrew name, and most likely actually pronounced closer to "raw-hell" in that language than what is considered the "correct" way in America.  And living in an area with heavy German/Scandinavian influence doesn't mean much anymore.  I live in Minnesota, it doesn't get much more German/Scandinavian than that ethnically, but even here there are lots of people who mispronounce my DD Annika's name, simply because there are enough outside influences that affect what people think they know (or just cause them to completely not know) and even the German/Scandinavian people (including myself) are so far removed from our ancestors' original languages that we don't speak them anymore and may not have a clue how something should sound within those languages.  You'd be amazed how many folks around here have never even heard of the name Annika and think they misheard me or her and call her "Monica."

 

I say just pick a name that is pronounced and spelled the same in both languages, completely accept dual pronunciations without either being right or wrong, or pick something else completely.


Edited by snguyen - 12/3/10 at 4:59pm
post #32 of 37

Well, I can only speak for myself (and fwiw, I'm not German), but in our case it wasn't about what is correct or not, but what was the pronunciation we like. And yes, we didn't care about the spelling as much. And yes, we do prefer that our kids get called the same thing anywhere they go. Both my husbands and my name are all over the place pronunciation-wise, even in our own countries, and we wanted to avoid that for our kids.

post #33 of 37

People will always pronounce names differently, when they read a name first. There is even a hughe variation of possible pronounciations in Germany with all it's dialects.

Most of the time you will introduce your child, so people will only hear the name. There are so many names out there that require clarification regarding spelling, just think simple names like (Cathy/Kathy, Ann/Anne).

 

Pick names, that you like, you never know where your child will be in 20 years.

post #34 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snguyen View Post

But if German correctness is all-important here, Yonas is just as incorrect spelling-wise as Joe-nas is pronunciation-wise, I don't see that as much of a solution.  Plus to Germans the Y spelling may come across as ignorant, and to many Americans it will just look weird.

 

If you are living in America, why is it so important to have a name pronounced like it would be in Europe, especially when the American variation is considered perfectly acceptable and even common?  To so many here, it seems the only "good/correct" way is the European way. 

 

I say just pick a name that is pronounced and spelled the same in both languages, completely accept dual pronunciations without either being right or wrong, or pick something else completely.


not sure how much is directed here at me, but i will answer it anyway.

my df is german, as in, parents still live in berlin. we are living in the us now, but are considering moving back to germany in the next year or two. his family is mixed american/german, and mine is american, so there is a pretty good chance that our children will spend time in both countries.

i simply prefer yo-nass to joe-ness, and so does df. we speak about an even mix of english and german with each other, and the american j sound is virtually impossible to pronounce in german.

 

there is no name that is pronounced and spelled the same in both languages.

df's name is ben, and there is even a slight difference in pronounciation there.

virtually every vowel sound is different.

 

i can live with the occasional joe-ness if i can call him yo-nass

 

 

post #35 of 37

We are an English/German speaking family living in a German-speaking area. When we considered names for our son, we wanted one that worked in both languages, mostly for the benefit of our families. His name is relatively close in both, though the vowel sound (e) is spoken differently. We chose the German pronunciation.

 

Native English speakers (even those who know German) usually pronounce it in the English way––even my dad, who should know better, as his parents came from Germany. eyesroll.gif But I just continue to pronounce his name as we have chosen. Oddly enough, most people basically ignore my pronunciation and just persist in saying it as they know the name, but I try not to care. It's hard to get an idea out of someone's head, I suppose. shrug.gif

 

If we can conceive again and have a girl, we are considering some variation of Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmin as a middle name, so there's the J/Y issue again. I'd be tempted to go with the "Y" spelling b/c it should ease confusion, and both are valid spellings anyway. But then it's not over. "Yasmine" would likely be said as 3 syllables by German speakers. Yasmin doesn't look as pretty to me, though. See, the bilingual back and forth never ends. orngtongue.gif

 

For what it's worth, we know a German family who named their child "Josh" (pronounced like an English-speaker would), and I don't think anyone calls him "Yosh". But Jonas is different, as it's common in both languages and with different pronunciations.

 

Here's a list of popular German names:

http://german.about.com/library/blname_top10.htm

Some of them could work in both. I'd beware of vowel pronunciation differences, though.

post #36 of 37

FWIW, my name is Sarah and I constantly have to spell it for people "h or no h?"  So I think you'll always run into some of that.  Especially these days when everyone tries to invent their own spelling and pronunciation, and sometimes they make up names all together.  There's really no "right" way to spell or pronounce a name anymore, so people will ask just to be on the safe side. 

 

Side note:  I went to school with a boy named Jerome...but it was pronounced like Jeremy.  One of our teachers actually told him that it was dumb, and his parents couldn't spell.  If they wanted his name to be Jeremy, they should've spelled it that way.  She called him Jerome the entire school year.  She was nuts though.

post #37 of 37

I like Mareike, and I don't think it would be hard at all for Americans once you (or she eventually) has told them how to say it once.  Yes, when they first read it they probably won't know, but I don't think it's a hard name to say at all.  :)

 

My kids have Arabic names  and we stuck to very simple easy-to-pronounce names....and I guess since we are in America, I chose the most common American spelling for DD's name over the Arabic spelling that would've probably been easy enough to 'get' the pronunciation but she would have constantly had to spell her name for people--with Sophia, well, she might occasionally get asked "Ph or F?" but most people *should* know how to spell it  LOL

 

my youngest is 2.5 months, Zayd and well...I wish our paper printed baby names in the hospital announcements....literally everyone goes "Oh, I've never heard that...that's so cute...."  lol  (not trying to brag....the little guy was nameless really for about 24 hours after his homebirth, DH thought he knew, but I didn't like it...he went to see a friend or two and tell them and came home with "How about Zayd?"  :) )

then he thought I spelled it weird.  He's weird...LOL it is pronounced exactly like it looks.  I still occasionally remind him that I *wanted* to stick a 'c' in the middle of our oldest's name...Zaker...people *always* write it with a 'c' in the middle, and a few have mispronounced it to rhyme with "Jake" with an R on the end.

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