Japanese names

Japanese, general discussion on the language
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun 09.25.2005 9:00 pm
Location: South America

Japanese names

Post by tanuki » Thu 09.29.2005 10:48 pm


How are you doing?

Well, I have this question for you. I saw this Japanese name: Youko, and I was curious about how it was written. So I started writing the name in my Japanese Word Processor and of course I had the hiragana ようこ. However, I wanted to know which Kanji were used, but, surprise, there are dozens of ways to write it! 瑤子、楊子、遥己、頴子 .... just to name a few. So I was wondering...what do Japanese people do when they want their names to be written correctly? Let's imagine a girl named Youko who tells a guy her name so he can fill in an official paper for her. How would he say her name is Youko, but it's written this or that way? And how do Japanese people write names that they hear with many Kanji-options...in Hiragana?

Thanks in advance! Bye!

User avatar
Posts: 1200
Joined: Sun 05.29.2005 10:16 pm

RE: Japanese names

Post by zengargoyle » Fri 09.30.2005 12:58 am

you ask which kanji to use (if any) when you meet them and never forget!

seriously, they have names for the radicals that make up the kanji and names for the locations of the radicals within the kanji that they can use to narrow down the possibilities. like 'tree on the left (ki-hen), sun on the top over a pig' for 楊.

User avatar
Posts: 472
Joined: Fri 08.12.2005 3:54 pm

RE: Japanese names

Post by Kates » Fri 09.30.2005 8:42 am

A girl with the name Youko could also say something like:
"The YOU (kanji) is the YOU from XXX-word."

For example:
A girl named 葉子 (kanji: leaf, child) could say, "The YOU in my name is the kanj for 'leaf'" and the official would understand.

Regarding what zengargoyle said... Yes, there are names for all the radicals, but I don't think many Japanese use these terms to identify kanji. I imagine they would most often chose a second word and say, "my name uses the kanji from XXX" instead.
Last edited by Kates on Fri 09.30.2005 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply