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is Kirsten a known name in England?

(37 Posts)
Vibeke Fri 05-Aug-11 10:46:50

Im Danish, hubby is English - and I would really like our daughter to be called Kirsten, but we're having some concerns about the pernounciation of Kirsten (it's Keeersten in Danish - but Kuursten in english)
would you say it's going to confuse the child?

- PS have been wondering about Hannah or Emma too, as they're the same in both languages, but my niece in DK is called Anna.


Bubbaluv Fri 05-Aug-11 10:55:19

Keeersten Dunst might have sorted this problem for you to an extent.
It's Huursten here in Aus, so prob same in UK, but if someone with Danish heritage had a dif prounciation then I don't think anyone would blink at that.
Hannah and Emma are also lovely.

JanMorrow Fri 05-Aug-11 11:39:48

I thought it was pronounced Kuursten Dunst!

I've heard Americans say Keersten though (like on the O.C, I'm so cultured).

Here most people would assume Kirsten was pronounced Kuursten though.

breatheslowly Fri 05-Aug-11 11:48:59

Its a lovely name and certainly known here. I doubt that the pronunciation would be an issue as it probably is the case with almost all children with parents from different countries.

colditz Fri 05-Aug-11 11:50:24

I knew a kirsten at school, her mother was german, but it's not a weird name.

Ephiny Fri 05-Aug-11 11:58:52

Yes I have known two, actually one had a Danish mother and English father like your DD will have. I guess it's one of those names that works in both languages. She pronounced it 'Kursten' as that's how it's normally said in England (like Kirsty) and it would probably have been a losing battle trying to get people to say 'Keersten'!

I think it's a lovely name, not overly common here but fairly well known.

Sarsaparilllla Fri 05-Aug-11 12:03:47

Yep, it's a name that's well known, but just not overly used, I think it's lovely

I'd never considered it a name that was associated with another country tbh, I just thought it was a variant of Kirsty

I would prounounce it Kuursten though and I imagine most people in the UK would do the same smile

TillyIpswitch Fri 05-Aug-11 12:04:03

I'm a Kiwi - I know loads of Kirstens (pn Kuursten) - very popular here amongst my generation.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 05-Aug-11 12:28:55

I have a Norwegian friend whose DD is Kristen, to rhyme with Crispen. Would that solve the pronunciation problem?

catsareevil Fri 05-Aug-11 12:34:35

Would the name Kjerstin give a better guide to pronounciation for people in britain?

hester Fri 05-Aug-11 12:38:17

I know a Kirsten, pronounced your way!

JemimaMuddledUp Fri 05-Aug-11 12:47:22

I don't think it will confuse the child, as the child will think of the name in the way that their parents pronounce it. When she starts nursery or school you may have to tell the teachers how it is pronounced, but once told they should continue to use your pronounciation, and the other children will do the same. Once she can speak your DD will introduce herself as "Keeersten" anyway, and others will call her what she has introduced herself as.

I have a son called Siôn. Most people in Wales pronounce it properly (the same way as Sean/Shaun) but sometimes people look at it written down and say it incorrectly (to rhyme with lion usually). It isn't a huge problem, and once corrected they usually pronounce it properly.

colditz Fri 05-Aug-11 12:55:42

"Would the name Kjerstin give a better guide to pronounciation for people in britain?"

Bluntly, no. It will flummox them.

youmeupstrairsnow Fri 05-Aug-11 13:05:52

If you say it the way you want to people may follow or (which i find) they look at you strangely and just keep saying it the way they want to, esp as they will have heard it before. If your DC was not shy ect they would correct them but if they where they might not.

I disagree colditz if they used Kjerstin people would be stumbed at first but when you said it they would be all 'ohh okay, where is that from then?' If people know a name comes from a different language/culture they are usually more willing to make an effort about pronouncing it correctly.

OP - don't like Hannah it's to bluh and v.popular. Emma is okay popular as well but less so

pranma Fri 05-Aug-11 13:09:31

Op I think Kristen is lovely but Kirsten/Kirsty always sounds too much like cursed to me-sorry.

minipie Fri 05-Aug-11 13:11:04

I would pronounce Kirsten as Kursten... Kjerstin I would probably try to avoid saying as I'd have no idea how to pronounce it!

I really like the name though - you'd/she'd just have to be prepared to do a lot of pronunciation-correcting.

catsareevil Fri 05-Aug-11 16:54:26

I thought that the j might help cue people into it being a scandinavian name, and knowledge of the word 'fjord' might give people a guide to pronouncing the 'j'. Or maybe not smile

SaffronCake Fri 05-Aug-11 17:25:41

Because of my regional accent I pronounce my second daughters name slightly differently to the way most other people (including her father) do. Sometimes people say "you mean (normal way)" and I just say yes, it's never an issue.
I've known lots of children with parents from different regions or nations whose own parents didn't say thier name the same way and they were fine. Even very common names like Emma, Lucy and Jessica will be mispronounced by siblings (Mmi, Luli, Jeska). Your child wont be confused. Your own name probably sounds different in every region of every country you visit and when children say it, you still know they mean you.

carabos Fri 05-Aug-11 17:37:03

The Kirsten in our town is an adult and is universally known as "bloody Kirsten".

lovecorrie Fri 05-Aug-11 17:38:38

Our next door neighbour is called Kirsten, probably late twenties. early thirties...I have known a couple of others too.

Runoutofideas Fri 05-Aug-11 17:46:42

I went to school with a Kirsten, pronounced Kursten. To change the spelling to get the other pronounciation you could spell it Kiersten, but maybe that's just not right in either language! Kjersten, I would ignorantly think was pronounced K-yer-sten not Keersten. Nice name though!

capersandwine Fri 05-Aug-11 19:15:12

Kirsten is well known in the UK - more popular in the 1970/80s, I would say, just as Kristin was in the USA.

I agree with Jemima - your daughter will introduce herself as 'Keersten' and people will follow that. I knew a Kirsten, pronounced 'Keersten', at school. Everyone knew this and pronounced it accordingly.

BTW, my name is Kirstin. Fairly unusual in the UK - I have only met one other and I'm in my mid 30s. However, I have had a life time of people (until they got to know me) calling me or mis-spelling my name as Kirsty, Kirsten or Kersten......

KenDoddsDadsDog Fri 05-Aug-11 19:21:34

I'm a Kirsti (was almost Kjersti thanks to Norwegian family). I know two Kirstens. It's a known name but there aren't many!

petitdonkey Fri 05-Aug-11 19:22:14

Another in agreement that people will take her/your lead on pronunciation - I have a French friend who lives in the Uk who has a daughter named Alice. Everyone pronounces it Al-eece despite knowing another girl who is Alice with the English pron - we follow the lead of her parents. There will always be a few people who will consistently get it wrong but not enough to veto a lovely name.

tyler80 Fri 05-Aug-11 20:26:17

I don't think you'd have too much of a problem as long as you're prepared for people to pronounce it the English way and for you to correct them.

It's fairly simple for English people to pronounce once they know how too.

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