Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic

Thread: I regret the multicultural name... Reply to Thread
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-31-2013 07:52 AM

I think kids figure this kind of stuff out amazingly well. I'm Polish as well and when my baby sister (born here in Canada but Polish was her first language and what we spoke at home) would refer to me at home she'd use my Polish name, but when we were out and about (i.e. at a grocery store) she'd use an English-ized version. She was 2 or 3 at the time but already she knew there was a difference.


With DD we opted to give her an English name that is easily translatable to Polish (many aren't) so that my family has a version of her name to call her without twisting their tongues. She responds to both (she's 2.5).

10-31-2013 06:12 AM

I gave my dd a multicultural spelling of a  name that is used in many cultures, including American/English language (I don't want to post her actual name, sorry!) Think...Beatriz instead of Beatrice. The pronunciation is slightly different the way I spelled it.  However, she most often goes by the English version, though we call her both.


Her nickname is part of her name with the correct pronunciation, but we've kind of made a mess of it otherwise! I'm glad I picked the spelling I did, because it is part of my heritage, but I wish I would have been stricter about enforcing the correct pronunciation.


Dd is 6 now and pronounces it the English way-oh well!  I just find myself over explaining so people don't think I was trying to be unique with the spelling and messed it up :)

10-09-2013 09:30 AM

I'm in the same boat. 


It's kind of a long story but we live in France and found a French name, similar to my father's since my dad's name won't work here. It was similar to an Israeli name that we would have named him but were afraid that the spelling would be a pronunciation problem for the French. Better to chose an actual French name, right??


I heard it a lot in Paris where I was living before I got married. Paris is not far from Brittany, where this name comes from (you find tons of Breton names there). But then I moved to Eastern France, who do NOT know Breton names. 


Turns out it's similar to about six male names in France so he's always "Not Roland, not Renauld..." 


PLUS he won't correct people. They massacre it! I was told by Breton coworkers in Paris to NOT let people say it that way. 


When I call the school, it usually takes them a minute to register the name. Then I usually quip "Better not say that like that with any Bretons around!" or "Yes, he won't correct people..." or something similar and cutting. "Glad I picked a French name you could pronounce!" I've even used. 


Ironically, I named the next on a totally Israeli name, that everyone can say correctly! 




Amusing side story. We went to Israel on vacation. The security lady looks at the passports, with our very Jewish last name and honestly says "Did you know that your children all have Israeli names?!?"


You don't say! 

10-06-2013 10:14 PM

I think she has a lovely name with a great history behind it! I named my oldest Abirami which is always said wrong the first time. She goes by Abi (AH-bee) not Abby, but even though people say that wrong, too, they learn and then they say she has a pretty name. She is almost 13, at the stage where an identity crisis would have happened if it was going to about her name. And she loves her name, has not had any crisis about it. I suspect it will be the same for your daughter, too. I was amazed to see the class roster for my daughter's 4th grade class. So multicultural. There were only about 4 "normal" American names on the whole list. And several were very unique and quite obviously ethnic.


My 9 year old-- her name is Nitara. When we asked her what she wanted to be called when she started Kindergarten (her full name Nitara or her nickname Nita) she chose her full name. She is also proud of it.

10-04-2013 05:29 AM

alot of people have chimed in, and i agree both Zofia and Zosia are lovely lovely names.


I wanted to relate my cousin's story to you because it is very similar. My aunt is american from a very middle class midwestern family, My uncle is a columbian indian. Their first child my aunt named and got a very common name. Their second child, they gave a hispanic name. As a child, my cousin was a little embarrassed about being different, more ethnic named and asked to be called by the americanized version of his name...until he discovered Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill and brown power in general. Then he requested we all start calling him by his more ethnic birth name. It took a while for us all to remember the new name but we happily respected his wishes and did it.


Today that same young man works as a lawyer for charity org that helps illegal immigrants, naturalized citizens, and native americans with their legal troubles.


