Questions tagged [names]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
27
votes
1answer
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?
26
votes
4answers
12k 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.
22
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How do attendance checklists in Japan deal with multiple possible name readings?

Even though there are several recurring, easily guessable family name readings ([田中]{たなか}、佐藤{さとう}、田村{たむら}) in Japanese, there are usually many possible readings to people's names Kanji, especially ...
18
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do some Japanese people write parts of their name in hiragana?

I have recently noticed that one of my coworkers writes his surname partly in hiragana when writing by hand. This strikes me as odd, because his surname doesn't have multiple readings (to my ...
17
votes
2answers
963 views

How to translate historical names which don't necessarily have an equivalent in Japanese?

What is the acceptable procedure for writing proper names in Japanese academic papers when you don't know the official Japanese translation or the katakana for it? Is there an expectation that all ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
793 views

Alignment of people's names

When people's names are listed with both sides aligned (either in horizontal or vertical writing), for example, in the ending scroll of a movie, there is a seemingly complicated rule (to me). When ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the letter 'P' at the end of an author's pseudonym mean?

There are many authors on YouTube and NicoNico whose names end with the letter 'P', for example: 鼻そうめんP, 無力P, etc. What does this 'P' stand for? Why do they all use it?
12
votes
3answers
44k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
1k 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: "...
11
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
658 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
725 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
656 views

Can タコ be an offensive word?

In a manga I found the following sentence: ひき戻すな、タコ。 The person to which the word タコ refers to is a secondary character that rarely appears. His name was never mentioned before. Since the person ...
11
votes
2answers
595 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 ← "Japanese ...
10
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
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, ...
10
votes
3answers
937 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
6k 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?
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What honorifics are used with nicknames?

What honorifics, if any, are used with nicknames? For example, would Matz-san (for Yukihiro Matsumoto) make sense (at least coming from someone new to Japanese), or would the mixture of the slightly ...
10
votes
2answers
5k 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 three times each ...
10
votes
3answers
433 views

Addressing other members of the same great family when everyone shares the same surname

Hypothetical situation, let's say we have a great familly meeting, where everyone have the same surname but some members of the familly see each other for the first time. Of course, introductions are ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
407 views

Using appropriate old characters with people's names

What is the general etiquette about about using the newer characters (新字体) or even a more modern version of the old character (旧字体) when used in names? Is it generally considered rude? For example, ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Change of kanji like 大坂 to 大阪

Wikipedia says that Osaka used to be spelt 大坂, and is now spelt 大阪. Is there a term for what happened, and does it happen often? Related question: On the replacing of kanji made obsolete in the 1946 ...
9
votes
1answer
618 views

What is the significance of number of Kanji in a name?

There are several one-character surnames: [林]{はやし}  [森]{もり}  [堤]{つつみ} Most surnames have two-characters: [鈴木]{すずき} [山田]{やまだ} [藤井]{ふじい} [酒井]{さかい} [松村]{まつむら} A few surnames have three-characters:...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
446 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
233 views

Looking to understand a fantasy name

This is related to Beyblade, regarding a team exclusive to a game that didn't get translated to English. Each blader has their own holy beast to command and I'm not getting the name of one of them. ...
7
votes
1answer
779 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are katakana names pronounced as they are written?

My name is Laurence. I would write this in Japanese as ロレンス (rorensu). My question is, when I introduce myself, do I pronounce my name as it is in katakana, or as it is in English?: That is, would I ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

How Could One Read 4649?

In the Japanese version of Smash 4 for the Wii U, if you let the game come up with a name for you, one of the names it pops out is 4649. I'm assuming this is some joke based on the readings of the ...
7
votes
1answer
936 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
911 views

Why is there a ツ in 四ツ谷?

When I stopped at Yotsuya (四ツ谷) Station this summer, I noticed a katakana tsu (ツ) in the station name. Is there a reason why the katakana character is used (instead of a hiragana one)?
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
523 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
518 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
261 views

Same person, two kanji spellings for the name - why?

Is there a reason two different kanji sets might be used for the name of the same person? While trying to translate a little, and maybe improve my Japanese, I found two spellings for the name Ranmaru, ...
6
votes
2answers
551 views

Why do Japanese businessmen use 「さん」 even with うち names in meetings with foreigners

I noticed that many Japanese businessmen tend to address the colleagues they are traveling with, or even introduce themselves as ◯◯◯さん. This would clearly be a faux-pas in a Japanese-only meeting, yet ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

What was the process by which 有職読み applied to personal names?

In premodern Japanese, it was traditional for a prestigious or extremely honorable man whose name was read with kun'yomi to have the reading of his personal name changed to on'yomi in certain ...