Frequenly Asked Questions

How is the translation of a name to Japanese determined?

Many of the western names do not exist in the japanese language, so when translating western names into japanese characters, three different methods are used: 1- Although there is no certain name in the japanese language, perhaps at some point it has been spoken or written about some historical figure from the West, so the translation to that name already exists and is recognized by the japanese. 2- Many western names correspond to words, objects or concepts that exist in the world and that can be translated directly using the japanese translation of the word, object or concept (for example Rose). 3 - Lastly, if neither of the first two options is possible, the choice is made to transcribe the name phonetically, that is, the japanese characters that have the sounds most similar to the pronunciation of the name in its original language are used. In this way, it is even possible to choose between several characters with similar sounds to form a japanese name that also has a special meaning among its characters, therefore, although certain names can be obtained by methods 1 and 2, many people nevertheless they decide to transcribe their name phonetically to use characters with more meaning.

Is there only one translation for each Japanese name?

As mentioned in the previous answer, for some names it is very common for the japanese to already know how that name is translated into japanese. However, as no western name actually exists in japanese characters, the same name can be translated into japanese in many ways, even using the same sounds, a name composed for example by 4 japanese characters, can use many combinations of different characters that they have the same sound to form the name, resulting in hundreds of possible combinations. Many times choosing a name in japanese is based on how elegant the strokes of the characters or their meaning are, in this way people usually select the characters with the "most beautiful" strokes or the "most interesting" meanings that are phonetically similar to the name in the original language.

Why am I not hearing the pronunciation of my name in Japanese on the web?

The pronunciation of names is done by voice synthesis, not by audio files, so the device in which you are trying to listen to the pronunciation must have the voice synthesis system installed and have a Japanese voice to reproduce the characters. Most browsers have this system and several Japanese voices to reproduce the sounds, however some mobile devices may not have Japanese voices available. If you cant hear the pronunciation of a name, please try another device.