He gave his first born son his name.



your daughter's story is no where near done yet, it's a beautiful name, i wouldn't worry about it just yet, as long as you are honoring her feelings about her name



fwiw, I also have a strange name, that is somehow unpronouncable to everyone, even though it is pronounced just like Melissa. I also hated it as a kid (I wanted to be called Rochelle) but cherish it's uniqueness and power now

10-01-2013 02:00 AM

Hey my daughter is also named Zofia Teresa, born in 2005.  Glad to be Zofy is a country full of Sophia's.

12-17-2008 11:46 PM
pinaymommy I love the name Zosia. Our sons name is Jose. Which looks normal except we're Portuguese so its a soft j sound in Portuguese/Brazilian not an h sound like in Spanish. And we call him Ze. Zezinho for little Ze and Zezao for big Ze. He's also Kuya Ze (big brother Ze in the Philippines). He loves them all. Call her what she wants to be called! Its a beautiful name!
12-17-2008 07:37 PM
Sailor I just saw this thread ... I'm going to be in the same position (once I actually get pregnant, have a baby, lol).

I'm Polish, and if it's a girl we plan to name her Zofia in honor of my great grandmother. I had planned on calling her Zosia, and then have the Americans do whatever they want with her name. Whether it's some mispronounced form of Zosia or just Sophie - either way I'm sure eventually the child will pick which one it likes best.

And, really, I think you can change the variations on the same name as much as you want. In my family, we always put the full name on the birth certificate and, after that, everyone just calls you by whatever form they like or want to use in a given moment.

For instance, my birth certificate name is Katarzyna. My family calls me anything from Kasia, Kaska, Kasienka, Kasiuli, Kasiaczek, Tasiacazek, Kas, and so on. Most of them are transformed into terms of endearment via their pronouncement.

However, I'm used to this - from birth. It seems weird to me to have people only call me by one version of my name, lol. Plus, then I have to factor in the Americans who have problems pronouncing my name. So, it goes through all kinds of pronounciations depending on who is speaking.

As far as your child being confused ... this will pass. My partner only speaks English, I speak both English and Polish. I want my kids to know Polish, so the plan is that I will only speak Polish to them, my partner English. And then they will spend summers in Poland with family (and us obviously).

I read that kids who are raised with 2 languages at the same time go through either a period of confusion or of delayed speaking. But, this is normal and does pass.

Polish was my first language, and then when I was 5 I moved to America and had to learn English. I stopped speaking for an entire year! However, (obviously) this passed, the confusion went away, and I'm quite well now.
12-13-2008 06:51 PM
Milkymommi I can relate ... I knew full well what would happen especially when they started to become more social as they grew up. Fast forward to NOW We're Jewish, and while 3 of my kids don't have terribly uncommon names we've still always had pronunciation and people electing to give them a nick name instead of asking how to say it. We always correct commonly used nick names- I don't have anything in particular against nick names as my 2 yo have several but I don't like the ones that are used for Jaclyn ( Jackie) and Israel ( iz or izzy) No offense to anyone

My oldest dd is named Jaclyn which is NOT jacqueline... we chose the spelling because she's names after my best childhood friend. We opted for the spelling which is derived from Hebrew. We also gave her a Hebrew name which is tradition here in the states, beacause her name sounds very "American" or even mistaken for French when procounced wrong.

Our youngest dd, Na'omi is commonly called Nay or Naee( long i sound) omi. We gave her just the one very traditional Hebrew name and it should sound like Nah ( pause) omi

Our ds Israel... commonly called Izreeul. We don't use the hardcore Hebrew Y'israel unless we're speaking Hebrew but we say the english version of his name as "Israil". Does that make sense in writing?

Javen is uncommon here and in Israel. Although it sounds like the ULTRA common Jayden. He gets called Jayden all the time.

My dh's name is Micah as well as our youngest. One can imagine the multitude of mispronunciations we experience with that name LOL!!! "mihcuh" "meekuh" "Mike" "miCAH" etc.

