Linday, Jennifer, Kira

Lindsay007

New Member
English and Español
Excuse my ignorance, but my question is: Is it possible to write common names in kanji?
In that case: Lindsay or Jennifer how could be written?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • imchongjun

    Member
    Japan
    Hi, Linday 007.
    It is possible to invent "kanji names" which sound like Lindsay or Jennifer.
    1. Linday is a two syllable word, so let me show you several kanjis which sound like "Lin-" and "-say".
    "Lin-"
    鈴 (a small bell which produce beautiful tinkling sound)
    輪 (a circle)
    凜 (dignified elegance)
    "-say"
    地 (earth)
    児 (child)
    時 (time)
    You can choose any one kanji from each group and make your own "kanji name".

    2. Jennifer
    Jen- (this part is tough...)
    是 (pronounced "ze" in romanized spelling)
    全 (pronounced "zen" in romanized spelling)
    -ni-
    尼 (nun)
    二 (two, second)
    瓊 (a beautiful ball like a crytal ball)
    -fer (all the characters in this group are pronounced "ha" in romanized spelling)
    羽 (wing)
    葉 (leaf of plants)
    覇 (to conquer, to become No1)
    Again choose any one kanji you like from each group to make your name.
    I hope other people make better suggestions. Giving someone a name is a serious thing.;)
     

    frecklegirl

    New Member
    U.S., English
    You can also translate by meaning, like if you look up the name's meaning on a site like behindthename.com, and then find the kanji that match that meaning. For example, my name (Sarah) means princess, so my name according to meaning is

    姫 [Hime]
    or 姫子 [Himeko]

    since 'hime' means princess. But I don't ask anyone to call me either of those names, I ask people to call me the katakana version of my name, which is サラ [sara]. (Sometimes I write out my name by meaning in kanji and then provide katakana furigana readings above it. It's silly to do this, though, most Japanese people don't really get it.) Most Western names aren't that hard to pronounce in Japanese, after all. You'd only need a kanji name if you were applying for Japanese citizenship.

    [By the way, the katakana version of Jennifer is ジェニファー]
     

    imchongjun

    Member
    Japan
    Hi, cooledskin.
    Ki-ra (I suppose the first syllable is pronounced like "kid" (single vowel) not like "kite" (double vowel), right?)
    Ki-
    希 (hope)
    祈 (prayer)
    稀 (rarity)
    輝 (brilliance)
    貴 (nobility)
    綺 (beauty, figured silk)
    -ra
    羅 (gauze)
    螺 (conch)
    Actually there is a word 綺羅(kira) which means "beautiful clothes" or "noble people who wear beautiful clothes", and stars shining brightly are called "kira boshi" ("boshi" means stars).
    Are you learning Japanese? I hope you will get interested in learning kanji.
     
    More possibilities for Kira:
    光来 - light, come
    喜来 - happiness, come
    希星 - hope, star
    星愛 - star, love
    雪花 - snow, flower <-- I love this one, especially because it's also read as "yukibana", which means snowflake.
     

    cooledskin

    Member
    Canada English
    Sweet, thanks.
    I've been trying to learn Japanese on my own (off and on) for years, but there isn't a course available in my town, either at the high school or at the university. Sometimes there are Japanese tutors, but they never stay in town for long.
    Once I graduate from uni, though, I'll be heading to Japan with JET. Hopefully.

    Currently I'm liking 雪花, 輝 螺 and 綺羅. I'm not even going to try my last name because it has five syllables. :p
     

    frecklegirl

    New Member
    U.S., English
    Just know that JET isn't your only option for teaching English in Japan. There are other schools just as good, such as AEON. Don't worry about having to pin all your hopes on JET.
     

    Raroofu

    Banned
    USA, English
    You do know that foreigners aren't supposed to have their names written in Kanji? Only in katakana.
    I believe you are probably misunderstanding the requirement. You have certainly phrased it in overly broad terms. On official documents, you are not allowed to willy-nilly make up a name using any kanji you choose. Elsewhere, you are free to use anything you like. I have never been inclined to select kanji for writing my name, but I know lots of foreigners here in Japan who do.
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Things must have changed since I lived there 20 years ago. At that time, foreigners trying to use Kanji for their names ran into a lot of difficulty.

