Naming your baby can be difficult, especially if you plan to raise your child in a bilingual home. (Photo by GatoAzul/Flickr)

SpanglishBaby: Naming our future baby

Next week I will be 33 weeks pregnant with our second child, and my husband and I are still deciding on a name. With our first, we agreed early on that we wanted a Spanish first name that was easy to pronounce in English (more importantly one that my husband felt comfortable with).

It was important to me that he stay connected with his Chilean side and I wanted to start with his name. Oddly enough, it was my American husband who found the name Matías — he liked it because it worked in several languages. What we didn’t realize was just how many languages it would work in. When we lived in the UK (where our son was born) we had people ask if we were Greek, German, Polish or Finnish. Talk about a universal name! We are well aware that we will live in the U.S., but like many bicultural and bilingual families, we feel names are an important part of your identity and help keep you connected to your roots.

Now we are having our second child, a girl, and we just cannot decide on a name. It’s been more difficult than the first time and we’ve also learned to keep our ideas to ourselves, because everyone seems to have an opinion on this topic — mostly from my familia. No surprise there! It’s either too old fashioned, or too edgy or too foreign. Yes, these are the types of comments we get. That’s why I’ve had to keep the names to myself despite being asked every chance they get.

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