Translation for names.
How to write your English name in Japanese
Today's Japanese lessons is to learn Japanese
In Japanese, you can render your name phonetically, making
use of the katakana, hiragana or even kanji.
- Kanji script are always used for their meanings exclusively.
script are primarily used for words whose kanji are excessively
difficult and obscure, as ending for some
kanji based words and for particles.
- Katakana scripts are
used mainly for foreign words and to emphasize native
words, serving a role similar to that played
by italics in English.
The most popular script for Westerners is the kanji.
In Japanese, we normally tranlate English names
either in Katakana or Kanji, but many Westerners prefer to
have their names in Japanese kanji which retain both the pronunciation
and the original meaning of their name.
Japanese name and English name translation
Unlike the English name translation, Japanese people used
kanji only as phonetic symbols, with no regard for their
acutual meaning, when translating names in Japanese,
For example, a simple word like 体 (Karada)
can aslo be written with other combination of kanji characters
like, 華羅陀 (Ka - flower, ra - change, and da - buddha),
whose meanings bear no relevance at all to the intended
This method actually applies for the Japanese name translation.
of Japanese Translation for names.
When Japanese people translate names, we choose
from four different types of Japanese translation called:
- Kana Translation
- Purely Phonetic Translation
- Purely Penotative translation
- Purely denotative translation
- Phonetic and Eulogistic translation
Kana Translation is used to
write English names in Japanese Katakana script, and is the
standard method of writting English names in Japanese.
For example, if we write Tom in Japanese Katakana, you just
pick up the Katakana characters from the 45
Katakana chart whose sound is "To" and "Mu".
Very easy, isn' it?
Purely Phonetic Translation
is to write characters by the sound, and ignore the meaning.
Normally, this translation is used for writting names in Kanji.
With Kanji, there are 2 types of reading.
One is Onyomi and second one is Kunyomi.
The onyomi has developed from the original Chinese
over the centuries it has been adapted to and become part
of the Japanese language.
On the other hand, the kunyomi is native Japanese word.
So, for example, if we write Tom in Japanese
kanji, we combines Kanji characters whose sounds "To"
and "Mu", but with this Japanese translation, we
would not care about the meaning of Japanese names written.
Purely Penotative translation
is unlikely used in Japanese translation for names, but this
method of translating names is very similar to the way of
translating names in English.
Rather than the sound of characters, it focuses on preserving
the meaning of the name.
denotative translation - This is
the method which sorely on preseving the meaning of the original
English name. To be able to do a denotative rendering, it
is necessary to know the original meaning of the Englihsh
For example, it we translate Edward with this method, and
the original meaning of Edward is rich guardian, we simply
translate rich guardian into Japanese kanji symbols, 富裕保護者.
However, this method is NOT used even for Japanese names.
Phonetic and Eulogistic Translation
is the mostly used for Japanese name translation.
It is the Japanese translation which translate names into
Japanese kanji symbols that has sound and meaning.
For example, to write Tom by using the Phonetic
and Eulogistic Translation, we have chosen the Japanese kanji
of Fighting and Samurai. The fighting Kanji symbol has the
"To" sound, and Samurai kanji symbol has the "Mu"
sound when both are read as kun yomi.
So, in this case, Tom has the meaning of "a fighting
But, because it is possible for many different
kanji to have the same sound,
each name can have a variety of possible kanji combination.
Another example is the following.
In this case, we have chosen the Kanji symbol whose meaing
is Boss in Japanese.
So, Tom has the meaning of "a Samurai Boss"
However, this is only applicable to kanji scritp,
but not Katakana Script.
Because there are only 45 Katakana characters which has only
For more information about Japanese Translation,
the best website we would recommend is Japanese