Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2019
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    I named my daughter Mari. I wanted to tip my hat to our Norwegian/French/Welsh heritage so I dropped the e from the end. I intend for it to be pronounced "Marie." Does that mean that it should be spelled with the i that has two dots above it,or is there some other symbol I should be using to encourage the i to be pronounced like an -ee? A few of my friends have gotten confused and asked if her name is pronounced maHr (like Bill Maher) or Mary. What is the proper way to write/spell it so it is easily understood that it is pronounced "marie?" Thank you kindly for any information.
    Last edited by silent_bob; 29-Jul-2019 at 10:06.

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28,557
    #2

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    Welcome to the forum, silent bob.

    Many parents give their children forenames of which the pronunciation is not immediately obvious — condemning them to a lifetime of hearing it pronounced wrongly or being asked by every new person they meet how to say it. Those of us with uncommon surnames have little choice but to endure this all the time, but with given names it's an avoidable burden to saddle a child with.

    Nevertheless, people with an unusual forename usually cope very well with this situation – often loving it and being proud of their heritage encapsulated within it – and your daughter will very likely soon develop her own strategy for making the pronunciation of her name known among her social circle.

    You've probably considered giving her one or two additional conventional names she could use if she absolutely hates Mari – such as Olga, Yvette or Blodwen.

    I don't recommend adding abstruse diacritical marks such as you suggest, which are hard to find on most keyboards for anybody wanting to type it, and which will only confuse non-linguists further, but what do I know? ... we have some very knowledgable, resourceful and helpful people here on UsingEnglish who will probably find a solution that's just the ticket for you.

    Good luck to you and Mari. I hope she has a happy life.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 29-Jul-2019 at 10:32.

  3. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 14,674
    #3

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    Without the final e, I think people will guess that your daughter's name is a variation of Mary and pronounce it as such. If you want to nod to your French heritage, you'll spell it à la française as "Marie".
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2019
    • Posts: 2
    #4

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    Thanks for the replies. I don't really want to spell it "Marie" with the e because it's a little too... popular. and I'm mostly Norwegian, which I notice they tend to spell it without the e fairly often.

    If I did choose to use the i with the two dots above it, would that clear up any confusion? Would it then be pronounced as Marie?

    Thanks again.

  5. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 961
    #5

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    I would automatically pronounce it "MAHR-ee" if I saw it. You might try adding an acute accent mark to the "i".
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  6. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,747
    #6

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    People aren't going to know what dots or accent marks are supposed to mean. If you want it to be obvious how to pronounce it, then spell it the conventional way. If you want to spell it that way, then be prepared to have to tell everyone how it's supposed to be said.

    I would say mahr-e or mary.

  7. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 14,674
    #7

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    At least some Americans would naturally apply Spanish pronunciation rules to Marí and pronounce it as "Marie". However, adding the accent would introduce another frequent irritant to your daughter's life as it would be repeatedly omitted by people with no idea how to type it.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 961
    #8

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    Please think of what your daughter will have to experience for her entire life. Conversations like the following will be a daily occurrence:

    A: M-A-R-I. "MAHR-ee"? "Mary"?
    B: "Muh-REE".
    A: Oh, OK. Why didn't your parents put an "e" on the end of your name?
    B: They wanted it to be unique.
    A: I bet people ask you this every day.
    B: Yep.
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  9. probus's Avatar
    Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 4,356
    #9

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    Perhaps the best story ever about the correct pronunciation of names is due to the famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Many years ago he was asked by an earnest reporter "What is the correct pronunciation of your name?" He replied "It doesn't matter. I don't care."

  10. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,880
    #10

    Re: "Mari" given name - should I use a diaeresis or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by silent_bob View Post
    If I did choose to use the i with the two dots above it, would that clear up any confusion? Would it then be pronounced as Marie?
    I think it could generate as much confusion as clarity.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •