In-depth
Parents get into pickle over Western child names
  • | ANTD, dtinews | July 31, 2012 08:26 AM

Giving foreign names to children has become a popular trend among many Vietnamese parents.

 
 Many parents are giving their children a foreign name and want to send them to international schools in the future.
Names such Jack, Jennifer, Andy, Tommy, Elly and Chanelle are more commonly being seen in Vietnam.

Nguyen Hoang Yen and her husband both specialised in foreign language studies and after graduation, they worked for foreign companies, and wanted to adopt western style names.

She named her daughter Precious, as she wanted her to have a foreign name when she joined an international school in the future.

Despite having an official name of Phuong Anh, Precious no longer uses her registered name.

However, not everyone is happy. Phuong Anh’s maternal grandmother complained that her granddaughter should be called after her officially name, as she was also too old to be able to pronounce the little girl’s name.

Before being taken to dance class, the five-year old had asked her mother to use her English name when registering so that her teachers and friends would know the name she wanted to use.

Vu Thu Trang, eight years old, a student at an international school located in the Ciputra housing estate in Hanoi, said, “I use the name Gabriel Vu on my notebooks, Yahoo and Facebook because I like it. As I study at an international school my teachers want us to have an English name so its easier to say.”

Trang wants all members in her family to call her by her foreign name despite the fact that it's the male version of the name. She even uses the name on the list of participants for her ward’s summer activities, puzzling local officials.

Many parents lack English but still try and use half Vietnamese and half English names for their children because they like foreign famous stars.  Many of them hope that these names will make it easier for children to study and live abroad later.  

Nguyen Van Tuan in Hoan Kiem District’s Chuong Duong Ward said, “Both sets of grandparents wanted to name their grandson Cu Te, but it doesn’t have any western style. In extra English classes, all his friends have foreign names. My son is called Brian, but I don’t know how to pronounce it correctly, so I often call him “Bi an". Some days ago, I came to the class, asking his teacher to write down the correct pronunciation to learn how to say it.”

Nguyen Thu Phuong, a teacher from Thanh Quang Primary School in Hoan Kiem District said that giving foreign names to children should not been done, warning that it would dilute Vietnamese culture.

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