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International-sounding name for a Russian baby girl

(112 Posts)
JuliaEf Mon 30-Jan-17 07:53:33

Hello, everyone!
I need your advice.
We live in Russia and are choosing a name for our baby girl who is soon to come.
We certainly have some typically Russian names on the list, but also consider more international-sounding names.
What do you think of the names below:
1. Leoncia
2. Leontia (almost the same like No.1, but more Russian version of it)
3. Silvia
4. Emilia (in Russian, it is Emilia, not Emily)
Do you have any negative associations with any of these names?
Maybe they sound funny or outdated? Would you be surprised if you met a typical Russian girl with such a name?
Thank you for your contributions!

DesolateWaist Mon 30-Jan-17 07:58:47

Silvia is rather old fashioned.

How are the first to pronounced?

I like Emilia. It's a name that will allow her to 'blend in' if she is growing up in the U.K.

One Russian girl I knew, born and brought up in the uk, was called Katya. Very pretty name. Easy to pronounce and spell for English speakers but still sounded Russian to my ears.

BikeRunSki Mon 30-Jan-17 08:00:31

The first 2 I have never heard of. I've lived in the UK, the Netherlands and the USA. I went to the French Lycee in London - so I suspect it does not pass the "internationally recognised" test.

Silvia is fine. A bit old fashioned, and generally spelt Sylvia in English, if that matters to you.

Emilia is completely normal, but very popular in the under-5 girls DD knows, along with Amelia and Emily.

Zoflorabore Mon 30-Jan-17 08:01:33

Anastasia sounds lovely to me or Anya smile

Elllicam Mon 30-Jan-17 08:06:47

I think Silvia is lovely.

CommonFramework Mon 30-Jan-17 08:07:54

Haven't heard of Leoncia/Leontia

Silvia is pretty but a bit old-fahioned
Emilia is lovely - but very popular, and you'll get all the variant spellings of it too.

Ayla? Anya?

EduCated Mon 30-Jan-17 08:08:34

If Leontia is pronounced something like Lee-on-tee-uh or Lee-on-shuh then even though it's not particularly recognisable, I think it would travel pretty well.

thenightmanageress Mon 30-Jan-17 08:10:12


I love them all!

tigertorch Mon 30-Jan-17 08:10:23

The first two names on your list would be difficult for English-speakers to pronounce correctly, I think. They would be considered unusual names.

Silvia is a little bit old fashioned here (but maybe due for a revival). In the UK it is spelt Sylvia.

Emilia is lovely and easy to pronounce. Very popular at the moment, but nothing wrong with that!

Abetes Mon 30-Jan-17 08:10:32

I have come across a couple of girls called Silvia in ds's classes. One had Italian parents, the other had parents from Eastern Europe (not quite sure where) so seems to pass the international test.

QueenoftheAndals Mon 30-Jan-17 08:12:01

I've always loved Tatiana, Tatya for short.

Bobochic Mon 30-Jan-17 08:12:06

The modern Russian girls I know are called Yulia, Anna, Lika, Neva...

CointreauVersial Mon 30-Jan-17 08:13:51

Have never heard of the first two. Emilia is lovely, though.

A friend of mine adopted a baby girl from Russia and called her Natasha. A standard name in England, but with a Russian ring to it.

MidnightSheep Mon 30-Jan-17 08:18:34

I agree Katya is lovely (it was the Russian name I was given by my Russian teacher- we all had alternative Russian names)

I also love Ekaterina and Elizaveta.
Anastasia is well known internationally.

Also think Alyona, Galina and Marta are. International.

Out of your list I like Emilia most.

JuliaEf Mon 30-Jan-17 08:23:58

Thank you so much for your precious comments, they help me a lot!!!
I am really surprised to learn that almost nobody has ever heard of Leontia/Leoncia, and that it is hard to pronounce. I believe, I will have to remove it from the list, then, because it is not known in Russia, either, and I do not want to make the life of my daughter difficultsmile
In the Russian language, Silvia will be written with the Russian "и", but good to know that Sylvia is a more wide-spread option.
Emilia and Emily is popular in the world now, but not so much in Russia, which I like.
I am myself Julia (Yuliya), this name was I think within the top-10 in the 1980-s in Russia, together with all Tatianas, Annas and Anastasias. That is why now I want to choose for my daughter a less common name. Russian options that I consider are Vera, Svetlana and Nadezhda. Vera is actually my favourite, because I believe it should be easily integrated in any cultural context - short, clear and easy to pronounce.

BikeRunSki Mon 30-Jan-17 08:25:32

I think Vera would work very well!

Shadowboy Mon 30-Jan-17 08:25:45

Being of Russian descent I've never heard of your first two choices.
Not keen on the 3rd but love the 4th.
Names I know are

tigertorch Mon 30-Jan-17 08:28:11

Maria, Anna and Tania would travel well to the UK.

Weedsnseeds1 Mon 30-Jan-17 08:35:13

Silvia is the Italian spelling.

JuliaEf Mon 30-Jan-17 08:37:56

Yeah, thank you for this info. I will take it into account when making an international travel pass, because in the Russian spelling Sylvia and Silvia will be the same.

Raines100 Mon 30-Jan-17 09:31:36

Sylvia is coming back into fashion in the UK, which doesn't surprise me as I think it's beautiful. I know a newborn Sylvia and a 4 year old Sylvie, which is the French version.

My DD is Elena, which travels very well.

FrankUnderwoodsWife Mon 30-Jan-17 09:35:15

My favourite name is Alexandra.

MiriAmmerman Mon 30-Jan-17 10:30:28

Emilia and Silvia are lovely, and would travel very well. Leontia is also nice, but I would think there would be more pronunciation confusion.

I also like:


JuliaEf Mon 30-Jan-17 10:50:32

Thank you, Miri! It was good for me to learn that Leontia is hard to pronounce for many people. I work as a translator myself, so I do not mind tongue-twisterssmile I even fancy names which are not too simple, but I cannot discard the opinion of the society. To an average Russian ear, this name sounds rather unusual as well.
It's great Nadezhda is also on your "like" list. I did not expect Svetlana and Nadezhda to be widely known beyond Russia.

goldenrachita Mon 30-Jan-17 11:11:48

Silvia is really nice. I like Leoncia and Leontia (Leoncia is my preferred spelling but I don't think it matters, if Leontia is better for Russian speakers). It's not weird but it's unusual and attractive, so that ticks my boxes.

Emilia is a very 'typical 2016' name, in the top name lists all over the world at the moment along with Amelia etc, so if you like very popular names, it's a safe choice.

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