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British Japanese names/spellings

(33 Posts)
Yabbie Fri 01-May-15 11:45:12

DD1 is due in three weeks, we have a shortlist of three names, which work in both English and Japanese, but the spellings don't. What's your preferred spelling for each of these? Or is it better to go with the most common or she'll have put up with wrong spellings for her whole life? I have no idea!

Hannah/ Hana/ Hanah
May/ Mae/ Mai/ Mei
Ema/ Emma

SpiritOfTheRitz Fri 01-May-15 11:51:22

I think I might be tempted to go with the most common spellings.

After all, presumably when written in Japanese they will be written as a character, and not using the roman alphabet at all.

Having said that, I think Mei and Hana in particular are lovely, (but Ema looks like it should be pronounced Eema).

OrchidFlakes Fri 01-May-15 11:53:14

I know a Mei who has never had a problem, she spells it once and people just accept it. It's a beautiful name whatever the spelling x

DearTeddyRobinson Fri 01-May-15 11:55:18

I'd go with the normal English spelling (Hannah etc). I'm guessing they will be written in kanji & katakana in Japanese, which would be the same regardless of how you spell the English name.

SevenEleven Fri 01-May-15 11:55:47

Hannah, May, Emma. Your DD will.end up saying 'Emma with one m' every time she gives her name with the other spellings.

All lovely names, though

SevenEleven Fri 01-May-15 11:57:14

If I read the name Mei, though, I wouldn't automatically know it was pronounced as May.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Fri 01-May-15 12:00:03

I used to nanny for an English / Japanese family & one of their girls was a Hana, I thought it was lovely

Yabbie Fri 01-May-15 12:02:43

Thanks, yes in Japanese the names will have a character or two, which is a whole nother problem!
Apparently the authorities used to be very strict about how Japanese names are transliterated in passports for example - but now they let you choose the spelling in latin alphabet, I think.

TheNewStatesman Fri 01-May-15 12:17:24

Yes, they do. You can ask them to write "Emma" under the kanji name instead of "Ema" if you want. Are you in Japan?

Sophronia Fri 01-May-15 12:22:29

I like Hana with this spelling.

MollieCoddler Fri 01-May-15 12:26:44

I like hana with this spelling and I know a Japanese/English girl called this

crje Fri 01-May-15 12:30:33

I think as your reason to use an alternative spelling is genuine then you should go for it.

Ema & Mei aren't great
The rest are lovely

Poofus Fri 01-May-15 12:33:47

Hana is lovely. I think I would keep the Japanese transliteration, actually, otherwise the name would seem to have lost any trace of her ancestry.

Nolim Fri 01-May-15 12:34:10

I have nothing useful to add but for dc we choose names that have the same spelling in english and our language so that they dont have to say "emma with one m" as someone mentioned. The pronuntiation is different but we can live with that.

TempsPerdu Fri 01-May-15 12:48:16

Love Hana with this spelling. Almost all the Anglo-Japanese people I've met have had an anglicised name but with a Japanese transliteration. I went to school with a Hana and several Meis and both alternative spellings were accepted without any problems.

TanteRose Fri 01-May-15 12:57:18

I think with the spelling in the passports, you have to get the UK passport first, with the spellings you want, and then when you get the Japanese passports they will adhere to the UK spelling. Just check though smile

We have a Maya, so the spelling is the same in both languages.
But it's fun choosing kanji too!

Penguinotterfoxbadger Fri 01-May-15 13:29:39

Hana is beautiful. She may have to correct people occasionally but I don't think it's a big deal, especially if you live in a fairly multicultural area.

MamaLazarou Fri 01-May-15 14:27:47

Naomi is a name that translates well into Japanese.

scribblegirl Fri 01-May-15 14:48:05

My cousin is half british, half japanese and she is Hana. I think it's lovely.

drspouse Fri 01-May-15 22:31:42

I know a Hana who is part Pakistani and part British and I also like that spelling.

I knew a Japanese/British couple who said that they knew about a dozen baby Naomis because it works well in both languages.

PeppermintCrayon Sat 02-May-15 00:46:33

I'm going to go against the grain and say I think Mei is a much nicer spelling.

Lweji Sat 02-May-15 01:03:19

I'd choose the most common spelling of where she will live for the most part. UK?

I chose a name that is spelt exactly the same in our country of origin and English for my son, as I was fed up with spelling my name and my then husband's.

Kampeki Sat 02-May-15 01:11:16

Where do you live, OP? I think it makes a difference.

What character would you use for Mei? Which ones for Ema/Emma?

I'd go with the more obvious spelling for the country that you're living in, tbh.

Kampeki Sat 02-May-15 01:15:49

I've seen people use Emily, Lisa or Niki before as well. All workable is both languages.

Yabbie Sat 02-May-15 07:41:14

We're in Japan now, but could come back the the UK in the future. The most obvious spelling is 花 for Hana for example Japanese wouldn't be interested in how it's spelt in Latin alphabet only which Japanese character to use.
If you met a Hana would you think that's a British name? Or that's unusal? I would like to reflect both cultures in her name - she'll have Japanese surname so I guess the most obvious common English spelling would get that across.

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