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Tija
03-03-2011, 03:57 PM
Hi

My current WIP is set in Japan and I have a character with the name Al (AL), short for Alonzo.

Now, from my understanding, this is probably a pretty difficult name to pronounce... so how would both forms end up being pronounced by a Japanese?

Thanks,
Tija

Anne Lyle
03-03-2011, 04:58 PM
From my slight knowledge of Japanese (gained partly through watching anime, I confess!), I suspect he would be called Aru for short. The Japanese borrowed the word "rival" from English, which comes out as raibaru. Not sure about Alonzo, though at the very least, Japanese speakers would probably insert a vowel between the 'n' and the 'z'.

However, phonetic representation of accents is seldom a good idea - if you drop in some Japanese words, e.g. have him referred to as gaijin, for example, then readers will fill in the rest. Maybe use 'Alonzo' as is (e.g. Alonzo-san :) ), but shorten it to 'Aru'?

LIVIN
03-03-2011, 08:04 PM
From real life experience... the l is said like an r... I might write "Al" like "Awr"

Bing Z
03-03-2011, 11:41 PM
I agree with Anne Lyle, I believe he'll be Aru. I'm not Japanese but have taken a course in (learning) Japanese in the past.

Japanese don't have the letter "L" in their alphabet (http://www.alphabetglobal.com/japanese-alphabet.php). The closest they get is R+vowel. For foreign words or Katakana (imported words) they typically converted all the letters to their alphabet table. When there's no match they may add vowels to the words. Thus, "hotel" spoken in Japanese is ho-te-ru.

Sad Soup-eating Girl
03-04-2011, 12:04 AM
Uhroo with a very strong R with your tongue against the roof of your mouth. But some Japanese also pronounce the L, L since the R is already quite ellish.

Rachel Udin
03-04-2011, 12:15 AM
I agree with Anne Lyle, I believe he'll be Aru. I'm not Japanese but have taken a course in (learning) Japanese in the past.

Japanese don't have the letter "L" in their alphabet (http://www.alphabetglobal.com/japanese-alphabet.php). The closest they get is R+vowel. For foreign words or Katakana (imported words) they typically converted all the letters to their alphabet table. When there's no match they may add vowels to the words. Thus, "hotel" spoken in Japanese is ho-te-ru.

Technically this is wrong.

The Hepburn system uses an r, but this is wrong. The guy was white and he didn't know better.

The real sound is an rl sound in Japanese.

This involves putting the tongue just behind the gum ridge and saying your sound from there. (No flipping or rolling).

Korean l is thicker than the American and it starts a little forward of the Japanese rl sound.

Chinese l sound depends on tonal quality plus the tongue placement is slightly different there too.

English l sound is all dental.

So if you want to be technical the sound is neither an l or an r.

This is why Roman characters are deficient for representing sounds of other countries.

How to represent that in Japanese... you could go Hepburn or IPA (IPA is more accurate). Most people will gravitate towards Hepburn, though that white dude was wrong.

If you want to imitate the sound, make an r sound and then slowly move your tongue up the palate to behind your gums. where they curve up from your palate, that's where your tongue should be and that's the proper Japanese r/l sound.

I'm very good with auditory in languages and repetition. ^^;; I used to imitate frogs and get them to respond. I also officially took Japanese and have been complemented on the pronunciation while in Japan and confused a cabbie into thinking I was an OL in Osaka. The pronunciation of the r/l is my pride in Japanese.

rhymegirl
03-04-2011, 02:53 AM
My daughter says it would be: Aronzo.

Nick Blaze
03-04-2011, 03:05 AM
I trained in Japanese martial arts for 15 years and constantly correspond with people from Japan.

Yes. "Al" would be "Aru". Just as my name would be something like "Nikolaasu."

But the pronunciation of the "r" is difficult and I've seen many people who study Japanese who cannot do it. In fact, the Japanese "r" is pronounced differently depending on the person saying it. I cannot stress that enough. More often than not, it's pronounced more like an "l" by women and more like an "r" for men.

