Finally we ended up with Riya for my daughter (which is pronounced the same as the English name Rhea) and Aarav for my son, which is pronounced the same as two of the most common English words, "are" and "of."
Edit: I was able to find the output from the girl's name list. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Vy1dQunG4iie4H67En9T...
- veto names of dickheads I knew.
Of course, I know good people with those names too but that wasn't the deciding factor.
I simply didn't want my kids name to be associated with a dickhead in my own mind in any way, shape or form.
Very me-centric I guess but I wanted the best personal relationship with my kid.
One of my favourites were Vidkun, which fell off a cliff in the mid-forties.
(Vidkun being the first name of our head collaborationist honcho during the Nazi occupation - his last name may be known to you. Quisling. Yup, he coined the phrase 'Quisling' for a traitor and even had a verb - to quisle, for committing treason - enter the English language.)
It's a shame that Isis (the Egyptian goddess) is now associated to the Islamic State. It's a beautiful name.
What hit me hard about your comment is that I know a bunch of couples who have kids with my name, and it's not a common name. I will sleep happier today :)
Native English speaker from the Pacific Northwest, I would pronounce those "Ri-yuh" and "Are-rov"(I think your intended pronunciation) or maybe "A-rav", depends upon whether I knew they were of Indian decent, i.e. Rohan is "Roe-hon" not "Roe-han".
Forgive my "colloquial" phonetic annotation, I don't know how to do it properly.
I agree pronunciation is not 100% obvious from the spelling.
What IS much more common, though, is Chinese parents picking a Chinese name that happens to be easy to pronounce for English speakers and forget the need for an English name. For example most native English speakers have no problem pronouncing a character pronounced "ting" or "fei" or "wei" but may get tripped up by "xie/hsieh" or "xuan/hsuan".
In the end we picked an original Dutch name. Which could be easily pronounced and shortened to English, and turned out to be easily translatable to three Chinese syllables, with nice meanings for the hanzi as well. All grandparents immediately were able to go with it.
A friend of mine named his daughter meghan, which translates to megha meaning rain in hindi and megan in English of course.
So he changed his name to a that of his Norwegian great-grandfather, Bernt, a fairly typical Norwegian name.
Many years later he moved back to Australia, and quickly discovered the exact same problem: "Bernt" gets pronounced as "burnt"... so he had to change back to Brent.
For me the best part is how the "error" is the same both ways. I see "Brent" derives from burnt ("dweller near the burnt land"), but Bernt is a short form of the German name "Berend" or "Bernhard".
Hope they stay away from the UK!
Also, it's a bit racist to not point out that it's only some Japanese and Koreans that have trouble pronouncing r and l.
I don't think recognising phonetic differences between native speakers of different languages is racist. The language I grew up speaking didn't differentiate between w and v, so unless I'm making a conscious effort against it, they will all sound like v's. When someone points it out, I don't find it racist at all.
Re: Koreans - never realised! I haven't had many interactions with people of Korean descent, so it's an oversight on my part there.
> It's time [to] explain the meaning of "Hurd". "Hurd" stands for "Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons". And, then, "Hird" stands for "Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth". We have here, to my knowledge, the first software to be named by a pair of mutually recursive acronyms.
Aside: there are a lot of languages where /b/ and /v/ move around. Eg. Romance languages during the vulgar Latin period. Today in Spanish these are pronounced identically.
manko is slang for vagina. bicchi is borrowed from English "bitch", but is used more like English "slut"
That said, those Russians could've used ヴィッチ WI-CCHI, such as in https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%82%B8%E3%83%A7%E3%83%B3%E3... So why does Mankovich use BI but Markovich uses WI ? Because expecting katakana spellings to make sense is already too much to ask for, let along expecting them to be consistent.
(Bonus: sandwich uses neither BI nor WI. It uses I. SA-N-DO-I-CCHI)
マンコ is pussy and ビッチ (bitch) is slut. So, it's like "nice to meet you, I'm pussy slut" and then handing someone a business card.
I remember seeing it come up as example of unfortunate foreign names in Japanese when watching some variety program once. I cracked up pretty hard at that one. Though I've encountered a doozy in real life too, though it escapes me exactly what it was now.
I didn’t have a baby, but my friend Marie was having one and suggested the idea.
Imagine having such a simple idea and it not already existing on iOS. Those were the days.
