"Translating" English names into Kanji

So I know it’s at best incredibly lame to try to create a kanji version of English/foreign names, but let’s say hypothetically that a person I know wants to try anyway, and let’s say this person is paying obsessive attention to both the meanings of each character and all the possible readings…
Yeah… So, I’ve been hearing about these modern キラキラ names, and how parents are just… inventing new readings for these kanji, and while I’ve been looking up kanji with potential readings to go with the syllables in my name, my options for kanji with reasonably decent (or at least not completely nonsensical) meanings are somewhat limited, and my last name (Blount/ブラウント) would end up being four kanji long (though with established readings and nifty meanings, especially when put together), which I know is not common.
This leads me to two questions:

  1. Assuming I was not going the creating-new-readings route, would these make sense/am I even close to doing this right?
    Erin Blount (written as Blount Erin) > 豊羅運登 恵臨
    My research gives me possible readings for an exact phonetic match, with the following meanings:

豊 (ぶ) bountiful, excellent, rich
羅 (ら) gauze, thin silk, Rome, arrange, spread out
運 (うん) carry, luck, destiny, fate, lot, transport, progress, advance
登 (と) ascend, climb up

恵 (え) blessing, grace, favor, kindness
臨 (りん) look to, face, meet, confront, attend, call on

I used to use [林 (りん) forest, grove] for my given name’s second character, which seemed especially fitting, given my middle name, Ashley, means “meadow of ash trees” in Irish Gaelic; but when I found the one I used above, it seemed to fit the preceding kanji much better for an auspicious meaning, especially as I am a Christian. I also enjoyed how the kanji I found for my family name can kind of hint at the “Romans Road” (a series of verses from the book of Romans that perfectly sum up the gospel message), especially if I use 途 (route, way, road) for と, and either way carries a similar message of lifting people up through blessing and encouragement that I love.

  1. Let’s say I’d rather find another way to get my family name down to two characters; how might I go about creating new readings for them in a way that still makes ANY sense (I would intend on using furigana or something similar to help people with the reading when giving them my kanji name either way, since I’m not completely insane/cruel/stupid). I imagine there have to be some kind of rules for how that works, or more of those names would get rejected… right?
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It’s incredibly lame. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah, that’s a long name in kanji, and those are some complex kanji. You can cut out a kanji by skipping the う and going ブラント (though admittedly that’s a different name), and you can also get more options for kanji by considering nanori (name-only readings) as well, but I’m not really sure what else to suggest.

If I had to make a kanji name, I figured I’d just abbreviate it to 山田, because part of my family name in katakana is サンダ. :slightly_smiling_face:

Funnily enough, there’s actually a temple in Yamanashi Prefecture named 恵林寺.

Fortunately, “Erin” is a name that converts to Japanese rather readily - I’d even be willing to say it’s already a name in Japanese. Google can suggest literally bucketloads of ways that it’s written in kanji, but I admit I don’t know which of those are common.

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Tbh. I still don’t understand. How can natives have names in kanji. I guess i am just a beginner. This why i don’t know. Easiest one i know is 田中~さん。which would be mr. Middle rice paddy or mr. Rice paddy middle.
I am not bothered with it (yet) but i will check after i actually can read kanji.

I’m honestly not sure how much Japanese people think about the kanji that get used in proper nouns. I mean, after all, we English speakers can read place names like “Oxford” or “Cambridge” or family names like “Johnson” or “Stonehouse” without trying to pick apart their meanings at all times.

P.S. It’s just 田中さん. You don’t need the ~.


Sort of related to kanji and names-- although it doesn’t really help the original post, but I love the Bridgestone Tire Company example. The company president is Mr Ishibashi (石橋) a common surname meaning stone and bridge. He switched the kanji to create the bridgestone company name.
Sorry if I am derailing the thread, but I like the story. Plus, I live in his home town and everything here is named after him.


Wow, you’re right. We just consider them names, sounds and often don’t even think about the obvious etymology of some names and now weird they actually are. Like “Johnson.” It’s the son of John. But that’s probably the first time I ever thought of it that way!


You sitting there thinking you saw 田中さん, but it was really yo boi 中田.

日本 and 本日 had me going for a minute.

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Because even Japanese-origin words (like た and なか) are now written in kanji? And have been for more than 1000 years? >_>

Leebro, did you take a break from WK? You’ve been at Lv3 (yet again) for a while.

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