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Subject: Re: Noel/René as a female name?
Author: Anneza   (Authenticated as Anneza)
Date: May 24, 2007 at 5:49:35 AM
Reply to: Noel/René as a female name? by Minikui
For Noel, 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 that helps!

All the best

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