Skip to main content

Questions tagged [names]

名称. Names in Japanese, including how to use them and how to write them.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9 votes
3 answers
14k views

Which readings would you use to pronounce people's names?

I'm confused whether it is normally appropriate to use On-readings or Kun-readings when dealing with people's names; I'm fine when its just two character names; I just make a logical deduction in my ...
DivineRho's user avatar
  • 163
20 votes
4 answers
9k views

When Chinese personal names are written in Japanese in kanji is there always an obvious reading?

In their comment to an answer on the question "Are foreign personal names usually written in katakana rather than Romaji?", user sawa says: ... Chinese names should be written in kanji rather than ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 15.4k
21 votes
2 answers
12k views

How do you write someone's name if you don't know what kanji to use?

Since kanji can have multiple pronunciations, how would you know how to write someone's name if you've only heard it spoken? What's the convention? Would you just guess, or maybe write it out in ...
user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
15k views

Can I use my Chinese name as my Japanese name?

Im Chinese and my name is 陈依仁 (Chén Yī Rén). Can I use this as my Japanese name, and if so how do I read it in Japanese? Or would it be better to use the Katakana version of my English name which is ...
chinsuujin's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
10k views

When stating a non-Japanese name, should the surname come first?

When stating a full non-Japanese name, should one use the "Surname Firstname" rule used for Japanese names (i.e. "Smith John / スミス ジョン") or the name's native rule (in the case of an English name, "...
rchaff's user avatar
  • 61
30 votes
4 answers
19k views

How can I tell if a Japanese person's given name is male or female?

I am hoping that there may be some particular kanji and/or sounds used in determining if a persons given name is male or female.
Jack Bosma's user avatar
  • 6,757
13 votes
1 answer
8k views

What does 氏 mean after a name, how is it different from さん or 様?

If you look in the dictionary for the definition of 氏 you'll find it defined as: family name; lineage; birth. However I have seen it used in such a way that it is doubtful that it means any of those ...
language hacker's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
14k views

Can I write Japanese name "Midori" this way - 緑?

There is female Japanese name "Midori," and I want to know the ways I can write it. I know it means "green," but maybe the name and "green" are different words sometimes. I used google-translator to ...
cnd's user avatar
  • 413
27 votes
1 answer
4k views

= sign in a katakana name

I was surprised when I came across this Wikipedia page: アーシュラ・K・ル=グウィン Does someone knows what that = sign is? I can see it works as a separator like 「・」 Is it simply an alternative?
comeauch's user avatar
  • 905
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Prefix お for names - how is it used?

I recently watched a Japanese drama titled 「おせん」. The title comes from the first name of the main character - the character's name is 半田{はんだ}仙{せん} who is a young お上{かみ} of a traditional restaurant. ...
Szymon's user avatar
  • 3,707
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it always necessary to ask how someone's name is pronounced if you encounter it first in writing?

This question is similar to "how many kanji do Japanese natives know?" but a bit more specific, because I'm particularly interested in the jinmeiyō kanji. My understanding is that they are the kanji ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
16k views

Is the kanji/kokuji "taito" (たいと) with 84 strokes legitimate and ever used?

Taito is mentioned as the kanji/kokuji with the highest stroke count consisting of 84 strokes in Wikipedia. Taito is composed of two kanji ("cloud" (雲) and "dragon" (龍) repeated ...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 193
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Naming suffix -氏 (-し) used by an otaku character in anime

In the anime Steins;Gate 0, the male otaku-character Hashida Itaru calls female characters with suffix -し. For example: Makise Kurisu - Makise-shi Kiryuu Moeka - Kiryuu-shi What does this ...
user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
33k views

Which writing system (hiragana, katakana, or kanji) should we use when writing out someone's name?

I know how to read hiragana and katakana, but know nothing else. A lot of people I know want me to write their names in Japanese. Is it right to write them in any system, or are there specific rules?
md nth's user avatar
  • 181
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Use of 旧字体 in Japanese names

Currently, the kanji used in registering names in Japan are restricted to those from the 常用漢字 and the 人名用漢字 lists. Since this is the case, why do some names include kanji not on the list like 澤 (for ...
user12257's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is the Japanese government considering adding kanji such as "cancer" to the jinmeiyō kanji?

The wikipedia article on jinmeiyō kanji states: Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 16.2k
3 votes
3 answers
15k views

As a foreigner with a Japanese name, what are the implications of writing my name in katakana or kanji?

I'm a foreigner, and my name is Shiori. I've heard of a several Japanese people with this name, and they write it with kanji (of course). I know that when you are a foreigner, you are supposed to ...
Ama's user avatar
  • 97
2 votes
2 answers
419 views

Name identification for 安田 味子, and "saying" using という

I have the following sentence I need to translate for my introductory 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 ...
Snowy Coder Girl's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
523 views

Can I use my Chinese name and if so, how do I say it?

My Chinese name in Kanji is 王元劭 (Wang Yuan Shao). I've heard there are many different readings I can use for each kanji, am I allowed to use whichever reading I like? Also, apparently the character 劭 ...
adaeo's user avatar
  • 31
17 votes
7 answers
3k views

When should one add さん at the end of a name?

I've heard some names pronounced with 〜さん added to them (such as 佐々木さん) and some without it. I believe it is related to respect or the age of the person named. What would be the guidelines or general ...
anthonyvd's user avatar
  • 323
12 votes
4 answers
874 views

Is the use of 先生 and similar titles context sensitive?

While it is generally safe to use -さん when taking to someone and the use of -先生 is appropriate for use in a school environment when talking to a teacher, would the use of -先生 carry over outside of the ...
user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is -さん used when referring to a celebrity or historical figures?

When referring to a celebrity or historical figure, do you use -さん? I am listening to Yoko Shimomura. Would it be:"下村陽子さんを聞いている。"? Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president. Would it be: "...
rurouniwallace's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Legal characters for first names include: hiragana, katakana, jinmeiyo and joyo kanji. What about latin letters?

Is it legal for parents to give to their child a first name with latin letters (romaji, I guess), instead of using katakana, hiragana, or kanji? For example, if Japanese parents want to give their ...
Maxim's user avatar
  • 123
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to read single stand-alone language-name kanji?

So we all know that most (all?) countries' names can be written in kanji as well as kana. And occasionally kanji from these names are used to represent the language of those countries. For example, we ...
gramblestown's user avatar
  • 1,193
10 votes
3 answers
53k views

Address someone by their first name, or their last name?

When addressing John Doe, would you say "John-さん", or "Doe-さん"? Does it depend on how polite or formal you're being? Does it also depend on whether the person is a nihonjin, a kankokujin (who have ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 16.2k
10 votes
5 answers
11k views

Which kanji has the greatest number of strokes?

What is the most complex kanji (in terms of number of strokes), whether or not it's actually used often?
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

When is it appropriate to refer to yourself using your name, rather than 私 (or others)?

I have heard—though not often—people refer to themselves using their first name, not by using a pronoun for "I." Does this have special connotation in Japanese? Nothing about the usage (to me) seemed ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is ありす a traditional girl's name?

Is ありす, or a name pronounced the same as "ありす", a traditional feminine given name? (If I have to define traditional, then pre-dating the end of the Sakoku policy) I've heard about parents naming ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 16.2k
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

My name is Midori, but I have never known the Kanji

My parents are not Japanese but they named my sister and me with Japanese names for the meanings they had: Mariko - Child of Truth Midori - Youthful Immortal. With these definitions as guidance, can ...
user9115's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

How extension names is handled in Japanese (Sr, Jr, III, IV)

I have an extension name (III) and i have trouble converting my name to japanese. Please help.
Rey's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
618 views

Generic title for children?

At the store the other day, a toddler walked by and called me おじさん. I know this is a generic "mister" for children toward middle-aged adults. I'm wondering if there's an equivalent generic word for ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 75
3 votes
2 answers
302 views

Is it correct to read 黒川 as くろかわ or is くろがわ correct?

I always run into this problem. Sometimes か and が are very similar to me so I have to type them in the computer to find the correct pronunciation of word. When I type くろがわ or くろかわ they both give me ...
benchenggis's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Intentional hiragana transcription for foreign names

Is it possible and acceptable to transcript foreign names into hiragana instead of katakana for aesthetic or other personal purposes? How would Japanese people judge this choice? Would they perceive ...
Odalie's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
522 views

What is this archaic female honorific form called, and what relationship does it describe?

I stumbled upon this way of referring to women that was apparently used in pre-war Japan。I can't remember where I found it, or what was said about it's name or purpose, just that it went something ...
Tirous's user avatar
  • 3,412
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Frozen: Idina Menzel pronounces "Sayaka" ( 沙也加 )?

