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British name Russell in Poland


Sylvio 16 | 118
4 Jan 2020 #1
Against a growing number of British names I do not hear of two names getting given to boys in Poland : Graham and Russell... Is it because they do not ring nice jn Polish ears?
Ziemowit 12 | 3,671
4 Jan 2020 #2
Yes, this is so. Plus 'graham' is a type of bread.
Joker 1 | 1,323
4 Jan 2020 #3
f British names I do not hear of two names getting given to boys in Poland

You won't hear Nigel, Basil, Durwald or Jeeves as well.
Miloslaw 6 | 2,904
4 Jan 2020 #4
Jeeves and Basil are no longer heard in the UK.
I have never even heard of Durwald(Sounds German to me)
But Nigel is still quite popular.
NajdzelNigel
5 Jan 2020 #5
I actually like the sound of Nigel - "Najdzel" - but "Neegael" as it would literally sound being read in Polish sounds bizzaire. "Najdzel" on the other hand would go nicely with some of the Ski surnames! I wouldn't name my son "Najdzel" though, it would need to be spelt in Anglophone way - "Nigel" - in the hope that Poles would pronounce it as "Najdzel" and not "Neegael"

Russell makes sense as the pronunciation is nearly identical in Polish.
NieNazwany
9 Jan 2020 #6
Hello, shown below I comprised a list of non-Polish given names whose traditional/most common English spellings would be most compatible with traditional Polish spelling rules, combined with same/similar pronunciations both English and Polish (including emphasis on 2nd-last syllable). I'm guessing most of the names listed below would be (at best) uncommon and/or unpopular in Poland. I listed only alphabet pronounced identically Polish and English, so letter G only with Polish pronunciation like "Golf" (no English "soft G" like "Germany", and no "French G" like "Genre"), plus no accented letters, no double letters, no silent letters, and no letters c, ch/h, dzi, j, ni, q, r, sh/si, th, v, w, x, and z/zi (Letter Z is not in most English given names)...and vowels i and y only when compatible with Polish spelling & pronunciation rules, so no "di/ri/ti + consonant", and no gy/ky/ly.

Non-Polish given names (male):
Angus, Dante, Douglas, Dylan (unisex in USA/Canada, but still overwhelmingly male), Eliot (most commonly spelled in Anglophone countries with double-L and/or double-T, but all spellings pronounced identically), Glen, Ian (slightly different pronunciation than Polish first name "Jan"; the name "Ian" is pronounced as a 2-syllable sound), Kent (yes I know, Polish i is written & pronounced before Polish E, after Polish letters K and G), Liam, Logan (also unisex in USA/Canada, but also still overwhelmingly male), Nelson, Noel, Nolan, etc

Non-Polish given names (female):
Aida, Alana, Alma, Amanda, Amina (Arabic origin), Edna, Elsa, Fiona, Glenda, Guadalupe (Spanish origin, most probably illegal girls' name in Poland because doesn't end with letter a, and also because very few times used as a boys' name), Kamala (Sanskrit origin), Lana, Liana, Lisa, Lola, Lolita, Mina (Middle-Eastern, North African, and Far-East Asian origins), Moana (Hawaiian/Polynesian origin), Mona, Naomi/Noemi (Hebrew & Japanese origins, most probably illegal girls' name in Poland because doesn't end with letter a, and also because very few times used as a boys' name), Sonia, Tania, etc

I would have also included the first names "Lancelot" (male given name considered outdated/unpopular in Anglophone countries) and "Pamela", but traditional Anglophone pronunciation for both names emphasizes the 1st syllable, and traditional Polish pronunciations emphasize 2nd-last syllables
kaprys 2 | 2,029
11 Jan 2020 #7
Why would Poles give these names to their kids?
Why would they look for an obscure foreign name?
Lyzko 24 | 7,110
11 Jan 2020 #8
Here I agree with you!
There are plenty of non-native given names which have become international, much better suited, for instance, Daniel, Sandra etc..
Atch 17 | 2,996
11 Jan 2020 #9
Why would Poles give these names to their kids?

