If you live in a country where they pronounce your baby's name differently...

(43 Posts)
NancyinCali Thu 10-Apr-14 18:53:34

Does it bother you?
I love Clara for dd2 but I don't like the American pn: Clair-a. We live in California and won't be leaving any time soon. Should I choose a name that is pronounced the same in the uk and the us?

Mouldypineapple Thu 10-Apr-14 18:56:21

I say go with what you like! My DD is Lucia and she gets called several versions by different people! We say LuCHia but LuSia gets used frequently. I don't really mind though and in a way I think it's good for when she's older she can choose which one she wants to be called.

HootOnTheBeach Thu 10-Apr-14 19:59:59

Are you planning on leaving any time at all? If not, bear in mind that your own DD will be 'mispronouncing' that beautiful name herself :P

My name got butchered constantly when I was a kid with a non-English name, so I just switched to the closet English alternative. I hate it, but there's nothing I can do. I wish I had been given an English name, but I suppose mother didn't know she would end up moving the entire clan to London.

NancyinCali Thu 10-Apr-14 20:12:11

Thank you both, they're very useful perspectives. I can imagine my DD1 using the US version for her baby sister when she develops an accent.
It's the only name that we really like right now (16 weeks to go) but maybe we'll come up with something else before she arrives!

Yes I do, I live in Germany. We avoided names which were very very different, like Johnathan which would be pronounced YO-na-taan here. The list we agreed on had an 'acceptable level' of difference in pronounciation.

Funnily enough we also have a Lucia which is pronounced just fine here, although her nickname Lucy is a little more like Lootsee. It does not bother me.

Our other daughter's name contains an 'r' which is rolled here but again, I don't find it too different.

For me, I think Claire-a would be a step just a little too far.

13loki Thu 10-Apr-14 20:45:23

We moved to Sweden when DS was 7 and DD was 2. Both of their names are different in Sweden. DS answers to either but corrects English speakers if they say his (welsh) name the swedish way. DD uses either pronunciation, depending what language she is speaking. We had DD2 here, and gave her a definately swedish name. English speakers get it slightly wrong,

Novia Thu 10-Apr-14 20:51:08

My DH is Spanish and my DD has a Spanish name. The English sometimes struggle to pronounce it, but I think it sounds better in an English accent - with 2 syllables instead of the 3 syllable pronunciation in Spain! grin

EBearhug Thu 10-Apr-14 21:13:29

It was never a consideration at the time they had me, but now I work in a global company, and speak to people all round the world and particularly Europe, I think my parents did pretty well in calling me Emma.

sleepingbeautiful Thu 10-Apr-14 22:00:07

We are living on Canadian Pacific coast at the moment, and my DD's name is usually pronounced differently over here than the UK way. We only ever have to tell people once how we pronounce it, and they remember. I wouldn't stress too much over it.

barnet Thu 10-Apr-14 22:07:02

Doesn't bother me, no. Unfortunately my son's name means something quite daft in the local language ( 'to weed' and 'hatch' grin ) but I didnt know when I named him.

NancyinCali Thu 10-Apr-14 23:11:15

sleepingbeautiful I was thinking that - when I tell people her name hopefully they'll pn it the way I say it. I may well be overthinking this and I shouldn't let it stop me using our favourite name.

sleepingbeautiful Fri 11-Apr-14 00:32:58

Yuppers, you just need to be the sort of person who will speak up when they say it wrong the first time. Then again, if you are enjoying living over here, you probably are ;)

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 11-Apr-14 00:40:38

It's not that common a name in the US. I think you may be able to train people to pronounce it your way. (Or move to the South. We don't say Clair-a) smile

SixImpossible Fri 11-Apr-14 00:49:06

It may well be that correcting the locals will have no effect. If a particular sound does not exist in a person's language, they can find it possible to pronounce. They may not even be able to hear the difference between your pronunciation and theirs.

