So my name is written Anibal, I'm from Brazil, just so you know. I'd like to know how would you write it in japanese, I'm in doubt between A-ni-ba-ru and A-ni-ba-e-ru. Any further explanation would be much appreciated.

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    Audio of someone pronouncing your name would be helpful for people who don't know how Portuguese(?) vowels sound. (Alternatively, a phonemic transcription, if you know how to do that.) – senshin Sep 26 '13 at 0:55
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    Thanks a lot for the answers! That was bugging me for weeks. I'm using this website for the first time and I really hope I'm using it correctly. Will look forward to using it more often. Again, thanks a lot for the explanations. – Anibal Sep 26 '13 at 1:19

For this kind of question, you can start by seeing how other people spell it. I searched the Japanese Wikipedia for Anibal. Here were the top two results:

How you transcribe a name usually depends on its pronunciation, not its spelling, so it's possible that an Anibal from a different region would have a different transcription. But you said you're from Brazil, and so is the second person I linked to above, so it seems reasonable to spell your name the same way as his. And that's true regardless of whether it's based on spelling or pronunciation--following convention in transcribing names is usually a good thing. So based on this, I think アニバル seems like a good spelling.

If you can't read katakana, that's A-ni-ba-ru, just like your first guess. That would usually be written without hyphens, so it's Anibaru.

  • I think アニバル is the generic Japanese transcription based on ローマ字 alone, not based on pronunciation. – Earthliŋ Sep 26 '13 at 15:07
  • @Earthling Oh, I see. Well, I'll leave my answer up, because I think following convention is probably a good thing. It seems that アニバル is a lot more common than アニバウ. But maybe I should rephrase my answer to emphasize that. – snailcar Sep 26 '13 at 15:21

As far as I know, the final L is pronounced [u], so that Anibal could also be アニバウ (A-ni-ba-u), which represents the pronunciation more faithfully than アニバル (which sounds more like Anibaru, when pronounced as a Portuguese speaker would).

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