How to write your name in Japanese

want to learn to how to write your name in japanese? See what it would look like if converted to Japanese symbols!

Due to the huge number of requests to write a name in Japanese, I decided to create an article on the subject. I hope that with this, many Japanese Language readers will be able to write foreign names in Japanese.

How to write your name in Japanese?

write name in japanese

One thing I want to make clear is that foreign names are usually written in katakana and not in kanji or hiragana. Furthermore, another difficulty in writing a foreign name in Japanese is the fact that the Japanese language has few sounds when compared to Portuguese or other languages.

Replace your name's syllables with katakana

The simplest way to write a name in Japanese is to learn the katakana alphabet and replace the syllables in your name with katakana syllables. Just note:

Caio in Japanese is カイオ (kaio).
Iago in Japanese, is イアゴ (iago).

When the syllables in the names match the syllables in the Japanese alphabet, that's fine. But what about when they don't match? If my name is Alfredo or Marcos?

Simulating syllables outside the Japanese alphabet

The first major problem encountered is that in Japanese there are no syllables di, ti, fa, fe and fi. There are also no syllables composed with r such as tr, pr, cr, dr and etc. What to do then? Simulate.

Simulating is simply joining two or more syllables of the katakana to form sounds similar to sounds in other languages. Let's use Alfredo as an example.

In this case, we have two sounds, or syllables, that do not exist in the Japanese alphabet: al and fre. For the sound that L makes when it appears after a vowel, it is common to use the syllable ル, forming アル to replace al.

To replace fre, we will need the syllables フ(fu) and レ(re). When they are together, they form sounds similar to our fre (fure).

In the end, Alfredo will be written and read as アルフレド (arufuredo).

If we apply the same technique to the name Mark, we have マルコス (marukosu). See how the ル replaces the sound of air, and the ス replaces the sound of the s at the end of the name.

Another very common thing to do is to change the sounds of the syllables va, see, vi, vo and vu, with the syllables バ(ba), ベ(be), ビ(bi), ボ(bo), and ブ(bu) in Japanese. Also remember that the r family in katakana can also take on the sound of L, being read as la, le, li, lo, and lu.

Here's one last tip. For words that end with the sounds er, ir, ar, or, or ur, you can use a vowel extension or end with the syllable ル in katakana. This is the case for names like Lindomar, which in katakana is リンドマー or リンドマル.

See too:
Japanese numbers from 1 to 20
Fan Art Method – Learn how to draw your favorite anime character!

One name in Portuguese can generate two in Japanese

There are several systems on the internet that convert their names to katakana. They use the same system I described above. Their weakness is that they don't always generate a nice name, or they don't tell us that the same name can be read and written in two different ways.

In the case of the name Lindomar, we have this question. Which of the two names would be correct?リンドマー or リンドマル? Both. Choose what is most enjoyable for you and use it at your leisure.

The advantages of knowing the above systems is that you have more freedom to write a name that you like and that sounds more pleasant. I myself prefer to do the name conversion manually than using an internet system.

List of common names converted to katakana

To finish the article, which is already very long, I will leave a list of common names converted to katakana. They will help you better understand Japanese name translation.

Adriana – アヅリアナ
Alan – アラン
Alessandro – アレサンヅロ
Alex – アレキス
Aline – アリネ
Barbara – バルバラ
Bruno – ブルノ
Camila – カミラ
Cristiane - クリスチアネ
Danilo – ダニル
Douglas - ドウグラス
Joseph – ジョゼ
Mary – マリア
Micarla – ミカルラ
Valeria – バレリャ
Vanessa – バネサ

I hope you've learned how to write your name in Japanese with ease!

if you are having difficulties this site can help you see what your name looks like in Japanese.

Image credits: tanaka who and Andrew