Spanish Language/Spanish Names


I excelled in the basics of Spanish, and am tutoring several girls.  I need to know how the following names translate, and also is my name (April) a name that can be translated in Spanish?
Here is a list of the names I'm not sure how to translate:
Alicia, Allison, Alyssa, Ashley, Brittany, Chloe, Dana, Erin, Hayley, Heather, Heidi, Holly, Julianne, Kayla, Karissa, Kelly, Kirstie, Melissa, Natalie, Nicole, Sheila, Staci, Tracy, Whitney.


I would say that it usually isn't necessary to translate names into another language.  Many times it is just the pronunciation that varies slightly, and there are some names that have the same root and so are similar, although slightly different, across languages.

The month, April, is pronounced as "abril" (stress on the 2nd syllable), but it is not usually (if ever) a first name in Spanish.

Alicia exists in Spanish and is spelled the same, although it would be pronounced differently (a-LEE-seea).

Allison is not common as a name in Spanish, but it can be understood and pronounced, though it would be written with just one "l" so as not to violate Spanish pronunciation of the double "l".  Also, stress would go on the first syllable, so you could write it like this (Álison).

Alyssa can be pronounced with no problems in Spanish (as can Karissa. (Both with the Spanish "i" sound).

Ashley is actually becoming more common as a name in Spanish, so people recognize it and can pronounce it with no problems. (Stress on the first syllable)

Julianne would change to Juliana and Natalie would be Natalia.  Melisa is a common name in Spanish as well.

The other names on the list don't have a real translation into Spanish, so you would just have to try to pronounce them using the Spanish rules for pronunciation, or you could have your students to choose a new name in Spanish.

Maybe you'll find this list interesting; it shows some of the most common names for women in Chile, according to the "registro civil" that has all the new birth certificates. :)

Saludos y suerte,


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Brandee Strickland


I can answer questions about the Spanish language itself, as I studied Spanish academically and also spent a significant amount of time living in Chile (as a teacher of English). I can also help with issues of translation, and with interpreting slang or other cultural anecdotes. As an experienced teacher, of both EFL and Spanish, I can answer questions as well about teaching, classroom practice, and the use of technology.


I am a native speaker of English but have studied Spanish since a young age, as well as living in Chile for 5 years. I learned Spanish as a student myself, and have also taught introductory and intermediate level Spanish courses both privately and at the University level. At the graduate level, I have studied linguistics and sociolinguistics, as well as focusing on language teaching and the use of technology in the classroom.

University of Calgary, Canada; Universidad de Concepcion, Chile

Strickland, B., & O'Brien, M. G. (2013). A Review of the Literature on Technology in Second and Foreign Language Learning. Calgary: University of Calgary. Strickland, B. (Summer 2012). Communities of practice in the language classroom: Theory and reality. ETAS Journal. Strickland, B. (2009). De Gardner a Bajtin: La comunicacion mediada por ordenador y su impacto en la clase de lenguas. University of Calgary (Canada), ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. MR54572. Strickland, B. (2009). El mito de Narciso en la poesía española de los Siglos de Oro. Espéculos: Revista de estudios literarios, 40.

I have an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Psychology from Bowdoin College in the U.S. I completed an M.A. in Spanish and Second Language Acquisition and a PhD dissertation in the same field, both at the University of Calgary in Canada and currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Universidad de Concepción in Concepción, Chile.

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