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Ecosamurai
11-06-2006, 08:23 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering if anyone out there with soem knowledge of kanji could help me out. In a few years from now once I leave Aberdeen I'll be moving to a place called Hawkshead (well, to a hamlet very nearby if you want to be really precise).

Anyway it occurred to me that unlike a lot of English names, if I were to start a dojo there then it would be relatively easy to translate Hawkshead directly into Japanese for a potential dojo name, that and have some proper kanji for it too :)

I'm having trouble with the Kanji part though. Any help? What would you say would be Hawks-head ?

Mike

Laurel Seacord
11-07-2006, 06:06 AM
How about Takasaki (鷹崎)or Takamisaki (鷹岬)?The "head" is a headland, right?

Ecosamurai
11-07-2006, 06:55 AM
Thanks for the help, I'd got as fara as taka, but the last part was confusing me :)

Yes its a headland of sorts, though not a very obvious one. which would make it Takamisaki? Not too sure... I soooo prefer just the 26 letters I know best...

Mike

kokyu
11-09-2006, 08:55 AM
How about 鷹の頭? [taka no kashira]
(gives it a rustic feel, the type of name I would expect to see in a Japanese countryside)

Carl Thompson
11-20-2006, 12:53 AM
Your dojo idea sounds great. I’m from relatively close by in Carlisle and I’m always stuck for somewhere to train back home. I won’t be home for a while, but I would love to see the place when it’s finished, whatever you call it.

I can’t really improve on the direct translation of 鷹の頭. How about keeping it in English but spelling it out phonetically in Japanese like this:

鳳 ho- : mythical Firebird God
区 ku : ward or district (I was thinking Lake District)
巣 su : nest
兵 hei : soldier/ warfare/strategy 
道dou : way as in aikido

Maybe not… I’m not sure if I got the readings work well in compound, but you get the idea…

Ecosamurai
11-20-2006, 05:40 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, any dojo will be at least 2 years away (summer 2008 is when we move there) and is likely to only consist of mats on a church hall floor.

Cheers

Mike

kokyu
11-29-2006, 05:26 AM
鳳 ho- : mythical Firebird God
区 ku : ward or district (I was thinking Lake District)
巣 su : nest
兵 hei : soldier/ warfare/strategy 
道dou : way as in aikido

Maybe not… I'm not sure if I got the readings work well in compound, but you get the idea…

Actually, Japanese have katakana for transcribing foreign words, i.e. they don't use Kanji to spell things out phonetically (they did historically, but the characters became hiragana and katakana), so this method looks a bit unnatural from the Japanese viewpoint.

On the other hand, using Kanji to spell things out phonetically is used in Chinese, e.g. tank becomes 坦克 (tanke), clone becomes 克隆 (kelong) and David becomes 大卫 (dawei)

Carl Thompson
11-30-2006, 08:17 PM
Actually, Japanese have katakana for transcribing foreign words, i.e. they don't use Kanji to spell things out phonetically (they did historically, but the characters became hiragana and katakana), so this method looks a bit unnatural from the Japanese viewpoint.

On the other hand, using Kanji to spell things out phonetically is used in Chinese, e.g. tank becomes 坦克 (tanke), clone becomes 克隆 (kelong) and David becomes 大卫 (dawei)

;) You're quite right: Loanwords, onomatopoeia, scientific words and words that just need emphasised or written clearly, tend to be written in katakana. However, there's nothing wrong with using kanji for names, right? For example Peking 北京, Taiwan 台湾, Hannah 花 etc.You'll have seen plenty of non-Japanese sensei with their names rendered in kanji on the mat. In Japan, foreigners can have their hanko (personal seals) written in romaji, katakana or kanji, although the tendency is towards katakana. I'm no native speaker though, so if I'm missing something from the Japanese viewpoint, I'd be interested to know.

I agree; my suggestion of writing "hawkshead" phonetically was pants :D . Your suggestion was much better. I have one question though -- why kashira over atama? I know the reading, but I just wondered if there was a particular reason for using the more unusual kashira. I get the impression it might be a bit more 動物っぽい which would be appropriate.

kokyu
12-01-2006, 09:18 PM
I have seen foreign students with their name rendered phonetically in Kanji rather than katakana on their dogi/hakama. However, from what I've observed, the majority tend to render their names in katakana. Rendering one's name in Kanji makes it look more 'native' and fortunately, characters with nice meanings are chosen for the phonetic rendition :) One problem with rendering the name in Kanji is that it may be open to different pronunciations... so unless the reader is relatively familiar with foreign names, she may not be clear on the intended name. Also, some Chinese surnames use characters not often seen in Japanese, so they can be a bit hard to read... My training partners have often asked me how to read the Kanji for my surname :p

On rendering place names in Kanji, I suspect it has something to do with familarity. Where I live, the English names for some places have been transcribed from the original Chinese names. In other words, the names of these places were originally written in Kanji. However, when Japanese living in this country write about those places in their community newspaper, they use the phonetic transcription, rather than Kanji. I guess it's because the Kanji names for these places are not well known outside the country (or by the Japanese living here) On the other hand, references to places like Taiwan or China are usually written using Kanji as these are more well known.

As to why I suggested kashira rather than atama... well... it sounds more artistic (also, one would tend to remember a name with a slightly unusual reading) As you know, kashira has a second meaning of group chief (the first meaning being the part of the body). So, taka no kashira has a double meaning - i.e. the head of the hawk and chief of hawks ;) On the other hand, atama tends to refer specifically to the physical body part or the mind.

I guess you may have to ask somebody like Akiyama san to tell us what he feels when he hears [taka no atama] and [taka no kashira]

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-01-2006, 09:27 PM
The most popular exception to not using phonetic kanji is ladies' names. The most popular obfuscatory approach is mens' names :-) Nowadays it is fairly normal to see a family with three children to use kanji, hiragana and katakana for the children's names. So actually, if you wish to use strange characters, it won't appear much out of place.

kokyu
12-01-2006, 09:54 PM
The most popular exception to not using phonetic kanji is ladies' names. The most popular obfuscatory approach is mens' names :-) Nowadays it is fairly normal to see a family with three children to use kanji, hiragana and katakana for the children's names. So actually, if you wish to use strange characters, it won't appear much out of place.

That's interesting. I know a number of ladies write their given name in hiragana. However, writing children's names in katakana is new to me... are their names also registed in katakana?

I do know that some celeberities are referred to using katakana, e.g. ビートたけし or キムタク... but their original names are rendered in Kanji.

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-01-2006, 10:36 PM
Yes, they'd be registered as such. Here is an example from a family that owns the Mitsuhashi sports stores in Kansai (they also belong to a quite outlandish religious sect popular among the filthy rich, but that's another story!): 令子 , りえ and ルミ .

kokyu
12-02-2006, 08:44 AM
Yes, they'd be registered as such. Here is an example from a family that owns the Mitsuhashi sports stores in Kansai (they also belong to a quite outlandish religious sect popular among the filthy rich, but that's another story!): 令子 , りえ and ルミ .

Hmmm... that's very interesting. I didn't know the usage of katakana for children's names had become common... and the Japanese government would allow names for native Japanese to be registered in katakana...

Kent Enfield
12-02-2006, 07:28 PM
I didn't know the usage of katakana for children's names had become commonI don't know about common. Up here in inaka Tohoku, at my junior high and it's feeder schools, both elementary and kindergarten, none of the kids have names written with katakana, and only a few girls (all from the same family) use hiragana.

The "complaint" the some of the older staff have made is that the use of very rare readings is becoming popular, so that they sometimes don't know how to read a kid's name without the furigana.

Carl Thompson
12-03-2006, 08:17 PM
However, when Japanese living in this country write about those places in their community newspaper, they use the phonetic transcription, rather than Kanji. I guess it's because the Kanji names for these places are not well known outside the country (or by the Japanese living here) On the other hand, references to places like Taiwan or China are usually written using Kanji as these are more well known.

I guess Taiwan and Peking (Beijing) are "safe" but other words and names with Chinese characters aren't. Look at 手紙 Tegami. In Japanese it means "letter". In Chinese, I believe it means "toilet paper". That's one reason for putting stuff into katakana.

As to why I suggested kashira rather than atama... well... it sounds more artistic (also, one would tend to remember a name with a slightly unusual reading) As you know, kashira has a second meaning of group chief (the first meaning being the part of the body). So, taka no kashira has a double meaning - i.e. the head of the hawk and chief of hawks ;) On the other hand, atama tends to refer specifically to the physical body part or the mind.

It's an interesting subject. My level of Japanese is "okay", but I wasn't clear on the nuance of the extra meaning behind kashira. I know gang bosses use it. I mentioned it to a Japanese friend and it seems like you got the right idea. Cool

One problem with rendering the name in Kanji is that it may be open to different pronunciations... so unless the reader is relatively familiar with foreign names, she may not be clear on the intended name.