Why does anybody.......it's not just Poles.
kaprys 2 | 2,029
11 Jan 2020 #10
@Atch
Right. :)

Actually, Sonia is very rare but it's used. As for Noemi, it's a Biblical name and even though it's even less frequent it's sometimes used.

But Lolita? Come on.
NieNazwany
12 Jan 2020 #11
@kaprys
Why would Poles name their kids "Robert"? Or "Barbara"? Both names are neither Polish origin nor biblical, but still widely popular in Poland. And I listed all those names mainly because their traditional/most common English spellings/pronunciations are most compatible with Polish spelling/pronunciation rules, regardless of the names' countries of origin

@Lyzko
I didn't include the name Sandra on my list because Anglophones (excluding Scottish) don't roll their Letter Rs, and so I listed only names with no R. I listed only given names which would be spelled/pronounced identically both English and Polish (especially pronounced with little-to-no noticeable difference in Anglophone/Polish accents), due to those names being most compatible with Polish spelling/pronunciation rules...and despite the fact that those names would be (at best) uncommon and/or unpopular in Poland.

My list didn't include the most popular non-Polish male given names in Poland (names with identical spelling both English and Polish, with slight differences in pronunciations) which to my knowledge are are: Adam, Adrian, Damian, Daniel, Fabian, Gabriel, Robert, and Sebastian...plus a few other names ending in -bert, and that's all I can think of so far. Also the names Alan and/or (I think) Donald possibly gaining popularity nowadays.
kaprys 2 | 2,029
12 Jan 2020 #12
@NieNazwany
Because most of the names you mentioned are obscure or not even known in Poland whereas both Barbara and Robert are common and widely used - for decades if not centuries, see Barbara Radziwiłłowna.

These as well as national versions of Adam, Ewa, Dorota, Katarzyna, Anna, Izabela, Antoni, Jan, Franciszek, Piotr, Patryk, Mikołaj etc are commonly used throughout Europe. They're part of the European heritage, names of saints, rulers or scientists.

You could ask why the names you list are not used in Slovakia, Italy or Ghana. The problem is that they're not known in most cases or obscure.

Alan is pretty common. In fact, it's often ridiculed by swapping the consonants. ..
Donald will still be Donald Duck I'm afraid.
Sometimes children are named after popular characters like Andżelika or Klaudiusz. Or allegedly Isaura but I have never met one. But not Lolita - who wants to name their baby girl after a character who was a teenage object of sexual fantasies of an old guy?
Atch 17 | 2,996
12 Jan 2020 #13
I didn't include the name Sandra on my list because Anglophones (excluding Scottish) don't roll their Letter Rs

So do the Welsh, Irish and some dialects of English, though they certainly don't roll them in the same way as Poles, but they definitely sound them. Anyway, the 'r' in Sandra is actually sounded by all English speakers, regardless of their accent.

I listed only alphabet pronounced identically Polish and English,

Some of the names you listed don't follow that rule. I suspect you haven't heard them pronounced by English speakers.

Angus - this is a Scottish/Gaelic name. Angus is pronounced with an 'ang' sounded as you would sound the word hang or sang. The 'gus' part sounded with a short u not a long one, so it would sound more like a Polish 'o' to Polish ears. Angus is pronounced more like Ang-gs and the 'u' is not really sounded at all.

Fiona, also Scottish - the 'o' in Fiona is pronounced like the exclamation 'oh!' There is no direct equivalent sound in Polish.

Douglas, Scottish again! - the 'oug' is pronounced 'ug' so again not identical in Polish. The nearest you could get in Polish is 'og' and the 'a' in 'las' is not really sounded.
mafketis 21 | 7,607
12 Jan 2020 #14
Why would they look for an obscure foreign name?

