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Why it is important to correct translate japanese names into English

Why it is important to correct translate japanese names into English
japanese translate name


translating names in japanese

Translating Names

Translation is very important in every walk of life, but there are certain aspects of languages that cannot be translated. Some writers and translators are of the opinion that poetry cannot be translated accurately. It is one of many things that are not easier to convert into another language. However, in order to make things understandable for speakers of different languages, translation is a must and that makes it difficult to translate Japanese names into English

A name is an important part of a person’s identity. It is not just something you can use to call someone, it also becomes their identity on their documents. Without a name, a person will have no identity. In the world of translation, names often become a problem. Translators are taught to leave proper names alone. But then there come the exceptions. For instance, if a literary text is being translated, the foreign names would not be relatable to the target audience. So, should a translator change the names in a book to more relatable names? There are no rules to guide linguistic experts regarding these matters.

Latin/no Latin based tongues

There are many names, especially Christian, that have different spellings in each Latin-based tongue. That means, they can be translated into different vernaculars and retain their meaning at the same time. But when it comes to non-Latin based tongues, the situation gets a bit complicated. When it comes to such vernaculars, transliteration works better than translation.

Transliteration makes it easier for people to pronounce a foreign name correctly. It also eliminates the need for translation of names.

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Rules of Transliteration:


Transliteration can be very helpful in translations. But it cannot work if the translators don’t know anything about the process of transliteration. Although it can be difficult to keep up with all the rules of translation and transliteration, it is important to understand them if you want to do your job properly. Here’s how transliteration works for names:

  • The romanization of every language is done differently. As a result, writing names in the Latin alphabet alone will not help the readers in pronouncing them.
  • When transliterating, the right guide should be followed. The translator should be familiar with the romanization criteria of the native tongue. If they don’t understand the pronunciation guide, they will not be able to transliterate names accurately.
  • Transliteration is not very helpful in situations where the target audience is not familiar with the romanization rules. If an English speaker cannot read the name of a Chinese person even after it is transliterated, then it won’t be useful to them.

Why Is It Important to Correct Translate Kanji Names into English?

Nihongo is an East Asian vernacular that is spoken by 128 million people. It has three writing systems. Kanji is the writing system for this vernacular that is based on Chinese characters. Other than kanji, katakana, and hiragana scripts are also used for writing this tongue. Although the translation of this language can seem to be a difficult process, it is possible for translators. When it comes to names, it is important to use the right method. If you don’t translate the name of a Japanese person accurately into English, you will be proving to them that you don’t care about their identity.

There are multiple options available for you if you want to translate names into English. You can easily find a Japanese name converter online and use it to get the transliteration you require. But these converters only work best if you need to translate a name from English into Modern Japanese. For translations in reverse, the best option for you is to learn the Roma-ji method. You are not supposed to mix dictionary lookup and your knowledge of the language to translate the meaning of a name. You can easily transliterate it so it can be pronounced in the right way.

The Roma-ji method is commonly known as Hepburn romanization or the Hepburn system. It is the method that is used all over the country. The vast majority of the people who have their names in Kanji use this system to write their names in English. The system is also perfect for translators. They can learn how to transliterate names into English with the help of the Hepburn system. It also makes things easier for the people who are living in English-speaking countries and just want others to pronounce their names correctly.

japanese translate name
japanese name translation meaning

To Translate or Not to Translate?

Whenever you are faced with the ultimate dilemma as a translator, it’s best to focus on the source text. If you won’t be hurting the feelings of a living person by translating their name or you won’t be changing the context of the document, it is completely okay to translate a name. However, if you do plan on translating a name, make sure you know its correct meaning. The internet has far too many websites that offer incorrect meanings of common names. If you plan to do something, do it right.

And if you decide to leave the names as they are, it is best to use transliteration. The process will make the reading of the document somewhat easier for your audience. You can’t send in a document to your audience in China that has English names on it. If people can’t read a foreign vernacular, they won’t be able to pronounce the names either. So, always think of the context of the document and your target audience when you can’t decide whether or not you should translate names.

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