Kanji may have several different pronunciations (e.g.: The character生 has twenty readings) but there are rules. When it's an unusual reading, they use furigana. A lot of girls use hiragana for their given names, but nowadays kanji is becoming the norm. It also happens that there are quite a few Japanese people who have katakana in their names, especially really old Japanese ladies. You sometimes see them on the news when they do segments on remote country areas which are full of people over the age of a hundred. I was interested to read about the family in Kansai.

In the case of foreigners, some people have names that are too long to fit on a hanko in katakana or romaji, so it's a lot more convenient to put their names in kanji. Others just like it. For example, a German friend here has Ri-Hi-Ta李陽多 on her official hanko.

In my case, I'm happy with "Kaaru" in katakana, since it's gairaigo for "Curl" and is also the name of a cheesy snack. :D

Peter Seth
12-04-2006, 06:52 AM
Hi Carl. How are things in the land of 'WA'.
Hope all well. The uni class is still meandering along doing some neat things - bit quiet around assignment times but will pick up after christmas. All best to everyone for christmas and a happy, healthy new year.
Peter.
PS: whats 'prefferred' japanese character/s for my name - never did find out. While your at it 'meandering' as well - describes my path through life at the mo. See loads of things I would miss if I were striding purposefully.

Carl Thompson
12-04-2006, 07:05 PM
Peter Sensei!

The land of Wa is proving awesome as usual. I hope the university club is doing well.

I dunno about ‘preferred' kanji, but I'll have a go. "Piitaa" is difficult. I can't think of anything for the "pi".

I want to write秘意多
秘 = (HI) Secret (Can we read it as PI anyone?)
意 = (I) Ideas, meaning
多 = (TA) Many
Does anyone know if this is okay? Or does it make him a heater?

Your surname "Sesu" has more options.

How about 世守?
世= (SE)Generation, the world, society
守= (SU) Protect, guard or defend

Can anyone else think of anything?

Peter Seth
12-05-2006, 06:33 AM
Thanks carl. Unfortunately my computer at work cant translate your kanji - just getting ==. maybe I deserve it for working in the education system?
Enjoy
Peter

Erick Mead
12-05-2006, 08:10 AM
PS: whats 'prefferred' japanese character/s for my name - never did find out. 岩 石 ?? (Ganseki= Rock) Its the root of "Peter." If you physically fit the profile - great, if you are a willowy, reedy guy -- even better.

Seth was an egyptian trickster god.

The natural one for this is Kitsune 狐 -- the fox yokai.

Ganseki Kitsune. "Rock Fox." Probably sounds like an aboriginal manga character ...

The more appropriate trickster figure for Aikido, though, is Susano-o 須佐之男命, who made a sword out of the dragon's own tail. Probably over the top though ...

kokyu
12-07-2006, 05:42 PM
It also happens that there are quite a few Japanese people who have katakana in their names, especially really old Japanese ladies.
That's new to me too... Would you mind telling us the history behind those ladies having katakana in their names?
I want to write秘意多
秘 = (HI) Secret (Can we read it as PI anyone?)
意 = (I) Ideas, meaning
多 = (TA) Many
Does anyone know if this is okay? Or does it make him a heater?

I don't think 秘 is pronounced as [pi] when it starts a word... In Chinese, Peter is written as 彼得

Carl Thompson
12-07-2006, 06:50 PM
That's new to me too... Would you mind telling us the history behind those ladies having katakana in their names?

I'm curious as to the origins of this myself. I'll ask around.

I don't think 秘 is pronounced as [pi] when it starts a word... In Chinese, Peter is written as 彼得

I think 彼 might have the same problem as 秘 at the start of a word in Japanese. In fact, I just looked in the dictionary and could only find one "pi"- word starting with a kanji: 併音 pinyin which refers to the Chinese romanisation system. It was marked as "irregular kanji usage" so it seems like there aren't any kanji that would normally start a word with "pi" in Japanese.

Peter Seth
12-08-2006, 06:48 AM
Hi all. 岩 石 ?? (Ganseki= Rock) Its the root of "Peter." If you physically fit the profile - great, if you are a willowy, reedy guy -- even better.

Seth was an egyptian trickster god.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Still only receiving == symbols. Anyway - seth is also an old biblical name - the third son of adam. Cain, Abel & Seth. I think he was the quiet one. Also an old indian (asian) name, a russian name, an old english name = 'dweller by the bog/swamp/marsh' - sounds appropriate!!
Have tried those family tree people, no joy so far, they cant find a link to anything substantial?
Thanks for all your efforts.
Peter