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Thread: how to read japanese names?????

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner ayumu's Avatar
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    Blush how to read japanese names?????

    how do i read japanese names
    for example:松任谷由実
    and how can i be able to read the names of the staff of one movie,for example
    Last edited by ayumu; March 14, 2010 at 12:15 AM.

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    Translator 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member cmertb's Avatar
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/c...wwwjdic.cgi?1C

    In the Dictionary dropdown select Japanese Names. Since many names have multiple readings, there will be some additional work required on your part to figure out the most appropriate (usually, the most common) reading. E.g. you can search Japanese wiki for people with the same name.

    Actually, the name you're searching for is right there in that dictionary. It's Matsutouya Yumi. This is the simplest case.
    Last edited by cmertb; March 11, 2010 at 06:28 PM. Reason: more info

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member cookie_on_fire's Avatar
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    And also, if you can't find anything, look up the kanji in a dictionary, and more often than not, it would be the character's on-yomi (Japanese way of reading).
    A good way to double check is to try typing out the name via the way you think it sounds. If the name is common enough, it will appear as one of the choices in the standard Microsoft Japanese input and whatnot.

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    Translator 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member himitsu87's Avatar
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    I face the same problem. When I asked someone from another forum about a way to read it, he/she told me that I must know the on-yomi reading of the characters. Which is hard

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member cookie_on_fire's Avatar
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    When you look up kanji in dictionaries, they will clearly label which readings are kun and which are on-yomi.
    Although it can be confusing since sometimes names are a mix of kun and on. Guess you'll just have to learn from experience.

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    ならぬことはならぬ 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member serizawa's Avatar
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    Actually, regarding Japanese names, there are not a few that you need furigana or similar to know how to read it. One name can be read in many, many ways, so it's case by case.

    Example: 定次 can be read as "Sadaji", "Sadatsugu" and "Teiji". ALL of them are valid ways to read, so you will have to see what is the correct reading for that particular person.

    Even native Japanese have plenty of difficulty reading names, and that's why in their "meishi" (business cards), their name comes with furigana, so that anyone can read it without making mistakes.

    That is for names. For surnames, there are certain surnames that you must know beforehand how to read it, since you won't find them in a dictionary.

    For instance, a popular surname for ninjas is 服部 - reads as "Hattori". You won't find any dictionary having 服 read as "Hato" and 部 as "ori" or the like.

    This surname cames from very old immigrants who were weavers - "Hataori", which became "Hattori". And they formed groups - 部 - to manufacture clothes - 服 - so you write 服部 and read as "Hattori".

    BTW, on'yomi 音読み is the CHINESE way of reading, kun'yomi 訓読み is the Japanese one

    As for reading the names of movie staff, actors and all, the best is to Google it with the kanji and try to find a page with the hiragana transcription. Or else, chances are that you will misread the name.
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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    As serizawa said, reading names in Japanese is basically the hardest thing you can do. Even born-Japanese find it hard to do as there are so many different readings to the same Kanji.

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    英語が苦手なので日本語で回答するよ。
    (誰か訳してくれると助かります。)

    まず、質問の答は「(全員を正しく読むのは)日本人でも不可能」となる。

    例題に答えると、松任谷由美(まつとうや ゆみ)と読む。
    松(まつ)任(とう)谷(や)由(ゆ)美(み)となる。
    任(とう)の読み方が少し難しいが、一文字毎に素直に読める名前。

    2つ以上の漢字をまとめて書いた場合、特殊な読みをする名前もある。
    服部(はっとり)、飛鳥(あすか)、小鳥遊(たかなし)
    服(はっ)部(とり)ではなく、服部と書いた場合だけ(はっとり)と読む。

    同じ漢字でも別の読み方をする名前もある。
    中田(なかた、なかだ)、宏紀(ひろのり、ひろき、etc)、篤(あつし、あつむ、etc)

    同じ読みで違う漢字を使う名前もある。
    なかた(中田、仲田、名方)、ひろのり(宏紀、裕典、博憲、etc)、あつし(篤、敦、厚志、etc)

    日本では法律で、名前の読み方を自由に登録できる事になっている。
    そのため、たまに変人の親がいて、漢字と読み方の関係性が一般的でない名前を届出る場合もある。