It held the namespace “Baby Names” in the App Store, which someone tried to buy later but before that no longer mattered.
It was the gold rush of the App Store. I think we charged 99 cents for it, but I remember we made something like $12k in a few months.
Dave wrote the objective c but I wrangled assets and ran the dev builds on a hackintosh, not yet sold on the Apple ecosystem.
We got into a beef with this other Baby Names app seller that thought they had the original baby names app. There were some stern reviews.
The app was just a native UI over a baby names database I bought off some service for cheap. You could save favorites and share it and there was limited filtering.
Eventually people willing to compete moved in, with various free and paid offerings and we didn’t bother to keep it up.
Edit: I found the press release I issued. What nostalgia. https://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/09/prweb1332494.htm
French seems like the language which has quite a bit of names either translated or transliterated into other languages -perhaps due to proximity as well as influence.
Any name of a (Catholic) saint would probably have mappings to other languages. (The Jesuits got around. :)
They know you're Anglo before you show up. Which is a problem because they wanted a native French speaker for the role.
Meanwhile "Fatima" has an interesting split between Muslim use and Catholic use:
(I had a good (Portugese) childhood friend with that name; still sometimes manage to keep in touch.)
> Jesús is a common Spanish name, but totally nonexistent in English and French as far as I’m aware.
Jesus is not a saint.
> María too is way more common than “Mary” in English (that is a real English name, but AFAICT it’s pretty rare in the last few generations).
Mary is the most common female name in the US, but, José and María are by far more common first names in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world than Joseph and Mary in the English world, to the extent that often people who have them as their first name use their middle name as their common name, not their first name.
Good to know, but the overall point is the same, I think. He was a person who is (obviously) very important to Catholicism, and therefore the name has an equivalent in every widely-used language.
I think thats partly because Maria itself has been quite popular in English recently. Marie is also quite well accepted as an English name even if it's technically not.
The vast majority can't pronounce it correctly by the standards of my American dialect. But I don't mind.
But again, I don't mind. I kinda like the way the rest of the world says it, actually. æ is my least favorite sound in my native tongue...
My mistake! I'll be sure to next time I'm out that way.
Either you call Hindi, Persian and Bengali European or you call German English and French Asian. But saying one is European/Asian while the other is not is simply a racist view.
India and Europe are subcontinents of Asia, that's true
Languages from India are Indian and languages from Europe are European, that's also true
Your mom's racist bud
Indo-european is different but that is ancient family of prehistoric languages and hardly anyone would think this is what people mean.
I'd bet you'll find it among Copts and the Ethiopian Orthodox as well, which is also not in contradiction to what I said.
But it has caused some bureaucratic problems, because properly translating (rather than transliterating) your name seems to have fallen out of fashion, and authorities don't like that documents don't "match", even though that used to be very common. So nowadays authorities don't like that my American birth certificate and Greek registration of birth have "different" names.
And I'm a relatively easy case, because at least Mark vs. Markos look obviously similar. It's an even bigger problem if your U.S. documents say John while your Greek ones say Ιωάννης/Ioannis, even though these are direct translations. In the modern era, governments seem to want people in this situation to either choose Ioannis as their legal English name, or to choose Τζον/Tzon as their legal Greek name. But not everyone wants that.
Some of the different versions are not easily recognizable, like the English John and the Arabic Yahya, but if you knew the original Hebrew Yohanan it's not so hard.
It will be hard for people to search online so more privacy.
People judge a lot based on the names in absence of other information so having familiar, well known and something they already attach good meaning to should help.
No more validation errors.
In the end it was more about picking names that aren’t something weird or offensive in the other ones but sound good in English.
My moment was using Hector. The old Greek name appeals to my love of history and yet the family thinks it’s Spanish.
They think it is Spanish, because it is Spanish.
Hector (/ˈhɛktər/) is an English, French, Scottish, and Spanish given name. The name is derived from the Greek name of Hektor.
FWIW, there is another one that I can use, that is almost identical to the one I'm looking for.
Fortunately there are several names that work in all three, they ended up choosing Max.
We opted for a different name ;)
For instance, you would often see names like Cailin, or Erin in American-Irish (they mean girl, and Ireland respectively) names, but these would be incredibly uncommon in Ireland itself.
This page seems reasonably legit: https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/100-irish-language-first-...