It is a mix of a "d", an "r", and an "l". The "d" comes from how one touches the first rib of the roof of your mouth. For the phrase, "okairi" (welcome back/home/etc) it often sounds like "o ka i di".

Here's an example of Risuke Otake (the soke of Katori Shinto Ryu), speaking of the cod eof bushido. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3IFK46RDbc&feature=related At 6:48 you hear him say "hara kiri", and he says it again a couple seconds later.

Tija
03-04-2011, 08:22 AM
Wow, seven replies in twelve hours.

Hm... a few differences in each person's opinion, but it would be safe to say that writing it as 'Aru' is roughly correct and therefore acceptable?

Anne Lyle - gaijin could be an option, though I'm leaning more towards just using -san.

So, any suggestions as to how Danielle would be pronounced?

Nick Blaze
03-04-2011, 09:17 AM
Da n yae ru, to that effect.

Also, I just noticed your signature. I was not aware Ueshiba wrote a book of any sort. It is a book, yes? Or is it a reference to just Aikido itself?

Bing Z
03-04-2011, 10:17 AM
Danielle Darrieux is ダニエル・ダリュー on Wikipedia Japanese edition. So Danielle is ダニエル. You can get the romanization from a Katakana alphabet chart like this (http://blog.asiahotels.com/nihonggo-for-dummies/japanese-alphabet-table/). Note the tiny circle at top right corner of ダ, which changes the pronunciation from TA to DA. Thus Daneru, assuming Wikipedia is correct for once.

Al Gore is アル・ゴア on Japanese Wikipedia. "Al" therefore translates to "A-RU."

Tija
03-04-2011, 12:20 PM
OK, thanks guys :)

What's your opinion on the spelling of Danielle Nick Blaze? Would 'Daneru', as Bing Zabriskie suggested, be suitable? Not really sure that it will ever need to be spelt but you never now ;)


Also, I just noticed your signature. I was not aware Ueshiba wrote a book of any sort. It is a book, yes? Or is it a reference to just Aikido itself?Yes, it is a book - Ueshiba wrote a couple of books actually, which have been translated by John Stevens.

I am assuming from your avatar that your martial arts training was in Aikido?

Rufus Coppertop
03-04-2011, 03:41 PM
Aronzo san.

Rachel Udin
03-04-2011, 08:11 PM
Pulling out my linguistic abilities to tell you guys you are still wrong.

IPA says that the sound is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroflex_lateral_approximant

It's a retroflex Laterial Approximant.
That is NOT an R. I'm telling you, that Hepburn was some white dude that didn't know better. While the *representation* of the sound looks like an "r" the *actual* sound to the trained ear is *not* an R.

If you want verification, check out your local wikipedia article, google and a linguist near you. I guarantee it's technically not an R sound because the tongue hits in a different place on the palate.

Hepburn tried to simplify for the American ear. But really... the sound is technically a : ɭ which is neither an R or an L.

By IPA standards. The question was on the phonology, not the representation of that phonology.

Where is a linguist when you need one to get super technical?

It's a mistake of anime fans everywhere to use a strict "r" sound. It's because their ears haven't been trained to distinguish between the three sounds.

As I said, I took Japanese... and have been to Japan and could "pass" as Japanese with the Japanese I used. So I'm pretty sure IT IS NOT AN R SOUND. It is instead a retroflex Laterial Approximant. Because Japanese have neither an R or an L sound.

LIVIN
03-04-2011, 10:01 PM
From real life experience... the l is said like an r... I might write "Al" like "Awr"

I still know this is correct, based on real life Japanese people I intereact with.

Tija
03-05-2011, 11:56 AM
Alright, so let me see if I have this correct Rachel Udin...

Phonetically, in Japanese, L is not pronounced with either an L or an R, but rather a ɭ.

The representation of the sound can safely use an R, which would result in Al being 'Aru', or as LIVIN has suggested, 'Awr', yes?

What is your opinion on Danielle being pronounced, and therefore represented using our alphabet, in Japanese?


Because Japanese have neither an R or an L sound.

