International Names

My husband and I have lived abroad several times in our lives, and although we live in the States now, we’d like to live abroad again in the future. I want to encourage my children to see the world and I’d love them to have names that would work in multiple languages/cultures.

So far, the only girls names I have that I think work well in multiple languages are [name]Anna[/name] and [name]Louisa[/name].

And for a boy: [name]Luca[/name]

Any other ideas?


[name]Hi[/name], [name]Kim[/name]. Let’s see…names that appear in many languages. [name]Do[/name] you want the names to appear as is, or are spelling changes okay once international waters are crossed? Pronunciation may differ:



Best wishes to you!

I’m not an expert on international names by any means! But I’ve heard that [name]Enzo[/name] and [name]Lena[/name] are really popular in many European countries. I think to avoid confusion, it would be best to avoid Celtic names if you’re going to live in [name]Italy[/name], Spain, etc. Of course, if you’re going to live in [name]Asia[/name], you might as well pick whatever name you want. I think if it were me, I would just pick names I really love. The names I love the most are classic, so they would probably work. I would choose, say, [name]Charles[/name] and [name]Lucy[/name] - ooh, sounds like [name]Charlie[/name] [name]Brown[/name].

I [name]LOVE[/name] [name]Luca[/name]. One of my favorites!!!

Here are some others to consider. I think they would work well in europe and probably are simple enough for asia also.




[name]Luisa[/name] (different spelling, more translatable to italian and spanish)

Good luck!

I have this problem with my name! The way the people say it where I live it sounds like they’ve got a throat infection. I’ve got a little bit of experience with this, though I can’t say anything about [name]Asia[/name]. I think there are lots of possibilities, but these are just off the top of my head (though there are definitely other versions and spellings in some countries):

[name]Sebastian[/name], [name]Thomas[/name], [name]Stephen[/name], [name]Phillip[/name] (though where I live these are kind of dated)


I think that what doesn’t work too well are names that have sounds that are special to a specific language, like the CH and TH sounds in English. For example, Greeks can pronounce Th in the name [name]Bethany[/name] as English speakers do, but Germans would often say Bessany. And J is prounounced differently in a lot of languages – if I were using a J name, I would try to use a classic so that there would be a familiar form in a lot of cultures.