Translating American names to Japanese

Hello everyone!

I would like some guidelines on translating American names to written Japanese. From what I understand all would be in Katakana, but I’m confronted with some tough names to phonetically translate. I’ve listed a few that I’m looking at, if you have any tips let me know, thanks!

Collen
カリンナ?

Caleb
ケレバ?

Paul
パウラ?

Tracie
?

Kellen
ケレンナ?

Michelle
?

Mikey
マイキ?

Brandi
?

Kaylin
ケエレン?

Chuck
?

Madelyn
メデリンナ?

Can I ask, why did you add a ナ at the end of Collen and Madelyn? They would just end in ン, would they not? I think generally English names that end in consonants you’re going to end in the う sound. Ending them in an あ sound like you’ve done here doesn’t sound right.

Some advice I got a while ago, which I’ll repeat to you, is to check Wikipedia pages for famous people with those names. By going to the Japanese versions of those pages, you can find some katakana versions of the names.

13 Likes

Yep, as パウラ would be Paula not Paul from what I saw from the Japanese wiki.

Even パウル seems to not be for English names according to this:

It seems it would be ポール and ポーラ for the English/American Paul/Paula.

3 Likes

No clue if these are any better, but I would write them as

コリン
カレブ
ポール
トレイシー
ケラン
ミシェル
マイキー
ブランディ
ケイリン
チャック
マデリン

5 Likes

You can put these all into Weblio and check them yourself. I don’t see any that match to what is written here.

https://ejje.weblio.jp/

1 Like

I will usually just enter a name into jisho.org or if it is a celebrity or famous person I will look up their Wikipedia article. If you scroll down on the left hand side there will be an option of other languages the article is available in, Japanese for the most part being one of them.

3 Likes

Thanks everyone! Very helpful

1 Like

I also try to check Wikipedia, otherwise my tip is to use Google Translate (JP - EN). As in, you write what you think would be correct in katakana and then let the “robot-voice” read it for you. That has helped me at least. :slight_smile:

1 Like