Years ago, people stuck, for the most part, with traditional names for their little ones. Now, perhaps inspired by the odd names celebrities tend to choose for their offspring (Moon Unit? Apple? Sparrow? Moxie CrimeFighter?), many expectant parents spend a lot of time trying to find something unique and special to call their little bundle of joy.
However, a name that is merely “unique” in English could have a totally different, perhaps unwelcome, meaning in another culture. For example, “Suri,” the name of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter, actually means “pickpocket” in Japanese and “soured” in French, according to British translation firm Today Translation. To help soon-to-be parents select an unusual name that travels well, the company is offering a new service: the baby name translation audit. For a one time fee of $1,700, the company will look up the meaning of potential baby names in 100 different languages.
Of course, this service won’t stop sadistic parents from giving their babies embarrassing names for kicks. Even before creating your own baby name from scratch became commonplace, you still had Mr. and Mrs. Head christening their baby boy “Richard,” or Governor Hogg of Texas naming his baby girl “Ima.”
For ordinary parents, $1,700 seems like a lot to pay; even it does help ensure that you aren’t accidentally naming your child “dung beetle” in some other language.
In the New York Daily News, Today Translation’s CEO Jurga Zilinskiene explained why she thinks parents will be willing to pay for the service:
“You’ll rest assured you are picking a good name,” Zilinskiene said. “At the end of the day, it’s something a person has to live with for the rest of their lives.”
What do you think? Would you pay for a baby name translation audit?