2021 Update: RIP :'( In this video, Idina Menzel says "My friend, Sayaka." (referring to Sayaka Kanda, Japanese voice of Anna from Frozen) She gives emphasis to the YA which seems to be ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
0 votes
2 answers
17k views

Why is there a "tsu" in Nippon (にっぽん)? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How did “little tsu” become a lengthener? On Wikipedia and elsewhere, Japan is written like so: Nippon ( にっぽん ). What is that tsu doing in there? Why isn't it ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
518 views

Japanese for "Dami Im"

How would I translate Dami Im's name into Japanese? Im was born in South Korea (her name in Korean is 임다미), but moved to Australia when she was nine. "Dami" is her given name, and "Im" is her surname,...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 16.2k
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Using Japanese honorifics with non-kana names

Some Japanese websites have no problem addressing me as Amandaさん, but how common is this in human-produced Japanese? Under what circumstances would someone refer to someone else as Amandaさん, בועזくん, ...
Amanda S's user avatar
  • 7,859
10 votes
4 answers
890 views

Describing aptronyms (names that fit their owner)

I thought of this after seeing a news article about 星出{ほしで}彰彦{あきひこ}, who is an astronaut. Aptronym is a term for a name (often the surname) that fits a person's occupation or personality. A classic ...
nkjt's user avatar
  • 5,762
9 votes
2 answers
762 views

Terms for Japanese/Western name order

Does anybody know of a standard term to describe Japanese and Western name orders (for example, when filling a form): John Somelastname ← "Western name order" Somelastname John ← "...
Dave's user avatar
  • 9,069
8 votes
1 answer
5k views

How are twins addressed by their teacher at school?

If two twin brothers attended the same class, how would their teacher address each of them to indicate to whom they were speaking to, since they shared the same family name? Would one be seen as the ...
Vaughn Westmere's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

孫悟飯 - Songohan, why non-Japanese say it comes from "gohan = meal/cooked rice"?

As a French I've always heard that Songohan's name comes from gohan meaning meal/cooked rice. The English Wiki says the same and even mentions ご飯. But I don't understand why, since the names in the ...
Destal's user avatar
  • 297
7 votes
1 answer
527 views

Why is the affixal 子 treated specially when abbreviating people’s names?

Often, names are abbreviated using the initial letter in romanization, or some random letter, like "A". However, when the name has an affixal 子, that part is often left, like "A子". I have not seen any ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
9k views

What connotation does the ending -n to a Japanese female name have?

The Japanese female names that end with "i" can be altered by adding "n" in their end. E.g.: "Konami" -> "Konamin" "Mizuki" -> "Mizukin" "Narumi" -> "Narumin" "Chinami" -> "Chinamin" I would like to ...
Dávid Natingga's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Correct kana for João

João is a Portuguese name which has a peculiar pronunciation that is very difficult for foreign people. It is the Portuguese equivalent to the English John, but the pronunciations are very different. ...
JNat's user avatar
  • 1,164
5 votes
1 answer
900 views

Pitch Accent for Honorifics

I have been studying pitch accent for a few months now, primarily from the NHK Accent Dictionary. My Japanese is not terribly strong, so it took me a while to muddle through the explanations and ...
Mayerling's user avatar
  • 128
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Writing the name Harriet in Japanese

Sorry for the trivial question, but I've just started learning Japanese and thought that I should know how to write my name in hiragana. My name is Harriet. My first guesses were はリえた or はリえと. I ...
false_azure's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
595 views

Is there any Japanese language reason why Google Maps hyphenates some names and not others?

Looking at Google Maps I noticed when translating to Japanese some names are hyphenated and others are not. It seems to be arbitrary but maybe there's some Japanese rule I'm unaware of The first ...
gman's user avatar
  • 609
5 votes
1 answer
772 views

How does last name-kun/chan compare to 1st name-san?

Let's say the person is John Smith, first name John, last Smith. Comparing the following pairs is easy. The latter is more formal than the former. John-kun vs John-san Smith-kun vs Smith-san John-kun ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 605
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can Japanese names be anything?

I've read lots of mangas and seen many animes, and it seems a Japanese person can have virtually any kind of name (the meaning of a name can be something completely ridiculous). Is it true in real ...
user's user avatar
  • 41