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Turkish names - how do these sound to an English ear?

(67 Posts)
smyrnamum Tue 03-Oct-17 08:40:26

DH is Turkish and we are struggling to come up with names for DD2. DD1 was easy as it was a family name that is easily pronounced in English and has an even easier nickname. This time around not so simple!

Our shortlist so far:

Selin (sounds like "Celine")
Elif (eh-leaf)
Defne (def-neh - Turkish version of Daphne)
Aylin (sounds like "Eileen")


thethoughtfox Tue 03-Oct-17 08:44:58

Selin - looks and sounds lovely

kingfishergreen Tue 03-Oct-17 08:46:05

I think they're all lovely names.

I guess one of the key questions is, 'which of these will be easiest for the average person to pronounce correctly upon reading the name (to save a life to correcting people's pronunciation)?'. In which case Elif is pronounced exactly how I read it.

BertrandRussell Tue 03-Oct-17 08:47:32

I think you'd be better off with a name that doesn't sound like an English name or she'll have constant spelling issues. Is there anything you like that spells like it sounds but not like an English name? IYSWIM.

Flimp Tue 03-Oct-17 08:49:05

I really like them all, but they are all names that will need spelling out or correcting in the UK. Which is fine, but some people get annoyed at that.

eeanne Tue 03-Oct-17 08:54:42

Love Elif - heard it for the first time recently as it's the name of an American (I guess Turkish-American) novelist

StepAwayFromCake Tue 03-Oct-17 09:03:31

I don't think anyone would have any difficulties with Aylin - which is a beautiful name.

I think Defne could be awkward, it looks a bit like a yoooneek spelling.

As a person with a non-English name myself, I'm pretty sure that people will try to pronounce Elif as Eeelif or Elf. Is Elif the Turkish spelling? Could you spell it Eleef? Also Selin might come out as See-lin or Sell-in, rather than Sell-_een_.

OTOH, as a person with a non-English name myself, I'm used to correcting people and spelling my name over and over and over and over and over. Does it matter? smile

smyrnamum Tue 03-Oct-17 09:13:31

Good points Bertrand and StepAway, don't want people to think we've just misspelled or done "unique" spellings of English I'm worrying Aylin looks like that especially!

Both DH and I have foreign names (DH's is Turkish obviously!) and we're used to spelling and helping people pronounce our own names so for our children I think they'll cope.

Jooni Tue 03-Oct-17 09:14:56

All sound good to me. Elif is my favourite - gorgeous name!

RosyPony Tue 03-Oct-17 09:14:57

I like Elif! Pretty and almost 'elfin'

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Tue 03-Oct-17 09:15:58

I went to school with all of these - in north London. I like Selin best. Aylin is lovely too.

StressheadMcGee Tue 03-Oct-17 09:16:47

Love them all, mainly because they remind me of lovely Turkish kids that I've taught. All v common in this bit of North London, except perhaps Defne. I have seen Selin as Selen so I assume that's an acceptable spelling?

nauticant Tue 03-Oct-17 09:23:45

They all look and sound good to me.

PommeRouge Tue 03-Oct-17 09:26:28

I like Elif a lot.

I also like Nehir (just in case the books are still open for possibilities)

PickleFish Tue 03-Oct-17 09:36:09

they're all very pretty

I'd have thought Elif was 'ell-if' on first reading, but it's easy enough to correct, and it's pretty and a bit individual.

And I'd have guessed Aylin was 'ay' (as in pay) - lynn, or 'eye' -lynn, both which sound lovely to me (i;e. stress on the first syllable), but Eileen is also nice.

Less keen on Defne or Selin, but they are nice enough. I expect a lot of people might rhyme Selin/Selen with Helen.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Tue 03-Oct-17 09:57:42

I like Selin best, then Elif.

GeekyWombat Tue 03-Oct-17 09:59:01

I love Elif.

Ttbb Tue 03-Oct-17 10:02:59

I really like Defne

Joinourclub Tue 03-Oct-17 10:07:10

All lovely names

Chaffinch4 Tue 03-Oct-17 10:27:47

Selin and Elif are both lovely. I don't think the spellings would be a huge problem.

MollyHuaCha Tue 03-Oct-17 10:47:11

Selina has a lively sound to it.

MollyHuaCha Tue 03-Oct-17 10:47:30

* Lovely

Sophronia Tue 03-Oct-17 14:48:09

I like Selin best

Flimp Tue 03-Oct-17 15:08:27

I really like Elif too actually. I think that’s the best one because it can’t be mistaken for another name.

user1459464195 Tue 03-Oct-17 20:20:39

Elif is really lovely, although I think you really can't go wrong with any of your selection.

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