, at any rate, it goes with pronunciation in South Africa
. I know of a woman named Noel
, pronounced the male/seasonal way; but I also know a couple of Noelle
women, all of whom sound like no-WELL. But if anyone here saw the name Noel Smith
, they'd assume he was a he.
South Africans are, historically, very bad at French. The default European language (apart from English and Afrikaans) taught in our high schools used to be overwhelmingly German
, not French. Now it's changing, because politically we are now open to Africa
, including the Francophone countries.
I've got a colleague, a working-class Afrikaans woman unlikely to have studied languages at school, whose name is Rene
. Just like that. (Nothing to do with Irene
... I asked! And it's pronounced like Renee
.) A friend of mine has named his equally Afrikaans son Rene
... most South African Rene/Renee people are female and use the -ee spelling (which I can't do properly in this program). But there are exceptions! And it used to be quite fashionable to name girls Helene
and pronounce it he-LEEN, though I haven't seen a young one for many years.Hope
All the best