Here I have one question in regards to Japanese words using the Roman alphabet, because there are many words that use R. Obviously, if Japanese do not have an R sound, then the same dilemma that we have encountered here will be run into - the representation of the word, using R, confuses the true pronunciation of the words.

Would I be correct, then, in presuming that, since there is neither an R or L sound in Japanese, any Japanese word with an R in it would, in fact, be correctly pronounced using a ɭ?

Invincibility
03-05-2011, 03:49 PM
What's your opinion on the spelling of Danielle Nick Blaze? Would 'Daneru', as Bing Zabriskie suggested, be suitable? Not really sure that it will ever need to be spelt but you never now
It would actually be "Danieru" or "Danyeru" (the first being four syllables, the second being three).


The representation of the sound can safely use an R, which would result in Al being 'Aru', or as LIVIN has suggested, 'Awr', yes?
Yes. Which one would be used depends on the context; if it's a Japanese person speaking Japanese, they would use "Aɭu"; if they were trying to imitate English pronunciation, it would probably come out as "Awɭ" or something, depending on how proficient they are.


Here I have one question in regards to Japanese words using the Roman alphabet, because there are many words that use R. Obviously, if Japanese do not have an R sound, then the same dilemma that we have encountered here will be run into - the representation of the word, using R, confuses the true pronunciation of the words.

Would I be correct, then, in presuming that, since there is neither an R or L sound in Japanese, any Japanese word with an R in it would, in fact, be correctly pronounced using a ɭ?That is correct. It might be interesting if you included that as a tidbit in your book, too.

izumi
03-05-2011, 10:21 PM
I've taken Japanese classes.


Would I be correct, then, in presuming that, since there is neither an R or L sound in Japanese, any Japanese word with an R in it would, in fact, be correctly pronounced using a ɭ?

I agree that saying it aloud would be like this.

But since he'd be spelling it out on paper would be:

Alonzo = Aronzo or Aru,

Danielle = danyeru

At least that's how it was in my classes and the expensive book I had to buy for that classes.

So yes, pronunciation-wise a person would use ɭ, but spelling-wise use r and not l.

Tija
03-06-2011, 08:15 AM
That is correct. It might be interesting if you included that as a tidbit in your book, too.

Yes, that might be something to consider.


But since he'd be spelling it out on paper would be:

Alonzo = Aronzo or Aru,

Danielle = danyeru

OK, I think it's pretty much agreed that Aru is the best way to write his name, despite the inaccuracy of it in regards to pronunciation. What Invincibility has suggested might clear that up, though.
In my opinion, something like Awr, although a little more accurate, could be rather confusing and would perhaps detract from the flow.

Thanks everyone for your contributions. I now no longer have to keep guessing at those evil L's that continue to pop up in names ;)

IceCreamEmpress
03-06-2011, 11:05 PM
When native speakers of Japanese transliterate European-language loanwords into the Roman alphabet, they transliterate their one liquid consonant as an "r". So the Roman alphabet transcription of the Japanese word for television, for instance, is "terebi."

Tija
03-07-2011, 01:00 PM
When native speakers of Japanese transliterate European-language loanwords into the Roman alphabet, they transliterate their one liquid consonant as an "r". So the Roman alphabet transcription of the Japanese word for television, for instance, is "terebi."

I see. So, despite what the 'true' pronunciation of a given word might be, 'r' is accepted universally.

Nick Blaze
03-07-2011, 01:17 PM
OK, thanks guys :)

What's your opinion on the spelling of Danielle Nick Blaze? Would 'Daneru', as Bing Zabriskie suggested, be suitable? Not really sure that it will ever need to be spelt but you never now ;)

Yes, it is a book - Ueshiba wrote a couple of books actually, which have been translated by John Stevens.

I am assuming from your avatar that your martial arts training was in Aikido?