Me? My name cracks everyone up. Kristie. Can't get that wrong and it's certainly NOT Jewish. I come from a multicultural family too... let's just say my Dad won the battle for my name. Unfortunatly most people call me Kris, which I HATE but have given up on correcting since even my mom does it.
12-13-2008 02:22 PM
Sparks* for a period of time in the 2nd and 3rd grade, I insisted on being called "Tom" and then "Steve" . I have an EXTREMELY common and imo boring name, plus I was a huge tom-boy Please don't regret giving your daughter such a gorgeous name. She will surely appreciate it as she grows up and also experiment with it, which I think is a normal and wonderful thing
12-13-2008 09:11 AM
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I know plenty of people who pronounce their names differently depending on what language they are speaking (including me). It's quite common around here, actually.
I agree.

I love the name Zofya and I wouldn't mind having a child with that name and having to correct people on the correct pronunciation. It's a beautiful name.
12-12-2008 06:30 AM
LessTraveledBy The first part of our dd's name is Anna (a pronounced like the first o in lollypop) and it gets pronounced in two different ways, depending on whether the speaker is American or some type of European. Well, actually 3 ways, as I call her AN Na (very clearly two n's in the middle) when I speak my language, dh (native English speaker) calls her "Ana."

Dd (3 yo) responds to all three and does not seem to care. In Finnish she calls herself "An na" and in English "Ana."
12-12-2008 05:48 AM
pear-shaped I regret my daughter's name too. It's American, well Irish actually, but we live in Italy. It has a sound that doesn't occur in Italian, and when I tell people what her name is, they usually look confused and repeat what they think I've said. Her name is Kathleen. People look at me and say, "Carlin?" The "th" is very confusing for them. Then I explain again, tell them that it's the equivalent of Caterina. They smile, and say, "Ah, Cathrin!" They get the "th" but not with the "l."

Dh and I discussed this before she was born. We knew this would happen. But we wanted to name her after my mother and just figured that we'd all just deal with the name. I myself have a name that causes problems here, so I knew how frustrating it would be. But now that we're actually dealing with it, I wish we'd changed Kathleen into something easier to pronounce like Catalina. It's too late to change it, as Italian law only allows name changes if the name is embarrassing.

Dd is only about a year old now. It will be interesting to see what she wants to be called when she's older, and what she calls herself. I often call her Kathy, which dh's family repeats as Cati. That doesn't bother me too much. I wonder if that's what she'll prefer. In the end, it will be her choice. I do hope she preserves the "th," though, and as she grows I will emphasize that she has a very special name because it's different and because it was her grandmother's name.

BTW, I love your daughter's name!
12-12-2008 12:01 AM
stellimamo I love the name Zosia, it was the other name I thought of to name dd. I ended up w/ Stella because it was my beloved (Polish) Grandmothers name.
12-11-2008 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by Mamato2and2 View Post
Your babe would fit in perfectly here, we have the nicknames Ezzy and Ozi (pronounced Ozzy....I just can't bear to spell it that way!) They are NOT the nicknames I would have chosen but the older kids and dad just started calling them those names, so now I do too
We have an Ezzy here too. His older brother just calls him Ez, though.
I have a co-worker who also calls her son Ezzy... although his given name is different than my ds.
12-11-2008 09:06 PM
eccomama zosia is beautiful name, one of the ladies i worked wiht her name is Zophia (had a Polish dad). so at work she was zophia but to close friends and family she was always Zosia.
as for butchering names, in the area that I live are a lot of ppl from all over the world, especially lot of people from India. Try pronouncing one of those! hehe
12-11-2008 01:40 PM
Originally Posted by bellydancemommy View Post
I am going with a difficult name for my daughter (due in Jan). Her name will be Anais. Most people I hear from now don't like it. My family included they say they can't pronounce it. My 5 year old and her friends can pronounce it no problem. (AH NA EESE). I'm sure everyone else will figure it out on their own. I'm not worried about it. I am sure we will have our challenges with it as she grows but, hopefully we will be able to deal with them! good luck with your daughter! I think the name is beautiful! robyn
Anais? I would be worried about this one. s (speaking as a former teacher)
I think this name is way too close to anus. I would cringe to hear my child called that!

