Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bi-lingual Naming Issues

With just 11 weeks to go (when I say 11 weeks out loud it's usually followed by a long sigh and wistful look at the wine rack), we seem to be no nearer to finding a name for the child currently playing bouncy castles in my pelvis.

One of the downsides about living abroad is that you need to find a name that will fit equally well in both cultures, a name that will be easy to pronounce and preferably, to spell, in both languages. Or in our case 3 languages, if we're going to be really picky.

Because of the obvious differences in proununciation between Spanish/Catalan and English, many names have had to be ruled out of the running, including some of my personal favourites. Anything with a 'll' is a non-starter, ditto anything with a 'v' in there. Names starting with 'H' are gone, although t'husband had ruled out this anyway because our surname begins with a 'H', not something that particularly bothers me, but hey ho.

'J's' work OK in Catalan (they can be prounounced more as a 'y' but it's slight so liveable with) but don't really work in Spanish, and we already have one J...

We've ruled out using traditional Spanish or Catalan names, mainly because they don't really work with our surname and secondly because there is less likelihood of them being unique.

Other considerations are accents, how would our daughter's name sound spoken in a Leeds or Nottingham accent should we return home to live.  Some beautiful names can be destroyed forever for the sake of a regional accent.

However, the real problem is that we just cannot agree on names that we like, we have a very small shortlist which we've agreed are good to go if this baby is a red-head like her brother.  For some reason t'husband thought I was going too far in compiling lists for names for other hair colours, and in particular names for mousey hair!

It seems that every name I hear either doesn't work in Spanish or I or t'husband just plain hate it.  I'm getting concerned now that we'll end up with a name that we both only like as opposed to love, just because we agree on it and it will be pronounced correctly.

How were you inspired by your child's name?