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Thread: Names: Name related questions and discussions

  1. #1
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member e-dog's Avatar
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    Names: Name related questions and discussions

    * NOTE:
    Original post was moved from TA main board. Please use this thread to discuss any name related questions.

    mikkih, TA mod


    ...........................................
    Good day everyone!

    I know this is a little off-topic but I don't know where else to post this since the naruto sub--section is the only thing I am familiar with.

    I have a question... I want to name a girl "Forgiving rain" (Rain of Forgiveness, Rain that brings forgiveness etc.) in Japanese but I don't know the language myself, I know Kaiyo means forgiveness and Ame means rain but to make a perfect combination of those two is beyond my understanding...

    Could someone who knows the language please help me out with this and name this baby together with me?


    Thanks in advance!

    Love,


    IT--

    ---------- Post added May 27, 2012 at 02:59 PM ---------- Previous post was May 25, 2012 at 08:22 PM ----------

    Anyone please???


    IT--
    Last edited by mikkih; May 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM.

    http://fc70.deviantart.com/fs39/f/2008/316/8/5/Tribute_to_Uchiha_Itachi_by_sadekgeidan.jpg

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    Translator/Moderator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Re: I need help from someone who knows Japanese well!

    Wondered how you would write kaiyo being forgiveness...? It doesn't sound like forgiveness.

    許(きょ, kyo) .... to forgive
    雨(う, u) .... rain

    許雨 きょう; Kyo (or Kyou/Kyoh) is possible.

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  4. #3
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member e-dog's Avatar
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    Re: I need help from someone who knows Japanese well!

    Thanks for replying and moving my post! Ahm, so "Kyo" means to forgive and "u" means rain? I thought Ame is rain... I'm so confused now.. I guess the Japanese language is more complicated than what I expected.

    I'll try to ask it this way, if you would want to name your girl a name that would imply she is rain that brings forgiveness (Forgiving Rain?), then how would you go about it?

    Kyo? Kyou? Kyoh? Those 3 all mean forgiving rain?

    Thanks in advance buddy!!!

    Edit: When you give me the answer, could you also please write down how to pronounce it?
    Thank you so much!


    IT--
    Last edited by e-dog; May 27, 2012 at 11:45 PM.

    http://fc70.deviantart.com/fs39/f/2008/316/8/5/Tribute_to_Uchiha_Itachi_by_sadekgeidan.jpg

  5. #4
    Translator 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member cmertb's Avatar
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    Re: Names

    "Kyo? Kyou? Kyoh? Those 3 all mean forgiving rain?" -- these are three alternatives for spelling the made-up Japanese word 許雨 using the Latin alphabet. In jp, if you add u after a syllable that ends in o, you don't actually pronounce u separately, you lengthen the o sound. Because in en you don't typically care about the length of vowel sounds, this point is skipped when transliterating jp names. For example, cities Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are actually spelled Toukyou, Kyouto, and Oosaka in jp. So your first option is to go with the traditional transliteration that is "Kyo". The problem is that when people say it, they'll say it with the short o when it should be long. Your second option is to go with a precise transliteration from jp, which is "Kyou". The problem here is that no one would know how you're supposed to read "ou" unless they know jp. The third option, "Kyoh", is designed to make a native English speaker pronounce the long o. From my observations, when the Japanese who have "ou" in their names transliterate them to en, they choose either "o" or "oh" (I guess depending on whether they care if that syllable is properly lengthened or not), they never go for the "ou" option.

    Well, this is not to mention that native en speakers wouldn't know how to pronounce the "ky" combo either (i.e. that it simply palatalizes k, it doesn't force a syllable break there or add an extra i vowel).

    ""u" means rain? I thought Ame is rain..." -- yes to both. Typically, but not always, a kanji is read one way on its own (kun-yomi) and another way in a compound (on-yomi). The kun-yomi of 雨 is ame, and its on-yomi is u. Since the made-up word is a compound, you use the on-yomi. Well, if you read the same compound using the kun pronunciations, you'd get something like "yuruame", which is even worse.

