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Surname transliteration to Kanji

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Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Xmax » Wed 04.20.2005 11:11 am

Hi all,

this is not actually about a translation, it's more about a transliteration.

I was just playing with my surname to see if it would make sense to transliterate it to Japanese using Kanji.
Fortunately, my surname is quite Japanese-looking: it's "Sanna" (and in Italian it is pronounced exactly as you would in Japanese).

I thought the most natural way is to split it in a two-Kanji compound, being the first "San", and the second "Na".

Looking for Kanji with such readings, I came across the following:

燦 (clear, vivid, bright, brilliant); Readings include サン and さん
名 (name, noted, distinguished, reputation); Readings include な

Moreover, I have seen that in compounds the former is usually in initial position while the latter in 2nd position, so it would be very natural to choose 燦名, and in such a case my surname in Kanji would mean something like "bright name" or "bright reputation" (wow, it sounds super-cool! B)B)B))

Now, my questions are:

* what is the chance that a native Japanese speaker would correctly spell my name as "sanna" just looking at those Kanji?

* any of you knows other "cool" Kanji that have either "san" or "na" as reading? (just looking for other combinations...)

* if I ever gave a Japanese a visit-card (I know how they are fond of them) with my surname written like that, would he/she appreciate it, or just have a huuuuge laugh at me? :@
Kind Regards,
Xmax
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RE: Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Diggity » Wed 04.20.2005 11:19 am

Of course someone like like Clay or Mukade would be much better at answering this question, but for everything I have READ about going to Japan, translating your name in kanji would be just for fun. If you actually presented yourself like that you would looked at funny. I think that you would present it in katakana only.
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RE: Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Xmax » Wed 04.20.2005 12:47 pm

Diggity wrote:
translating your name in kanji would be just for fun.


I wouldn't use that in a business context of course ;)

...and, do you mean "look at me funny" in a good or in a bad way?
I mean, as "that's a (nice) joke" :) or "what a silly person" :( ?

Kind Regards,
Xmax (1st and 2nd question still pending)
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RE: Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Diggity » Wed 04.20.2005 12:57 pm

I think they would laugh at you in a "not" good way.
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RE: Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Spaztick » Wed 04.20.2005 3:10 pm

If you're not Japanese, you wouldn't use kanji to spell your last name; it's considered an insult to them I think.
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RE: Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Mukade » Thu 04.21.2005 12:17 am

If you try to pass this off as your name, you will be laughed at, but if you show someone this name as a light-hearted joke, they will laugh with you.

There's nothing wrong with doing it, just don't take it seriously.

Thus, if you go through the trouble of printing up name cards with your kanji name on them, realize that they will be gag cards only...don't use them in a serious setting.

-----

As for how likely it would be for someone to be able to read your name properly:

Unlikely, since the character you've chosen for SAN (燦) is non-standard. I doubt many Japanese would be able to read that character at all...
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RE: Surname transliteration to Kanji

Postby Xmax » Thu 04.21.2005 4:36 am

Mukade wrote:
If you try to pass this off as your name, you will be laughed at, but if you show someone this name as a light-hearted joke, they will laugh with you.


Ok, got it. Thanks. (anyway, about light-hearted jokes... they would actually quite fit my temper :) )

Unlikely, since the character you've chosen for SAN (燦) is non-standard. I doubt many Japanese would be able to read that character at all...


I see.
Moreover, after doing some more research, I have seen that, if used in names, 燦 is usually read "Akira"... and I'm still not ready to nuke Tokyo in a giant energy bubble.

Kind Regards,
Xmax <-- better stop playing with Kanji, and start learning them ^^;
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