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  1. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Changing random names into Japanese name?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eurlo, Apr 3, 2011.

    I Like japanese names because they have alot of meaning to them, But should I do this? It would give me a language based naming system....
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's the context? American high school, no. Fantasy world, probably not unless it's based on Japan in several other thematic ways. Something set in Japan (past or present), then yes.
     
  3. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    well the whole idea of this book is based off Anime shows, Japanese stuff, ect.....
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends which Japanese names you use - something like Sakura or Tomiko may work Chihiro and Sen are pretty familiar because of Spirited Away etc
     
  5. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    if you look it up, you'll find that most names have lots of meaning to them, eventhough people tend to forget that meaning.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then you should be using Japanese names anyway. :p

    I find it funny how you almost never get people, say, randomly naming all their characters Finnish names in really out of context places, but badly-placed Japanese names show up all the time. :p
     
  7. Louis Farizee
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    Louis Farizee Member

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    Truth. Very few names are just random syllables slapped together because they sound pretty.
     
  8. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    I know one Of my newest characters name is, "Ruuki" (pronounced: Rah-oo-oo-key)
    (Ruu) means: Distant,leisurely (ki) means: Life

    SO his name means alot in my book, Because it fits his life history....
     
  9. 霊Ray霊
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    霊Ray霊 Member

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    When you say "changing random names into Japanese" are you talking about converting them into a way that sounds phonetically correct in Japanese?

    For example Axel becomes アクセル (Akuseru) Justin » ジャスティン "Jasutin"
    Henry » ヘンリー "henrii"

    Is this what you meant?
     
  10. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    no, something about each of them in character form will be changed into their names

    Example:

    Wolf who is brave will have a Name in japanese meaning "brave".....Ray care to post an example?
     
  11. 霊Ray霊
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    霊Ray霊 Member

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    Yeah but that´s hard. Also you´d have to, for example on the first pages of your book to say what the name means.

    A native Japanese person wouldn´t be able to know for example that the "ki" means life. Because ki can also mean tree, spirit among an army of others, it will all depend on the Japanese character that is associated to the name.

    My suggestion is: You have your character and you know how the character is.

    Let´s say that your character is cheerful, full of dreams and energy.

    You have these characters: 光 "It means "Ray/Light" 夢 means "dream" 中 means "within/inside...."

    Then you look for the Onyomi or Kunyomi "readings of the character"

    光= Kou.. 夢= Mu/Bou.. 中= Chuu/naka.... and you join them and see if you like the result.

    You can conclude it as 中夢光 "Nakamukou" Yeah it´s a bad name I know, but with this method you can come up with pretty unique names and for example you can say that Nakamukou means " Within a dream of light" lol stuff like that
     
  12. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I think it would work if the book is written in English. But it might be absurd if a Japanese person read it.

    Let's say you decide to name a character "Buckethead" and in Japanese that's "Sikirakowa" (I made that up), which sounds pretty good. The English speaking reader will accept the name and move on, but if a Japanese person read it the stupidity of the name would ruin the story.
     
  13. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Exactly Well said Ray, my point exactly, thanks!
     
  14. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Thats not what I'm saying, I'm saying a characteristic from each character will be used to make the Japanese name.....
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No. It is a passing fad.
     
  16. 霊Ray霊
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    霊Ray霊 Member

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    Allegro Van Kiddo is true!

    Let´s say your main character has a lot of courage.

    His/hers name will be "Yuuki" which means courage in Japanese. The English reader that knows nothing about Japanese will probably like it and probably speak to himself/herself "Hmm, pretty unique name". Now imagine if your character´s main name was "Courage" perhaps the Japanese reader would like that one but the English would dislike it.

    Also, English names (many of those names´ origins came from other countries like Germany for example) they have meanings too but many people are unaware of what each name means.

    Of course that they´re not like Japanese though that it´s like compounded words.

    For example a question has a topic right? 問題 "mondai" means problem/question. The first character means "Question/Ask/Problem" then the 2nd means "Topic/Subject"

    With Japanese/Chinese names, because every symbol has its own meaning, one name can describe your character´s personality, It´ll sum up the whole thing.
     
