As a name “Suri” sounds unconventional and quite nice. Perhaps that’s why Hollywood’s star couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes named their daughter so. But how would they feel when they came to know that the word Suri means pickpocket in Japanese, “horse mackerels” in Italian, “red” or “fire” in Farsi and “turned sour” in French. David and Victoria Beckham have also muddled up somewhat with their son’s name Cruz, which in Spanish means ‘withers’ – the ridges between a horse’s shoulder-bones.
Generally most parents go the conventional way when it comes to naming their children, and many do check out the meanings of names at least in their own language. But with people increasingly getting interested in christening their babies with exotic sounding names, (probably inspired by the celebrities) it was just a matter of time before a service came into being to check out the various meanings that an unconventional name could have in different languages and contexts. Today Translation, a British company has began offering such a service. It will investigate the various meanings of unconventional names chosen by couples so that their children don’t end up with a name that might mean something negative or embarrassing in another language.
The company is charging about $1,700 for the service which it calls ‘Name Translation Audit’. It will involve the company’s linguists checking the meaning of the given name in 100 languages. The appeal of this service may not be restricted to people who would like to name their children unconventionally but also interest those who want the names to have substantial and positive meanings.