While I was pregnant, we kept the name a secret from everyone, so it was never tested out. Of course we don’t have a problem pronouncing Chiara (KEY-are-ah) – one of the more popular girls’ names in Italy – and we just assumed that everyone else would be able to pronounce it fine, too.
I don’t know whether to laugh or wince when, at the doctor’s office, for example, the receptionist on duty calls out everything from Kiera to She-ierra to She-are-ah. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve politely had to say, “It’s Chiara – key-are-ah” – and even then, most people still don’t get it.
For a brief moment in time, I thought about officially changing her name to Claire – the English equivalent of Chiara. But by then, she was already our Chiara, and her name fits her just perfectly.
Here’s to hoping that our Chiara – that’s key-are-ah – comes to love teaching people how to say her name, the right way.