In my head I have two names: my name, and the English pronunciation of my name. The difference is in the vowel sounds. Most English people cannot hear the difference between the two, yet if I introduce myself as "my name" they struggle to understand what they are hearing, whereas if I introduce myself as "English pronunciation of my name" I rarely have to repeat it more than once.

Rather than fight a possibly unwinnable battle, why not ask locals to say some more names for you, and see if you can come up with some more possibilities whose local pronunciations are less jarring for you.

Oriunda Fri 11-Apr-14 08:09:46

My name is a male name in Italy and also always get pronounced incorrectly as the vowel sounds are different. I say my name the correct/English way but can't be bothered to continually correct people. Your DD will I imagine pronounce Clara the American way if that is what she keeps hearing.

13loki Fri 11-Apr-14 08:19:38

We did what SixImpossible suggested and gave some locals a list of names. Oh how we laughed when they got to Aoife. And quickly struck it off the list.

sleepy78 Fri 11-Apr-14 08:28:28

We had a rule that DD1's name had to pronounced very similarly in France and England and so chose Marianne. You can't really avoid a difference in accent though... I decided the rule early on because since I teach children who live in France but are from other countries, I see that many of them are frustrated when their names are mispronounced. Korean children often choose an "English" name to use here so that the confusion doesn't happen. I remember a child in my class called Albert getting cross because I pronounced it the French way, with the emphasis on -ber because his Mum is French and pronounced it like that. He wanted me to pronounce it the English way because I am English like his Dad. Obviously I changed quickly but it's not always obvious!
Just my opinion though - other children don't seem to care how you pronounce their names.

HortenMarket Fri 11-Apr-14 08:31:37

It may get on your DDs nerves always correcting people, especially if they Clair-a way is totally accepted over there.

My name is like siximpossible, Its a forrin version of a name that also has an English version. I just give up now and introduce myself as the English version as whenever I try the correct pronunciation it really confuses most people! I go nuts if people I know mis spell it though!

SavoyCabbage Fri 11-Apr-14 08:37:50

I live in Australia which is no friend the the vowel so one of my dd's names is bollocksed right up. I wouldn't have picked it if I'd have known. I worry that she will call herself that forever. Whilst wearing crocs and track suit bottoms.

Nataleejah Fri 11-Apr-14 10:13:47

My children have grandparents in Lithuania so their names have sort of translations. But it is only for grandparents and other relatives as we go there only on holidays

NadiaWadia Fri 11-Apr-14 15:50:26

'Clair-uh' is a perfectly nice way to pronounce it (I prefer it myself), and actually is the traditional English language way to pronounce the name. The recently popular 'Clah-ruh' pronunciation is imported from continental Europe, and people in the UK seem to be forgetting the older way. Not in the US though, apparently.

Couldn't you just use the name anyway, and she could be 'Clah-ra' at home with you, and on visits to the UK. Like another poster said about having 2 names in your head, when she grows up she could have the choice. My DD's own name has at least 2 pronunciations and they get used interchangeably, doesn't seem to bother her. It would provide your daughter with versatility, or do you think it would be too confusing for a small child?

zzzzz Fri 11-Apr-14 15:57:03

Yes. Both my sons have names that the English seem to find very challenging to say even if they've heard me say them first. It doesn't annoy me, I just find it confused

NadiaWadia Fri 11-Apr-14 16:05:54

Or if it is the 'ah-ra' ending of the name that particularly appeals to you, you could go for 'Lara', 'Cara/Kara' or 'Mara' I suppose. Not 'Tara' though, because in the US they seem to pronounce that 'terror'!

diddl Fri 11-Apr-14 16:24:02

Can they really not say Clara then?

We're in Germany & if a name is misprounced then we just correct people!

(PFB's name has a vowel sound that is said differently here)

Footle Fri 11-Apr-14 16:42:13

NadiaWadia, thanks for that ! My 6 yr old granddaughter is the third generation of Claras, all pronounced Claira, no American connections. There are others around here too - northern England - one very old indeed. To me it has always seemed the proper English way to say it. Our Clara can correct people if she wants, but doesn't seem too fussed at the mo.

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