  17. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Exactly Ray..... I know this thats why I have chosen this language! :)
     
  18. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    The thing about picking Japanese names is that it's best to pick names that are, well, actually used as names. When I was in Japan, I was given a Japanese name based on the meaning of my given name. What they did is, instead of just picking Japanese words that fit the same meaning, they found an actual Japanese name that had the correct meaning (和守, read as "Kazumori", means roughly peaceful protector/peacekeeper, equivalent of Greg/Gregory).

    The other point is that if you want the name to be intelligable, rather than being some cool thing that only a few people know about, I would, at some point in the book (an appendix maybe?) provide the Japanese characters used to write the name -- "Kazumori", for example, can also be written as 一森, meaning "one forest" or "firstborn of the forest", or 計盛, which, as close as I can figure means "one for whom it is planned that he will prosper". Both of these clearly have completely different meanings, yet they are all pronounced identically.

    I would suggest this same approach, though it's much harder for someone who doesn't speak the language. I would not suggest picking everyday Japanese words that have the correct meaning, otherwise you will end up with something as silly-sounding as someone named "Courage" in English.

    Perhaps you can give us a list of characters and the traits you would like to emphasize, and we can see what we can come up with?
     
  19. K.S.A.
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    K.S.A. Member

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    If your character is old enough, the name might stick. For example, one of my female immortals is name Ryou, which means Dragon in Jap, mostly because she's so hot-tempered & the name stuck over the millennia. It's meant to be funny.

    My newest MC is called Fei, meaning to dance/fly in the air in Chinese (which suits her perfectly because she eventually grows a pair of wings), mainly peace-loving & lonely according to numerology which my character is (apart from her love-hate relationship with her kid brother & her snark).
     
  20. bumblebot
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    bumblebot Senior Member

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    What do you mean, changing your characters' randomly-assigned names into Japanese? Or translating their names into Japanese?

    If it's the former, Melzar makes a pretty good point that it would seem out of place unless the setting has a clear Japanese influence.

    If it's the latter, maybe this will help, it translates words into their Japanese character equivalents: http://www.yournameinjapanese.com/
     
  21. 霊Ray霊
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    霊Ray霊 Member

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    That´s a good choice, probably the best, since the other involves you picking out characters with meanings that please you and create a name through that, which will only make sense to you unless you put a sort of "curiosity" thing that explains it.

    Then there´s names that it´s just the way they sound and don´t aim to have any particular meaning. I´ve seen many names like that and they´re all written in Katakana. (Katakana isn´t used only for that though)

    You can also do this thing that I liked from a video game series (Kingdom Hearts)
    The main character Sora and then another character that is very related to Sora which its name is "Roxas". Roxas is an anagram of Sora with a X.
     
  22. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    So I need to base my the japanese names from their original names? like "Eurlo" into a japanese name? But see thats the Probalem most of my names are random so this can not be done, or at least I don't think they can....
     
  23. 霊Ray霊
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    霊Ray霊 Member

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    If you make "Eurlo" a Japanese name it will sound weird. I´m curious about one thing. Why do you feel that need, to make your character´s names Japanese?
     
  24. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Ummm because, I like everything japanese, the shows, language, culture, lifestyle,ect! I wished I was from japan.....Clear enough for you?
     
  25. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    I would stay away from this site -- all it does it pick random kanji that happen to be able to be pronounced a certain way; people use this to generate names for kanji tattoos and things like that, and the combinations are almost always laughably ridiculous. Contrary to common belief, you can't just stick kanji together in any random order and have them combine together to make sense. Certain combinations are known compounds, some are used only in names, some are complete nonsense. It looks like it also creates names using an arbitrary number of kanji, one syllable (mora) per character, which is not accurate at all to Japanese names. Japanese given names generally have, with very few exceptions, 2 kanji with 1-2 syllables (mora) each (2 seems to be more common).

    As I said, give us a list of characters and the traits you want to convey, and I'm sure we can figure some names out.
     
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