Request Japanese vs Chinese Names

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Ignorant-Aristocrat, Nov 6, 2021.

  1. Ignorant-Aristocrat

    Ignorant-Aristocrat Well-Known Member

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    So, how it happened aside, I got into a conversation with someone about how easy it was to identify names of different origin. Specifically on Asian names with Chinese and Japanese sounding names. Problem was, I really couldn't think of any so I lost in the end.
    I would like to ask for help on finding a Chinese name that sounds Japanese or a Chinese sounding Japanese name. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Mr Popo

    Mr Popo An awesome genie that doesn't grant wishes

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    Did you check this? it seems like what you want XD
     
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  3. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    That's the problem here. Chinese/Japanese may use the same words but they pronounce it differently, so sometimes while it is hard to tell a Japanese name from a Chinese name in a written form, the instant someone says it out, it's mostly a dead giveaway that it is from China/Japan. Their language pronunciation rules are massively different. The confusion can only happen in written form, never in "sounding".

    It's even worse than the "Miserable" and "Les Miserable" difference in English and French.
     
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  4. Lissi

    Lissi 『Queen of Lissidom』『Holy Chibi』『Western Birdy』『⚓』

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    ...??? I'm not really sure what you're asking for? :confusedcatblob:

    I mean the pronounciation is REALLY different. Like CN's big on tones but JP, not so much.
     
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  5. S4TY4

    S4TY4 Well-Known Member

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    Well, this is probably just me & my personal opinion, but it seems that JPN didn't use the letter "L", while CHN in reverse didn't use the letter "R" in their naming
     
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  6. Ai chan

    Ai chan Queen of Yuri, Devourer of Traps, Thrusted Witch

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    Chinese name that sounds Japanese? That would be difficult, because they use different naming schemes. Even within Chinese cultural system, there are different naming schemes. The Hakka name their children differently. That Cantonese use different conventions, Mandarins use different format. The Miao is also different. Then you also have the Hans who names themselves in the old system, and the Manchu who pretended like their system is what Chinese naming system should be. And then you have overseas Chinese using completely new systems, or mix and matching words from different languages, and there are also those who give two separate names to their children with the same meaning. Sometimes you got 2 word names, sometimes 3 word names, Ai-chan has come across even 4 word names.

    Frankly, Ai-chan doesn't understand what your argument was about, but, Ai-chan will give you a bone.


    In Mandarin, this is Ai. It means love. Ye Ailing is a possible name.
    In Cantonese, this is Oi. It also means love. Yip Oi Leng is a possible name. Though personally, Ai-chan has never met anyone whose name is Yip Oi Leng.
    In Japanese, this can be pronounced as Ai, Itou or Mei. It can also be pronounced as Kana. So the names that can be made from this Kanji in Japanese is Aiko, Aika, Airi, Aina, Meiko, Meika, Meiri, Mei, Kana, Kanako or Kanata (which means "I Love You" with this kanji or could also mean 'beyond' if you use 彼 though people normally use hiragana for this word instead of kanji). You might also want to know that all of these names could use completely different kanji instead of the one Ai-chan gave above.

    It's really hard to argue about this thing. Are there Chinese names that sound like Japanese? Not really. How about the other way around? Not really either. Words such as Mei/May or Ai are used in both languages, so it's not like it resemble the other. Just as Mei is a common Japanese name, Mei is also a common Chinese name. Same with Ai.

    So unless there is a pressing need to determine who has to pay for the pizza, it's best to not jump into the rabbit hole in the first place. It will just confuse everyone involved.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2021
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  7. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    The words being pronounced differently should be a non-issue. The reason? Chinese speakers will ignore the pronunciation and just say the names using Chinese pronunciations. So 山本 is Yamamoto in Japanese, but it will be pronounced as "Shanben" in Mandarin.

    So the trick is to find surnames and given names that are relatively common in both languages. This is harder than you might think because most Japanese surname are multi-word and they're not going to look similar to Chinese surnames. But I'll give an example: 林 is "Hayashi" in Japanese and "Lin" in Mandarin, and they're common in both languages. Given names is a lot easier: just pick a common Japanese name, and there's a decent chance that you'll find a Chinese name using the same character(s). Something like 林茜 and 林櫻 would be Hayashi Akane and Hayashi Sakura in Japanese and Lin Xi and Ling Ying in Mandarin. These names could pass in either country.
     
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  8. Nightow1

    Nightow1 Well-Known Member

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    You think that calling someone Yamamoto in China isn't a giveaway that he is Japanese? They won't "ignore" it, it is a HUGE flag. No Chinese would be called Yamamoto or Hayashi. Or be caught dead with that name, it can be seen as an insult in China.

    It isn't a "non-issue" like you try to handwave it away, a Japanese name can pass of as a Chinese name when written out but never when spoken out, like Ai said. And to try it can be seen as an insult with China's historical relations with Japan. Don't try it for real, getting punched would be a probable outcome if you called a Chinese a Japanese.

    Close, but it's only one way, the Japanese don't use L, while the Chinese do use R, for example in Chinese, Rou(2) means gentle while Rou(4) means meat and Lou(2) means storey or floor while Lou(4) means leak.

    So it's only the Japanese that does not use L. It stems from the need to raise your tongue to pronounce L, the Japanese do not have that habit, so their L end up sounding like R.
     
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  9. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    In China, they wouldn't be called "Yamamoto" and "Hayashi"; it'd be "Shanben" (an obviously Japanese name) and "Lin" (completely indistinguishable from the Chinese name). Chinese speakers do the same thing with Korean names for that matter: Kim is "Jin" and Park is "Piao" and Lee is "Li". These names are (or can be) written using Chinese characters so they're pronounced as if they're Chinese names. The only tricky part is that Japanese surnames tend to be multi-character so they won't look like Chinese names.
     
  10. omgquiznak

    omgquiznak Well-Known Member

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    I remember learning from my Japanese teacher and he said something like “Japanese focus more on the whether the pronunciation sounds nice and the Chinese focus more on the meaning”, then proceeded to butcher my Chinese name by saying it in Japanese. I don’t agree with him 100% nor was I offended, but my thought on Japanese-sounding Chinese names and Chinese-sounding Japanese names is that it doesn’t really make sense to do so.

    Like everyone has said, the pronunciation is incredibly different. It felt like a listening to neither Chinese nor Japanese for my name to be said in Japanese, so I’d imagine it would feel the same vice versa. Perhaps the level of horror would be different, but from my knowledge, there aren’t any similarities in pronunciation between Chinese and Japanese that would appear in names and surnames. Only thing I’d go for would be the written version, which as mentioned, 林 is a surname that appears both in Chinese and Japanese. For the name, most names that would sound Japanese even spoken in Chinese, and sound Chinese even spoken in Japanese. It’s a dead-giveaway in most cases, and most of the time the Chinese names that seem Japanese and vice versa would seem weird in their respective languages.

    Both languages just have a different naming system, and It’s just that simple to differentiate between them, which is why it doesn’t really make sense to me to try to make or find a really odd and uncommon example to argue how easy/hard it was to identify Japanese and Chinese names.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021