I want to change my name to Kristtorn, which, when pronounced in English, sounds like 'orn' as in horn (/ɔːn/), but I want to make it sound like 'kriston' (/krɪstɒn/).

However what I am wondering is if using a diaeresis/umlaut (also known as a tréma)difference between umlaut and diaeresis (which are the two dots placed above a letter) would make this work.

For example: The letter i becomes ï through the use of the diacritic.

This would be used with the 'o' in Kristtorn, to make Kristtörn.
So as the ö when pronounced in English sounds like "er" as in her (/əː/), what sound would this produce (when pronounced in English)?

Would it be 'kristen' (/krɪstən/) or possibly 'kriston' (/krɪstɒn/), given that the er sound and the 'r' after the 'ö' sound would come out that way when spoken aloud?

Also, does using the Ø vowel (or any other symbol) in any part of the word Kristtorn cause it to sound differently? Would the use of this vowel make the desired sound?

I'd love to hear what people come up with here, but mainly what I'm going for is some phonetic way of pronouncing the word as Kriston while keeping the original spelling of 'Kristtorn' intact.

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    If you spell your name Kristtörn, people who know German will pronounce it kristø̞ən (with a vowel that doesn't exist in English, but sounds more or less like kriston), and everybody else will ignore the umlaut and pronounce it kristorn. Nov 9, 2019 at 12:01
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    Thankyou Peter, that was very helpful. So what your saying is, only to those who speak German would pronounce it that way, but what about people from Scandinavia for example who also employ the use of this vowel? Also to everyone else who doesn't know this, would it be worth at least correcting them as they would be pronouncing the word incorrectly due to not knowing about the particular usage of this vowel? Nov 9, 2019 at 12:16
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    As @PeterShor says, most English speakers, unless they have studied foreign languages, ignore diacritics. I'm sure I've heard the company name Kärcher pronounced Kar-cher in TV commercials. The Scandinavian Ø is even less known. I think all you can do is explain how to pronounce your name every time you introduce yourself to someone who has seen it written down! Nov 9, 2019 at 12:38
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    I think the only thing you can do with spelling Kristtorn is accept the pronunciation with R; unless you want to repeatedly tell people "the R is silent" whenever they mispronounce it.
    – GEdgar
    Nov 9, 2019 at 13:22
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    Ive just thought of something, if I were to spell the name 'kristø̞ən' instead. Would this still translate as Kristtorn in Norwegian while keeping the near enough pronounciation of Kriston? Nov 9, 2019 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


Words and letters do not produce any sound, people do using their speech organs and the pulmonic airstream.

There doesn't seem to be any straightforward way to elicit the desired pronunciation /ˈkrɪstɒn/ through spelling, ton at the end of a person's name or in placenames is typically realized in a reduced form such as /tn̩/. Anything with an r will be mispronounced in rhotic varieties of English.

Perhaps Krist-On could work but I'm afraid yours will be the lot of Rupert Psmith, Wodehouse's character, that had to tell people how to pronounce his name and specify that the p was silent as in pshrimp.

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