Pronunciation of Helena

[name]Just[/name] wondering… What is the correct pronunciation of [name]Helena[/name]? On Nameberry it says Hell-en-a. I don’t care for the name whan pronounced that way. Could it be pronounced He-leen-a, or He-lay-na? So much prettier! Thanks in advance for your help! :slight_smile:

It can be pronounced all 3 ways. You might want to be aware, everyone who meets little [name]Helena[/name] will too, so be prepared to correct people.

Here in [name]England[/name], I have only heard it pronounced hell-en-a, however I have heard Americans and people from other places in Europe say hell-ay-na. Never hell-een-a, though.

I say Hell-en-nuh. But I’ve also heard it said Huh-lay-nuh and Huh-lee-nuh. I only really like it said Hell-en-nuh or Huh-lay-nuh.

I think Hel-ee-nuh is most rare, but is related to [name]Helene[/name] - I think most people pronounce that Hel-een, not [name]Helayne[/name], or Ay-[name]LEN[/name] (French is H”l”ne), while it is Hel-EN-uh in [name]German[/name] - standard Anglicized is Hel-een, and I’ve never heard it pronounced otherwise.

I think for [name]Helena[/name], Hel-ay-nuh is most common, while [name]Helen[/name]-uh is the capital of [name]Montana[/name], and some people prefer to pronounce it as such, in the US. In the UK, I guess that’s standard.

I say hell-lay-nuh.

I also pronounce it he-[name]LAY[/name]-na. I think it’s especially pretty said this way.

I honestly prefer [name]Helen[/name]-uh, but I think the next most logical pronunciation is He-[name]LAY[/name]-nuh…

[name]Leni[/name] or [name]Lena[/name] are cute nicknames, and it is a gorgeous name!

Thanks everybody for your help! I really love the name [name]Helena[/name], when pronounced huh-[name]LAY[/name]-na! [name]Glad[/name] to hear that it’s one of the correct ways. Sounds like it might be a name that you have to constantly correct people on the pronunciation.:frowning: Hmmm… I [name]LOVE[/name] IT THOUGH!

i prefer hel-len-a but i know it can be pronounced hel-lay-na also.

Another question… When pronounced helen-a, is it HELL-en-a, or hel-EN-a? I don’t know if that’s clear or not. I guess I just don’t understand where you would put the emphasis. Any thoughts? Thanks!

I would automatically say [name]Helen[/name]-uh. I have known a Ha-leen-uh. Ha-lay-nuh is also a very pretty pronunciation, but not one that I’ve ever been familiar with.

I love the name [name]Helena[/name]! I pronounce it [name]Helen[/name]-uh, but I know a heh-[name]LEE[/name]-uh and a heh-[name]LAY[/name]-nuh, too. :slight_smile: When I say “[name]Helena[/name],” I don’t emphasize the middle syllable, but suppose I place a tiny emphasis on the first syllable, as in HEH-len-uh, but the more I think about it, I prounounce all three syllables equally, like heh-len-uh. Think of [name]Helen[/name] with an “uh” tacked onto the end.

Some names I picture with [name]Helena[/name] (pronounced heh-len-uh):

[name]Theodora[/name] (nn [name]Thea[/name])

With the more exotic heh-[name]LAY[/name]-nuh pronunciation, I picture names with an international feel:



[name]Sebastian[/name] (I can see this with the heh-[name]LAY[/name]-nuh pronunciation, too.)

heh-len-uh sounds classic/vintage to me, while I think that heh-[name]LAY[/name]-nuh has an exotic, international feel.

Best wishes to you! :slight_smile:

I say Hel-[name]Lay[/name]-nah but I used to say [name]Helen[/name]-ah.

  • [name]Charlie[/name]

When I write ‘[name]Helen[/name]-a’ I mean it sounds like [name]Helen[/name]…a, [name]Helen[/name] prn HEL-in.

There is an ex-convict island near me called [name]St[/name] [name]Helena[/name]. We pronounce it H-lee-na but I think I prefer Heh-lay-nuh.
Very pretty name, I also like [name]Lena[/name]. I knew a [name]Lena[/name] once that went by [name]Lenny[/name], I think thats adorable!

Wow! Thanks everybody. You have all been SO helpful!

I read it as Hel-ay-nah. You could always spell it as Helaina or helayna, to limit pronounciation issues.

If it were me, I’d rather have pronunciation issues than spelling issues. I don’t think misspelling a name and attaching it to your child is better than letting them deal with mispronunciations in a socially acceptable way. To misspell a name to protect them from having their name mispronounced is like preventing people from eating your cookies by making them with dirt and bugs and taste awful. A mispronunciation happens once in a while by a stranger, while misspelling it to prevent such is to have their name misspelled every second of every day, by their mother, and then they will have additional issues of never have their name spelled correctly by other people, who will spell it wrong by spelling it right. Not a great strategy!