Starting about 15 to 20 years or so ago the 500+ class began going heavily for anglophone names and started giving them names like Vanessa (Wanessa?) Samantha (Samanta?) Kewin, Brajan

That turned the middle class agains them which started going for more traditional names, I heard some wit say something like Wanessa and Brajan are going to be working for Aleksandra and Adam.

the 'r' in Sandra is actually sounded by all English speakers, regardless of their accent.

Unlike the d in Sandra (pronounced more like a d in some places and closer to j (as in Jack) in others. Which is more common in Ireland? Sanjra is a lot more common in the US...
Atch 17 | 2,996
12 Jan 2020 #15
Sanjra

Gosh that's weird! It's the normal 'd' sound in Ireland. But it's not a popular name there at all.
cms neuf - | 1,134
12 Jan 2020 #16
I have seen a few younger Polish girls calling themselves Sandra instead of Ola as a short form of Aleksandra.
mafketis 21 | 7,607
12 Jan 2020 #17
that's weird! It's the normal 'd' sound in Ireland

Here's the best youtube explanation of the American pronunciations

youtube.com/watch?v=AGKNtHXi5Po
Boleslav1
12 Jan 2020 #18
I noticed that Fabian and Fabio are some Polish names that sound OK for English speakers and Latin speakers alike. So they're a good choice if you want both a Polish and International-proof name. It's easier done with female names though.

For the opposite example: Jake would be read as Yack-eh in Polish.
Michael would be read as Mih-hah-ehl which is not too bad.
kaprys 2 | 2,029
12 Jan 2020 #19
@mafketis
However, the thing is that the names you mentioned sort of became known to Poles due to celebrities or characters appearing in films or tv series etc. That's the point I was making - Jessica or Brajanek became symbols of those living off the social welfare in a way.

Oskar or Oliwier are pretty popular now, both pretty uncommon and 'foreign' 20 years ago. Dunno why but I guess they're less uncommon than Angus or Russell, for example. I'm not an expert but are such names really common in English speaking countries?
NieNazwany
12 Jan 2020 #20
@Atch
OK I admit I focused mainly on consonants pronounced identically both English and Polish, and mostly names with only Polish pronunciations of vowels A, E, and Y, with a few I's here & there (only I's that are spelled between consonants, excluding Letter I spelled after D, R, and T). As for my use of Letter O, I listed mostly names with English "Long O" (such as the word "Roll"), which is the least dissimilar to Polish O (compared to the other English O's, such as both O's in "Wonder Woman").

I also listed names with Letter U only if the U isn't pronounced like "English U" like "Unicorn" (like Polish "JÓ/JU"), and I listed very few English "Short U" (such as the word "Cup"), mostly "Short U" if it's not an emphasized syllable (such as "Angus"). I listed "Douglas" mainly because the only major difference in English/Polish pronunciation being English "Short U" vs. Polish "OŁ" (To my knowledge, only words of Polish origin pronounce full Polish U after vowels, which would therefore be pronounced as a 2-syllable sound if spelled AU, EU, OU, and YU...such as the Polish word "Nauka" and a few Polish given names such as Mateusz/Tadeusz etc. And only words of non-Polish origin pronounce Polish Ł instead of Polish U if spelled AU, EU, and OU...which would therefore be pronounced as a 1-syllable sound, such as "Klaudia", "Euro", etc)
Atch 17 | 2,996
12 Jan 2020 #21
English "Long O" (such as the word "Roll"), which is the least dissimilar to Polish O

(compared to the other English O's, such as both O's in "Wonder Woman").

