Confused what my name is in Japanese

In English my name is katharine (spelt with an a) and I wanted to know what it is in Japanese. I looked it up and saw both katarine or it might have been katarin and I also saw kyasarin. I don’t know what is right anyone know?

2 Likes

Multiple Wikipedia pages for people named Katharine had キャサリン on the Japanese version of the page, so that seems like a safe bet.

2 Likes

It depends a bit on how you pronounce your name. I’m Michael but from germany. So if my name would be english it would be マイケル. But since my name has german pronounciation I’m ミハエル. Generally it’s a good Idea to do what seanblue said and go to a wikipedia page of someone famous with the same name that is pronounced in the same way as your name and switch the site to japanese to see how they normally spell that name.

10 Likes

I think this is one of those things where really, the deciding factor is what you like best, because it’s your name!

But if you’re looking for specific examples to help decide, my friend Kathryn and I studied abroad for a couple months in Osaka, and the way our sensei translated it was as the キャサリン option.

Still, I really think it’s up to you, to be honest.

5 Likes

I made this simple website which looks up your name on Wikipedia. It found your name, the way you spell it, as キャサリン 12 times, and no significant alternative spellings

9 Likes

Good to know my name does not show up in a Wikipedia page, sticking to my own pronunciation

1 Like

This is how people convert their names to Japanese, generally. Unless you feel the need to intentionally change it, essentially giving yourself a nickname. In either case, it’s your own decision and not something dictated by external parties.

3 Likes

You just need something that is close in pronunciation. And you may find different “variation” for your name, I think it´s okay to chose the one you like better.
For example, my real name is Claire and I found it could be kureru (for French) or kurea (for English). Though I am French, I decided to chose kurea as it was way more cuter. I also talked about it with a Chinese friend who could speak Japanese and he also said that kurea was much better than kureru. And I had no problem in Japan, even though it´s not the most accurate translation for my name it still makes sence.

1 Like

This is an interesting question! I agree with what everyone else has said about checking Wikipedia for famous people with your name but then ultimately choosing what works for you.

When I first came to Japan, I didn’t know how to read katakana, so I let my company “translate” it for me. Now, my cash card and health insurance card both have use katakana that’s super far how I naturally pronounce my last name.

1 Like