Saying My Name

Hi all,

It’s clear how to write my name in katakana (well, somewhat clear), which I’ll probably never have to do. My first name, Ashley, would likely be something like アシリ, let’s say.

So when I meet people, do I say (sorry for the romaji): “hajimemashite, asheri to moushimasu” because that’s how it’s spelled there? Or do I say “hajimemashite, Ashley to moushimasu” because that’s my name, and spelling’s a separate issue?

(I expect it works the other way, too … people with tricky foreign names move to an English-speaking community and choose an English name that resembles theirs and is easy for English speakers to pronounce and spell).

Mostly this would be in relation to having made reservations online for hotels and restaurants, where I would have typed in Ashley Lambert-Maberly. Should I stick with that, or convert the pronunciation to how I would express it in katakana?

Hope that makes sense! In Japan in two months for my first trip, and am trying to fill my mental gaps while there’s time left.


My first name is Ira. In my experience, it can be a difficult name for Japanese people to parse. I generally pronounce it as it would be in katakana (aira), especially with people like hotel workers who I won’t have a close relationship with. It just tends to make things easier. There is less of a chance that I will have to repeat my name several times.

If I am introducing myself to someone I will have a longer term relationship and I know speaks English pretty well, I would probably say my name normally.

1 Like

I am always スコット in Japan in all situations. when people want to be polite, they use スコットさん.

I would actually suggest you use your first and last name in the normal English speaking sense. I would suggest using the katakana version of your name when introducing yourself or else it becomes difficult to mentally process for them. Don’t worry about being exact.

Japanese generally know western names are first/last, but by giving both you allow them to respond respectfully to you. Most likely in the way of last name-san. If i’m reading it right, your last name is Lambert-Maberly? It’s most likely ease of use, but if you have a difficult last name, in this case they might choose to use first name-san.

If you see them struggling, you can also prepare beforehand.

My last name is pretty bad, but at least it isn’t hyphenated. I didn’t even give my last name out at all unless someone asked. When I worked for NEC, I was スコット, except on my business card, of course. I think keeping things real simple for everyone is best. If you really want to throw out your whole title, be ready with:


1 Like

Yeah it’s fine too, i would just say my full name once without the expectation they pick up on it out of respect for their culture.

Fortunately i have an easy common first and last name, my homestay family defaulted to using last name-san.

The trick for transliterating common names: look up someone famous on Wikipedia with the same name, and then switch to the Japanese version of that page. For example: アシュレイ・ジャッド

Wait, that might be a bad example. アシュリー does seem to be the more common transliteration.

1 Like

Actually it should be アシュリーと呼んでください “Please call me Ashley.”

アシュリーを呼んでください。Would be “Please call Ashley.”


For this reason I stress that it’s unimportant to exactly memorize the katakana, because there’s too many variations that are all not equal to the original (in native language). However speaking slowly and speaking in Japanese “syllables” is greatly helpful.

Yeah, that’s sounds right. I don’t remember using it though. I think I use スコットでいいです.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.