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English Name Equivalents in Spanish

written by: Bright Hub Education Writer • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/28/2013

Taking a course in Spanish? Find a name that corresponds with your own in this short list of common English names and their translation.

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    What's in a Name?

    Adopting a new name is a common first step when you start taking Spanish classes. Using Spanish names helps to promote immersion in and appreciation for the new culture that you are trying to learn about, and gives you a chance to practice forming the sounds of the new language on a constant basis. Switching from one name to the other--from Lisa to Josefina, for example--is also a way of flipping a switch in your subconscious that says, "Now it's Spanish time."

    Not every instructor has you adopt a name. Of those they do, they may choose a name for you, offer you a choice from a list of Spanish name equivalents, or let you pick out of a baby-names book. You may also find that, when you travel to a Spanish-speaking country, locals are prone to rendering your name as it appears in their own language if there is a close equivalent. If you are lucky, you might already have a Spanish name, some of which have joined the American mainstream.

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    Men's Names

    Here is a list of some of the most common men's names as they correspond to both English and Spanish. The English names are listed in plain text, with their Spanish name equivalents in bold type. Notice that in some cases, as when the English Alfred or Robert becomes Alfredo or Roberto, the Spanish name equivalents just have an extra "o" at the end. However, there are some less-obvious correspondences too, so do not assume that just sticking an "o" at the end of your name does the job.

    In a few cases, the name's spelling does not alter when translated from English into Spanish, but these "identical" names often sound different when pronounced following the Spanish pronunciation norms.

    Alex/Alexander - Alejandro

    Alfred - Alfredo

    Anthony - Antonio

    Charles/Charlie - Carlos

    Christopher - Cristóbal

    Daniel - Danilo

    David - David

    Doug - Diego

    Edward - Eduardo

    George - Jorge

    Henry - Enrique

    James - Jaime

    John - Juan

    Joseph - Jose

    Mark - Marco

    Michael - Miguel

    Peter - Pedro

    Richard - Ricardo

    Robert - Roberto

    Stephen - Esteban

    Thomas - Tomás

    William - Guillermo

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    Women's Names

    The correspondences between women's names in English and Spanish work much the same as those for the men. It is interesting to note that the feminine suffix in Spanish, "-a," is not uncommon in English women's names. So some Spanish name equivalents involve little more than respelling the same name according to Spanish linguistic conventions. For example, Anna becomes Ana in Spanish, because there is no double-n sound in Spanish.

    April - Abril

    Anna - Ana

    Barbara - Barbara/Bebe

    Dorothy - Dora

    Elizabeth - Isabel/Elisabet/Elisabé

    Ellen - Elena

    Eve - Eva

    Grace - Gracia

    Helen - Helena

    Hope - Esperanza

    Linda - Linda

    Lisa - (No specific correspondence, but as the diminutive of Elizabeth you may see it rendered as Isabel. Sometimes seen as Liliana or Maribel)

    Lorraine - Lorena

    Margaret - Margarita

    Mary - Maria

    Nancy - Inés

    Natalie - Natalia

    Patricia - Patricia

    Rachel - Raquel

    Rose - Rosa

    Roxanne/Roseanne - Rosana

    Sarah - Sara

    Sonya - Sonia

    Susan - Susana

    Violet - Violeta