If you actually compare the languages it's astonishing how similar the words actually are.
Indo European is a language family.
Proto Indo European is the reconstructed hypothetical language that languages in that family descend from.
There are indeed a huge number of cognates between the descendant languages, but due to the linguistic changes and borrowings that have occurred in the millenia that have elapsed since their divergence, there are also a massive number of false cognates between them also, which likely accounts for the non flattering meanings the GGP was referring to.
When people see someone saying that European Persian and Indian are the same family they go dipshit because "how can someone with dark skin have any relations to someone with pale skin".
Should say something about the general view of not few HN readers.
I was pleased this page preferred my interpretation, so as an asshole Scot, I was quick to share it.
Her response was less than enthused...
We chose not to though with our son though, since the list of names that works in both is small and largely unappealing. The list of names for girls is quite a bit larger with some good options. Instead we decided that since the family name is English the given name should be Japanese.
I think it worked out quite well.
My wife and I had an n-ary problem — not just the languages of all of her and all of my relatives (about five) but also the country we were living in. We finally whittled it down to phonemes that pretty much everybody could pronounce (though vowels varied a lot) and just went with single-syllable names that were at least pronouncable.
English names are sort of in vogue, e.g. there are a surprising number of kids named “Kevin” in Germany at the moment.
(this is purely based on an introspection of what a Kevin means to me and is in no mean backed up by thorough research).
(also sorry to any Kevin out there).
(Yes I googled "homonymous")
For Chinese-English it suggested "Lee", which as far as I know (my Cantonese and Mandarin aren't that great) is typically the Cantonese anglicisation of 李 (Mandarin Pinyin for this is Li)
My given English name is "Lee" and this actually causes no end of confusion in both Hong Kong and China, as it's typically used as surname - in fact, when I attempted to use 李 or even 李李 (which is what my Chinese grandmother in law calls me) as a first name on a visa that required a Chinese name to be added - they wouldn't allow it!
If anything - it illustrates why this is such a tough problem to crack!
Based on my experience, "Lee Ryan" would probably be mistaken for "Ryan Lee" well over 50% of the time.
In e-mails the failure rate for people getting my name in the right order is around 80% - sometimes even after I've corrected the sender three or four times (with decreasing subtly)
Before that rule was introduced, confusion was commonplace. A colleague of mine is called, say, Vyacheslav Spirin, and he signed his emails as "V. Spirin". To Indians this looked like a normal South Indian name, where "V." was the family name, so they assumed his first name was Spirin. When the same guy introduced himself in person as Slava they thought he and Spirin were different people.
I’m from the U.K. and my partner is Australian. While almost all names I’ve encountered in Australia are known names in the U.K., some would be very out-there for a U.K. name. I’m sure the same is true the other way around.
Not to mention the fact that this seems to be using an American English set of names and there are some very different naming conventions in the U.S. My last name is a first name in the U.S., and popular first names there are again very out-there for the U.K. or Australia.
I’m sure the same must be true for Spanish or French speaking countries.
Names in the Oz were... different. In north Melbourne damn near all of the white folks I know had painfully white, Christian names -- but I don't think a single person ever went by them except on paper. You may be a Gary or Warren -- bland Anglo names -- but down under you'd be Gazza or Wazza. Or a Matty or Johnno.
Elijah, Mason, Logan, Harper, Jackson, Ethan, Avery, Madison, Carter, Wyatt, Jayden...
These are just a few from the top ~20 boys and girls names. I've heard all of these in a US media context but never heard any of them in the UK. That's not to say they aren't used here, but they certainly aren't common. And of course there's "Randy".
This website only comes up with Hana and Sam, however.
Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the value of this?
Naturalness might be tricky to define, though. Really common names are probably natural by definition, but uncommon names may also be natural. For example, Roman isn't a common name, but it's natural.
Another thing to take into account is if there is a more natural equivalent. For example, it is OK in English to name someone Antonio, but Anthony is the more-English version.
One of the core issues is whether you're looking for names that occur in both languages by coincidence or ones that have been borrowed because of cultural overlap. Maybe you're looking for a name that both cultures understand, or maybe you're looking for a false cognate that just happens to work in both languages.
Ahem...Biblical names can be traced to almost older than English, at least in romances.
jacob <-> Jacobo, Santiago
Noah <-> Noé
George <-> Jorge
Also, Martín is French origin I think.
