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

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#31 of 37 Old 12-03-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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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.

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#32 of 37 Old 12-04-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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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.


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#33 of 37 Old 12-15-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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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.


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#34 of 37 Old 12-15-2010, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

 

 

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#35 of 37 Old 01-21-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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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.


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#36 of 37 Old 01-27-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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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.


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#37 of 37 Old 02-18-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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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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