Bilingual name

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A bilingual name is a name of a person that is spelled, if not pronounced, exactly the same in two languages. The speakers of a certain language usually have names that do not exist in another language. Even when the name has a common root or refers to the same historic or religious figure, different languages will spell and pronounce the name in a unique way. Thus a name with identical spelling in two languages may be of interest to parents of Third Culture Kids, or immigrants.

Examples[edit]

Differentiated spelling[edit]

Children named after Alexander the Great, Saint Alexander, or any other Alexander are known as:

Or variations thereof.

Some languages don't have this or other names. This is the case with many Chinese names that are not translatable into English.

Today, personal names are seen as untranslatable, but this has not always been the case. George Walker Bush is referred to as George Walker Bush except in places where that name is impossible to render in the local alphabet. For example, in Azerbaijani the name is rendered Corc Uolker Buş because the Azerbaijani alphabet lacks the letters J and W, but has a letter ş which corresponds to the English "sh" sounds.

Historically, learned Europeans were often identified with Latinized versions of their names. Christopher Columbus was published as Christophorus Columbus. In Modern Italian, the same name is Cristoforo Colombo, in Portuguese as Cristóvão Colombo (formerly Christovam Colom), and in Spanish as Cristóbal Colón. Christophorus is the Latin version of the Greek Χριστόφορος (Khristóphoros).

Exotic naming[edit]

Along with the comparatively slow changes in child-naming customs, many parents throughout the world give their child a name that does not have a common translation in their own language like Adabel Anahí, sometimes as an aspirational gesture.

Rarely used male bilingual names in English and Spanish[edit]

  • Aaron (rare in Spanish)
  • Abel (rare in both languages)
  • Abraham (rare in both languages)
  • Brendan (rare in both languages)
  • Bruno (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Caleb (rare in both languages)
  • Crispin (rare in both languages)
  • Hugo (identified with the French language both in English and Spanish)
  • Jon (rare in both languages)
  • Leon (rare in both languages)
  • Levi (rare in both languages)
  • Mario (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Noel (rare in both languages)
  • Oliver (identified with the German language more so in Spanish, but somewhat also in English)
  • Roman (identified with the French language both in English and Spanish)
  • Saul (rare in both languages)
  • Tobias (rare in both languages)
  • Tristan (rare in both languages)
  • Xavier (rare in both languages: associated with the French and Catalan)

Commonly used male bilingual names in English and Spanish[edit]

Rarely used female bilingual names in English and Spanish[edit]

  • Adabel (rare in both languages)
  • Aida (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Alda (rare in both languages)
  • Alma
  • Anahí (most rare in English)
  • Belinda (rare in both languages)
  • Brenda (rare in both languages)
  • Calista (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Dora (rare in both languages)
  • Edwina (rare in both languages)
  • Juliana (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Leonora (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Marla (rare in both languages)
  • Martina (rare in both languages)
  • Norma (rare in both languages)
  • Tamara (rare in both languages)
  • Ursula (identified with the Italian language both in English and Spanish)
  • Virginia (rare in both languages)
  • Zoe (identified with the Greek language both in English and Spanish)

Commonly used female bilingual names in English and Spanish[edit]

  • Abigail - Rare in Spanish
  • Adelaide/Adele/Adeliza/Alix/Adela - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Amanda
  • Amelia/Amalia - The English spelling is tolerated in Spanish
  • Andrea
  • Anna/Ana - The English spelling is tolerated in Spanish
  • Annabel/Anabel - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Barbara - Rare in Spanish
  • Cecilia
  • Claudia
  • Diana
  • Dolores - Rare in English
  • Elaine/Eliana - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Emily/Emilia - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Emma
  • Gabriela/Gabriella
  • Gemma - Rare in Spanish
  • Helen/Helena/Elena - The bold spelling is tolerated in English and Spanish
  • Irene
  • Julia
  • Lisa - Rare in Spanish
  • Linda - Rare in Spanish
  • Mary/Maria - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Marcia - Rare in Spanish
  • Maura - Rare in English
  • Melinda - Rare in Spanish
  • Micaela - Rare in English
  • Miriam - Rare in English
  • Monica/Mónica
  • Naomi - Rare in Spanish, this name is actually a trilingual name as it exists in Japanese too.
  • Olga - Rare in English
  • Olivia
  • Patricia
  • Paula
  • Pauline/Paulina - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Pamela - Rare in Spanish
  • Priscilla/Priscila - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Rose/Rosa - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Sarah/Sara - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Serena - Rare in Spanish
  • Sophie/Sofie/Sophia/Sofia - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Susan/Suzan/Susann/Susanne/Suzanne/Susanna/Susannah/Susana - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Sylvia/Silvia - The English spelling is tolerated in Spanish
  • Tanya/Tania - The Spanish spelling is tolerated in English
  • Theresa/Therese/Teresa - the bold spelling is tolerated in English and Spanish
  • Veronica/Verónica
  • Victoria

See also[edit]

References[edit]