Man Sparks Debate After Saying He Doesn’t Want to Pronounce His Daughter’s Name With Mexican ‘Accent’

Choosing the perfect baby name can be challenging for parents. There are several factors to consider as the child’s name becomes part of their identity. One bicultural couple settled on their daughter’s name, but they faced other problems.

The child’s father turned to Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” for advice. He began by sharing some background information about him and his wife and their blended cultural backgrounds.

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“My wife and I have been married for 7 years. We’re in our mid-30s. My wife is Mexican-American (born in America, speaks some Spanish but not fluently at all) and I’m white,” he wrote.

While it was easier for them to choose their newborn daughter’s name, the pronunciation is where they had an issue.

The couple named their newborn daughter Camila, but fought over the origins of the name

“Our daughter is 3 months old. Her name is Camila. My wife and I both liked the name so it was a really quick decision. My wife always pronounced it with a Mexican accent, I always pronounced it with an American accent,” he explained.

Family Education states, “Camila is the Italian, Portuguese and Spanish form of the name Camilla.” The forename is one of many monikers whose spelling and pronunciation differ in English and Spanish. Additionally, the user said his wife never had an issue with the name and expressed her grievance out of “nowhere.”

“Out of nowhere, my wife said last month that I should pronounce Camila’s name the Mexican/Spanish way to honor her heritage,” the concerned husband continued. “I think this is ridiculous because Camila is a name in BOTH cultures and so we should be able to pronounce it in our own respective cultures.”

His wife has accused him of “erasing” Camila’s Mexican heritage

The user told members in the forum he wanted his daughter to share both cultures with the pronunciation of her name. However, his wife accused him of purposely “erasing” Camila’s heritage.

“I think this is ridiculous because Camila is a name in BOTH cultures and so we should be able to pronounce it in our own respective cultures. It’s not like I would make my wife pronounce it with an American accent only,” he said. “My wife says I am erasing my daughter’s history.”

The user also insinuated that his wife isn’t a real Latina. Saying she “barely speaks Spanish” despite having two Mexican parents who speak the language fluently. 

“I think it’s silly because my wife barely speaks Spanish after growing up with two Mexican parents from Mexico, Camila definitely won’t because she has one parent who can kinda-sorta speak Spanish,” he said.

He then questioned whether his daughter would genuinely connect with her Mexican roots. “Who knows how much of a connection she’ll feel to Mexican culture,” the user said.

The internet jumped in to share their opinions of the user’s AITA thread

The user’s thread received nearly 700 comments, with NTA (Not The A**hole) votes from Redditors.

“NTA. I’m Hispanic and have a name that has both a Spanish and English pronunciation. My friends and family use both and honestly I usually don’t notice. There are other, more significant ways to acknowledge your culture,” one person commented.

Another agreed, “Your daughter shares as much of your heritage as she does her mother’s. One does not trump the other.”

“But if he wants to pronounce Camila the American way, he has the right to. It’s not about how easy it is to pronounce it the other way; it’s about being forced to pronounce it the other way because his wife thinks her heritage is superior,” another chimed in.

However, a few users pointed out how easily the name can be pronounced with the accent. They also questioned why the user was making a big deal about it.

“You named her Camila, not Camilla. It’s sort of weird that you haven’t talked about it til now but it’s an easy name to pronounce. Ca-mee-la. I think you’re being deliberately obtuse about it,” one commenter said.

Another had a similar sentiment, “So bizarre that this wasn’t discussed before the baby was born. Also, it is literally not a hard name to pronounce with a Spanish accent. Like you could be whiter than rice and still do it.”

“Also weird to add an unnecessary declaration that his Latina daughter will never speak Spanish but uh I’m sure that’s relevant somehow,” a third person quipped.

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