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How would your name be pronounced?

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elmie7072
New in Town
Posts: 2
Joined: December 1st, 2009 7:03 pm

How would your name be pronounced?

Postby elmie7072 » February 9th, 2011 3:07 pm

Konnichiwa minna-san

I was wondering if anybody could be of help. I listened to some beginner series pods the past week where they covered some famous peoples names.
eg
Audrey Hebburn will be pronounced as Odorii Hebppubaan
Brad Pitt = Buraddo Pitto

My qeustion now is how would my name and where I am from be pronounced:
Elmie van Niekerk
I am from Pretoria, South Africa

And how can you figure out how to do the same with other places and names?
Is there a rule to this?

Cheers

cloa513ch2629
Established Presence
Posts: 81
Joined: June 1st, 2013 1:00 pm

Re: How would your name be pronounced?

Postby cloa513ch2629 » June 7th, 2013 11:48 pm

If its a country then Japanese has both a katakana translation and usually a formal name.
 
e.g. America is アメリカ and 米国 (べいこく)
Also other names for United States of America.


Those are available through dictionaries. Your name can be done anyway you like there are special katakana to get the name close to phonetically the same as how you say it. e.g. ヴぇ for ve.

e.g. http://www.jisho.org/words?jap=&eng=Sou ... dict=edict

Those actor names are just because they reached Japan in movies but not in person first and so they had to be given katakana translations.

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mmmason8967
Expert on Something
Posts: 758
Joined: January 7th, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: Huntingdon, England

Re: How would your name be pronounced?

Postby mmmason8967 » June 8th, 2013 6:53 am

elmie7072 wrote:And how can you figure out how to do the same with other places and names?
Is there a rule to this?

Basically you forget about the way a name is spelt, concentrate on how it's pronounced and try to reproduce the same pronunciation as close as you can using Japanese syllables.

Japanese syllables don't end with a consonant but you can get quite close to the required sound by using syllables from the 'u' row (such as ku, mu, bu, pu, ru etc) because the 'u' sounds have the most de-voiced vowels. If you need a T or D sound you can't use tu and du because they're pronounced tsu and dzu, so you have to use to and do instead.

L and R sounds are both done using the ra-ri-ru-re-ro sounds.

There is no SI in Japanese, but shi is close enough for most purposes.

TH is usually done using su. V sounds are usually done using the ba-bi-bu-be-bo sounds. There is a katakana compound that represents the V sound but since Japanese doesn't have a V sound it's difficult for Japanese speakers to pronounce so I think it's maybe more polite to choose something that's going to be easier to pronounce.

It sometimes helps to use a double consonant where a name has a 'hard' consonant, like, for example, the 'd' and 't' sounds in 'Brad Pitt'. And you need to decide whether or not a long vowel sound improves the pronunciation: for example, piitaa sounds much more like 'Peter' than pita does (pita sounds like 'pitter').

Finally, although you can theoretically choose how you spell your name, there is often a well-established spelling for many foreign names and it's probably wiser to stick with that if it applies to you. And like any other language, Japanese already has names for all the countries, so you just have to find out what the Japanese name for your country is.

My qeustion now is how would my name and where I am from be pronounced:
Elmie van Niekerk
I am from Pretoria, South Africa

Pretoria breaks easily into p-re-to-ri-a, and we only need to substitute 'pu' for 'p', giving us pu-re-to-ri-a, or プレトリア in katakana. We can check if this is correct by consulting Wikipedia Japan (looks like it is).

I'm not sure how your name is actually pronounced, but to me it looks like I would pronounce it el-mee van-nee-kur-k. For Japanese syllables I'd go for e-ru-mi-i ba-n-ni-i-ka-a-ku, which is エルミー・バンニーカーク.

マイケル

mmmason8967
Expert on Something
Posts: 758
Joined: January 7th, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: Huntingdon, England

Re: How would your name be pronounced?

Postby mmmason8967 » June 8th, 2013 7:22 am

Oh great. I just realised that the question I was answering is more than two years old...

マイケル

community.japanese
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Posts: 2704
Joined: November 16th, 2012 5:54 pm

Re: How would your name be pronounced?

Postby community.japanese » June 8th, 2013 6:43 pm

cloa513ch2629-san, マイケルsan,
kon'nichiwa!
Thank you very much for sharing info! :D
Posts from both of you are very informative :wink:

Natsuko(奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com


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