I'm all for creative/meaningful names but "difficult" names are another story
12-11-2008 01:07 PM
MommaFox I think everyone goes through this. While my name isn't common, it isn't that unusual either. For a time I toyed with different spellings, I went by a totally different name. In college, I went by the masculine nickname.
DH was "Charlie" at home untill kindergarten, when he game home, very distressed, and said to hid mother "Did you know my name is Charles?" and he's been that ever since.
#1 son said that when he tirned 7, he wasn't going to be Danny anymore, just Dan but has yet to change over. I'm sure we'll go through the same thing with Malcolm.
12-07-2008 03:54 AM
Originally Posted by Bad Mama Jama View Post
no crisis. i clearly remember the day that my friend's dd announced at age 5 that she no longer wanted to be called sadie which was her mom's nickname for her. it lasted quite a while, but then she went back to sadie. i think they are also working to define themselves. you haven't done anything wrong.
i agree!! and you know what? some people do have trouble with names.. but thats ok.. she can correct them. i do it all the time. you should hear me talking on the phone to the doctor or something.. when they ask my name i have to say it spell sign it and morse code it.. but i don't mind i am totally used to it... it do it without even thinking about it. i love my name though.. peoples lack of ability to pronounce it correctly never really phased me.
12-07-2008 03:39 AM
Bad Mama Jama
Originally Posted by TeresaZofia View Post
Thanks for all of the replies. I just feel bad that I'm giving her an identity crisis or something . Or, really, I'm just being a worried mom.
no crisis. i clearly remember the day that my friend's dd announced at age 5 that she no longer wanted to be called sadie which was her mom's nickname for her. it lasted quite a while, but then she went back to sadie. i think they are also working to define themselves. you haven't done anything wrong.
12-04-2008 06:02 PM
Jess86 don't worry it will probably change a million times before she's 30 haha my little brother andrew went through about 7 variations before he chose to finally just go by andrew. one of my high school friends went by her middle name (her name was aurora dawn) and as soon as she graduated changed back to dawn...and now my side of the family (hispanic dad/scandanavian mom) calls my husband mika (meekah) but his name is micah (my-cah) and he enjoys it ^_^....names are such a huge part of our identity, and like our personalities, can sometimes change many times before we get it where we want it ^_^

zofia is a beautiful name, and as she grows she'll find ways to make it hers
12-03-2008 03:44 AM
Originally Posted by LorenaAZ View Post
Yeah, we are calling the baby (still in utero) Izzy.
Your babe would fit in perfectly here, we have the nicknames Ezzy and Ozi (pronounced Ozzy....I just can't bear to spell it that way!) They are NOT the nicknames I would have chosen but the older kids and dad just started calling them those names, so now I do too
12-01-2008 03:19 PM
meowee I gave one of my DDs a very ethnic name and I sort of regret it too, because no one can pronounce it! I wish we'd given her an anglo name and then used the ethnic variation as her family nickname. I still think it's a beautiful name though : but it's depressing to hear people butcher it.
12-01-2008 03:13 PM
Indigo73 My son gets new nicknames all the time that have nothing to do with his name, Ryne (rhymes with line). He's called Ryan or Ryne about 50/50 at school. I let him introduce himself so it completely depends on his mood.

My own name is Aimee (pronounced em-MAY) and I answer to Amy or my nickname Indigo 95% of the time. Heck, my own mother's name is Maria and tons of people call her Marie. Never quite figured that out.

Or even my husband, Robert hates being called Bobby but lets his grandmother, mother and sister (but not his brothers or aunts & uncles) call him by that childhood nickname.
11-26-2008 04:54 PM
sbilady I have the same issues with my kids names and family. I know we didn't make it better by naming our ds a name VERY similar to my nephew's name. Dh still gets mixed up too. Our names are Arabic and I really didn't want to name them something that would cause others to mispronounce because a slight mispronunciation could drastically change the meaning of the name to something with a different and/or bad meaning. We wanted to name our first dd Sahlah, with the 'h' pronounced, but the American 'tongue' makes it sound like Saklah. I ran it by the inlaws and on the first try, I knew it wasn't going to work, lol. So we switched to the other we were going to choose, but they STILL mispronounce it and I admit that I don't correct because in general, they tend to have trouble pronouncing some English words, so I digress.

In a nutshell, I'd say encourage your dd to be proud of her name AND its correct pronunciation. Changing it to an Americanized pronunciation just dilutes its specialness. I like the name and really don't think it's THAT hard to pronounce. It's not like its some strange letters completely foreign to English like some Arabic words are.

Anytime some teacher, nurse, caller on the phone, etc. mispronounces it, encourage her to correct it. My mom never really told me this at your dds age. I know I didn't as a child and I still get mad when I remember how my second grade teacher mispronounced my name for a long time until my mom came up to the school and noticed it. When my mom told her, my teacher was surprised I didn't say anything. I was shy about correcting an adult and still was when it happened again when I was 17 y/o! It wasn't until I felt like an adult (sometime after graduation), I started standing up for my name and its correct pronunciation and meaning (the mispronunciation DID change its meaning).

One more thing is that nipping it in the bud early helps stop the spread of incorrect pronunciations. With my experience, I realized that when people heard others pronouncing my name wrong, others would just repeat it who've never me before and didn't ask me what my name was. Even people who did know my name's correct pronunciation and had known me for many years started pronouncing it the wrong way w/o even asking me first. I guess they thought the 'new' way must be the right way and were too embarrassed to ask themselves!
11-26-2008 11:24 AM
bellydancemommy I am going with a difficult name for my daughter (due in Jan). Her name will be Anais. Most people I hear from now don't like it. My family included they say they can't pronounce it. My 5 year old and her friends can pronounce it no problem. (AH NA EESE). I'm sure everyone else will figure it out on their own. I'm not worried about it. I am sure we will have our challenges with it as she grows but, hopefully we will be able to deal with them! good luck with your daughter! I think the name is beautiful! robyn
11-26-2008 12:40 AM
Swan3 I think you should call her what she wants to be called, especially if she gets others to pronounce it correctly. Many have nicknames or names we go by (the name I go by isn't the same as my legal name). I think it's also great that she's assertive enough to want to be called by a particular name....good sign!
11-26-2008 12:11 AM
1littlebit nobody can pronounce my name! it's Adelina.. Addie is my nickname i am consistently called adeline and adelaide b/c apparently people cannot read. I am almost called Abbie and Maddie ALOT. i love my name though.. i have always likes it and there was never 1 other let alone 3 other people in the class with my name. i just used to correct them a lot. my parents call me Lina lot. i have a great aunt, a second cousin, and a great grandmother who all have the same name. my second cousin is 13 yrs younger and they call her Addie... my great aunt is called Adel (my parents vowed never to let anyone call me this)

i think i changed the spelling of my name atleast 5 times growing up. i really wouldn't worry about a new nickname. my dad calls me angel eyes more then he calles me addie and it has never bothered me lol i'm sure it will be fine
11-26-2008 12:03 AM
futurmama8 My name is Rianne... I am still a little confused as how my name ended up being pronounced "ryan". My mom still hasn't explained how it ended up that way. She wanted to pronounce it Ry-anne. She doesn't even call me that so im pretty at a loss for what to tell people. People have called me rianna, ria??? don't get that one.. ree-anne. I think only one person has pronounced my name the way it is now (ryan). See im probably confusing you all now: I totally give up lol!!
11-25-2008 06:35 PM
PatienceAndLove I have noticed that a lot of teachers ask students how to pronounce their given name, and what name they prefer to go by. When I registered DD for Kindergarten, the registration form asked for the given name and "preferred" name.
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off