There is an easy way to sidestep the multicultural name problem. For the first name choose one from the language most familiar to the place where you choose to live. This minimizes annoying mispronunciations. Then choose a name from the other language, and have that be the middle name. You would have a much wider range to choose from, and most will probably find they are forced into fewer compromises this way.
English speaking people will still prononuce differently even simple names like Anna (usually they spell it with one "n"), and the stress in my (and daugther's) last name is constantly spelled not like in Russian by people who don't know Russian.
At the same time acquaintance of mine called his son Christopher, and it's great name, even if Russians don't call their sons like this, because it's prononunced the same.
Really cool project!
Here is a resource with years worth of popular Māori names: https://smartstart.services.govt.nz/news/baby-names
I think this is a great example of how we tend to default to algorithms and automation even when the problem is better suited to a more manual solution. This is especially problematic when our automated systems don’t allow for transparent human intervention (think ML classifiers etc.). If this page were a curated wiki, for example, it’d probably have had a number of additions / corrections suggested by the community already. People are certainly posting corrections in this very thread, at least.
Maybe the lesson is, use automated data as a seed and let humans iterate on that?
and it already appears to support community suggestions in addition to the machine-chosen names.
Btw, a year ago I and my wife picked a name for our baby daughter, and the criteria for a name to 'work' in both English and Russian was high on the list. Her name is present in English / Russian list, so on basis of this one test I declare the service working correctly.
There was a kid at my son's high school nicknamed "Fish", but I have never heard of it as a real given name.
I can see this tool being very useful in coming up with ideas. You do need to sense check it though ultimately. e.g. English/German suggests "Lear". Which in German sounds similar to "leer" meaning empty.
for children since they use my European surname (both surnames are not allowed, otherwise that would be my preferred option for children) it had to be paired with Western name, so this may be helpful for someone:
1. the length is matching length of my surname for balance, for son exactly, daughter 1 character shorter
2. names containing R are out, because of wife pronunciation, so bye bye Klara
3. names from TOP10 in recent years in country where we are settling are out, because I remember when I was kid and there were 3 other boys with same given name in my class, never again for my children despite my favorite names not surprisingly being in top 5, bye bye Ana and Adam
4. name should be written same way in as many languages as possible - German, English, country we are settling others without local variant, so no need to use in future more variants internationally
5. obviously no bad association from past, I've never in my life met woman with my daughter's name (well Taiwanese excolleague who used it as English name and had it also as official nickname in passport) and personally knew only two men with my son's name, also I liked name Alina until I've found it has mostly Russian origin and didn't want anyone to think my children are some Russian immigrants
6. you can also consider how easy is for name to rhyme and make fun of it, but I can make fun of pretty much any name, so unless it's pretty obvious this was not really a factor
and i think that's it, after this filter you end up with very limited options and you settle on something selflessly unlike all those parents choosing the most popular local names without much thinking
btw the search is giving me 404 for my language combination, but anyway even English Chinese combo is pretty stupid, I would rather look into Hong Kong or Taiwan names to see how it sound in real life
We'd had girl names for months, but didn't settle on the boy name option until the night he was born.
This was a good while ago, but this discussion brought back the particulars of finding a good name.
For the first names, we made sure there are reasonable English renderings of the Greek, which unfortunately excluded my parent's names, and my name as well.
The Korean middle names reference celestial/heavenly items as well as being popular Korean entertainment figures, and have a nice word play together in English.
Talk about threading the needle!
We've tried to optimize for having the same pronunciation in the languages. That is a much more difficult problem - you basically can't do anything with containing 'r'
...needs more work.
Then tried French-Dutch and once again, most of the suggested names aren't very French at all, and not really that much Dutch either. Even though almost all French names are also used as is as Dutch names (well, in Flanders at least). Allard, Alvin, Anne (as a male name?) or Carolus? These don't work.
I'm not sure which source these names come from, but I wouldn't use it for French.
For example the name Marie is on there, which in English would be "ma-REE" while in Japanese it would be like "ma-ree-ay"
I imagine anyone using this tool would have enough knowledge of both languages to cull those results, though, so not really a problem in practice. Just an observation.
It is super challenging. And some of my relatives are super into 八字 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Pillars_of_Destiny) that also need to make sure the characters written in Chinese can align with that too.
- Reasonable English corollary. (Doesn't have to be 1:1.)
- English-pronounceable Cantonese romanization.
- English-pronounceable Mandarin romanization.
- Doesn't diverge too much between the three.
- Characters that are identical in Traditional and Simplified.
- Pleasing to the relatives.
They went with Robert (en/fr)/Roberto (es), and Ines (fr)/Inez (es)/Agnes (en). Ines doesn't really use her "English" name.
Nobody knows for sure how Japonic languages relate to other families. Some theorize that it might share a genetic relationship with Korean, but even that has not been convincingly established.
At any rate even if we chose to believe that both languages share a very distant common ancestor, it won't really help in this case. Russian, Italian, Dutch, English, Hindi and Gaelic languages do all belong to the Indo-European family, yet they diverged so much that finding matching names is a challenge.
And keep in mind that genetic relationship between languages don't tell the whole story. Genetically, English is more closely related to German than French, yet in general English speakers have less trouble picking up French than German because of the huge French and Latin influence in the modern English language.
This is plainly wrong. Go on compare words in those languages and it will strike you how similar the words are whether it's German and Urdu, French and Persian or Hindi and Italian. Names are a different thing since names are rather based on religious and ethnic identity rather than actual language.
However, there was quite a bit of names that I'd be really hesitant to use. Aili, Alisa, Elina, Lina, Lumi. If you know a thing or two about Japanese, you might realise a common failure with these names.
There was also the user suggestion of "Minna". It seems that it's really a feminine name in Japanese, but at least to me it seems kinda awkward as a name for an individual person.
Also, I'm not really sure if Finnish and Japanese are "indirectly related". As far as I know, it's just that they sound similar for reasons unknown.
Can I do it myself?
I had to find Catalan - English names once and was not easy, and I hope I'll need it again soon.
Assyrians have been scattered for centuries, and many have settled in other countries and have organically picked up hybridized names - it would be interesting to compare some of those to the produced ones, and especially fuzzy matches for new ideas
One small improvement comes to mind after trying some language combinations – the chosen languages could be (pre)selected on the results page under the heading "Find names for a different language pair", so that it would be easier to try different languages combinations while keeping one language constant.
As an example, Ford Kuga seems to be a decent car but I would never buy it. "Kuga" means plague in my native language.
That said, there are plenty of them on the roads here, so I guess people don't really mind.
You can chose between feminine names, masculine names or both. At first, I thought “both” meant names that are gender-neutral but actually it means that you search for both feminine and masculine names. Which is nice, but a gender neutral option would be an even nicer addition!
They are all a mix of English sounding Japanese names.
Tried the English-Japanese, not all the options are there. It helps that we lived in Japan for 6 years and I can speak Japanese so it was a lot easier finding the names.
Our daughter’s name is Kei. We didn’t know the gender until birth but my we had a few names picked out for girl names. Mia was one of them too.
Our only “requirement” was from my mom, “please don’t pick some crazy Japanese name I’ll never be able to pronounce.”
It seems you have slight English variants like Miya vs Mia. Is that just informal (eg for us everyone mistakenly spells Kei as Kay) or is it on official documents like passports?
But i love the idea of this app!
In our case we wanted a name that would be easy to read/spell/pronounce for Finnish and British people. I think that might have been a stretch too far.
Still Oiva is excellent, and works really well for everyone.
We considered Ukko for a minute, but ... wow, English speakers would definitely have struggles.
Add the search parameters to the URL query string so that the it can be copied and pasted.
Populate the form with the last selected values, rather than resetting them.
Our kids are a quarter Finnish, a quarter Indian, a quarter French, and a quarter Chinese. I guess we'd need to run (4 choose 2) combinations here and work off of that list!
Imo these are not fuzzy at all, they are great matches.
English Kate > K-ay-t
Croatian Kate > K-aw-teh
- I'm not sure how "Lee" is a feminine name.
- Park is more Korean and not Chinese.
How did you get your data?
Masculine English names that may also be Croatian words:
This is more likely a surname than a given name.
And I'm not sure how names like Ivo and Kristofor can be considered in the intersection of English/Croatian.
Having said all that, I think it's still a useful resource, and I don't wish this to come across as putting it down.
The concept is cute, the execution is questionable.