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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    541

    Are these usable in English?

    Hello Berries!

    I live in a French part of Canada, and it is my mother tongue. It is important to me that my children have French names (or at least pronounceable in French). However, having a uniquely French name that's not pronounceable in English, I want their names to be easy to pronounce and understand in English as well.

    So basically, I would like your opinion on whether or not these names are pronounceable / usable in the English language. I'd also love if you could tell me your opinion of them! In French, we use accents, so I wrote the names how I'd spell them (which means the links probably won't work) but feel free to suggest alternate spellings or other ideas you'd think are similar to my list!

    Amélie
    Arianne
    Arielle
    Audrie
    Audrée
    Aurélie
    Camille
    Élia
    Éliane
    Élodie
    Emeline
    Emma
    Emma-Jeanne
    Geneviève
    Isaline
    Juliette
    Madeline
    Maélie
    Marguerite
    Mireille
    Mylène
    Solène
    Sophie-Anne
    Myriam


    Thank you so much in advance!

    PS - I will also be posting my boys' list on the Boy Name forum if you'd like to help me out there too!
    Mickie

    "On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."

    | Éloïse | Camille | Sophie-Anne |
    | Sébastien | Luca | Cédric |

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    2,602
    My family is partially from Quebec, and I am fluent in French, so I'm an exemption from most difficult French names (I can normally say them just fine), but here's what I think would go over well.

    Amélie - Definitely easy to read, however, most English speakers would say it as Emily with an 'Ah' sound at the start.
    Arianne - Might come out sounding a bit awkward, but not too bad.
    Arielle - I know an English speaking Arielle, it's not too difficult to say at all.
    Audrie - definitely ok, it's a commonly used spelling of Audrey in some places.
    Audrée - if this is said similarly to Audrey, it would be ok.
    Aurélie - This would likely cause teasing in an English speaking location, because it is usually said as 'Orally'. Aurelia would be fine though.
    Camille - easy to say and read, I have a friend who was born to Scottish parents named Camille, I went to school with her.
    Élia - easily pronounced and spelled.
    Éliane - might cause a few pronunciation/spelling problems, but shouldn't be too bad,
    Élodie - Commonly used in the UK, so it should be fine, no confusing letters in it.
    Emeline - Pronunciation of the ending could be difficult.
    Emma - Emma is the top name in all of Canada, and one of the top names in the US, definitely ok.
    Emma-Jeanne - Jeanne might cause a few issues, but not too many.
    Geneviève - Easy to read and commonly used on English speaking children.
    Isaline - more likely difficult, but not too bad
    Juliette - Commonly used on English children.
    Madeline - Commonly used on English children,
    Maélie - One of the more difficult ones - I believe this one's May-lee/My-lee though? Might be ok without an accent on the first e.
    Marguerite - easy to say in English
    Mireille - One of my favourite French names, but anyone who isn't familiar with French would likely have a problem.
    Mylène - lovely, and I know of a famous Mylene (spelled Myleene)
    Solène - might trip a few people up, accents become a bit tricky.
    Sophie-Anne - definitely easy to say.
    Myriam - perfectly fine, but the common spelling here would be Miriam.

    Hopefully this helped!

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    845
    Love:

    Amélie
    Camille
    Élodie
    Maélie -- prn Muh-ay-lee? I also love Maëla and Maëlys. You will probably get some Maylee pronunciations with this one, but that particular accent is more commonly recognized by english speakers, still...
    Marguerite
    Mireille -- English speakers will probably say Murielle, but the true pronunciation of this is so lovely and worth the correction I think.


    Like:

    Juliette
    Madeline
    Emeline
    Solène
    Myriam -- though I'm not sure, is this pronounced like Miriam? Or is the My pronounced as with english "my"

    p.s. I think that if you choose a name that has more traditional French spelling, then you should stick with the French spelling and not anglicize unless there is already an established version that suits you in English. Miriam/Myriam may be an example of this or Amelie/Amélie.
    Last edited by aym; February 4th, 2014 at 08:15 PM.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    3,002
    I agree with all the comments above, except Genevieve will be pronounced the English way, 3 syllables w/accent on the first--JEN-eh-veev (a shame, because it's so lovely in French).

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    541
    Thank you so much Lawsonhaley! I appreciate your help. I never thought of Aurélie / Orally, that's pretty bad now that I notice it. Maélie is pronounced Mah-Ay-Lee, so the accent is pretty important for the pronunciation I'll also write that down for Miriam, I hadn't considered this spelling.
    Mickie

    "On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."

    | Éloïse | Camille | Sophie-Anne |
    | Sébastien | Luca | Cédric |

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