or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Naming your child in another culture
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Naming your child in another culture - Page 2

post #21 of 56
Yeah, we have to go back and forth, and this baby coming in a couple of months still is somewhat nameless. DS we knew right away, as it was a Biblical name, popular in both of our countries.
Typically, the child would get an English name, a tribal name, and then take the father's middle name as the last name. (My husband's middle name, which is his tribal name, is my last name.)
With DS, we gave him an English first name, my husband's father's English first name as a middle name, and then my husband's last name. It's still family oriented, and totally made sense to my family. His family was okay as it still passed down names, but I don't think they pronounce DS's first name in the American fashion. It's kind of sad now that we didn't give him a true tribal name, and we regret it.
For DD, we took my husband's grandmother's English name as her first name, a traditional tribal name as her middle name, and my husband's last name as her last name, so both kids have the same last name. This is working well, as relatives on his side love to call her by her tribal name, and the first name is one my family can say, although it's very unusual. I did some searching, and found that is was infrequently used in Prussia/Romania, which is where my family comes from, so that has some roots to it as well.
For Baby3, who knows? We're still working on it. DD wasn't actually named until the next day because we needed to feel out her personality. I think it wil be the same with this one, only we need a list of boy's and girl's names because we don't know the gender.
And yes, we did run into some language issue.
I loved Gwendolyn, unfortunately, gwen means chicken in DH's native tongue. I loved Malaya, but it means prost!tude in his second language. Definitely a no go there! There were some others, but those stand out the most.
post #22 of 56
My mother's side of the fam is so wide ranged in different Europen heritage that nothing is of large percentage or very traceable. Unfortunatly, I didn't want to give the typical Brittany, Ashley, Meagan, or Stephanie (although I like all of those names). I wanted my daughter to have a name that no one else in her group of friends or classes at school would have. I wanted to give her a name from my heritage (being white and typical American I don't know jack about my background) I thought it would be a good starting point to find a name uncommon in Americans but, still not too 'weird'.

So I asked around my dad's side of the fam and they all seemed to give me one major answer. So I thought, well this must be the biggest percentage I have in me so I'll pick a name from that language. SO I did, and I like the name as does my hubby. But, it's the traditional spelling and people have no idea how to pronounce it. Even when I slowly tell them they stare at me and try (without secess) to pronounce it. I nor my husband think it's a difficult name but, everyone else seems to have issues with it. Even much of our family STILL cannot say it properly and she is 2 1/2!

Also, it happens to be a Russian name (fairly popular I guess) although spelled differently. There is a big Russian stigma where I live so often times when I tell people the name they repeat it back with sour face and say something like, "hmmm, thats an.... interesting name." and turn away.

Geez people! Usually people seem to like the name when they finally get it right but, it's rather annoying that it's so difficult for people.

To make matters worse about a year after my daughter was born my dad's fam starting claiming a different heritage and said we actually aren't ANY of the other! I think I threw my arms up at that point. But we still love her name all the same. I also gave her the name because of it's meaning, so it still has valid reasoning.
post #23 of 56
Our girls name we have picked out is English, the boys name is Irish. I'm hoping both sides of the family will just be happy the granola freaks didn't name their kid in Klingon.
post #24 of 56
Like most of the PPs we wanted a name that would sound the same in both of our languages. -- I love the name Elizabeth, but it becomes Elizabetta in Italian which I'm really not so fond of, and the Italian pronunciation for Claudia is so pretty in Italian, but just kind of lumpy in English. You get the idea.

Then Dh and I had the added problem of not being able to agree upon a name. In the end we had a very short list of only 2 options; Valentina and Eloisa. I wanted to wait until after the birth to finalize DD's name. (My mom wanted to name me Willow Serina, then she met me and, fortunately, completely changed that Idea.) I'm actually glad that DD seemed to be more of an Eloisa than a Valentina, because, as much as I love it, it is a pretty common name here in Italy. I think it's in the top 20, so actually maybe DD was fated to be Eloisa all along.

I made a hybrid of our mothers' names for her middle name, and so it's neither American nor Italian, it's simply pretty IMO. (Although I found out later that it's Hebrew, but with a different pronunciation.) But here the laws have recently changed so now the Middle Name is attached to the First Name. You used to be able to separate them with a comma and then it made the Middle Name optional, but now on all documents the complete full name must be used, no using just the initial or leaving it off altogether like in the USA.

