More on Natesa

I want to name my baby girl Natesa which is an [name]Indian[/name] name which is what I want. I thought it was pronounced “Nah tessa” but upon further research found out it is pronounced “Nah tay shah.” I like the “Nah tessa” pronounciation much better and want to use the nickname [name]Tess[/name] which makes sense with that. My husband thinks we have to use the [name]Indian[/name] pronounciation or else it is a made up name. I disagree and I also think most people when looking at the name would say it as “Nah tessa.” [name]Do[/name] you all think it is made up to use an Anglicized pronounciation? And do you think one has to pick [name]Tess[/name] or [name]Tessa[/name] as a nn or can one use both. Thanks

I like the name, and I like your chosen pronunciation. I don’t think I would pronounce it Nah-[name]Tessa[/name] based on this spelling, however. I would add another S and spell it Natessa. [name]Even[/name] though it may not be exactly the way it was originally spelled/said, it is still a great way to honor the heritage.

For example, Sacagawea’s name is pronounced very differently depending on where you are in the US. (She was a very famous Native American woman, for reference.) I grew up knowing her as “sack-ah-je-way-ah”, but my husband grew up knowing her as “sah-cah-gah-way-ah”. [name]Even[/name] though one is probably wrong (or both!), we still have much respect for her as a person!

This is a difficult question. [name]Imagine[/name] it the other way around. For example, what would you think if you met an [name]Indian[/name] family who had given their daughter a standard English name but pronounced it in a totally different, non-standard way? I did have an experience like this once. I was in a country in [name]Africa[/name] and was asked to name a baby. I suggested the name [name]Penelope[/name], which was accepted. But it was not pronounced the way we pronounce [name]Penelope[/name], more like the word antelope. I was amused but certainly not offended. Names do tend to evolve and move around the world, but the purists would argue for the “right” pronunciation.

I would expect someone coming from [name]India[/name] with this name would have her name pronounced a few ways including the Anglicized “Natessa,” while still pronouncing it correctly with her family and other people who recognize the name from her culture.

I’m not sure how I feel about pronouncing it “wrong” from the get-go. I think it’s mostly ok. I’m not sure how you arrived at the name while not knowing how to pronounce it, if this is part of you or your DH’s heritage - although generations pass and people are no longer in touch with their roots or languages of their ancestors. If I were to choose, for example, a [name]German[/name] name to express my “roots,” my [name]German[/name] ancestors have been in [name]America[/name] since the 1700s (I’m led to believe), and I have no basis for choosing to pronounce it like they do in Germany.

All names that aren’t created in [name]America[/name] seem to get diluted in their pronunciation once adopted. I knew someone from Portugal whose name was [name]Carla[/name] - a recognizable “American-friendly” name. She pronounced it with a thick Caaarr(trilling)-La, and everyone else called her [name]Carla[/name] without trying to pronounce it “correctly.”

I am pretty sure I’m leaning toward ‘not a big deal.’ Nataysha and Natessa are close - that’s how a foreign variation tends to work. If you used the name [name]Julia[/name] for example, some countries adopt it as [name]Julie[/name], or [name]Giulia[/name], or pronounce the J as an H, like Hoolia, etc. If you take the name [name]Caroline[/name] - some people say [name]Caroleen[/name] like the original French. Some say [name]Carolyn[/name] as sort of a corruption of [name]Caroleen[/name]. Some say [name]Carol[/name]-ine, because that’s what it looks like and they are being phonetic in the local vernacular. All of those pronunciations are now established as valid. [name]Just[/name] some examples.

I think it is ok to Anglicize the name Natesa. If it is any sort of way to break a tie, maybe you can accept both pronunciations - people don’t have to always be so insistent that their name is pronounced one way and one way only.