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Japanese kanji name meanings - How it is done

Japanese use kanji for their names, but wouldn't usually use them for English names. They have another alphabet called katakana that they use for foreign words like English names. Katakana don't have meaning though, so they aren't very artistic or fun :)

The kanji names on have been created in the following way:

1. Each Japanese kanji has multiple pronunciations and meanings.
2. Only certain kanji are used by the Japanese for names.
3. Based on the pronunciation of the English name, kanji that have similar sounds and are good for using in names are considered.
4. From these kanji the best combination is chosen.

Care is taken in doing the best match in terms of combining the right sounds and most attractive meanings, but it should be pointed out that these are still just artistic interpretations rather than the only "right" meanings for the names. As the same sounding English names can have different spellings (Ann, Anne) and variations (Ana, Anya, Anita, etc.) there are multiple combinations of kanji that can be used for a name that sounds the same. Also, when applying Japanese kanji to English names, there are some limitations in terms of sound, since the Japanese language has less sound combinations than English. For more on the character sets and sounds that are used in Japanese, click here.

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