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  1. #1

    Lightbulb 18th Century Brothers

    Hey there Nameberry!

    My screenplay takes place in 1775 colonial America. The two leads are 20-something brothers and their father is a French immigrant. I personally love French names and I thought it would be lovely if their names were slightly French to reflect their heritage, so I picked what I thought were relatively simple, safe French names: Jean & Alain. In the back of my mind I wondered if this was going to be a stumbling block and sure enough my worst fears came true when my first reader picked up the script, flipped to a random page, and said "Ah-lane and Jeen?"

    So, yeah. I want to keep Alain's name but I'm undecided on the spelling: Alan, Allan, or Allen. Or should I stick with "Alain"? He's charismatic and mischievous and I loved the sort of charming flair the "i" gives the name, as opposed to what I've always considered a rather straightforward "Alan". Is a French spelling/pronunciation just too much to ask?

    I've never been married to Jean's name, but I liked that it was a Biblical variant without being *Biblical*, and that it was a twist on something so common. I want to name him something understated, but memorable. He's a quiet, deeply spiritual person who has lived in his brother's shadow all his life but emerges as the unexpected champion.

    I'm open to any and all suggestions - I just don't want to have to pass out a pronunciation key every time I pass out the script.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    879
    If it's a screenplay then it doesn't matter. The name will primarily be spoken, properly. Even if you're willing to change them, it seems silly to me to do that for the sake of such a small convenience.

    However:

    Alexis
    Bernard
    Bruno
    Christophe
    Denis
    Emmanuel
    Frederic
    Gaston
    Gustav
    Henri
    Leon
    Louis
    Lucas
    Marc
    Martin
    Nicolas
    Pascal
    Philippe
    Pierre
    Reme
    Rene
    Sebastien
    Thomas
    Tristan
    Victor
    Xavier
    I'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    140
    I'd stick with it, and I know there's a character in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter named Jean-Claude and he's a vampire.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3,475
    As someone who isn't French, those are very familiar names even to me, so I'd say keep it. Plus, as celianne mentioned, it's a screenplay, so spelling won't really matter in the long run.

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