What is my name in Japanese? How to translate your name.

Ah, finding out your Japanese name is magical, isn’t it?

It’s the rite of passage for any new learner.

The second you start learning the language, you want to know how to write and say your name in Japanese. I hope, by this time, you already know your Katakana. If not… you…

…Ah, screw it.

I’ll show you anyway. (But you should really learn Katakana here.)

Want to know what your name is in Japanese?

  • If you’re just lazy, just LOOK BELOW for the list of common translated names.
  • If you’re ambitious… scroll all the WAY DOWN and the guide. It’ll take 3 or 4 minutes and you’ll be ready to use your Japanese name.

Also, be sure to leave a comment and say what your Japanese name is for practice!

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Just so you know…

Your name will be written in Katakana. All foreign words and names are written in this writing system. Below’s a quick run through of the Katakana (alphabet).

Katakana – English First, Then Japanese. The Ya, Yu, Yo Sounds
A I U E O Kya Kyu Kyo
キャ キュ キョ
Ka Ki Ku Ke Ko Gya Gyu Gyo
ギャ ギュ ギョ
Ga Gi Gu Ge Go Sha Shu Sho
シャ シュ ショ
Sa Shi Su Se So Ja Ju Jo
ジャ ジュ ジョ
Za Ji Zu Ze Zo Cha Chu Cho
チャ チュ チョ
Ta Chi Tsu Te To Nya Nyu Nyo
ニャ ニュ ニョ
Da Dzi Du De Do Hya Hyu/Fyu Hyo
ヒャ ヒュ ヒョ
Na Ni Nu Ne No Bya Byu Byo
ビャ ビュ ビョ
Ha Hi Hu/Fu He Ho Pya Pyu Pyo
ピャ ピュ ピョ
Ba Bi Bu Be Bo Mya Myu Myo
ミャ ミュ ミョ
Pa Pi Pu Pe Po Rya Ryu Ryo
リャ リュ
Ma Mi Mu Me Mo
Ya Yu Yo
Ra Ri Ru Re Ro
Wa N Wo

To make it easier, and so you can double-check your work, here are some common names translated into Japanese.

The “Common English Names Translated To Japanese For Lazy People” List

Names A-M Romanized Japanese Name N-Z Romanized Japanese
Aaron A-ron アーロン Nathan Ne-san ネーサン
Adam Adamu アダム Nick Nikku ニック
Alex Arekkusu アレックス Nikki Nikki ニッキ
Ann An アン Patrick Pattorikku パットリック
Anna Anna アンナ Paul Po-ru ポール
Andrew Andoryuu アンドリュウ Peter Pi-ta ピータ
Arthur Arusaa アルサー Philip Firippu フィリップ
Becky Bekki ベッキ Rachel Reicheru レイチェル
Ben Ben ベン Randy Rendi- レンディ
Bill Biru ビル Ray Rei レイ
Bob Bobu ボブ Rebecca Rebekka レベッカ
Brittany Burittanii ブリッタニー Richard Richa-do レチャード
Casey Keishii ケイシー Robert Roba-to ロバート
Carl Caaru カール Roger Roja- ロジャー
Charles Charuzu チャルズ Sally Sari- サリー
Cindy Shindii シンディ Sam Samu サム
Dan Dan ダン Sarah Sara サラ
Deborah Debora デボラ Sophie Sofii ソフィー
Derek Derekku デレック Stan Sutan スタン
Don Don ドン Stephanie Sutefanii ステファニー
Donna Donna ドンナ Tim Timu ティム
Emma Emma エッマ Valerie Bareri- バレリー
Eric Erikku エリック Vicky Bikki ビッキ
Erica Erika エリカ Victor Bikkuta- ビックター
Fred Fureddo フレッド Victoria Bikkutoria ビックトリア
Gary Ge-ri ゲーリ Walter Waruta- ワルター
Glen Guren グレン Wanda Wanda ワンダ
Harry Ha-ri ハーリ Wendy Uendii ウェンディ
Jack Jakku ジャック Will Uirru ウィル
James Je-muzu ジェームズ William Uirriamu ウィッリアム
Jen Jen ジェン Zack Zakku ザック
Jenny Jenni ジェニー Zachary Zakkari ザッカリ
Jerry Jerri ジェリー
Joe Jo ジョ
John Jon ジョン
Karen Karen カレン
Keith Kiifu キーフ
Ken Ken ケン
Kim Kimu キム
Larry Ra-ri ラーリ
Lenny Renni レニー
Linda Rinda リンダ
Mark Ma-ku マーク
Matt Matto マット
Mary Me-ri メーリ
Max Makkusu マックス
Mike Maiku マイク
Michael Maikeru マイケル

If I don’t have yours, leave a comment below and I will add it!

So, hopefully I got your Japanese name in there.Now, you can start speaking Basic Japanese and go introduce yourself as…

    • Hajimemashite, watashi no namae wa (name) desu.
    • はじめまして。私の名前は(name)です。
    • Nice to meet you. My name is (name).

Or you can just say the more casual way.

