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One parent one name?

(28 Posts)
Educateme Tue 25-Jun-13 08:01:17

Posting here rather than in baby names for the firsthand experience.

We are planning to OPOL. Was just wondering about names. Both sets of grandparents and friends in respective countries are monolingual, and would struggle with a 'foreign' name. I was wondering if anyone in reality uses variants of the same name for their child, for example Carlos and Charlie? Or does something different?


TanteRose Tue 25-Jun-13 08:04:41

find a name that is used in both cultures - there are loads of "international" names out there smile

using variants of the name depending on who you are with sounds a bit mad to me

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 25-Jun-13 08:04:44

They would not struggle.

One child one name. The grandparents can deal with it.

Both our sets of grandparents are monolingual and dd has an English name. (Granny-Italy spluttered a bit but only because she thought we were going to name dd after her. --when hell freezes over--)

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 25-Jun-13 08:05:01

My strikeouts aren't working these days. Pah!

PoppyAmex Tue 25-Jun-13 08:05:56

I agree with Tante, one name that works (fairly) well in both languages.

kelda Tue 25-Jun-13 08:06:35

I don't see any problem with it. I will message you with my children's names rather then posting them here.

PicardyThird Tue 25-Jun-13 08:09:09

I have friends whose dc has a name with one spelling but rather different pronunciations in their respective languages. They use the different pronunciations and that's fine. But I think it would not be the right path to go down to actually use different variants as per your example.

My dc have names with slight pronunciation differences in each of the languages they are growing up with, but which fundamentally work well in both.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Tue 25-Jun-13 08:18:12

Just an interesting remember how when we all did French at school they used to give us French names? (well, they did at my school back when dinosaurs walked the earth wink)

Recent research on language teaching (I can't remember where I read it) states that that was the wrong thing to do, names are extremely important and very much a part of your identity and personality. So if Charlie is who Charlie is, he might become a different child altogether when he has to become Carlos (if you see what I mean) Totally off at a tangent, but it's the psychological reason why, for example, prostitutes use a different name for work. So their "real" persona isn't affected. (sorry to bring conversation down, I just found it fascinating as am a bit of a name geek as well as bringing up a bilingual child!)

Educateme Tue 25-Jun-13 08:27:18

I am intrigued, do your children act exactly the same in both languages/cultures? I know I responded differently as a child to those who knew me as Mouse and those who called me by my real name.

kelda Tue 25-Jun-13 09:48:17

I think that people and children have different identities anyway according to the circumstances.

It's fairly normal for someone to have a work persona and be very different at home/out with friends/at church/at school etc.

evertonmint Tue 25-Jun-13 10:00:01

Is the Charlie/Carlos example much different to having a one-nationality Robert who is known as Bobby though? Is the 2 languages thing actually a red herring? If you were to call the child Carlos, with nickname Charlie, then relatives could use both or just one as they wished and both would be his name and child would know this. Just a thought...

My friends - two different nationalities living in a 3rd country - gave their children names that worked in all 3 languages well although slightly different pronunciations in each.

kelda Tue 25-Jun-13 10:03:06

evertonmint - that's the basis of one of my children's names. An englsih nickname for a foreign name.

I see loads of nicknames on mumsnet that are rather different then the original name.

elQuintoConyo Tue 25-Jun-13 12:17:23

We gave DS an international name: something easy to spell and pronounce in both languages.
If he'd been a DD, we loved the Basque Izaskun but there's no way we could've used it <boo>
For DS we also liked Roc, but too hilarious if we moved back to UK if a tidal wave washed Spain away

DrawMeADream Tue 25-Jun-13 12:57:01

I'm English, my husband's Arab, and we spent ages choosing a name. We settled on one that's originally Arabic, but we changed the usual spelling slightly (added one extra letter) so that the pronunciation is very obvious and simple to an English speaker, and it doesn't 'scream' Arabic. Most English-speaking people find it unusual but simple - not too exotic-sounding, just one they haven't come across before.

I thought that was a nice compromise. I personally wouldn't have wanted to use a different name, or different form of the same name, for each side of the family. I would have thought that would enforce an identity 'split' between the two families/cultures/languages. I think there are enough names that are 'relatable' across both languages to choose one that can work for both, even if it's not particularly familiar to both.

noramum Tue 25-Jun-13 18:12:44

DD has a name which exist in various languages and can be spelt and pronounced similar.

We had lots of lists and discared a lot.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 26-Jun-13 21:32:42

My children has middle names in my language which DH and I use. The rest of the world calls them by their first names.

As to whether they are the same "person", I think they are slightly different in different languages. That was more obvious when they were small. I am different when I speak different languages too, and that also depends on who I'm speaking to (whether it's their first language or not). Don't even get into the modifying of accents... Odd, isn't it? grin

Maia290 Wed 26-Jun-13 22:11:12

We put our son a name that is pronounced and spelt exactly the same many languages, we did this on purpose so he will not have any problems with this.
As I have a friend who is very annoyed with her name as it is very difficult to pronounce or write in many languages.

cory Thu 27-Jun-13 21:32:54

We used two variants for dd when she was little- her real foreign name and an English nickname based on that. School always used her real foreign name, so that's how her school friends first knew her, though now she encourages the use of yet another nickname based on her real name.

For ds, we went with a foreign name, then found grandma couldn't cope (or rather, I couldn't cope with the way she mangled it), so we gave him a nickname which is actually a translation of his real name. Again, his school friends know him by his real name.

As I speak both languages to dc, I use both their name and their nickname interchangeably. Of course there is a switching of personalities, but that is a natural consequence of having two cultures, using different nicknames is neither here nor there. And who says having more than one persona is a bad thing? If it's a bad thing, then we had better all have stayed in our own countries.

kelda Fri 28-Jun-13 09:08:03

Totally agree cory.

soundevenfruity Fri 28-Jun-13 09:34:46

We spent ages choosing a name that would sound normal in both languages. The name we got in the end is my language variant of a fairly common name in English language though not so popular for children. It shortens easily and that's what DS nursery friends know him by. The spelling was a struggle, making sure it was more intuitive for English speakers.

Oriunda Fri 05-Jul-13 20:37:20

Our DS has a name that, whilst Italian in origin, is also known in the UK and thus easy for everyone to pronounce. I hate it when, for eg, Italian tv refers to 'Prince Carlo' instead of Charles.

surroundedbyblondes Thu 08-Aug-13 13:29:10

Same as others.. We made it a criteria that the names of both DD worked in both languages.

sashh Mon 19-Aug-13 08:55:57

I knew a William who's French father and relatives called Guillaume. He didn't seem to mind.

Some parents and grandparents have nicknames for their children/gran children and no one seems to mind.

cory Mon 19-Aug-13 09:47:34

Noone minds in our family either, sash. Ds did mind a bit having an obviously foreign sounding name when he was younger, but now I think he quite likes it.

My own name is always mispronounced (even by dh) but I really don't care.

mummycat0 Sun 01-Sep-13 19:16:42

We gave dd an English first name and an Arabic middle name, we call her by her first name and the Arab side of the family call her by her middle name. She's only 11mo so not much to say with regards to confusion, she only responds to her first name atm.

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