Did you know that you can write your name in kanji (ideogram), even if your name is not Japanese? Those who study Japanese know that it is common to use katakana to write foreign names, but there is no problem writing your name in kanji. This is actually a lot of fun because you choose ideograms that give your name a certain meaning.
There is no problem writing foreign names using kanji, because before katakana existed, there was only kanji. Take the Chinese language for example, it has only ideograms. Of course, if you are going to write your name on a daily basis it is better to use katakana. But have you ever thought how your name would look with kanji? Which kanji and what meanings to choose? In this article we will teach you how to do that!
Choosing Kanji for your name
Choosing kanji for your name is not an easy task. Japanese ideograms have many forms of reading, the readings of the names may be different from what you learned when studying such a kanji. Remembering that you will not change your name, you will only use the syllables of your name written in katakana and find kanji that fit to replace them.
You should also be careful not to choose a female or male kanji. It is not easy to define whether or not an ideogram is appropriate for your name, pay attention to the meaning and decide whether or not this kanji is appropriate for you. Another problem is that there are ideograms that are not common to use in names, not to mention their standard reading and the reading of a different name, so be very careful.
Where to find the right ideograms? We recommend that you visit the website jisho.org and do a syllable search for syllable of your name in the category Names from the website. There you will find all kanji with their correct reading used in names along with the meaning in English.
This is another way to write your name in Japanese, and give it real meaning. Remember that this is not your official name, so it is not recommended sign documents with it, some Japanese may confuse reading.
Another alternative to Jisho is the website kanjizone.com where you simply write your name in Portuguese and it presents suggestions of ideograms and their meanings for you to form your name. It is very easy and practical.
How did I choose my name?
I just learned that it is okay to use kanji in my foreign name, when a Japanese family asked me and suggested choosing kanji for my name. I used the jisho to find kanji and know how to read them, along with the help of the Japanese I came up with the following results:
- My name is Kevin (ケビン or ケヴィン).
- 計敏 - ke (計) means plot, plan, scheme, measure. / bin (敏) it means intelligent, agile and alert;
- 花敏 - ke (花) - means flower;
I liked the meaning of my name. I had these two options because the Japanese started saying that using 花 was a little feminine, but then they said it was okay… So just in case I left the 2. Of course there are several other ideograms with other meanings to choose from , but it is not easy…