It was 15 years of jujitsu and about 5 or 6 years of iaido (muso shinden and katori shintoryu), but I did train for about a year in aikido and karate. My connection with Japanese culture and how it cultivates the soul of the martial arts is why I prefer to dress in formal traditional Japanese clothing than normal American clothing. Doing so as often as possible allows me to understand with greater detail the conditions samurai encountered, like how to defend oneself when in this part of a certain room, how better to keep the sword arm and the sword easy to draw, etc.

Of course, a hakama and keikogi/kimono/yukata and/or a kamishimo are often worn in iaido, but not often in jujitsu. Minus the kamishimo, they are often used in aikido as I'm sure you know.

"I see. So, despite what the 'true' pronunciation of a given word might be, 'r' is accepted universally. "

Yes. Romaji almost always uses the "r/l/d"sound as an "r". Sometimes, I see in writing, a translator will use an "l" to denote femininity instead of an "r", but it usually just creates confusion.

not_HarryS
03-08-2011, 10:34 AM
Pulling out my linguistic abilities to tell you guys you are still wrong.

IPA says that the sound is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroflex_lateral_approximant

It's a retroflex Laterial Approximant.
That is NOT an R. I'm telling you, that Hepburn was some white dude that didn't know better. While the *representation* of the sound looks like an "r" the *actual* sound to the trained ear is *not* an R.

If you want verification, check out your local wikipedia article, google and a linguist near you. I guarantee it's technically not an R sound because the tongue hits in a different place on the palate.

Hepburn tried to simplify for the American ear. But really... the sound is technically a : ɭ which is neither an R or an L.

By IPA standards. The question was on the phonology, not the representation of that phonology.

Where is a linguist when you need one to get super technical?

It's a mistake of anime fans everywhere to use a strict "r" sound. It's because their ears haven't been trained to distinguish between the three sounds.

As I said, I took Japanese... and have been to Japan and could "pass" as Japanese with the Japanese I used. So I'm pretty sure IT IS NOT AN R SOUND. It is instead a retroflex Laterial Approximant. Because Japanese have neither an R or an L sound.

This is patently irrelevant. Nobody's arguing whether or not Japanese has an R sound. They're talking about how to represent the name in written form.

Based on tried and true methods of romanizing Japanese words, an R is the only appropriate option in this case, because that's what's been used in academia and in translated literature for the past 100+ years.

As for the name Danielle, it would be Danieru (da-ni-e-ru).

Tija
03-08-2011, 02:40 PM
It was 15 years of jujitsu and about 5 or 6 years of iaido (muso shinden and katori shintoryu), but I did train for about a year in aikido and karate.

Good choices ;) Aikido has always been my intrigue... the only problem is that martial arts in Australia isn't as popular as it is in America, so teachers are (very) hard to come by. No connections over here, by any chance? :tongue


My connection with Japanese culture and how it cultivates the soul of the martial arts

This is something I always like to hear (read?) :)


I prefer to dress in formal traditional Japanese clothing than normal American clothing. Doing so as often as possible allows me to understand with greater detail the conditions samurai encountered, like how to defend oneself when in this part of a certain room, how better to keep the sword arm and the sword easy to draw, etc.

Sounds like you're quite dedicated - another good thing.


Yes. Romaji almost always uses the "r/l/d"sound as an "r". Sometimes, I see in writing, a translator will use an "l" to denote femininity instead of an "r", but it usually just creates confusion.

I can see the confusion this could create.


This is patently irrelevant. Nobody's arguing whether or not Japanese has an R sound. They're talking about how to represent the name in written form.

My original post has perhaps caused some confusion in this regard... Indeed, I was asking about the representation of the word in written form, but the discussions in this thread regarding the spoken form has helped me to better understand the language, where otherwise I would have been naive. That's never such a good thing.


As for the name Danielle, it would be Danieru (da-ni-e-ru).

I can see this as being correct, though I will add that here are two pronunciations of the name - 'dan-yell' and 'dan-ee-ell'. Invincibility did mention this earlier.

Therefore, I believe both Danieru and Danyeru are correct, depending upon one's pronunciation of the name to begin.

In this case, I am sticking with Danyeru, as the pronunciation 'dan-yell' is how I say the name.