    "I guess the Japanese language is more complicated than what I expected." -- you got it.

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    Re: Names

    Summary

    (1) Kanji:

    Unlike Chinese language, Japanese has more than 1 way of reading a character: Kun-yomi and on-yomi

    example 1: kanji: 許 <kunyomi: ゆる or yuru (in ゆるす or yurusu); onyomi: きょ or kyo>, forgive
    example 2: Kanji: 雨 <kunyomi: あめ or ame / onyomi: う or u> , rain

    Use onyami when kanji characters are used in a compound noun.

    Reference:
    Kanji
    on wiki (Click the link on Kanji to learn more about Japanese characters.)


    (2) Changing hiragana/hirakana letters to Roman letters:

    きょう in hiragana letters --> In Roman letters, it can be written in Kyo, Kyou, or Kyoh.
    (edit/add: elongation in Japanese can be written in different ways.)

    きょう
    can be a girl's name, but phonetic alphabets do not mean anything by themselves. When you assign kanji characters, a name obtains its meaning.

    In everyday life, きょう is 今日 meaning today, and no one would guess きょう would be written as 許雨.
    Last edited by mikkih; May 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member e-dog's Avatar
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    Re: Names

    I want to start by thanking you both VERY VERY MUCH for all the explanations and help!! I appreciate it immensely and would say I love you both if it wouldn't sound so lame.

    So Kyo, Kyou and Kyoh are the 3 options now, right? Im thinking Kyou looks a little more beautiful in my opinion, what do you guys think?

    How about for example Yuru Ame, Yuru-Ame Yuruame? Or for example 1st name Yuru (forgiving) or first name Kyo or Yurusu and middle name Ame (Rain)?

    I really really also would like your opinions! What do you think? It's an important decision to me and I really would like someone else to give me advice
    I'll post a pic of her here after I name her so that you both know who you guys helped getting a name!

    Edit: I want to apologize for not replying quicker... I am working full-time+ and there are a few other things going on in my life that don't allow me to have much free time... Sorry again...


    IT--
    Last edited by e-dog; May 30, 2012 at 08:00 PM.

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    Re: Names

    Family name: A family name comes first. Names are always written in Kanji characters.
    Middle names: Japanese don't use middle names.
    Given names: A given name comes after a family name. Names are written in Kanji, but females may be named in hiragana (or possibly katakana).

    Edit/Add: When you translate JP names into English, you just switch the order. Also, when you call someone in Japan, family names are more often used over given names. Family name (Yamada) plus XXX: Yamada-sama, Yamada-san, Yamada-kun, or simply Yamada, for example. Given names are generally used among family members and close friends.

    Reference: Japanese name on Wikipedia for general information on Japanese names.

    Names in Roman letters are made for English speakers. I would expect Kyo would be the most common way to spell it. The spelling of Kyoh could be more recent, as seen in Yu-Gi-Oh! for example. Some English speakers may pronounce Kyou as k-you like an alphabet Q. You need to make a footnote or something to explain her name anyway, so I don't think it matters too much though. It is your character after all, and I think you should name her.

    Yuru-ame etc, however would not work. Would you think Forgiven/Forgiving-Rain sounds like a girl's name in English? Probably not. Yuru-ame simply does not sound like a name at all. Of course I am talking about the real life. In manga or novels, you could name anybody anything - so as long as you understand the name is not authentic, you should be able to pick whatever name that sounds good to you.
    Last edited by mikkih; May 31, 2012 at 07:46 AM. Reason: Edit/Add:

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner AddleBoy's Avatar
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    Re: [JP] The Official Kanji Ask-for-Help Thread

    I've got a couple of questions about kanji and surnames.

    How do you figure out which is the proper reading of someone's surname?

