Just imagine that it might be difficult, especially when they’re only used for names or have pronunciations that are only used for names
There’s one good trick that works every time: ask them how their name is pronounced.
What I’ve done for a few names is find anime/drama characters with that name and learned a bit about them (or I’d watched the show) and it’s given me more to associate with the names that just sounds. Maybe making up a character with a certain name could work too!
(sometimes name kanji pronounciations will just be rlly obscure tho)
I get what you’re saying, but I meant in the sense of coming across it in writing without furigana or something
I’m no expert in this, but I’ve noticed that names tend to use the opposite readings of what you’d expect.
For instance, in 田中 you’d expect it to use the on’yomi (tachū) since there’s only kanji. However, it’s read as Tanaka which are both of the kun’yomi readings.
Again, I’m no expert, but that’s what I’ve observed. Anyone who wants to correct me feel free.
I don’t think you need to stress about it too much. Even Japanese people need to ask each other all the time how their name is read, because usually they don’t have furigana in their 名刺 and the name has several possibilities and/or obscure kanjis. Nowadays you start to see English on the flipside, though.
The on’yomi for 田 is でん. But that quibble aside, names that don’t use nanori tend to use use kun’yomi. They’re Japanese names, not Chinese.
Here’s a list of the top 100 surnames in Japan (from Wikipedia), alongside which I’ve listed the reading type for each name. I kinda did this at a glance, so while I’m fairly sure it’s accurate, I may have confused a kun reading with a nanori here and there.
*Can also be read as Kawano, which is pure Kun
**Can also be read as Watabe, which is pure Kun
I even looked up the on’yomi on both of them before and still made that mistake. Thanks for the correction. Nice to know I’m not entirely crazy on the kun’yomi thing though.
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