Having a Brazilian baby when you and/or your partner is from a different country does have its perks. Choosing a name is not one of them! Don´t worry, we´ll get to the perks later. If your family is multi-cultural like mine, you´re likely to struggle a bit with choosing a name for your baby.
1. WOW! We´re having a baby!
Being pregnant is already such an adventure and having a baby is this beautiful blessing. So why burst my bubbly with choosing a name that is going to work in 2 or 3 languages?! This is a process that may take longer and will be more cross-culture sensitive than for most couples.
2. How do you pronounce that?
You can test the pronunciation of possible baby names on your local/native friends and family. They will be overjoyed to repeat names one thousand names over and they will surely research and sugggest their favorite names. This exchange can be very funny, especially when you get names that sound like words in your native language. Some will sound nice to the ear while some names will actually make you cringe.
3. How do you spell that?
A letter is just a symbol that represents a sound. When you choose a nice sounding name you may have to adjust spelling or if spelling is too complicated to adapt you may decide to choose another name altogether. Try to imagine your child as a preschooler learning to spell their own name. How do you imagine it will be?
A person will have many names that will follow them throughout their lifetime. Birth names, childhood nicknames, married named, chosen nicknames. Brazil is a nickname crazy culture, most people have a nickname - by choice or by popular demand. Somenames have several nicknames, take my name Alessandra, possible nicknames: Alê, Lelê, Lelé, Leka, Lê. I go by Alex, go figure.
More thoughts on the Expat Baby Name soon.