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I have the following sentence I need to translate for my intro Japanese class.

私の友達の名前は、安田味子さんといいます。

There are 2 parts I am having trouble with.

First, the name translation. I think it should be something like Mr/Ms Yasuda Ajiko. When I type "Yasuda" in hiragana, my computer translates it to the correct kanji. However, the "Ajiko" doesn't get the right kanji, making me think that it is not the correct translation.

The second issue is the sentence as a whole. I know the first part is "the name of my friend". And then the second part I think is "say it is Yasuda Ajiko". But these 2 parts of the sentence don't really go together into a good English sentance. "I say the name of my friend is Yasuda Ajiko"?

Any help is appreciated.

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(1) first names are only recognized by your IME in the most standard cases. (2) I have never heard 味子 before, but I'd tend to read it みこ. –  Earthliŋ May 4 '13 at 19:29
    
中国語の"我的名字叫~"に似てる・・・?? –  Choko May 5 '13 at 0:13
    
@ちょこれーと 確かにそやけど、中国語でのおても、もっと英語に近いロマンス諸語でも全部この形を取りまんねんで。 –  非回答者 Dec 12 '13 at 0:11
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

味子(あじこ?) is such a weird name... As user1205~-san has pointed out in his/her comment it might be read as みこ. I'd rather expect みこ (as a girl's name) to be spelled as 美子, 実子 or something, though.

The といいます (its plain form is という) means "と呼ばれている", "to be called/named". See No.1 in goo辞書「という」

私の友達の名前は、安田味子さんといいます。

might look redundant but actually we often use 「~~の名前は~~といいます」, and I don't think it's regarded ungrammatical.

私の友達の名前は、安田味子さんといいます。
私の友達は、安田味子さんといいます。
私の友達の名前は、安田味子さんです。

All of the above sound alright to me. Compare:

私の名前は、安田味子と申します。(申します is the humble form of 言います.)
ねえ、名前、[何]{なん}ていうの?("What's your name?"--casual/friendly)
その[方]{ほう}、[名]{な}は[何]{なん}という/[申]{もう}す?(archaic)

 

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For the first part of your question, family names (or surnames) are often recognized by your computer... but first names (or given names) are not always recognized. There are a lot of possible character combinations for first names... so your computer will not always know the correct character combination for a specific first name.

As long as the characters on your computer end up matching up to the actual characters of the first name you are typing (and this might take multiple tries at finding the right characters,) don't worry about if the computer doesn't "guess" the correct characters on the first try!

For the second part of your question, you could try translating your sentence like this (literal version:)

"My friend's name is (called) Mr/Mrs Ajiko Yasuda."

Or simply:

"My friend is called Mr/Mrs Ajiko Yasuda."

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