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

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#1 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so me, american, and my df, german, have "decided" on names for our kids, that we have just started ttc'ing.
how do these names work in americna and german pronounciation? (edited for updates)

jonas william (prefer yoh-nass, can live with joe-ness)

mareike stefanie (ma-rye-kuh) nn meike, possibly spelled mika in the us

daniel graham

annika louisa

what do you think?

 

we are still not completely set on mareike's middle name, or on daniel as a first name, but we are pretty certain on the rest

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#2 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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you gotta do what ya gotta do. we also seek german-english friendly names. for my daughter, we actually chose a name that requires to correct the german speaker pronunciation every single time. we love the name though, but only pronounced in english.

hopefully we'll have better luck this second time around. i like carsten and annika the most. what about torsten? my husband already vetoed that. roman? he vetoed that too.

hoping for a !
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#3 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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All of these are good except for mareika. I don't think Americans will say or spell that correctly. The other choices are great!
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#4 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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We deciced on a name that is common in both languages, yet pronounced differently. It's not a problem though. DS has a nickname, Jona, which everyone pronounces correctly. DD will be named Eloise which is super easy for both families to say.

I only see troubles with Mareike for English speakers, and lemme tell you, Annika is my name and it gets messed up all the time. Most people call me: A-neeeeee-ka, which is totally wrong! I wish they'd say Annika the English way (like in Anne with no focus on the i), but they always make it out that weird way. Super annoying.
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#5 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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They are all beautiful names, however I don't think you will get many people pronouncing Jonas yo-nass in the US...I think the Jonas Brothers may have stuck joe-nass in everyone's minds just a thought

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#6 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#7 of 37 Old 10-23-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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I think people are going to stumble over Marieke a lot. But hey, my sister has an extremely common English name and people have been mispronouncing and mis-spelling it all her life. That's why I had no problem going with names from dh's language. Doesn't matter what you do, people are going to mis-spell, mispronounce, and possibly question your judgement for picking the name anyway.


I loooove Jonas, and the pronunciation. Also Carsten.

I think with all of those names, the pronunciation will depend on the country you're in. People you know, you can correct the pronunciation, but others are just going to say what their mouth is used to saying.
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#8 of 37 Old 10-24-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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I agree with the pp about "Mareike".

As for Carsten. To me it doesn't sound like a girl name but I'm German and I imagine a tall blond man in his mid 40s when I hear that name . Same goes for Torsten .

I love the name Jonas. I'd totally go for that one.

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#9 of 37 Old 10-24-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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Jonas is my favorite, but I think it might be a losing battle trying to enforce the German pronunciation in the US. When he's a baby and you're the one introducing him always it will probably be fine, but once he's school aged and a lot of "introductions" will be through forms and attendance sheets and signing him up for things, I don't think that anyone will know not to pronounce it with a J sound. And kids differ: he may care and correct people, or he may prefer to have the "easier" version that he doesn't have to explain.

I also really like Annika.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#10 of 37 Old 10-24-2010, 01:13 AM
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I don't think that anyone will know not to pronounce it with a J sound. And kids differ: he may care and correct people, or he may prefer to have the "easier" version that he doesn't have to explain.
True. I know more than one Jorge (Hor-hay) who just gave up and answers to George.

And I work with a few Hispanic people who have names that are familiar to Americans but are pronounced differently in their countries of origin, and they don't ever correct people. Lucrecia and Hugo immediately come to mind.
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#11 of 37 Old 10-24-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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I have a Biblical name which is fairly common in many countries, and I just answer to whatever the local pronunciation is depending on where I am.

If it is very important that the name should be pronounced close to the same in English and German, you could try Carl for a boy and Clara for a girl.
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#12 of 37 Old 10-25-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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I taught at an American boarding school where we had a German Mareike for a year and once told how to say it, nobody stumbled over it. I think the sound is actually easy for the American mouth if that makes sense.

