Why is Kirby's name written カービィ instead of カービ?

Does ビィ have a different pronunciation from ビ?

Also here’s a Kirby as thanks for entering this thread.


I think it’s because they want you to slightly drag out the ビィ sound, rather than just a shorter ビ sound.

As far I understand it, writing it like that is supposed to be an extended vowel, like if you write it ビー.

If I’m incorrect on that, I’m sure others will correct me. ^^

Maybe Kirby instead of Kirbi.

I’ll link to this post of mine that just got marked as an answer for some reason. :stuck_out_tongue:

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That’s interesting! I didn’t know they would care about the English spelling when writing the katakana.

This reminded me of a funny instance of hypercorrection I’ve seen from a few Japanese people. That is, when your awareness of a rule leads you to “correct” even instances that don’t follow said rule.

You’ll often hear Japanese people call the city in Florida “Orland.” Because they know that usually ド at the end of a katakanized English word probably shouldn’t be said as “do”. They get tricked by the exception.

Maybe Orlando should be オーランドォ


This conversation reminds me of when Pokemon Gold/Silver came out in Japan. The Pokemon Cleffa (who didn’t have an English name yet) is called ピィ in the Japanese version of the game. On my Pokemon web site I had at the time, I romanized its name as “Py” because of how characters like “カービィ” have a “y” at the end of their name in English.

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