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Naming your child in another culture - Page 3

post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisac77 View Post
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!
I face that with both of my boys. DS1 is Sami so people think it's short for Samantha until they meet him. DS2 is Ali. So same issues regarding Allison. DD lucked out... no issues with her name (Sara).
post #42 of 56
We did a lot of brainstorming. We have different nationalities and expect to be transferred a couple of times in the next years, so we made sure that the names are ok not just in European and American, but also Latin-roman and Chinese/Japanese cultures.
It was like finding an universal brand name.

We ended with the names of our favourite feminist philosophers though, which I intended in the first place. But good to know they are adequate in other cultures, too. And hubby was happy to have found such international names.
post #43 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunniMummi View Post
But then of course as an American both my kids go by shortened forms day to day which is totally not the Norwegian way.
We had this consideration too. Knowing that there was a high probability that English friends and relatives would shorten our son's name, we had to find a name that didn't turn into a name that sounded bad in Norwegian when shortened (Alexander -> Alex, for instance, sounds "rough" in Norwegian).

But actually it turned out that people have been rather good at respecting that his name is the name we gave him - even though I'm sure they don't understand why we're so fussy.
post #44 of 56
Yep, we get the response of "wow, THAT'S an American name!" for DS1 ALL the time. So annoying. We settled upon it together. DS2 has a very old English name which seems to placate people here. It's funny all the ways that culture pops up, even when it's just a colonial vs British difference. (I'm an American married to a Kiwi, btw)
post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss 1928 View Post
My friend (she's American with an Italian DH) named their first son Luca and second son Hugo, after her DH's dad, Ugo.
Luca is our boy name (if we ever have a boy)! I admit we got it from watching The Godfather : I figure it's OK, my namesake is a character in a movie that practices the world's oldest profession. Being named after a fictional gangster couldn't be much worse.

DH and I definitely agreed we wanted a traditionally Hispanic name for our DD (I'm White, DH is Hispanic). He has a very traditional Hispanic last name and we really wanted her first and last name to match, so to speak. Her first name is Ana (a very popular name in both Latin America and Spain-- DH's two heritages) Carolina (my DH's mother's and grandmother's name-- pronounced Car-o-leena. My mother's name is Karol so it's a tribute to her as well). We love it and it fits her perfectly. The only issue we have is with pronunciation. Ana is often pronounced Anna instead of Ah-nah. Strangers don't use her middle name much, but I did have receptionist pronounce her full name "Anna Carolina" (like the state). Oh boy.

The issue now is coming up with another girl name for #2. We had one we agreed on and it's been used. If we don't get a boy the next time around we're in trouble.
post #46 of 56
We're in the opposite boat -- if we don't have a girl next time (assuming there is a next time), we are going to be so very lost for names. It took us until just a few days before he was born to come up with our son's name. We wanted a name that "worked" in both cultures (I'm generic American; my husband is from southern India), but there's a pretty limited selection in that category, and either he or I hated all of them. We finally settled on Arjun, an Indian name we both liked and that hasn't given us too much trouble in the US so far with regards to spelling, pronunciation, and so forth.

Of course, neither of our families were 100% happy with it. But what can you do? We appeased them with the middle names.
post #47 of 56
Dh and I couldn't agree on any American sounding names, so we went Slavic. Dd's name is a very old (pre-Christian) name common to many Slavic speaking countries, but we used Ukrainian transliteration (dh is Ukrainian). It's not a name that is difficult to pronounce in English, but the spelling really seems to throw people off. Guess we should have thought that through a little more We did give her an English sounding middle name, though.
post #48 of 56
My husband is Iranian and I knew I wanted a Persian name when we found out we were pregnant so I started poring over the lists online and asking him about the meaning and cultural and SOCIAL significance of the names I liked.
It was funny because so many of the names that 'sounded' good to me he would tell me were considered 'cheap' or similar in Iran...
We discovered we were having a little girl and I again hit the lists until one day he and I were going over lists together and the name Noushafarin caused him to pause with tears in his eyes...it was his maternal grandmother's name and he loved her SO SO much. That was it for me and I decided right that second we'd call her Noushafarin. Nou for short

We have a heck of a time explaining the name and nickname but I couldn't care less and actually welcome the opportunity to open the dialog that invariably results when people find out the name is Persian....
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by TessJoon View Post
My husband is Iranian and I knew I wanted a Persian name when we found out we were pregnant so I started poring over the lists online and asking him about the meaning and cultural and SOCIAL significance of the names I liked.
It was funny because so many of the names that 'sounded' good to me he would tell me were considered 'cheap' or similar in Iran...
We discovered we were having a little girl and I again hit the lists until one day he and I were going over lists together and the name Noushafarin caused him to pause with tears in his eyes...it was his maternal grandmother's name and he loved her SO SO much. That was it for me and I decided right that second we'd call her Noushafarin. Nou for short

We have a heck of a time explaining the name and nickname but I couldn't care less and actually welcome the opportunity to open the dialog that invariably results when people find out the name is Persian....
That's a great name... you picked a "real" Persian name, but we cheated and used an Arabic name that is also common in Iran (Ali).

If we'd had a girl, I fell in love with the Persian name Sholeh, although the lack of an easy nickname might hold me up.
post #50 of 56
Hi

I'm pretty new on the boards, but my husband and I are planning to TTC in the next couple of months, and since we may have had an oopsie this month we've started to talk about names.

