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Old 03-02-2008, 02:23 PM   #1
Callista
 
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Translating a name into Kanji?

Is there anyone who knows how to translate first names into Kanji? I know this doesn't really fit with Aikido Language, but I was wondering if anyone knows. Thanks.

Cailin Gerrans
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:29 PM   #2
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Many kanji to choose between

Anyone with a good understanding of kanji and the Japanese language can help you with that. There are many kanji to choose for any syllable, so the options are vast.

Many years ago, my former teacher Ichimura sensei half-jokingly wrote my name in kanji so that it meant: "He who opens his head with his hand, and takes out the brain." That's probably one way of describing my personality...

Another Japanese friend helped me to compose kanji for Stefan, so that it meant: "Throw away riches and security." Alas, I can relate to that, too.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:27 PM   #3
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Cailin Gerrans wrote: View Post
Is there anyone who knows how to translate first names into Kanji?
Why would you want to? The normal (and useful) method is to simply render your name phonetically in katakana. Every Japanese person who's made it past the first grade will be able to read it.

Using kanji for a non-kanji name, one that is not natively written with Chinese characters, strikes me as rather bizarre and defeating the purpose. If by "translate" you mean render phonetically using kanji (ateji), you need to realize two things. First, you have less phonetic option in kanji than you do with katakana. Second, unless both your name happens to work out such that it's pronounced like a native Japanese name and you pick appropriate kanji, it's going to be an unreadable random string of characters not even recognizable as a name. If hiragana and katakana are both good enough for native Japanese names (there are plenty of Japanese with native Japanese names written without kanji) why do you need kanji?

If by "translate" you mean to actually pick kanji based on the meaning of your name and ignoring pronunciation, that's just dumb. What would you think of a Japanese person that asked you to call him "Mr. Thousandleaves"?

Now, it's true that Japanese will often come up with ways to write foreigners names in kanji, like Stefan's examples (I have ateji for my given name, too), but it's much more along the line of a party game than an expectation that you'd actually use them. I've seen my students do the same with each other, coming up with clever or funny ways to write each other's names.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Maybe you could be 競輪. Do you like cycling?

One reason I came across for foreigners to write their names in kanji was for their hanko (personal seal). I know a German girl who put her name in kanji since it didn't fit on the seal in katakana. You could have an aesthetic (and possibly mnemonic) advantage in reducing your name to a couple of pretty personalised characters that fit on your hanko but it could also be a pain if no one can read them. Also you could look like you're proclaiming yourself to be something that people might disagree with (such as a cycling competition: kei-rin in kanji above).

I'm lucky. Even my katakana name has meaning in Japanese which accurately reflects my humour.

Best wishes,

Cheesy Snack

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Old 03-02-2008, 07:55 PM   #5
Callista
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Thanks guys Mainly, I was looking for some small way to personalize my Aikido gi. Definitely some interesting thoughts there, Carl-san.

Cailin Gerrans
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:05 PM   #6
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

My last name is Reyer, which is derived from German Reiher, meaning "heron". So for my hanko, I chose the closest equivalent: 鶴, tsuru, meaning "crane". (There aren't many, if any, hanko with the character for heron.)

For the embroidery on my keikogi, I go with ジョシュ, which is "Josh" in phonetic katakana. I find it plenty personalizes my keikogi, and also lets my Japanese dojo-mates know what to call me. If you can tell us how your name is phonetically pronounced, I'm sure myself or a number of others could tell you how it would be written in katakana.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:39 PM   #7
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
For the embroidery on my keikogi, I go with ジョシュ, which is "Josh" in phonetic katakana.
Why not ジャシュ? It's much closer phonetically.

I spent a few decades writing my name in kana as ジョシュア, but when I had to get some business cards printed up a few years ago with my name in kana, I decided to go with ジャシュア as an experiment. ジョシュア for Joshua and ジョン for John probably get chosen by native English speakers because in romaji they become "joshua" and "jon", even though they are pronounced "joe-shoe-ah" and "joan".

I had become very used to Japanese pronouncing my name that way, but over the last two years when I've handed a Japanese person my card with ジャシュア written on it, they've pronounced my name much more like a native English speaker, and it's actually been a bit of a shock to me.

I suppose to be really historically accurate, we should write our name the way the Joshua is written in the Old Testament in Japanese, which I think is ヨシュア.