    • (name) desu.
    • (name)です。
    • I’m (name).

If you got your name right, be sure to leave a comment and introduce yourself. If I missed your name, also leave a comment and we’ll get one for you! And now that you know your name and can introduce yourself, you should learn even more Japanese!

What is my name in Japanese? How to translate your name.

First, there are 8 rules that you need to know about finding out your Japanese name. Don’t worry, they’re not scary. You’ll be fine after reading them.

And if you’re still confused, just leave a comment. Or… proceed to the list below if now you’re feeling lazy.

  1. It must be written in Katakana as it’s a foreign name. Katakana is merely a version of the Japanese alphabet dedicated to foreign words that were adopted by Japanese.
  2. There is no L. L becomes R. Sorry Larry, Linda, and Luke. Your names will start with the letter R from now on. There’s no L in the Japanese language and Japanese R is pretty unique, similar to the Russian/Spanish/Italian R where you  slightly roll your tongue. So Larry, you are pretty much Rarry.
  3. There is no V. V becomes B. Sorry Vicky, you’re now Bikki.
  4. The Japanese Alphabet follows the this sound pattern. You’ll get a good idea of it after taking a look at the character chart below.
    1. Pronunciation: Ah (written as A)
    2. Pronunciation: Ee (written as I)
    3. Pronunciation: Oo (written as U)
    4. Pronunciation: Eh (Written as E)
    5. Pronunciation: Oh (Written as O)
      1. So, of course, there will be “ka, ki, ku, ke, ko” and “sa, shi, su, se, so” and so on.
  5. Most Japanese letters actually consist if 1 consonant and 1 vowel OR just 1 vowel.
    1. So, “Ka” is considered as one letter. So is “A.” And “De.”
    2. What does this mean? It means 2 things. If you have…
      1. Two consecutive consonants in your name like “Fr” in Fred or “Gl” in Glen, those two will now have vowels after the consonants. So, the Fr in Fred becomes “Fure” and the Gl in Glen becomes “Gure.”
        1. Rule: In two consecutive consonants, the first one follows an “U” sound. The second one will follow the vowel that’s already in your name.
      2. Or if your name ends in a consonant, like “D” in Ted, then that last consonant is doubled up and ends in an O or U. Ted actually becomes Teddo. Fred becomes Fureddo.
        1. This rule does not apply to names ending in “N.” N in Japanese is the only consonant can be counted as 1 letter. So, our friend Glen is Guren.
        2. This rule does not apply to names ending in “Y.” So, Ray becomes Rei. The letter I (イ) acts as that “iy” sound.
        3. Names ending in K, M or X take on the “U” ending. Jim is Jimu. Hank is Hanku. Sam is Samu. Max is Makkusu. Mark is Ma-ku.
  6. Japanese letters are pronounced with equal stress and time, unless noted by an elongation. Take the word “camera.” In English, camera is pronounced as “Caaamura,” right? There’s quite a bit of stress on the “Caaaaa.” In Japanese however, it is ka-me-ra where each letter, ka, me and ra, are said for equal amounts of time.  This will help you understand rule #7 below.
  7. If a vowel in your name sounds like it receives stress, it will be an elongated vowel in Japanese. What do I mean? Take the name “Mary” or “Gary” for example. There’s quite a bit of emphasis on the letter A. It almost sounds like it’s pronounced as “Maaary” where the inflection on the A goes up. Same with Gary. In Japanese, these will become “Me-ri” and “Ge-ri”
  8. The Ya, Yu, Yo Sounds. Basically, any I sound, like Ki, Gi, Mi, Ji etc. can be combined with the Ya, Yu, Yo letters of a smaller version to produce sounds like…
    1. Gi: Gya, Gyu, Gyo
    2. Ji: Ja, Ju, Jo
    3. Ri: Rya, Ryu, Ryo
    4. And so, on. You’ll see more of these in the chart below.

Ok, now  you’re ready to learn your Japanese name.

Below is a chart of the Katakana letters, providing you with the English first, Japanese character underneath, to help you find the character for your name. Here’s how you figure out your name:

    • Step 1: Refer to rule #4 for the proper pronunciation of A, I, U, E, O.
    • Step 2: If your name starts with a consonant and vowel, look for the ones that match you.
      • Mary will start with “Me-” or メー
      • Kevin will start with “Ke” or  ケ
    • Or similary, if your name starts with a vowel, chose A, I, U, E, or O, depending on how your name sounds.
    • Step 3: Then piece your name together. Look for the next sound.
      • Mary will start with “Me-” or メー, and then we need “Ri” so find that character, リ, and add it in: メーリ
      • Kevin will start with “Ke” or  ケ, and then we need “Bi” (remember no V in Japanese) and “N.” So, find “Bi” and “N” and you have “Kebin” or ケビン.
    • Step 4: Feeling lazy? Scroll down below this chart where I’ve translated common English names into Japanese.

– The Junkie

P.S. I highly recommend this for Japanese learners. If you REALLY want to learn to Japanese with effective lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at JapanesePod101 (click here) and start learning!

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