We've agreed we want a first name that is pronounceable in both English as well as Spanish. Also his middle name is Taino as are his siblings, so we will give our children Taino middle names! I think that might be the hardest part, I've already done a little internet searching and it's difficult to find Taino names, especially ones that are pronounceable by my American family. Our one other minor bump in the road is that I was born and raised Jewish and it is cultural to use the first letter of a deceased relative to name the new child. So we also have limited letters to use when picking a name.

As another member mentioned, when we do get pregnant we plan to keep the name to ourselves until the child is born and officially named.

Well thanks for letting me share. I look forward to joining this little community :
post #51 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
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.
My DH is Lebanese and Druze. I would not bend on this issue at all. I said that in America, My DDs will have girl's names. If and when we register them in Lebanon, I have no problem with "Najib" being their middle name in Lebanon, but in America, they have middle names. My husband picked my DD#1's first name because he is a big Duran Duran fan and he said that if he ever had a daughter, he'd name her Rio. I thought that was cool so I agreed and picked the middle name Rayne (pronounced 'rain') and we went back and forth over the name for DD#2. We finally settled on Yesmeen (we spell it phonetically how it is pronounced in Lebanon). I really wanted matching names. I was really into the name Kai, which means ocean and I thought it would be cool to have an ocean and a river, but my husband hated the name. "Yesmeen" was on and off the table several times until I saw an interview with Miss Universe from Japan and her name was Riyo (pronounced 'Rio') and she said her name means 'Jasmine'... So there was my match. Yesmeen was Arabic for Jasmine and Rio was Japanese for jasmine. I picked her middle name too. Her middle name is Sky. So that matches too, with the three letter thing. It's obscure, but it's good enough for me. My DH's father thinks that they have the names Rio Najib and Yesmeen Najib and as far as I'm concerned, that's fine by me...

The one thing that irritated me was when Rio was first born, my husband had to go there for business and people all over the place were telling him that "Rio" was incorrect and that because she's a girl her name should be "Ria" and every time he would talk about her whoever he was talking to would say, "you mean 'Ria'"... eventually my DH gave up and just stopped debating it.

Even now some people will ask, "how's Ria?"

Of course, if we had a boy, I totally agreed to name him after my FIL... It's tradition.
post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayleesan View Post
our only real trouble in choosing hawaiian names is choosing something that doesn't look like it could be convberted to something gross is one of my red neck realatives in the south got cocky. like Ikaika, the name for stregnth, could so easily be Icki/Icky.
My mother grew up with an uncle Icky (short for Isidore, I believe); I'm pretty sure that was just the Yiddishified version of his name. I totally wanted to name a kid "Icky."

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?
Not Italian, but I've always loved the name Giovanni, and I"m pretty sure that's a boy's name... right?

Anyway, yes, we went through this as well. I'm Jewish by birth, and wanted the kids to have Hebrew names. Said names had to be easy to pronounce and explain to the ILs, and not sound too weird to Mike the Master of All Things Boring. I wanted them to have English names that were not obscenely dull as well, while Mike preferred boring names. It was difficult, especially for the boys, but we finally agreed. : Insanity.
post #53 of 56
DS1 is Aristotle. I'm not Greek, nor is his father. I liked the name and it's meaning- and it fit since I craved Greek food all through my pregnancy with him. The owners of the restaurant I frequented while pregnant (it was a haunt long before I was pregnant also, so I knew them fairly well) were absolutely tickled to find out I'd given him a Greek name. They didn't like me too much before he was born, but every time I came in after he was born, they came out to see him and stuff. : That was cool because I really liked them.
post #54 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkish Kate View Post
We went through that as well. We had to find a Turkish name that Americans could pronounce and that didn't have any Turkish letters in it. Now we are debating on names for a possible next baby and not doing so well.
Since we named DS after DH's brother, there was little to be done on this issue. We named him Altuğ Gabriel. DH played with the idea of dropping the soft g, I would have no part of that! I felt really strongly about that, because it feels like so much of DH's culture is subjugated here that I cling to things we can choose to keep. He also wanted to call DS by his middle name, which I also objected to. Apparently, I'm a cultural hardass.

DH has 2 Turkish names I love - Selim and Altay.
post #55 of 56
How great to find a thread about this. My husband and I struggled with this a lot, and will for the next one too (we're already thinking about it and not even ttc #2 quite yet)

My dh is from Panama, and we have a long, spanish last name...Also his family does not speak English at all and live in Panama so the names we chose must be easily pronounced in both Spanish and English., plus we are working with a set middle name for boys after their Grandfathers who have passed on.

We pretty easily came up with Gabriel for ds1 which is works well in both languages, with his middle name and last name. My only beef about it is that its sort of common but not a huge deal. It's actually been nice to tell people his name in both countries and not have anyone say "what???" can you spell that???" etc. My dh has a very uncommon name and its always been a problem for him both here and there.

But as for the next one I'm sort of at a loss! There are quite a few girl names that would work more or less but boys I'm having a problem coming up with ones that work for all the criteria AND that we both love enough to use!
post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyJoia View Post
My DH is Lebanese and Druze. I would not bend on this issue at all. I said that in America, My DDs will have girl's names.
If we stay in the U.S. my daughter will probably never forgive me on this front ... so my kids and their father share a same last name we decided to give our kids his name and his father's as joint middle names, so my daughter has not one but two boys' names for middle names. I ws shy about having just one growing up, and mine is pretty gender ambiguous sounding at that.
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