DH liked my made up middle name, but thinks it will be a hassle for DD, having an extra name. I don't care, Eloisa's middle name is very important to me. DH has no Middle Name. (My brother asked; "Well, when he was a kid, how did he know when his mother was mad at him, with no middle name?" )
post #25 of 56
Yes, DH is Egyptian and Muslim. I'm American...and a Muslim convert... but to be honest, a lot of the Muslim names still seem strange to me. So, we tried to pick names that worked in both settings... were easy to pronounce, etc.

When our second son Ali was born, my parents thought his name was Ollie (short for Oliver) for a few days until they saw it written.

The bigger issue for me was the Arabic naming standard... whereas it's first name husband's name grandfather's name great-grandfather's name etc. I did not like the fact that all of our kids (male or female) have my husband's name as their middle name. It seems very strange to me. However, there's a chance that we would live in the ME, and if that were to happen, DD having a female middle name would be seen as very strange, as her middle name would be her last name in most things.
post #26 of 56
We also struggled with this. I am American and my husband is South Asian (Sri Lankan). We decided on a Sri Lankan first name for our daughter, but had trouble finding one that we could both agree on. Like many PPs, other family members had to be able to pronounce it. It needed to sound "pretty" to me, needed to have a meaning (other than something flowery) for my husband, and could not be too "old" (i.e. like a grandmother or old aunt). Since it was hard for me to determine the last one, since it is culture-specific, we went through lists and lists and lists of names that ended up on the "cutting room floor". We finally bought a book of Sanskrit names. After going through it a few times, we were still undecided (though we had some short-listed). I decided to give it one more look and found one name that had a nice meaning and sounded pretty, and for some reason just sounded "right" to me, though I had apparently overlooked the first dozen times that I flipped through the book. When I mentioned the name to my husband, a bit matter-of-factly as I did not want to be disappointed, his eyes lit up - we both knew that we found the right name for our daughter. My parents were surprised that we were choosing a South Asian name (not sure why since we are bi-cultural), but loved it immediately as well.
post #27 of 56
We dealt with this issue. Dh is Armenian, but was born and raised in Turkey. Because the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians, there is bad blood there, so some of the prettier Turkish names I liked were vetoed. Armenian uses a completely different script and alphabet, so there were some Armenian names that simply couldn't be pronounced in English. In the end, I told dh that since I had the pleasure of carrying our dd in my womb, he could have the pleasure of naming her. From a list of Armenian names his sister sent from Istanbul, he picked a very, very pretty French first name (very well-known in France and used as a nickname in modern Armenian) and a pretty Armenian middle name that transliterates in to English easily. He did a great job of naming her and it fits her to a T.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss 1928 View Post
DH liked my made up middle name, but thinks it will be a hassle for DD, having an extra name. I don't care, Eloisa's middle name is very important to me. DH has no Middle Name. (My brother asked; "Well, when he was a kid, how did he know when his mother was mad at him, with no middle name?" )
That's funny since I got a bit of flak from my French in-laws for only giving my DS one middle name. My DH has 2 (and a double first name) and I think my FIL has 4 middle names! I think part of it is because it's very easy in France to legally go by one of your middle names. You don't have to go through an official name-changing process. I guess I'd figured it was similar in Italy. BTW I love the name Eloisa, it's so pretty.
post #29 of 56
My dd is Freya Alice - we both agreed on this name - funny we never even mentioned a boys name even though we didn't know that she was a girl, but it's not easy for the french; ds is Kian and was the only name we agreed on at all, then the day after he was born dh broke his leg and didn't have the opportunity to tell me the name he really wanted to call him (Zac) which I love so I had to go with Kian (we only have 3 days to name our babies here in France so I was under pressure and in the neonatal unit) and although he really suits his name now I had a difficulty in calling him that for the first while!
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss 1928 View Post
Like most of the PPs we wanted a name that would sound the same in both of our languages. -- I love the name Elizabeth, but it becomes Elizabetta in Italian which I'm really not so fond of, and the Italian pronunciation for Claudia is so pretty in Italian, but just kind of lumpy in English. You get the idea.
Miss 1928: I'm trying to come up with names that sound appropriate in both English and Italian. I'm finding that girl names are infinitely easier because names ending in "-a" are fairly mainstream here in the States, but boy names that end in an "-o" seem to say "I am ethnic."

