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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • Estonian
      • Home Country:
      • Estonia
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Feb 2012
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    Spelling Non-English Names


    Similar questions have been discussed on this forum before, but overall, I couldn't find good guidelines on the Internet. Please share your opinions.

    What would be the best way to spell foreign names that in their original form do use the Latin alphabet but with symbols not used in the English language? Is it most common to just convert to the nearest letter there is? The other option I can think of is trying to spell so as to recreate the correct pronunciation, whether by using an English digraph, or by trying to emulate common words and letter combinations. Is this maybe more common for languages that do not use the Latin alphabet?

    In my personal case, my name contains what could most simply be called a long or double 'a umlaut'. (Except in my native language the a umlaut is a separate letter, if it makes a difference.) The pronunciation is : . It seems easiest to substitute this as 'aa', however, 'a' or even 'ae' may be closer in pronunciation due to surrounding consonants, or more natural for the English language in general.

    Thank you!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,269

    Re: Spelling Non-English Names

    Go with the spelling that best approximates the pronunciation.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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