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about japanese names . . .

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about japanese names . . .

Postby nikkori » Thu 03.03.2005 6:24 pm

I have a very big project due soon, and just to spice things up, I was thinking about putting my name in Japanese as a header (sort of like a watermark, I guess? graphic design experts, help me out). I can't use color, and I have this really pretty font, so . . . .

Anyway, this brings up the question of how to translate my name into Japanese. I could just go with a phonetic translation (my name is Heather) but I don't want to do that. I've heard that you can sort of pick the kanji for your name based on it's meaning, regardless of the pronounciation. Is that true? And if so, is there anything wrong with the name Tenhi, with the characters for heaven/sky and day? (My birthday is All Saint's Day, so my great-grandmother got my name from the word 'heavenly' . . . .)

Any help is appreciated~!
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RE: about japanese names . . .

Postby Mukade » Thu 03.03.2005 8:50 pm

Well, your name would be ヘザー in Japanese. You wouldn't use a kanji name (either phonetic or meaning-based) in Japan or when speaking with Japanese people. It would be as odd and silly as a Japanese person saying:

"Hi, my name is Takeshi, but when I speak English, I want people to call me George."

But, and this is purely for fun, many people who study Japanese try to find kanji for their name. In most instances, it's done by finding characters that fit the name phonetically. In rare (very rare) instances people may choose to use characters that fit the meaning of their name.

Keep in mind, though, that this is purely for fun, and would be regarded as a mildly interesting joke, at best. If you try to be serious when you present your "kanji name" to a Japanese, they will probably find you to be very, very dorky.
Last edited by Mukade on Thu 03.03.2005 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: about japanese names . . .

Postby nikkori » Fri 03.04.2005 2:15 pm

^^ Thank you!
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RE: about japanese names . . .

Postby danroddy » Mon 03.14.2005 8:16 pm

Hilariously though, one of the schools (small private style) in the area where I worked did just that. All the kids were given "proper" British English names to use in the classroom.


However, that practise is, I have been assured, not so unusual in Hong Kong where kids have two names. And plenty of kids we know that are "bi-cultural" have an Anglo-name and Japanese name or one that works both ways (like "Joe/Jo" or "Amy/Emi".

Not that that really fits.

I sign my name with the kanji "otoko" for the amusement of my mother-in-law; it plays to the old nickname "Dan the Man" (only funny when you realise the on-reading of "otoko" is "dan"). As you say, she thinks it very silly.
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RE: about japanese names . . .

Postby Darbai » Sat 03.19.2005 6:59 am

If you want to translate your western name into japanese this is a site for you;

But if it's just japanese names you are looking for I don't have a clue ;)
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