Want to change my name...Please evaluate

Hi Guys,

My name is Nurlan, but I wanted to change my name to Kaisar...I live in Canada for now, but I will be going back to Kazakhstan. I think that the English-speaking have some difficulties pronouncing my name right. Also, I don't like when people from my country call me like this. I think Kaisar fits me well, because it has a meaning: "brave", "persistent", "persevering", which really fits well t my character - I am Taurus, which always "persistent" and "patient" and "hard". Could you please, as English-speaking(and non-natives are welcome as well) evaluate the sound of it and tell me what would you associate if you see this word: Kaisar or hear it: it sounds: K-AI[eye]-S-A-R. The stress is on the last syllable...I would really appreciate your input!



April 11, 2013 4:55 PM

Of course, I have no idea how this name would be received in Kazakhstan, but in the West the immediate association will be with Julius Caesar.  In Classical Latin Caesar was something like K-eye-sar, but with accent on the first syllable.  Caesar is the origin of the German Kaiser (emperor) and the Russian Tzar (also emperor).  Being associated with Julius Caesar and emperors is in no way a bad thing--many Spanish-speaking males are named Cesar and Italians, Cesare, for example.  But you might want to consider whether or not that association pleases you.  English speakers will certainly want to put the accent on the first syllable, and you will need to correct that to get the correct pronunciation.

April 11, 2013 5:55 PM

Thank you for input, Miriam! In Kazakhstan the name is actually rare but well-known and as I mentioned the meaning is pretty clear for Kazakh people. And Yes, I know that the name is also means Caesar for the West. Actually, my arab friends were telling me that the name is actually pronounced the same in arabic as in kazakh with stress on the last syllable and hard "K", similar to Q in Qatar. To be honest, I actually like that association as well, because Julius Caesar was a great man in history -  this man certainly was firm, persistent and brave :). Also, I would'nt mind the stress on the first syllable. I even thought if having this name to use the nickname: Kai, which has a lot of nice meanings in different languages and easy to remember and sounds cool. So, still a win.

April 11, 2013 5:00 PM

I think, for me, it would depend on if I saw a surname with it.  On its own, I would probably wonder if someone had named their kid "kaiser", like the German emporers or like the sandwich roll, only with a spelling change.  It wouldn't bother me particularly -- just be a passing thought.  If I saw it with a patronymic or non-Western-European surname, I'd just think that it was a name from whatever area of the world its owner is from.

How is Nurlan pronounced, if I may ask? I am familiar with the dancer Nurlan Abougaliev, but I have no idea how to say his name -- have only seen it written down!

April 11, 2013 6:01 PM

Thanks for your feedback, Laura! What about pronunciation? how "Kaisar" sounds to you, as to an English-speaking person or maybe are a native of other language?  

Oh, that's very interesting...you know someone actually named Nurlan... :)

It sounds like it is written. Basically: N-U[O or U]-R-L-A-N with the stress on the last syllable: nurlAn 

April 11, 2013 8:13 PM

I'd probably have no trouble pronouncing Kaisar -- I'd just have to drill it into my head that the emphasis is on a different syllable than I'd naturally place it.  So I might get it wrong a few times, saying it, but then it'd be fine.  It sounds...fine, I guess? Not ugly, not overly harsh; fairly pleasant on the ear. 

Thank you for the Nurlan pronunciation.  In my head, I've been saying it with the accent on the first syllable; will straighten myself out now.  

April 11, 2013 6:49 PM

I'd like to echo parts of previous responses and add one detail.

My first association is, too, with the German emperor, Kaiser, and I would pronounce it KYE-zr, emphasis on the first syllable. I could, however, learn to say it on the second syllable.

My second association is with a fictional character from the movie The Usual Suspects. This is a fantastic movie and the character is quite an iconic villain - but don't look him up if you ever plan on watching the movie because of spoilers ;). Now, because this character is foreign, and has a non-English last name (his full name is Keyser Söze; his father is supposedly German and he did business with the Turkish and Hungarians), I've never associated the name with the German Kaiser, nor with the kaiser roll, so I think that context plays a big role in how the name will be received. A "foreign" last name, as Laura V said, would make it much easier for many people.

April 11, 2013 7:16 PM

Thanks, Karyn!

That's interesting! I need to watch the movie...

What about sounding of the name: kye-sAr ?

April 11, 2013 9:31 PM

It would be no problem for me, personally, to pronounce it kye-SAR. I actually like it more that way. It sounds more Hebrew or Arabic, an emphasis mode with which I am very familiar, and in my mind it gives it an elegance that it lacks when said in English because both vowels have clear sounds. It also makes me pronounce the R in a different way, which helps lighten the name... More in the front of my tongue than in my throat, if that makes sense.

(And it's quite a violent movie, but totally worth seeing.)

April 11, 2013 9:11 PM

What don't you like about Nurlan?  I think it has a lovely sound. Of course I don't know what it connotes In Kazakhstan.

April 29, 2013 2:39 AM

Hey, Dorit. I apologize for not responding for too long...

The first reason I want to change it, because in my country and among my friends people call me short nickname that comes from Nurlan name: Nurik, that I don't like(stress on the 1st syllable)  - it's very childish. Also, english speaking people have troubles pronouncing it right as well. As I noticed they have trouble because of very compbination of letters together: u-r-l, where u sounds like in "boo" in my name. Usually words with "url" are pronounced like in "curly", which is different from my name. The meaning is still very good: "nur" from arabic means light. Also, I just like the name Kaisar. It sounds very confident in my language and + i think it sounds pretty clear and strong in English. It has a meaning which is very well fit to my character, which is also persistent, persevering.

Could you also provide some feedback to this name: Kaisar? what comes to your mind when you see it ? and how would you pronounce it  if you see ti first time?


April 29, 2013 2:43 AM

Please guys! I need more opinions...Help me out here! I really want to know what association would people have when seeing the name: Kaisar? Also how would they pronounce after seeing it? and some general feedback on this name... I really appreciate your help! :)

Thanks, Kaisar!


April 29, 2013 6:53 AM

I would definitely pronounce it with the emphasis on the first syllabus (KEYEsar). My only associations are Kaiser Wilhelm and Keyser Soze (from the movie The Usual Suspects). You'd have to correct pretty much everyone to get the pronunciation you want, but those who are close to you will get it correctly. It's a strong name with a nice sound and I have no real preconceived notions about it except that with the the term Kaiser was used for emperors, all of whom were powerful and many of whom were dictatorial.

May 7, 2013 5:37 PM

Thank you Elizabeth. Interesting point of view...Agree that sounds strong...Now im getting a more clear picture of the association of a name...

April 29, 2013 9:49 AM

Hi Nurlan. Well, I really love your real name. I was pronouncing it nurl-rhymes-with-curl, but could easily switch to noor. Or you could consider changing the spelling to Noorlan. And I think Nurik is adorable-but I get that adorable's not what you're going for.  But since your heart is set on changing it, I'd say Kaisar is fine. Less likely to be mispronounced. But, having just seen a staging of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, I have to say the name has some negative connotations. When I hear Kaisar, I think dictator with a tragic fate. On someone from Kazakhstan living in the West, I might worry it would also resonate with all sorts ofxenophobic  cultural associations involving 'Oriental despotism'! Anyone else get that vibe, or am I being ungenerous of my expectations of fellow Westerners?


edited to add: I guess it could easily be mispronounced. I was reading it KEYE-sar too, not Keye-ZAR. That won't be the first impulse for moist Americans.


oh man, I'm really a big fan of Nurlan now! might be my new favorite name. It really sounds lovely, fits with the ends-with-n trend, has wonderful connotations. 

May 7, 2013 5:40 PM

Hey Dorit...Thanks for you input. Very interesting view on Oriental despotism. Never thought of it this way. Will tak into account everything you said. And I guess also I m very surprised with your love to "Nurlan". Yeah it has a very good meaning and quite popular in Kazakhstan.

May 22, 2013 4:42 PM

I would pronounce it KYE-sr, like the German Kaiser as well.  I think it's fine, a little grandiose since it's a title.  It would be like naming a child King, Emperor or Ruler.  Of course, if I found out that you picked the name out yourself, I might think you had a big ego, or plans for world domination!  On the other hand, we have people here named Baron and Duke, so  I think it would be fine.  Good luck with your new name!

September 24, 2013 7:07 PM

If i met you, I would try not to say, "Oh, like the bread" (Kaiser Rolls - the first thing that came to my mind - sounds almost the same) because i figured you would have heard that enough in your own life. But i am not sure about what the name would mean to Kazakhstanians. If I met someone with that name, I would not think anything of it, except that it was of some unknown origin to me, so I might ask you where you were from. I am an American.