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 would be more worried about a name that has an acceptable but different pronunciation in English like Jonah. Annika would come out of my mouth as Ann-eeek-ah, probably from watching too much Pippi Longstocking dubbed into Spanish !
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#13 of 37 Old 10-25-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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My niece's name is Annika (BIL is Swedish.) They do get the An-neeee-ka pronunciation once in a while. They also get Anne-i-ka. Sometimes it's harder for them to get across that the Ann part is pronounced "Onn".

We call her Anni (pronounced "Onni"). She's a little spitfire, and we adore her, so that's my favorite name of your choices.

I also love Carsten for a boy.
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#14 of 37 Old 10-25-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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My son's best friend in class is an Annika. I've noticed that the kids have no problem with her name, but the adults sometimes get tripped up by it. I think it is lovely, though!


Mareike is nice - I think it is easy to pronounce,but agree that the spelling will be difficult for Americans.

I grew up with a girl named Carsten, so my first guess if I saw the name would be girl. I also think Jonas will get called 'joe-nass' more often than not. That said, I think they are both nice names!
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#15 of 37 Old 10-25-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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It's funny how different people pronounce Annika because there is one in my town and she IS German and her family DOES prounounce it 'ah-neeeee-ka'. When I first saw it in writing I assumed it was "on-nick-uh"

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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#16 of 37 Old 10-25-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I have a Biblical name which is fairly common in many countries, and I just answer to whatever the local pronunciation is depending on where I am.

If it is very important that the name should be pronounced close to the same in English and German, you could try Carl for a boy and Clara for a girl.
i agree with this.
i also like astrid for a girl, axel for a boy.
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#17 of 37 Old 10-25-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i agree with this.
i also like astrid for a girl, axel for a boy.
i loved astrid, until i heard an american unfamiliar with the name say it, and it sounded like *ss- turd.

i am also grateful to know that americans can pronounce mareike, even if they can't spell it. i am rather set on the name, so the baby we are ttc right now will be jonas or mareike.

i am not too worried about when the kid is in school, because our kids will either be homeschooled or go to waldorf school anyway.
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#18 of 37 Old 10-27-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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i am not too worried about when the kid is in school, because our kids will either be homeschooled or go to waldorf school anyway.
FYI unfortunately homeschooling is illegal in Germany, if that's where you end up. But Waldorf schools are abundant and not expensive.

Anyway, my name is Rachel too and I live in Germany and many people mispronounce my name and it's so annoying! We also had to choose a name for our son that was easy to pronounce and the same in both languages. It was hard because more than half the names we liked were ruled out that way. I love the name Jasper, but not the German pronunciation of it, so we made it DS's middle name.

As for your names, I agree Mareike would be hard for Americans (but it's a great name!). And Americans will ALWAYS use the hard J in Jonas, so if you want the German pronunciation forget it...unless you won't mind constantly throughout your son's life having to correct people. In fact that may not even work. I have an American friend here who's son is Milo, which in German is Meeee-lo. She got so sick of always correcting everyone, she gave up and most people call him Meeee-lo now and she's used to it.

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#19 of 37 Old 10-27-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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Our good friends from Germany just moved over here and their names are Carsten and Annika (pronounced ohn-e-ka). We met them when we lived over in Germany. I had to laugh when I saw that both their names were on your list.

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#20 of 37 Old 10-27-2010, 12:07 PM
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Anyway, my name is Rachel too and I live in Germany and many people mispronounce my name and it's so annoying!
Just out of curiosity, how do Germans pronounce your name?
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#21 of 37 Old 10-28-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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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.

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#22 of 37 Old 10-28-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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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

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#23 of 37 Old 10-28-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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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.

Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#24 of 37 Old 10-28-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 37 Old 10-28-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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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.

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#26 of 37 Old 10-31-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 37 Old 11-10-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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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...

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#28 of 37 Old 11-11-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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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. 

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#29 of 37 Old 11-12-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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My neice is Heidi so I like that name also.

 

I like all your choices.

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#30 of 37 Old 11-17-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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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 :-)


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