    3つの方法を提案する。
    1、コピー&ペースト出来る場合は、そのままGoogleで検索する。
    serizawaさんの方法。

    2、一文字でも入力出来る場合は、以下のサイトを使う。
    http://kanji.reader.bz/
    http://kanji.reader.bz/任
    http://kanji.reader.bz/more/任

    3、一文字も入力出来ない場合は、日本人に頼む。



    日本語で漢字を読む場合、「音読み」と「訓読み」がある。

    山(さん、やま)の例で説明する。

    漢字は中国から日本に伝わった。
    つまり、文字の形「山」、意味「やま」、中国での発音が「さん(shan)」、セットで同時に伝わった。
    これが「音読み」。
    「音読み」とは、中国語の発音に近い読み方のこと。
    山(さん)。

    漢字が伝わる前、日本では、山はやまと呼んでいた。
    山を意味する漢字が伝わった。
    山をさんと読むだけではなく、やまとも読むようにした。
    これが「訓読み」。
    「訓読み」とは、日本語の意味を表す読み方のこと。
    山(やま)。


    (追記)
    日本語を勉強する方法(Japanese thread 日本語)
    http://mangahelpers.com/forum/showth...68#post1897668

    Travel to Japan
    http://mangahelpers.com/forum/showth...58#post1893258
    Last edited by Peroyama; June 18, 2010 at 09:57 PM.

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner Subito's Avatar
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    訳してみます!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peroyama

    First, the answer to your question is "It's impossible even for Japanese people (to correctly read all of them)."

    The reading for the example you posted would be "Matsutouya Yumi."
    It's 松 (Matsu) 任 (tou) 谷 (ya) 由 (Yu) 美 (mi).
    The reading for 任 (tou) is a bit hard, but you can take and read each character by itself.

    There are also names that get special readings when there are two or more characters combined.
    服部(Hattori), 飛鳥(Asuka), 小鳥遊(Takanashi)
    服部 isn't 服(Hat)部(tori); it's only read Hattori when it's written 服部.

    The same characters can also have different readings.
    中田(Nakata, Nakada), 宏紀(Hironori, Hiroki, etc), 篤(Atsushi, Atsumu, etc)

    There are also names which are pronounced the same but which use different characters.
    Nakata (中田, 仲田, 名方), Hironori (宏紀, 裕典, 博憲, etc), Atsushi (篤, 敦, 厚志, etc)

    According to Japanese law, it's possible to register a person's name with whatever reading you want.
    So there will be times when weirdo parents register a reading that's totally unrelated to the characters they used for their child's name.


    I'll propose three ways to read names.
    1) When you can copy and paste a name, do a Google search with the name. (That's serizawa's method.)

    2) If you can enter in even one kanji, use the site given below.
    http://kanji.reader.bz/
    http://kanji.reader.bz/任
    http://kanji.reader.bz/more/任

    3) If you can't enter in even one character, ask a Japanese person.


    When you read kanji in Japanese, there's something called "On'yomi" and something called "Kun'yomi."

    I'll explain by using 山 (san, yama) as an example.

    Kanji were transmitted over to Japan from China.
    In short, the shape (山), meaning (mountain), and Chinese pronunciation (san {shan}), were all brought over at the same time as a set.
    This is "On'yomi."
    "On'yomi" means it's the reading that's similar to the Chinese pronunciation.
    山 (san).

    However, before the character for "mountain" was brought to Japan, Japanese called mountains "yama."
    Then the character meaning "mountain" 山 was introduced.
    Therefore, 山 isn't pronounced just "san," but also "yama."
    This is "Kun'yomi."
    "Kun'yomi" means it's the reading that signifies the original Japanese meaning.
    山 (yama.)
    Last edited by Subito; April 22, 2010 at 09:45 AM.
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  15. #10
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: how to read japanese names?????

    You can't read all names.
    Though what you can do is learn the common spellings for common names like 砂糖 (さとう)、田中 (たなか)、中山(なかやま)、川上(かわかみ) etc. and common given names like 太郎 (たろう)
    You'll never be able to read them all at first sight but most of the time, you can find out how a name is read with a bit of research and when you know how to look up kanji.

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