    LD

    Hello LadyDungeness,
    and welcome to the WordReference fora! Hope you stay around here and have linguistic fun.

    Foreigners I know often have with their kanji names (nicknames, family names, given names) engraved on their personal seals with official power (e.g., eligible for opening a bank account). Seals with katakana are used as well. If you notice that the practise has changed for the foreigners, naming practise for the Japanese has also undergone considerable change over time. :) In a larger time span, there was no katakana transcription of foreign proper names about 150 years ago; kanji transcription was the norm then. How katakana come into use, however, may be a topic of another, a long thread.

    More possibilities for Kira:
    光来 - light, come
    喜来 - happiness, come
    希星 - hope, star
    星愛 - star, love
    雪花 - snow, flower <-- I love this one, especially because it's also read as "yukibana", which means snowflake.
    The change of Japanese naming practise I mentioned above is seen in the names I marked with red ink. Although there are undoubtedly Japanese people with these names (both the kanji representations and the pronunciation), none of the three (at least to my draconian mind) seems very visible even 10 years ago. They cannot be read as /kira/ by the standard kanji readings or by more lenient readings allotted for naming practise. The other two (光来 and 喜来) are on the borderline. While the standard pronunciations of the kanjis do not correctly represent Kira, the pronunciations are close enough.

    Granted that kanji traditionally has been given diverse readings when used in names, recent naming practise has unprecedented focus on originality, so much so that everyone except the parents need to ask how the kanjis are to be read. The birth registration law allows any kind of reading unless a reading and a kanji mean opposite ideas (e.g., ひくい vs. 高).

    Whether the parents of a 星愛ちゃん can achieve originality for her or not is way beyond the scope of the forum, but I believe kanji translations of foreign names should at least attempt a transcription (with accuracy possible within the small Japanese phonetic inventory) of the original name. The three "translations" do not achieve that for the foreign name Kira. Originality and creativity is great but it's just not what people expect from a kanji translation. Even if a day may come that 星愛 is one of the accepted kanji translation of Kira, I say for today, after Dr. Watson that the world is not ready yet. :)
     

    cooledskin

    Member
    Canada English
    The change of Japanese naming practise I mentioned above is seen in the names I marked with red ink. Although there are undoubtedly Japanese people with these names (both the kanji representations and the pronunciation), none of the three (at least to my draconian mind) seems very visible even 10 years ago. They cannot be read as /kira/ by the standard kanji readings or by more lenient readings allotted for naming practise. The other two (光来 and 喜来) are on the borderline. While the standard pronunciations of the kanjis do not correctly represent Kira, the pronunciations are close enough.
    [...]
    Whether the parents of a 星愛ちゃん can achieve originality for her or not is way beyond the scope of the forum, but I believe kanji translations of foreign names should at least attempt a transcription (with accuracy possible within the small Japanese phonetic inventory) of the original name. The three "translations" do not achieve that for the foreign name Kira. Originality and creativity is great but it's just not what people expect from a kanji translation. Even if a day may come that 星愛 is one of the accepted kanji translation of Kira, I say for today, after Dr. Watson that the world is not ready yet. :)

    Flaminus
    ,
    Thank you for your very valuable insight! How would "輝螺," or "綺羅" do, then? I'm going to be spending some time in Japan, and while it's easier to use katakana, I'd like to know about easy-to-read kanji, too. Thanks!

    PS I was trying to read the Hebrew under your name, but I'm lost without the Masoretic vowels &c. :/
     

    Flaminius

    hedomodo
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית

    Flaminus
    ,
    Thank you for your very valuable insight! How would "輝螺," or "綺羅" do, then?
    Both represent the pronunciation /kira/ with the standard kanji readings. The latter 綺羅 may be easier to read, though. I also note that beautiful clothings are often used as metaphors in girls' names. E.g., 綾 (aya, originally "patterned silken textile") and 香織 (kaori is aroma but the second kanji represents "textile").
     
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