For usernames, etc., you usually see like ユーザ名 or something similar. Or like on my Skype, it says Skype名. How is the 名 pronounced in these situations? I've never been able to conclusively find this anywhere. My instinct tells me it's because these seem like compounds nouns (like 星空【ほしぞら】, etc.) that use kun-yomi.

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    I have seen this mysterious single-word sentence “Topic.” at the beginning of some of your questions. What does it mean? Nov 11, 2011 at 3:34
  • It means the main question I want to ask is in the title itself, so I don't want to repeat it in the body of the post (even though I did in this one anyway. Oops).
    – istrasci
    Nov 11, 2011 at 3:36
  • I see, but I think that you can omit it and it will make the question easier to read. Nov 11, 2011 at 3:37
  • Yeah, I guess really you'd only use it if you had nothing else to add in the body.
    – istrasci
    Nov 11, 2011 at 3:40
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    It's interesting though how in Japanese you don't have to verbalise while reading kanji. E.g., in 「Skype名」 you just see ‘name’—no need to think how exactly to pronounce 名 (unless you have to say it out loud). I think it's cool—you quicker get to the meaning, skipping unnecessary reading. On the other hand, it's probably since I'm just a beginner and don't know how to pronounce things. =) I'm curious whether native speakers usually verbalise written kanji or not… Although I guess it's not easy to find out. Nov 19, 2011 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


It is read as めい. “ユーザ名” is read as ユーザめい, “Skype 名” is スカイプめい.

I do not know the reason for that, but if I make a guess, this may be because gairaigo in a compound word is treated in a similar way to Sino-Japanese words.

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    Yes, here is the example itself in this article (however much trust one assigns to Wikipedia).
    – istrasci
    Nov 11, 2011 at 3:31
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    After thinking about it a little bit, reading “Skype 名” as スカイプな seems cooler than スカイプめい (probably because I am too sleepy now). Nov 11, 2011 at 4:36

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