1. E. J. Walters
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    E. J. Walters New Member

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    Choosing names problem

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by E. J. Walters, Jul 22, 2016.

    Hi there,

    The setting of my story is in Belgium (I also live there).
    So it's hard to find names for my characters.
    Because the names must be pronounceable in English, but not too uncommon in Flamish/Dutch as well.

    How can I solve this?
    Can I use names that aren't pronounceable in English so that they fit my setting?
    Or can I use English names I like (read: not boring ones) that aren't common over here?

    Thank you for helping me out!
     
  2. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    What do you consider unpronounceable? I've not seen many Belgian names that English speakers couldn't handle. Sure, if we only see the written form we'll get it wrong, but you won't see any Kdr'graks in Brussels, will you?
     
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  3. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I second @NiallRoach . What kind of names are we talking about? I went through the names of my Belgian colleagues, and there's Erwin, Ruben, Johan, Carla, Jasper, Erik, Hana... None of these would be too difficult for me, but then again, English isn't my first language. But I'd imagine some of those would be pretty easy for, say, Americans?

    Hana is a funny one though, 'cos it means "faucet" in my native tongue. :rofl:

    Anyway, you can use more "unpronouncable" names as well, if you want, as most of your readers will read them in silence, not out loud. Besides, you see strange names e.g. in fantasy all the time and usually they aren't a deal breaker, not for me anyway. So if the name fits the setting in your opinion, go for it.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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  5. E. J. Walters
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    E. J. Walters New Member

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    Yes you're right many of our names come from English, I can use them.
    But what about real dutch names, are they okay to use (see examples underneath)?

    Boy names:
    Ward, Joris, Karel, Adriaan

    Girl names:
    Aagje, Anja, Floor, Eefje, Paulien

    Family Names:
    Vermeiren, Van den Broeck, De Backer, Vermeulen, Cobbaert, Schellekens, Lauwers, Verhulst

    I can make sure not too use too much difficult first names, but what about the family names?
    Won't the reader just skip such a family name while reading?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  6. E. J. Walters
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    E. J. Walters New Member

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