    For instance, 一太. I looked it up, and I saw that it can be read as Ichita, Kazuta, Itta, Kazutaka. How do you know which is the right reading?

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    Re: [JP] The Official Kanji Ask-for-Help Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by AddleBoy View Post
    How do you figure out which is the proper reading of someone's surname? For instance, 一太. I looked it up, and I saw that it can be read as Ichita, Kazuta, Itta, Kazutaka. How do you know which is the right reading?
    一太is a given name, not a surname by the way. (Japanese given names come after surnames unlike English names.)
    You would normally find furigana/yomigana when a character is introduced in a story, but you might need to guess his name from his nickname if furigana/yomigana is unavailable.

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  15. #10
    Translator 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member cmertb's Avatar
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    Re: Names

    For a non-native speaker, reading Japanese names is an art rather than science. Well, even for Japanese themselves there are often cases when they can't confidently read a name. There are usually multiple readings for the same spelling (as well as multiple spellings for the same reading), so if you simply try to use a name dictionary alone, you won't get far. It'll give you a few options, but without being a native speaker or having a lot of experience with names, you won't be able to realize that most of the options are pretty rare and exotic, and only one or two are common. So while there are no clear rules for reading names, there are patterns which you might begin to notice as you keep translating names. Your brain is optimized for finding patterns (even where there aren't any) and it will happen without your awareness. From time to time, the readings will start to pop out at you.

    Having said that, it's possible to figure out names with a fair degree of accuracy even if you don't have any experience. If you want to know the specific steps I take as a manga tler, feel free to ask. Although I don't guarantee that what I do is optimal.

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  17. #11
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner AspiringManga's Avatar
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    Confused Japanese name

    Can you create custom Japanese names, or is it just not possible? I am asking because I want to create a unique name for my protagonist and I'm just not finding the right resources I need. I want to create a name that means distant melody or harmony or another musical term. But I am not sure how it would translate into Kanji. Please help, I'll check back every day.
    The smallest difference can be misinterpreted by the readers

  18. #12
    Translator/Moderator 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
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    Re: Japanese name

    Quote Originally Posted by AspiringManga View Post
    Can you create custom Japanese names, or is it just not possible? I am asking because I want to create a unique name for my protagonist and I'm just not finding the right resources I need. I want to create a name that means distant melody or harmony or another musical term. But I am not sure how it would translate into Kanji. Please help, I'll check back every day.
    You can certainly create custom names, but it's quite difficult since there are so many choices. For boys, you generally need 2-3 kanji. For girls, 1-3.

    For example, a name 奏音 can be pronounced "Kanata" "Kanade" "Kanato" and "Kanon." (Kanon is generally for girls.)

    奏(play the instrument; play a tune) 
    音(sound, tune)

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    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner AspiringManga's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese name

    what would the Kanji be for Endo(u) "Kazu"nari I saw a website and I saw this and (supposedly) Endou/Endo means distant/distance where Kazunari means to be harmonious, which would fit my characters profile. I'm thinking about Kazu being his nickname.
    The smallest difference can be misinterpreted by the readers

  20. #14
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    Re: Japanese name

    Quote Originally Posted by AspiringManga View Post
    what would the Kanji be for Endo(u) &quot;Kazu&quot;nari I saw a website and I saw this and (supposedly) Endou/Endo means distant/distance where Kazunari means to be harmonious, which would fit my characters profile. I'm thinking about Kazu being his nickname.
    Endo(u), Kazunari 遠藤 和也

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    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Utsune's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese name

    Quote Originally Posted by AspiringManga View Post
    Can you create custom Japanese names, or is it just not possible? I am asking because I want to create a unique name for my protagonist and I'm just not finding the right resources I need. I want to create a name that means distant melody or harmony or another musical term. But I am not sure how it would translate into Kanji. Please help, I'll check back every day.
    Funny you have Kirito as your avatar, because his real name Kazuto could be more or less something you're looking for :P
    Kazuto 和音 = harmonious sound

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