Are there any rules for spelling names in English that come from other languages?

My name is Maysam, and I spell it like that. But some people say it is Maeisam and such as that...

Is there a correct spelling? Do I have some choice in the matter? I would be grateful if you could tell me some appropriate English spelling conventions that would enable an English-language learner like myself to determine how to spell my name in English.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about English language and learning.
    – user20792
    Dec 12, 2015 at 19:21
  • 1
    i'm new to english, i wanna write down my name, shouldn't i know if there is a rule about spelling name's or not? guess i travel to US... shouldn't i be able to spell my name correctly? this isn't off topic!
    – senaps
    Dec 12, 2015 at 19:25
  • Meysam not every problem a learner has makes their question inherently on-topic for ELL. An ELLer may have problem reaching work, but that doesn't mean questions about transportation are on-topic here.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 12, 2015 at 20:28
  • Keeping in mind that when an English speaker hears or reads the name, they will try to use English rules to pronounce it. In your case, the pronunciation of "Maysam" may be easier.
    – user3169
    Dec 12, 2015 at 22:38
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    So for your information, you can spell your name anyway you want. That said,too many vowels together is not great, so: Maysam is probably better. aesthetically.
    – Lambie
    Nov 11, 2019 at 23:40

3 Answers 3


Well, in the end, it's YOUR name. It's completely up to you how you want to spell it. In fact, if you want to have a different name entirely, you can introduce yourself as a different name and people will call you that.

There are often different spellings of names. My name is Alex, but I've met an Alyx and an Alix.

Just spell it the way you want to. Completely up to you. I don't think anybody would go out of their way to spell your name in a different way to disagree with your spelling. Names are names.


It's completely fine, especially so with foreign names because there isn't necessarily a correct way to translate them a lot of the time.

Sometimes people may get annoyed with non-standard spellings of common English names, for example spelling "John" as "Jahn", it's still very common and more or less accepted.

The only problem would be if your name is legally recorded with a different spelling, as it may lead to confusion. If that is the case, I'd recommend getting your name changed to your preferred spelling.


I believe in most of the native English-based world, you may legally spell your name however you like. For example, the Chinese surname Zhang and Chang.

If it is a transliteration from a non-Latin alphabet language, there are probably guidelines for how the transliteration should be done, and these may change over time. For example:

The capital of China used to be called Peking, but now it is spelled Beijing although the Chinese have always pronounced it the same way for many centuries.

In an interesting case, one may recall that the artist formerly know as Prince, changed his name to a glyph:

Rules of pronunciation for the Latin transliteration would still apply.


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