Is this name too uncommon? have you ever heard it before? 


April 2, 2018 5:46 AM

I've never heard it before,  apparently in the top 25 for Russian girls names though,  how woud you pronounce it?

April 2, 2018 5:49 AM

Thank you. I'd pronounce it ah-lyo-nah! 

But I don't want it to be too unique and destined for pronouncation issues:(


What about ALENA?!

April 2, 2018 6:25 AM

Alena is ok,  Alana,  Eliza I feel easy to spell and pronouce though

April 2, 2018 6:43 AM

Thanks. Does anyone know what's the origin of the name Alena. And how would you pronounce it. 

April 2, 2018 6:55 AM   -  I would pronounce it A leen a

April 2, 2018 9:24 AM

Where are you living? If you're in Russia, or near there, it's so popular that you should be fine. If you're in a country less familiar with the name, you could have problems. I'm in the US and I have never heard it before. I'm afraid people here would probably pronounce it more like Al-ee-ahn-ah instead of the 3-syllable pronunciation you seem to be after. People can be corrected, but you will probably have a lot of mispronunciations. 

Alena is a bit more familiar to English-speakers, but the pronunciation could still very easily be confused with Ah-lay-nah. It would probably go about 50/50. Again, if you're in Europe, you shouldn't have issues.

April 2, 2018 10:15 AM

I haven't heard it before, but it would fit in well with current naming trends, so I don't think people would find it strange. I know several Elena/Alaynas, and have heard the name Ilona, and Alyona seems like another variation on that theme.

I agree that pronunciation is ambiguous, mainly between something like Al-ee-oh-na and Al-yo-na, so you should probably figure out how much something like that would bother you. I don't think it would be bothersome to folks she meets--at least in the US, there's a pretty fine line between a one-syllable EE-vowel sound and a two-syllable Y sound. It's so fine that many people don't really make a distinction, or use both depending on how fast they're speaking. One of our regulars has said that many people don't even seem to hear a difference between the two and three syllable pronunciations of Julia. That might be comforting, if you're OK with the various pronunciations, or might drive you crazy if you really dislike one of them.

April 3, 2018 1:01 AM

I like it. I agree it fits in well with current naming trends, sort of a mashup between the very fashionable lacy Eliana-type names and the Ione/Iona more hipstery fusty revival names.

I'd feel comfortable with it as a 3.5 syllable name straddling the boundary between the two pronunciations, but I think your point about this being the kind of linguistic imprecision that drives some people crazy is very well made.  

My son's name also has a -lyon in it, and that is not a spelling that anyone who hears the name ever guesses, but I think that's a small price of admission to pay for the pleasures of having such an aesthetically pleasing name (it's a fun letter sequence to write out by hand, too). Anyway, with Alyona I would not expect anyone who hears the name to correctly guess the existence of the y, so you might expect peole guessing Alliona but I really don't think that needs to be a dealbreaker. 

April 4, 2018 11:01 AM

Eliana! I knew there was another name in there that this reminded me of.

By EVie
April 2, 2018 12:33 PM

It looks like Alyona is a variant of the Russian name Yelena, which, if you've ever heard it pronounced by a Russian speaker, sounds more like yeh-LYEH-nah.

Alyona more or less just transposes the first two sounds, so in Russian it would be pronounced the same as above, except ah-LYOH-nah. It's actually a better transliteration of the name than Yelena is. 

There's no such thing as "too uncommon," but it's a name where I would expect some sort of Russian family connection. 

April 4, 2018 2:08 PM

The winner of the 2018 Olympic pairs figure skating competition was Aljona Savckhenko of Germany, with Aljona pronounced Al-yo-na. I wouldn't think it too bizarre, and Alyona is a good English transliteration, although I've also seen Aliona very frequently. 

April 4, 2018 2:39 PM

THANK YOU! I knew that I'd heard that name recently! 

Edit 1: She skates for Germany but she's Ukranian-born. The name is not typically German.

Edit 2: For me, someone who typically uses more syllables when the option is there (e.g., -ia endings are always ee-uh), I read Alyona as 3 syllables (al-YONE-uh) but Aliona as 4 (a-lee-OWN-uh, like alley+ona).