Turkish name combinations

I have wrote about some of my Western name combinations before for characters but not all of them, now I want to talk about Turkish name combinations I have. They are not for characters but for real children btw. So what do you think them? Which ones you like or not? 


• Alina Maral, Almila Sereday, Ayla Mariye, Ceren Alaiyye, Ilya Mavera, Iris Alara, Maysa Arin, Solin Minay


•Ardahan Levent, Atilla Hakan, Aybars Tuldila, Aydakar Temir, Balamir Aslan, Erdenay Oktar, Erem Ibrahim Talu or Erem Talu, Erendiz Oben, Kutlu Sivas, Mutlu Övünç, Ömür Mert 



By EVie
March 20, 2017 2:14 PM

These all sound lovely to me, though I don't have much experience with Turkish names, so I can't really evaluate them in that context. Are you looking for names that cross over to English easily? I don't think most American English speakers have as much experience with Turkish names as, say, Indian or Arabic, so a lot of these names will just sounds "foreign" to Americans who can't place them. For me, that's fine and a great opportunity to spread knowledge about your culture, but in some communities it may be more burdensome.

In any case, I think all the girls' names you have listed would cross over fine--are they all Turkish? Alina, Ayla, Ilya and Iris are all used in other European languages, so those would be the most familiar. Alara is very on-trend and would fit in well in our current naming climate. Sereday, Maral, Mavera and Arin are all names that sound appealingly distinctive in English. 

For the boys, I really like Ardahan, Balamir, Erem, Levent, Talu, Oben and Temir, and I think any of them would be pretty easy to wear in an English-speaking context. Aslan has the right sounds, but will be very strongly associated with Narnia--maybe not a problem, depending on whether you mind fielding the questions/comments. Similarly, Atilla--you will get a lot of "the Hun" comments, along with less-knowledgeable people thinking it's a feminine name. I do know an Atilla, though, and I've always thought it was a super cool name. Names like Kutlu and Mutlu seem less accessible to me. But the more I look at your list, the more I like all of them, so I wouldn't label any of them as problematic. 

If I had to pick favorites, I think they would be Ardahan Levent or Balamir Aslan, and Iris Alara... although I really love Sereday, so I might make a new combo of Sereday Maral, if that works in Turkish. 

Also, thanks for posting--I've always thought one of the weaknesses of this forum was the lack of knowledge of/interest in non-Western names, so it's nice to have someone bringing them up for discussion!

March 20, 2017 2:45 PM

They are mostly Turkish or names that entered the language and now count as Turkish names too. Alina is the ancient Greek name of the city I was born, Mugla but I think Mugla or Mugulili are less appealing than Alina. Ayla is Turkish and Hebrew but they have different in two languages, in Turkish it means halo around moon and it can be used as Aylin too. Ilya is the name of Jerusalem along with Kudüs. Iris is another shared name, in old Turkic she is a goddess. 

For boy names I don't mind the Narnia associations with Aslan since I love the series myself and as a child I enjoyed seeing part of my culture in Western literature, my other favorite is Jules Verne's book about a very stubborn man from Istanbul. But Aslan is a historical name for me. Same goes with Atilla, I love the man. Kutlu and Mutlu arenhard names but they are honoring my late uncles and that's why I am trying combinations with them. 

Ardahan Levent is a honor name, partially, since middle name is my father's name lol. He hates his name but I think it is perfect. Sereday Maral could work too but I am so used to Almila Sereday now I am not sure if I can change that combination. I wrote a really long answer and no need to thank me I love sharing Turkish names because I think they deserve to be appreciated too. Even in Turkey people name their children with Arabic/Persian names and sees Turkish names as hippy. :/ 

March 21, 2017 12:23 AM

The Hun is Attila: atta 'father' plus a diminutive suffix. The pronunciation is pretty universally Atilla (single/short T, double/long L), though, hence the spelling change. It's a very common name in Hungary (using the historical rather than phonetic spelling, which is a rare departure from usual policies), and I know about half a dozen of them in the U.S.; none of them have ever had the gender of their name misidentified.

Out of curiosity, which syllable is stressed in Turkish? (In Hungarian it's always the first syllable, which makes American-style /uh-TILL-uh/ grate on the ears.)

Levente is an old Hungarian name derived from the verb lenni 'to be'. It is also coincidentally a word meaning 'paladin, champion'; this latter was borrowed into Hungarian from Ottoman Turkish via Serbo-Croatian, altered from the older leventa due to vowel harmony. Does Levent still mean something like 'warrior' in modern Turkish?

March 21, 2017 12:53 AM

I know the meaning of Attila and Atilla spelling is really popular too. In Turkish we also have variations like Atilay and Itilay. Stress is on the first syllable. Levent doesn't mean warrior but it means marine. 

March 21, 2017 10:24 AM

Marine as in "soldier on a ship who isn't a sailor", or marine as in "having to do with the ocean"? If the former, it fits with the Ottoman Turkish origin of the Hungarian word. (Hungary being landlocked for basically all of its history, words for "marine" or "navy" are mostly irrelevant.)

March 22, 2017 10:15 AM

It used to be for soldiers but now the meaning is more general. 

March 20, 2017 4:48 PM

I agree with all of this.  I'll also add Ibrahim to the list of names that would work in an English-speaking context.  I think most people would recognize it as a variant of Abraham, even if they weren't sure where the variant came from.

March 20, 2017 9:03 PM

Ibrahim is Arabic,not Turkish.

March 20, 2017 8:18 PM

I think it's very important to keep in mind that Turkish is not pronounced the way English speakers would expect. For example, I know someone named Isil. The first I is the kind without a dot on it, not a letter known in English. Her name is pronounced roughly to rhyme with the word bushel. I really don't think you can just post Turkish names without pronunciation guides and expect English speakers who don't know Turkish to be able to know whether they "sound good" or not. 

March 20, 2017 8:59 PM

That was my comment, too (well, without the actual knowledge of any Turkish prounciation). I assumed that some-to-most of the vowels were being pronounced improperly in my head, but didn't even consider the consonants. 

I know you're Turkish, but I don't recall if you've ever mentioned if you still live in Turkey. If you do, our pronunciation difficulties or misconceptions will not affect you or any child you have as much as they will if you're living in an English-speaking location or are looking for a name that travels well internationally.

March 21, 2017 12:56 AM

You are talking about s with cedilla and dotless I. I don't use ı ğ but i do ise umlauts sometimes. But these names do not contain any hard letters like that. The most challenging will be Ceren/Ceyhun in which c is pronounced as j but it is is the least of my favorites lol. I don't like c names that much myself. 

March 21, 2017 4:02 AM

I agree that posting pronunciation with the names would be great... mostly because I would like to learn approximate pronunciations!

By EVie
March 21, 2017 10:19 AM

I used to have a Turkish acquaintance named Cagla, which was pronounced CHAH-lah. I'm not sure if that's an accurate pronunciation or just an American approximation of it which she answered to--should it be more of a voiced "djuh" sound rather than an unvoiced "chuh"?

March 22, 2017 10:17 AM

The origin name is Çağla so it is Chahlah, ç is ch like in child/chair and ğ has no sound and just lengthens the vowel. 

March 21, 2017 10:43 AM

I can recommend a series of mysteries featuring an Istanbul detective Inspector Ikmen written by Barbara Nadel. The books all contain a pronunciation guide for the Turkish names.

March 22, 2017 4:12 AM

Excellent! I was just needing a new set of books to buy my dad... :-)

March 22, 2017 10:17 AM

I would love to read that book too, I am searching for a new book after all.