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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baby Boy Tohtska

Karen writes:
I'm due in October 2011 and we're expecting a boy. Our struggle with naming him has to do with that we're a mixed nationality family. My husband is Japanese and I am half American and half German. Everyone in our families except for my mother live overseas, most of our family members don't speak English. So...we need some ideas for crossover names. For simplicity we've decided to focus on a name that crosses over well for Japanese and English (with the hope that if it sounds good in English, it will work in German). By crossover names I mean names that are pronounced the same in multiple languages and can be pronounced easily by all parties. Our other two children are named Kai (boy) and Miya (girl...pronounced MEE-yah). Not sure yet if this is our last child, but we're leaning toward having more. Our last name is like TOH-tska). We tend to shy away from names that have the sounds L, R, B, V or TH because those sounds either don't exist (TH) in Japanese or the Japanese cannot hear the difference in the sounds (L/R and B/V). We'd like to have a name that's not purely Japanese-sounding since we live in the States, so we've thrown out names such as Eiji, Akio, Yuji as well as names that have "ken" in them because my husband's name has that syllable in it already. Currently we're considering Noah and Eisa (pronounced like the name Asa) but aren't in love with either of them. If this baby ends up surprising us and is a girl, we'll likely name her Sofi. Girls names always were easier for us to come up with...! Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!!!


Tara said...

Yuki has long been my favorite Japanese boy name, but it does sound very Japanese, especially compared to your other children's names which are more worldly. What about Masa, Yoshi or Kenji? Other suggestions, but your family may be adverse to them, would be the name of a place you love (Nikko?), or words that are used for nicknames - words that are currently escaping my memory (younger brother), or even just words that sound nice (Kawa?). I am much better with girls' names in Japanese (Ai! Megumi! Maiko! Aya!).

Nicole said...

The first name that came to mind was Nico, which seems to fit with your other children. Kai, Miya, and Nico.

Or what about Enzo? Kai, Miya, and Enzo.

I have always loved the name Denji, which I think would work fine in the States because of the similarity to the name Benji. Kai, Miya, and Denji.

Best of luck!

Magic27 said...

My neighbours (mother is Japanese, all her family are in Japan and speak nothing but Japanese, father is French) have two adorable little boys called MaƩ (Ma-eh) and Ael (A-el), if that's any help...

Clarabella said...

Nico was the first to come to my mind too! Three's a consensus!

beyond said...

Huh. I thought of Nico as well. I am currently also looking for names that work in several languages and it's on our list (as a nn, but it would work as a full name, too, of course). Kai, Miya and Nico. Good combo!
I think that Noah sounds good, too. It has the short breezy style you're looking for, but the biblical story and meaning behind it is strong, and your other children have non-religious names. Something to keep in mind, perhaps?
I also suggest :
Milo (although that has a different pronunciation in German)
Nao (close to Noah. This means 'esteemed', I think? I love this!)
Good luck!

vanessa steck said...

Nico is just perfect. Perfect. If it helps, I met a little boy today who speaks English, French and Italian named Nico.

StephLove said...

I'm not too familiar with Japanese names so I picked a few from a list of Japanese boy names. I thought it would be easier for me to pick Japanese names that were easy for Americans to pronounce than vice versa.

So, how about Jiro, Kisho, or Ronin?

Crafty Beth said...

Just wanted to throw out there that when I see the name Eisa, I would assume it was a girl's name. And that I would probably pronounce it Eye-sa. So if pronunciation/gender confusion issues might bother you, it might be something to consider. I actually really like it as a girls name :)

Janelle said...

From what I remember about Japanese, every consonant needs to have a vowel sound after it. So I went through the top boys names and picked out ones that ended in a vowel sound and avoided your trouble letters.

I found that lots of these are nicknames for longer ones that end in a consonant. You might even choose the long form officially but use the nickname with your Japanese family.

Nico (Nicholas)
Johnny (John)
Danny (Daniel)
Jimmy (James)
Tony (Anthony-- and if you pronounce it with the British Antony, that's a great choice too)

Megz said...

I think Noah sounds good for you, especially if you spelt it Noa. Nico is also a good suggestion.

I wonder if you would like Tomas (Thomas). Kai, Miya and Tomas. I think it would work in all three cultures, but maybe Tom, Tomo or Tommy as a nickname would work better in Japan.

A couple of others I thought of:

Adon (pronounced like Aiden)


Anonymous said...

Kai has become such a popular name for bilingual/multicultural families :)

I think Nico is a lovely suggestion.

What about:

Dominic- nn Nic or Nico

bunnyslippers said...

I know it violates your 'r' rule, but I love "Hiro" (Hero) for a little boy.

Christy said...

My friend had a boy last year and as her family is Korean and his is from the South and they named him Jae. She said that she picked it b/c it was easy/recognizable in both languages. I LOVE this name and kind of want to use it for myself!

I also love Milo and Hiro, but I know those have the troublesome R/L sound

Twee Poppets said...

Nico, Nico, Nico!

British American said...

I agree with the commenter above who said that they'd assume Eisa was a girl called Eye-sa.

I have a British friend who lives in Japan with his Japanese wife. He has two sons: Isamu and Tomoki. Their nicknames are Sam & Tom. So they have traditional Japanese names which have English nicknames. Maybe one of those would work for you? I know you said you didn't want a purely Japanese name - but your son could go by his nickname if need be.

The Mrs. said...

Wow, I made up a HUGE list of Japanese boy names and then cut out any that didn't work in Europe, any that had L,R,B,V, or TH, any that had 'Ken' in them, any that seemed especially 'Japanese only'... sheesh! I see why this is a big task for you!

So after all that, I only have three new possibilities:


And while others have already mentioned them, I really like Hiro and Jay, too!

All the best to you as you choose the perfect name for your new son. Can't wait to hear what you decide upon.

Joanne said...

Nico is my favorite but ilike Jay or Jae. Could Ren work?

Anonymous said...

Makoto with nickname Mack.

agirlandaboy said...

Luke! Or Luka! Or Lucas!

Amy said...

I also love Nico. It is just adorable!

Anonymous said...

Torsten? Torsten Tohtska sounds awesome.


with some 'forbidden' letters: