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Kanji names

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Kanji names

Postby shiohigari » Fri 06.08.2007 12:02 am

Well, I'd just like to know if any of you gaijins use Kanji for your names. Is it a cool thing to do? Like, if a Japanese friends gives you Kanji for your name, does that mean that he or she thinks you're ok, cool etc? ~ or that you've reached some level of Japanese proficiency that you are part Japanese?!?

A Japanese friend of mine gave me a birthday present. Chopsticks with my name engraved on them in Kanji. I love them!! I think it's one of the best presents I've ever received! :)

I know of some people who use Kanji for their names and the meaning of the characters is not all that complimentary. For example, a mate called Brenton uses 不恋豚 !! He doesn't know any Japanese! I guess that's obvious! HAHA!
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RE: Kanji names

Postby doinkies » Fri 06.08.2007 12:32 am

Most gaijin don't, mainly because unlike, say, Chinese, foreign names are generally not written in kanji but katakana. Only people who've naturalized have the option to pick kanji that somehow fit with the pronunciation of their name, and naturalization's a rare occurrance...also, many people pick some rather weird kanji for their names, and it looks rather weird to most Japanese people to have some obviously non-Asian person use kanji for their names. Certainly, 不恋豚 would probably get this Brenton person laughed at. :p
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RE: Kanji names

Postby AJBryant » Fri 06.08.2007 1:06 am

Certainly, 不恋豚 would probably get this Brenton person laughed at.


Sure would. Who doesn't like porkchops, afterall? ;)


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RE: Kanji names

Postby b4d0m3n » Fri 06.08.2007 2:18 am

AJBryant wrote:
Certainly, 不恋豚 would probably get this Brenton person laughed at.


Sure would. Who doesn't like porkchops, afterall? ;)


Tony


Chumps, that's who. :D
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Kashin » Fri 06.08.2007 2:50 am

I wonder...it might be stupid, but if you found out what your name means in it's original language and then used the Kanji for that meaning? I know some wouldn't work, like mine (Michael) but some might.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Mike Cash » Fri 06.08.2007 5:08 am

It a common, asinine, yet perfectly harmless affectation.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby shiohigari » Fri 06.08.2007 5:35 am

Kashin wrote:
I wonder...it might be stupid, but if you found out what your name means in it's original language and then used the Kanji for that meaning? I know some wouldn't work, like mine (Michael) but some might.


I found a website that does this. It translates the word as it puts it, which means finding the meaning of the name and putting it into Japanese. Obviously some names don't have any meaning, and they remain in Katakana.

Have a look here if you're interested http://www.takase.com/Names/NameInJapanese.htm

I'd prefer a Kanji for the pronunciation of my name rather than meaning. I know some names don't "fit" Kanji well, but there are many names which are European and also Japanese eg Erika, Emiri (Emily), Naomi, and plenty of names that are phonetically the same in Japanese as English. Mine is one of those! And I'm happy to use my Kanji. I don't use it all the time, but when writing to close friends etc, I sometimes use it.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby AJBryant » Fri 06.08.2007 11:56 am

I wonder...it might be stupid, but if you found out what your name means in it's original language and then used the Kanji for that meaning? I know some wouldn't work, like mine (Michael) but some might.


Names are not words. They are NAMES.

Just look at Japanese to see how that would work. "Hi, my name is Middle-paddy Steel-man. This is my wife Snow-child, and our sons Fat-boy, Study, and our daughter Polite-child."

Names are not WORDS. Trying to "create" Japanese names using the meaning of your real name looks just as stupid in Japanese.

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RE: Kanji names

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 06.08.2007 2:04 pm

either way I do it. my first name always come up stupid.. Morgan = mo gan = hair cancer. Kelly = ke ri= just plain stupid..

now if you use the meanings. Kelly = coastal warrior, Morgan = morning = Pirate.. arrrghhhh.. now if i can just get Pirate into appropriate kanji that says "Morgan Kelly" then it's all good
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Kashin » Fri 06.08.2007 5:15 pm

Hmm. So I went to that website. Not so sure if "神性" would be appropriate for me to use. I don't think I'd label myself "divine" in any language let alone Japanese.

I would much rather use Katakana than anything. Which brings up a question: For a gaijin in Japan, how does he write his checks or sign his signature? Would he use katakana? Or would he use his signature in his own language?
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RE: Kanji names

Postby shiohigari » Fri 06.08.2007 8:06 pm

Kashin wrote:
For a gaijin in Japan, how does he write his checks or sign his signature? Would he use katakana? Or would he use his signature in his own language?


Well, when I was a gaijin in Japan I signed my name with either my own language or Katakana. If it was at the post office, immigration or town hall, I'd always use my 'normal' signature. In order to get a bank account, I needed to have an inkan 印鑑(name stamp). For some strange reason the inkan making people wouldn't put my name in Katakana. I think maybe it was because it was too long, and wouldn't be clear, so I used a Kanji for my first name. A Friend of mine at the same place of employment had the surname Ravensborg. The Inkan shop made their stamp with the Kanji 鳥城。 Go figure!!

By the way, my surname is ガンバリ and I've been told by Japanese people that I could write it in Kanji (頑張り) and sometimes I joke with them that because I am 頑張り I will 頑張ります! It certainly gets their interest and is a talking point when I meet new Japanese people. They say it's a great name for someone learning the language. But seriously I wouldn't use it.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 06.08.2007 9:48 pm

From what I always heard, it is not legal for foreigners to use anything but katakana for their name on official documents. This even applies to foreigners of Japanese descent or Chinese people with names that can be written in kanji.

Hmm. So I went to that website. Not so sure if "神性" would be appropriate for me to use.


It would not. That would produce one of two reactions from Japanese people -- laughter, or confusion. I think you would have a very hard time convincing people that you were serious about wanting to be called that.

Just use katakana, people, seriously. Look at what Tony posted. If a Japanese person came to you and said "My name is Temple-Paddy Snow Child", what would be your reaction? Would you be impressed with their desire to embrace American culture, or would you have a hard time not laughing in their face? That is the same way someone would react to a foreigner who seriously tried to use a "name" like 神性 in Japan.
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Fri 06.08.2007 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby doinkies » Fri 06.08.2007 11:05 pm

Yudan Taiteki wrote:
Hmm. So I went to that website. Not so sure if "神性" would be appropriate for me to use.


It would not. That would produce one of two reactions from Japanese people -- laughter, or confusion. I think you would have a very hard time convincing people that you were serious about wanting to be called that.

Just use katakana, people, seriously. Look at what Tony posted. If a Japanese person came to you and said "My name is Temple-Paddy Snow Child", what would be your reaction? Would you be impressed with their desire to embrace American culture, or would you have a hard time not laughing in their face? That is the same way someone would react to a foreigner who seriously tried to use a "name" like 神性 in Japan.


Exactly, that sort of "naming" sounds doinky. Names are not meant to be "translated"...for instance, my real name means "white wave", but I don't go around introducing myself as 白波, because it's not a name in Japanese! It is the word for "white-crested waves", and isn't used as a name.

Just as someone named 松山愛 doesn't call themselves "Pine-Mountain Love" when speaking in English, someone named, say, Michael Smith shouldn't call themselves 「誰が神のような人ですか・鍛冶屋」 or 「大天使・鍛冶屋」.
Last edited by doinkies on Fri 06.08.2007 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
あなたが好きだと言ったこの街並みが
今日も暮れてゆきます
広い空と遠くの山々 二人で歩いた街
夕日がきれいな街
-森高千里 「渡良瀬橋」
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Kashin » Sat 06.09.2007 1:42 am

It reminds me of the Mongolian exchange student i was friends with this past year. He would ask people what their name meant. I don't think Americans really have any idea what their names mean unless they look it up. I've always understood that eastern cultures name kids with different meanings within the language, whereas westerners name their kids based on tradition or popularity, without knowing the actual meaning from the original language.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby shiohigari » Sun 06.10.2007 9:18 am

Yes, Kashin, I'd agree with your comments. I think Japanese and other eastern cultures name their children according to meaning, and choosing from the 2500 or so Kanji which are allowed to be used for names in the case of Japanese. And in the West names are given just cause they sound nice or are liked. Very few westerners would know the meanings of names, except maybe some Biblical ones.
Last edited by shiohigari on Sun 06.10.2007 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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