This post was first published on my Tumblr on May 17, 2012, and is now updated with my experiences since then.
Ever had the problem of coming up with a name? Like, team names, names of your creations, titles for things etc.
Well, I think I’ve found a really useful method.
1. Make a list of awesome words that sound cheesy or unoriginal (eg. “Ace”, “Talking Robot Cat”)
2. Go to Google Translate and play around with the languages! You’ll get many different words in different languages so just choose one that feels awesome. If you do this correctly, the foreign name will now sound awesome without the cheesiness. Note that this probably only works for words or phrases. Sentences may not work because of the syntax.
Here’s an example I recently used for my school project.
Our job was to create and imaginary bank, so one of our tasks was to come up with a bank name. Before I found this method of translation, I was playing around with my group member’s surnames and initials, wanting to come up with a nice acronym for our bank name.
Needless to say, all my results were deemed unsatisfactory by our teacher, so it was back to the drawing board. Then I had this brilliant idea.
I started picking out words that made the bank sound awesome. Words like “safe”, “trustworthy”, “reliable” and “stable” were all options for me.
Going to Google Translate, I played around with the different languages, words and permutations until I finally found a suitable name: Betrodd.
In Norwegian, “Betrodd” means “Entrusted”. Also, I felt that the word “Betrodd” sounded solid and firm, both which reflect good qualities of a bank: reliable and stable.