Bilingual is Better

Santiago is Baby Center en Español most popular name 2011

Santiago, my baby boy’s name, is number one on BabyCenter en Español’s list of 2011′s most popular names… again! In fact, his name has been at the top of the list since BabyCenter en Español started compiling it back in 2007.

To be honest, I didn’t chose my son’s name because of its popularity. In fact, I never really knew about it being the most popular until a couple of years ago. He was born in 2009, but we had already chosen his name back in 2006 when I was pregnant with my daughter and we had thought she’d be a boy!

I feel kind of weird knowing that there are A LOT of children my son’s age, or close to it, bearing his same name, but I’ve loved the name for a very long, long time and from the moment I first met him, I couldn’t imagine another name for him.

In terms of the rest of boys’ names on the list, there are many in the top 20 that belong to children I know. In fact, four of those are the names of boys in my immediate family: Matías (godson), Alejandro (nephew), Gabriel (nephew) and Emmanuel (nephew). How crazy is that?

For girls, the top three names were Sofía, Isabella and Camila. Again, I have three nieces that bear those names. Not to mention that Camila is the name of Ana’s daughter.

As many of you know, choosing a name for a bilingual and bicultural child is no easy task. Before having children, I always knew I wanted their names to be as Latino as possible, but that they wouldn’t be mangled when pronounced in English. I never really cared for names in English and because of their very Latino last name, I didn’t think those would go together either way.

Many Latinos in this country deal with the same issue, as BabyCenter en Español found out, and they end up choosing bilingual names, which they describe as those that sound and are written similarly in both English and Spanish.

Check out the most popular baby names Latinos in the U.S. chose for their children in 2011.

Are the names of your kids in any of the lists? How did you choose your children’s names? 

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