Why is 渡部 累 transliterated/translated (I'm not entirely sure which it is) into English as "Lui Watanabe" rather than "Rui Watanabe"?

The only cases I've seen of transliterations or translations involving "l"s has been when wasei-eigo expressions get translated back into English using English words, for example サラリーマン being translated as "salaryman" rather than "Sararīman".

1 Answer 1


That's her personal preference, and the only way to reach the "correct" answer is to ask herself why.

Generally speaking, there are many people, especially 芸能人, who want nonstandard transliterated names, and people have the liberty to do that.

This typically happens when people want names which also sound natural to the ear of Westerners. For example 譲【じょう】 may want his name transliterated as Joe rather than Jo, ありす may become Alice rather than Arisu, and so on. A friend of mine is named 琳【りん】, and she always introduces herself as Lynn to foreign people.

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    But neither of Rui/Lui are common in English. I think commonly usage of L this way is done by Chinese speaking persons doing such translation (esp. persons from Hong Kong or Singapore). I don't know any Chinese, but I wonder if Lui sounds better to them.
    – user3169
    Mar 22, 2015 at 17:02

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