How would you spell "Ell-in-ah"?

I love the British pronunciation of [name]Elinor[/name]. [name]How[/name] would you spell it so Americans pronounce it the same way?

[name]Elina[/name]
[name]Ellina[/name]
[name]Elena[/name]
[name]Ellena[/name]

I want to avoid it being pronounced like “E-lay-nah”, but I feel that some of these spellings look exactly like that. [name]Do[/name] you suggest another spelling altogether?

One of my friends is named [name]Elena[/name], pronounced just like that (ellen-a). I think it’s the Italian pronunciation, but lots of people do pronounce it a-[name]LAY[/name]-na. It’s not that big of a deal, though. I think the best spelling to get the pronunciation right would be [name]Ellena[/name], but I really wouldn’t purposely misspell a name…

I have a friend with the same pronounciation and she spells it [name]Eleanor[/name], which is the traditional spelling along with [name]Elinor[/name], as far as I’m aware.

Yes, in [name]Britain[/name] the name [name]Elinor[/name]/[name]Eleanor[/name] is pronounced the same, but in the US it is pronounced “[name]Ell[/name]-in-ore”, where the R at the end is pronounced. I would like to pronounce it without the R.

Thanks for the info about the Italian pronunciation! I didn’t know that, and it helps immensely!

The R-less pronunciation isn’t really so much “the British pronunciation” as it is an artifact of the British accent–depending on how strongly non-rhotic the accent is, the R could be anything from an R-colored schwa to completely absent.

For the pronunciation you’re looking for, I’d say [name]Elena[/name] is your best bet, but I’d also be prepared to have a lot of people pronounce it e-[name]LAY[/name]-na.

Oh dear! I sincerely apologize if I caused any offense. I have friends from GB who drop the R entirely, and also always thought Miss Dashwood’s name was [name]Elena[/name] based on the BBC mini series I used to watch. I was a little dissapointed when I found out the name being pronounced was actually [name]Eleanor[/name], because I find the pronunciation [name]Elena[/name] so much prettier!

I sincerely apologize if I’ve offended anyone! Please attribute this to pregnancy brain and ignorance!

I would say [name]Elena[/name].

I actually know someone with a daughter named Alinnah (which is pronounced the way that I think you want it). This seems like a fairly phonetic option.

I would pronounce [name]Elena[/name] e-lay-nuh, and unfortunately so would a lot of other people…to make pronounciation as easy as possible, I would go with [name]Elina[/name].

Thanks for the suggestions! I’m wondering about the spelling Elinna - does that work, or does it just look made up?

I’m not sure about Elinna, but I guess it would get the right pronounciation. My name is [name]Elena[/name], pronounced the way you want it to be pronounced, but most people say el-ay-na which gets really annoying. But when other than pronounciation issues, i do love my name :slight_smile:

I don’t think Elinna looks made up. It’s also more likely to get the pronunciation you want, since the double n would discourage people from trying to say “lay” in the middle.

I think phonetics is a tricky thing. Elinna looks very made up, and it might be pronounced [name]El[/name]-in-ah, but I would, with the double n, put the stress on the second syllable so it would sound more like [name]Elissa[/name], but with Ns, Uh-[name]LINN[/name]-ah, rather then [name]ELL[/name]-in-ah. I think trying to fix a problem with a phonetic spelling may increase the amount of people who guess wrong, because people don’t always grasp what you are trying to go for and have never encountered the name before.

[name]Ellina[/name] might be better, but might be called [name]El[/name]-EE-nah (stress still on the wrong syllable besides). It’s hard to make a name truly phonetic, yet still lovely. I would use [name]Elena[/name], expecting most people to say [name]El[/name]-AY-na, and even in some cases [name]El[/name]-EE-na, and correct them, try [name]Helena[/name], which can be pronounce HELL-in-a (hope your last name is not Handbasket), or just move somewhere that people drop their Rs (like New [name]England[/name]) and name her [name]Elinor[/name]. FYI, if you are in New [name]England[/name], or some parts in NYC and suburbs, [name]Elena[/name] would be pronounced E-[name]LAY[/name]-ner, [name]Elinor[/name] would be pronounce [name]ELL[/name]-in-aw. Consider it?

Interestingly, if you go to www.babynamer.com/ellena , there is a sound clip of how the name [name]Ellena[/name] is pronounced.

This would probably cause confusion in [name]America[/name] but I would have spelled it [name]Helena[/name] and just barely pronounced the H.

The British pronunciation of [name]Elinor[/name] is indeed much softer than the American way, but I wouldn’t have said it’s quite [name]Ell[/name]-in-ah, think is more akin to the British pronunciation of [name]Helena[/name] from my experience.

Thanks to everyone! The spelling [name]Elena[/name] makes the most sense, I see now.

This name has hooked me lately, so I’m mulling it over for awhile. And I have to get DH on board with it!

Thanks again!

This is my father’s sister’s name. She spells it [name]Allena[/name].

[name]Elisabeth[/name]
[name]Baby[/name] Names Examiner
http://tinyurl.com/r4uavt

I think [name]Elena[/name] is definitely Eh-lay-nah and will always be mispronounced. What’s wrong with Elinah? I don’t think it looks as pretty as [name]Elena[/name], but it is phoenetic, so I think less likely for people to get it wrong.

You could also do Ellenah.

I am using [name]Helena[/name] as a middle name (if this baby is a girl) and I’m kinda worried about the same thing (Hel-lay-nah, like [name]Helena[/name] Christensen), but I am thinking like [name]Helena[/name] the city. And since it’s a middle name, I don’t care about mispronounciation.