Thursday, April 14, 2011

What to do when no one can pronounce your kid's name properly?

Chiara (KEY-are-ah) coloring
Our family is Italian: my husband is from Rome, and we speak Italian at home. When it came to naming our daughter, my husband insisted on naming her after Amalasunta, ancient Queen of the Visigoths. No, nope, that won't work. I stood firm, No one will ever be able to pronounce that! And so we settled on Chiara, which means light and fair, the perfect name for our little blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter.

Well, as it turns out, no one seems to be able to pronounce that, either.

While I was pregnant, we kept the name a secret from everyone, so it was never tested out. Of course we don't have a problem pronouncing Chiara (KEY-are-ah) - one of the more popular girls' names in Italy - and we just assumed that everyone else would be able to pronounce it fine, too.


I don't know whether to laugh or wince when, at the doctor's office, for example, the receptionist on duty calls out everything from Kiera to She-ierra to She-are-ah. I can't tell you how many times I've politely had to say, "It's Chiara - key-are-ah" - and even then, most people still don't get it.

For a brief moment in time, I thought about officially changing her name to Claire - the English equivalent of Chiara. But by then, she was already our Chiara, and her name fits her just perfectly.

Here's to hoping that our Chiara - that's key-are-ah - comes to love teaching people how to say her name, the right way.

***this post originally appeared on The Chicago Moms
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1 comment:

  1. She has such a beautiful name, I dont know why people have so much trouble with it. I grew up with everyone pronouncing my name wrong as well. I wouldnt think that Dena (Deeeeena) would be so hard but I would get Deanna or Den-a a lot. Then there was Angelico. Angel-eeeee-co was the most popular. So, when someone would call the house (sales call) asking for Den-a Angel-eeee-co, I would politly say that there was nobody living there by that name. LOL