I'm curious, did you have boy name choices and if so, what were they?
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~sweet pea~ View Post
Miss 1928: I'm trying to come up with names that sound appropriate in both English and Italian. I'm finding that girl names are infinitely easier because names ending in "-a" are fairly mainstream here in the States, but boy names that end in an "-o" seem to say "I am ethnic."

I'm curious, did you have boy name choices and if so, what were they?
Hi, Sweet Pea,

No, we didn't really have any boy names picked. I was superstitious and I didn't want to even think about names until after the amneosentisis (sp?) so we really didn't consider about any names before that, and then we knew DD was going to be a girl, so pretty much there was no point in looking at boy names.

I think you're right, Girl names are easier, and I think that may be the case with many languages, not just Italian.

I did like the name Carlo though. (Vetoed by DH)
My friend (she's American with an Italian DH) named their first son Luca and second son Hugo, after her DH's dad, Ugo.
Right now Leonardo seems to be a really popular choice here in Italy. I know at least 3 born in the last 2 years. It's a lovely name, but that may seem like you're too much of a fan of Leonardo Decaprio, unofrtunately

Here are some Baby Name Websites I found while I was preggers, maybe this will help a little.

Names

http://www.italianames.com/1600_italian_names_tuv.php

http://www.italianames.com/top30italy2004.php

http://www.20000-names.com/female_a_names_3.htm

http://www.behindthename.com/

http://www.my-baby-names.com/italian_baby_names.html

Good luck!
post #32 of 56
My dh is Greek and very into following the Greek tradition as far as names are concerned. For this reason, naming the 2 I have with him was very easy! Firstborn son (for dh, I have 3 from first marriage), named for father's father. Christos, same in both languages, very easy. Second born son, named for mother's father. Homer/Omiros ... The Greek version (especially with our last name) is a challenge for people here in small town America so we usually just say "Homer." However, dh's family (all still in Greece) all use Omiros.

The challenge would have been if Christos had been a girl... Because although dh has a sister with a child that *should* have been named for their dad, she chose instead to "save" that name for dh because HE is a firstborn son and it's important for HIS firstborn son to carry on the name. Had firstborn been a girl, he could have chosen to either use the female version (Christina) or save the name and hope for a boy next time (in which case we would have used my mother's name). It would have been a tough choice because I wasn't so sure we'd have another, and of course there's no guarantee that the next one would be a boy either!

Anyway I can kind of relate to some of the stories about trying to find something that fits in both cultures even though it was kind of predetermined in our case. I wouldn't have named this one Homer probably (because of the Homer Simpson reference), but I'm glad we did!
post #33 of 56
My ex - father of my daughter - is Egyptian and living here in the US with me. His family are all in Egypt. From the get go, I wanted and Arabic name - both to connect her to that part of her culture (which is obviously not the dominant one here) and as a connection/to honor her family over there, which has had to see their son move and build a family in a whole other country. My only concern was that it be easily pronouncable here. We went with Nadya, the name of her grandmother in Egypt - pronounced with a flat "a" as in apple. People often pronounce it more like the Russian with the broad a, which I did not anticipate. But I'm pretty happy with it. My friends who are also an American/Arab couple are also giving their kid an Arabic name.
post #34 of 56
DH is English and Welsh and I am Irish and American (with a dash of German from a my grandparents). Should be easy, right?

Not really. Too many options, too many opinions. So we decided to pick from a really limited pool, and only pick family names. Both DH and I also very big on names having meaning - we were both named after people in our families so we wanted to have that connection.

So we named one son after my dh's grandfather (Anthony) and my father (Robert) and the other after my grandfather (Liam) and dh's father (John).

The only change is that my grandfather was Wilhelm (German for William) and we preferred the Irish version - Liam.

The other change is that on the UK side of the pond, Anthony is pronounced "An-tony" and on the US side "Anthony" (with a th sound). My dad pronounces his name "An-tony", which I don't mind.

We decided to let it be both. We call him Anthony, but don't correct anyone. His nickname is Ant (not Tony), though.

What I find weird are all the people here in the US who assume that Anthony is an Italian name. Um, it is a biblical name - all the Christian European countries have it, and Anthony (vs Antonio) is the English/Welsh version.

If we have a third, and she is a girl, we may break with our tradition, because I love the name Penelope and we don't have any Penelope's in our families. I also sort of want to name a child after my mom, but frankly, never liked either her first or middle names. Ugh.

The other name I love but cannot use is Eileen (my grandmother's name) - because it rhymes with our last name... Double ugh.

I have friends who also give their kids the obligatory name as the first name, and then the name they intend to call their kids as the middle. Both a friend from Quebec and a friend from the deep south told me their families have this tradition.

And I know many people who "changed" their names - suddenly started going by their middle name or a nickname in junior high or later. I like the idea of giving a kid that option.
post #35 of 56
Wow, it's so great reading all the different cultures and backgrounds people come from- I fit right in here! My mother is Belgian/French and my father is Zimbabwean (xhosa), DH parents are Ukrainian/Polish and English. My parents seemed to come to a compromise with my sister's and my names- we both have Zimbabwean (xhosa) first names and french middle names. My husband has very english first and middles names and a Ukrainian last name.

So with all of our cultural backgrounds, one of the first things our families are asking us now that we are TTC is, of course, "What are you going to name it?" (and everytime we call- "are you pregnant yet!?!? )This question follows with multiple suggestions from all sides.

We feel like we have a lot of "cultural" names to choose from, which is a good and bad thing- I'm afraid we'll never decide! But we're also not exactly the traditional type and have been thinking of other names we like from OTHER cultures and pretty words in our shared language and culture, (Canadian) English. So we'll see, we are just at the start of our multi-cultural family journey and name choosing is a definitely a fun part of it.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
DH is English and Welsh and I am Irish and American (with a dash of German from a my grandparents). Should be easy, right?

Not really. Too many options, too many opinions. So we decided to pick from a really limited pool, and only pick family names. Both DH and I also very big on names having meaning - we were both named after people in our families so we wanted to have that connection.

So we named one son after my dh's grandfather (Anthony) and my father (Robert) and the other after my grandfather (Liam) and dh's father (John).

The only change is that my grandfather was Wilhelm (German for William) and we preferred the Irish version - Liam.

The other change is that on the UK side of the pond, Anthony is pronounced "An-tony" and on the US side "Anthony" (with a th sound). My dad pronounces his name "An-tony", which I don't mind.

We decided to let it be both. We call him Anthony, but don't correct anyone. His nickname is Ant (not Tony), though.

What I find weird are all the people here in the US who assume that Anthony is an Italian name. Um, it is a biblical name - all the Christian European countries have it, and Anthony (vs Antonio) is the English/Welsh version.
If we have a third, and she is a girl, we may break with our tradition, because I love the name Penelope and we don't have any Penelope's in our families. I also sort of want to name a child after my mom, but frankly, never liked either her first or middle names. Ugh.

The other name I love but cannot use is Eileen (my grandmother's name) - because it rhymes with our last name... Double ugh.

I have friends who also give their kids the obligatory name as the first name, and then the name they intend to call their kids as the middle. Both a friend from Quebec and a friend from the deep south told me their families have this tradition.

And I know many people who "changed" their names - suddenly started going by their middle name or a nickname in junior high or later. I like the idea of giving a kid that option.

Not being snarky, but where is Anthony in the bible? Do you mean a Christian name (ie a saint)?
post #37 of 56
We gave our kids Bulgarian first names and Chinese middle names. Poor kids... but at least their names are unique and reflect their heritage!
post #38 of 56
Oh we are having such a hard time!!!! We are going through the same things with wanting both cultures represented but names being to hard in one, or old fashioned in another. The other problem is my MIL who doesnt speak english and just wont pronouce certain american names. ( im thinking the less she likes them the harder they become for her to say) but ohwell.... hopefully we will settle on somthing soon. Luckily alot of names we both like overlap my german/american and his spanish culteral.....
post #39 of 56
We also wanted names that were easy to pronouce/spell in both languages despite the disparity in alphabets (DH is Iranian) and reflected his dual heritage. We ended up naming him after both grandfathers - David for my dad and Ali for DH's dad. He goes by Ali. Easy to spell/pronounce (although David bacomes Davud) but reflective of both cultures.

The only issue I've had is that Ali is a common nickname for girls names like Alison and Alicia, so if people just see his name written they think he is a girl!
post #40 of 56
We couldn't really find names we liked in German or English. Eventually, we decided to go with names used commonly in Sweden and Norway.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Multicultural Families
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Naming your child in another culture