As an English native speaker, I wouldn't agree with that. The long 'o' doesn't sound in the least like a Polish 'o' which is basically the same sound as the middle sound in English words such as log, fog etc. The 'o' in Wonder Woman is a lot closer to Polish 'o' than the 'o' in roll to my English speaking ears :)
NieNazwany
12 Jan 2020 #22
@Atch
When it comes to American/Canadian vowel pronunciations, the Letter O in words Log/Fog are pronounced like English "AU/AW", such as "August/Crawl" (identical pronunciation to English "Short O", such as "On/Off"), and the Letter O in the word "Wonder" pronounced identical to English "Short U" such as "Thunder", and the English O in the word "Woman" pronounced like the vague-sounding English O found in some words starting with WO + Consonant, such as "Womb/Word/World" etc (similar pronunciation to the vague-sounding English OO found in a few words such as "Wood/Wool", and also similar to the vague-sounding English U found in some words, such as the words "Pull/Push/Put" etc). To my knowledge, all the above American/Canadian vowel pronunciations are non-existent in Polish language.

I'd say Polish O is maybe the halfway mark between American/Canadian pronunciation of the word "Bowl" (most commonly pronounced in USA/Canada as a "multi-tonal drawled English Long O") and French word "Bonjour" (I think the ON in "Bonjour" is somewhat similar to Polish Ą?) American/Canadian Anglophones generally pronounce most vowels with somewhat of a "multi-tonal drawl", while there is no "multi-tonal drawl" in Polish vowels A, E, I, O, Ó/U, and Y
mafketis 21 | 7,607
12 Jan 2020 #23
the middle sound in English words such as

There is no single English vowel system you need to specify what variety you're talking about (as nienazwany pounts out in #23)

The Polish o is a weird bird, it's close to the backward c of phonetics (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-mid_back_rounded_vowel) but a bit higher.

You can get by with a Spanish o though.
Atch 17 | 2,996
12 Jan 2020 #24
There is no single English vowel system you need to specify what variety you're talking about

Exactly. Broadly speaking (excuse the pun!) I would say that standard neutral speech in any English speaking country is very similar to each other but when it comes to regional accents and dialects it's a different matter. It seems that when the OP refers to Anglophones he means those in Canada and the US, including fairly extreme accents. I mean that 'Deputy Dawg' style of vowel :) so it's rather difficult to come up with foreign names that have spellings which work for Polish pronunication. I'm no linguist so it's just an opinion.
mafketis 21 | 7,607
12 Jan 2020 #25
standard neutral speech in any English speaking country is very similar to each other

I'm not so sure, the pronunciations nienazwany mentions are easily part of GAE (general american english the us standard)

pronouncing cot and caught identically is not weird or regional in the US and neither is rhyming wonder and under (they don't rhyme for you?) what about wander and yonder?
NieNazwany
12 Jan 2020 #26
I listed mostly names with American/Canadian English "Long O" pronounced like the halfway mark between o̞ and ɤ and/or ʊ:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid_back_rounded_vowel (o̞)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close-mid_back_unrounded_vowel (ɤ)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-close_back_rounded_vowel (ʊ)

Shown below are Letter O pronunciations that are common in American/Canadian English, but nonexistent in Polish:

American/Canadian pronunciations of Letter O in words Log/Fog are pronounced like English "AU/AW", such as "August/Crawl" (identical pronunciation to English "Short O", such as "On/Off"):

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_back_rounded_vowel (ɒ)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_back_unrounded_vowel (ɑ)

American/Canadian pronunciations of the vague-sounding English O in the word "Woman", and found in some words starting with WO + Consonant, such as "Womb/Word/World" etc (similar pronunciation to the vague-sounding English OO/OU found in a few words such as "Wood/Wool/Would", and also similar to the vague-sounding English U found in some words, such as the words "Pull/Push/Put" etc):

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-close_back_rounded_vowel (ʊ)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close-mid_back_unrounded_vowel (ɤ)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close-mid_central_rounded_vowel (ɵ)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_back_unrounded_vowel (ɯ)

American/Canadian pronunciations of Letter O in the word "Wonder" pronounced identical to English "Short U" such as "Thunder":
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid_central_vowel (ə)


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