International Names: Frequently
I realize that the International
names lists aren't perfect. However, before you hit the "send" button on your
e-mail program, please see if your question can be answered here.
Why Isn't My Name on your
Not every name can be translated
into other languages. I have chosen the most common names in the English that
can be found in other languages. These are commonly found in other languages because
they are names of religious, historical, or other figures who have managed to
transcend the language barrier at one time or another, or names brought to native
populations by conquerors. This doesn't mean that your name is not translatable
into another language. It just means that I probably haven't found it, or that
I haven't found enough foreign translations to include it on this site. Take for
example, the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. In English, it's Guenivere,
but it became most popular in its Cornish form, Jennifer. However, aside
from one form I found on an either Latvian, Lithuanian or Estonian baby name site
(of course I forgot to bookmark it and now I can't find it), this name isn't found
in any other languages.
Where are the names in Japanese/Ukrainian/Urdu/Malay/insert
I am severely limited in my
language skills--All the baby name books I happen to need to fill out columns
for other languages are written in their native languages. Since I can't read
most of these languages, I can't tell what the books are saying! If you are looking
for names in a Non-European language, you're out of luck--most of the names on
this chart are Latin, Greek, or Hebrew in origin, and therefore have not been
adopted into non-European languages. This is not to say that ALL of the names
are un-translatable, but most of them probably do not translate. I am always working
to update this site, though. Next on the horizon are Ukrainian names and possibly
Serbian, Slovak and/or Slovenian names. I have no idea when or if I will ever
get these done, so keep checking back!
Where did you find all of
I got many of them from many
web sites chronicled at Behind The Name.
I found other names in books in this bibliography. Please
note, many of the names I found were on sites in their native languages. Since
I don't speak many other languages (I can get by in Spanish, French and German,
but that's all), I picked out names that I thought were translations. For example,
if you see the name Jozef, you can be pretty sure that it's a form of the
name Joseph. However, I found the name Alix on a Breton site.
Is this a form of Alexandra? Alice? A totally unrelated native Breton name? I'm
not sure. Names I'm not sure about I put question marks next to.
Why Aren't All of the Names
Listed in All of the Languages?
Some names were never translated
into other languages. Take for example, Joachim. Joachim isn't really used
in English; we tend to pronounce it the Spanish way (hwah KEEN), but it has a
form in just about every other European language. Also, I'm limited in my resources.
Just because I don't know the Romanian form of Timothy doesn't mean it doesn't
exist. I just don't have very good books. Sorry!
How Do You Pronounce These
If you really want to know,
I suggest you find a native speaker of the language and ask him or her. Keep in
mind that even though most of these languages use the Latin alphabet, these are
not English. The pronunciations are probably very different from what you see.
For example, the Scottish Gaelic form of Eve is Eubha. In English, this
name looks like it should be pronounced "Yuba". However, it is actually pronounced
"EH-va." There are lots of resources on the Internet for helping you with pronunciation
of various languages.
What about languages that
don't use the Latin Alphabet?
Russian, Greek, Armenian, Arabic,
Bulgarian and Hebrew do not use the Latin alphabet (like English and other European
languages). Since this site is in English, I've elected to spell the names out
phonetically in English. There generally are no standard spellings for these names,
so, for example, the Russian name Sergei might also be found as Serge, Sergey
etc. depending on who's doing the writing.
What's up with the starred
The starred names represent
native Irish and Scottish Gaelic (and a couple of Dutch and Yiddish) names that
were "translated" as English names by English speakers. This occurred, in the
case of Irish and Scottish, when the native speaking populations were ruled by
English speakers. Because the English speakers couldn't understand, pronounce,
and spell the native names correctly, they assigned English names to the native
names based mainly on sound. Thus the Irish and Scottish name Domhnall
isn't actually etymologically related to the Hebrew name Daniel, but it
was "translated" as so. Because of this cultural connections, the names have been
connected and equated for a couple hundred years now. In the case of the Dutch
names, people changed them to similar sounding English names upon immigration
to the USA. The Yiddish names are a whole other kettle of fish. See the explanation
on the Yiddish page.
What's the deal with the
Hebrew and Arabic names?
I got most of the Hebrew
translations from a book entitled The New Name Dictionary by Alfred Kolatch.
It was written as a guide to equate Hebrew names with non-Hebrew names and vice-versa.
The author took the meanings of the foreign names and then found a Hebrew name
with a similar meaning to use as its equivalent. This method works well in a
lot of instances. The major flaw is that the meanings of the non-Hebrew names
are not very accurate to begin with, being that the author is a scholar of Hebrew,
not names in general. Because of this, the Hebrew names don't always reflect
the "real" meaning of the non-Hebrew names. However, if you're not a stickler
for accuracy, these equivalents are great!
Not many non-Arabic names
have been translated into Arabic, so for the Arabic names, I looked at the meanings
of names in various Arabic name books and websites. I matched up the names based
on meaning. For example, the names 'Afaf, Kulus, and Qudsiyah
all mean "star" in Arabic. In English, the name Esther also
means "star." Thus, I used them as "translations."
What are "Traditional
a "pet form" of a name
is a shortening, like calling Edward Eddie or Ed. We call them "nicknames"
now, usually. however, the term "nickname" originally meant a distinguishing
name, like Shorty, Red, or Slim. I use the term "traditional" because
I'm listing the pet forms that are the most common, and have been used the most.
I know if I just put "nicknames" then someone will email me saying "I
know a girl named Elizabeth, and people call her Zabeth" or something like
that. I'm not including pet forms that may only be used by a few people in the
interest of space. For more on pet names, visit this
Can I Submit Names?
Sure! I always welcome additions
and corrections. However, due to the volume of e-mail I get, please only write
to me if you are *positive* you are correct (i.e., if you are a native speaker
of a language). Feel free to correct me or add names! I am especially looking
for Romanian, Dutch, Greek and Czech names (as well as any other languages I
don't list here). Please do not send me nasty e-mails yelling at me for
leaving your name out, though. I get enough of those!
click here to submit names.
to International Names