Josh
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:40 PM   #8
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Josh Lerner wrote: View Post
Why not ジャシュ? It's much closer phonetically.
A couple reasons, the biggest being inertia. ジョシュア was how I was taught to write my name back in college, and it's just always been what I've used. I'm used to it as a name, so much so that if someone says something like, say, 女子, I'm inclined to turn my head as if someone's said my name. I have considered going with ジャシュ, but I have enough difficulty getting my mail properly addressed as it is. With ジョシュア, it's almost guaranteed to be spelled right in romaji, provided they use Hepburn style. I feel ジャシュ would lead to more confusion, and people will start writing notes and things to me with "Jash". (People who have heard my name in English, but not seen it written or pronounced in Japanese often do this anyway).

Quote:
I spent a few decades writing my name in kana as ジョシュア, but when I had to get some business cards printed up a few years ago with my name in kana, I decided to go with ジャシュア as an experiment. ジョシュア for Joshua and ジョン for John probably get chosen by native English speakers because in romaji they become "joshua" and "jon", even though they are pronounced "joe-shoe-ah" and "joan".
That's pretty much how it is with me, although it wasn't a case of me choosing it as much as following established convention, and now, just being used to it.

The real issue is my last name. It leads to conversations like this:

Me: I'm Joshu Raiyaa.

Japanese person: Raiyaa? Like "usotsuki" (liar)?

Me: No! The pronunciation is completely different! My name means "sagi" (heron).

Japanese person: Oh! (lengthy pause) Sagi like "fraud"?

Me: The BIRD!!

Quote:
I suppose to be really historically accurate, we should write our name the way the Joshua is written in the Old Testament in Japanese, which I think is ヨシュア.

Josh
Yup, that's how it's written. I like throwing folks for a loop by saying, "It's the same name that Jesus Christ had!" Their subsequent confusion allows me to spam them with a short course in cross-language phonological drift.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-03-2008, 11:29 PM   #9
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
I'm used to it as a name, so much so that if someone says something like, say, 女子, I'm inclined to turn my head as if someone's said my name.
That's funny - when I was there in high school, some of my classmates used to call me that because they knew it would drive me nuts.

Josh
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:43 AM   #10
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

So, to summarize, you are lying, fraudulent aquatic birds?


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Old 03-05-2008, 09:40 AM   #11
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Why not?.....My Shihan gave me a Kanji reading of my name to be placed on my... sleave....Ma ....hard work.....tsu ....tsunami I surf...and to... the southern cross because I am from Oz...
The kanji is deep and meaningful...I wear it proud.... don`t be discouraged.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:20 PM   #12
Callista
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Josh, My name is Cailin, as evidenced by my user info Its pronounced Kay-lin.

Cailin Gerrans
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:06 PM   #13
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Cailin Gerrans wrote: View Post
Josh, My name is Cailin, as evidenced by my user info Its pronounced Kay-lin.
Yes, I can quite clearly see how your name is written, but as someone with a commonly mispronounced last name, I wasn't going to assume how it was pronounced. It could have been "kai-lin" for all I knew.

There are a couple of ways to transliterate your name into katakana. I think

ケイリン

...looks the best.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:56 PM   #14
Callista
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita, Josh-san

Cailin Gerrans
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:17 PM   #15
Connor Haberland
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

You know, I could never figure out how to type it correctly, but as you can see from my avatar, I can write it correctly.

Connor Haberland, 1st dan.




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Old 03-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #16
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Cailin = 楷林

In japanese pronounce still kairin like katakana

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Old 03-11-2008, 08:34 PM   #17
Callista
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Thought I would show you the results Many thanks to Connor for the initial translation

My name embroidered along the lower portion of the gi jacket.


I embroidered O-Sensei's name on the front of the jacket.


My name embroidered on the gi pants

Cailin Gerrans
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:04 PM   #18
Connor Haberland
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

It looks awesome, but what exactly did I translate?

Connor Haberland, 1st dan.




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Old 03-14-2008, 04:15 AM   #19
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Connor Haberland wrote: View Post
It looks awesome, but what exactly did I translate?
高能 = kono

KamiKaze
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:54 AM   #20
Connor Haberland
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

im sorry but i dont recall......my memory isnt that good.

Connor Haberland, 1st dan.




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Old 03-14-2008, 05:40 PM   #21
Callista
 
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Quote:
Connor Haberland wrote: View Post
im sorry but i dont recall......my memory isnt that good.
I asked for my name translated into katakana which you did

Cailin Gerrans
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Old 03-15-2008, 04:37 AM   #22
KamiKaze_Evolution
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Actually, that "kono" is still japanese term

KamiKaze
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:05 AM   #23
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

I'd like mine to be "Kishan".

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:01 PM   #24
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Re: Translating a name into Kanji?

Sorry, my bad, that's Kishin- returning to the spirit of the Universe.

I don't know how to produce the kanji on this forum.

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Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
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