20 Japanese And English Names That Sound The Same

Japanese And English NamesEnglish names said by Japanese people often sound bad. Hearing アダム (my name) always sounds funny to me even when they try to use the proper English pronunciation. To be fair though, Japanese names said by Westerners sound no better. There is almost a guarantee that there will be emphasis on the wrong syllable.

But there is hope. There is a group of legendary names, that transverse the Japanese/English border, and allow for peaceful pronunciation regardless of which side you are on. Some come close to each other, some are identical, but the familiarity is reassuring.

Let’s start with the girls:

1. 沙羅 Sara
2. 恵里香 Erica
3. 直美 Naomi
4. カレン Karen
5. 花 Hanna
6. まりあ Maria
7. れな Lena
8. りさ Lisa
9. 安奈 Anna

And the boys:

1. 譲 Joe
2. 譲二 George
3. 力 Ricky
4. 健 Ken
4. 健人 Kent
5. 慈英 Jay
6. 玲音 Leon
7. 怜 Ray
8. 暖 Dan
9. るい Louie
10. 悠仁 Eugene
11. 平良 Tyler

Ready to change your name? Or name your new child? Then you are all set.

Any other good ones you know of? Can we get this list bigger?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


20 Japanese And English Names That Sound The Same — 24 Comments

  1. If we have a girl one day, we want to name her Euna (ユナ).

    A woman in our church named her children サラ and カリン without knowing that these are also English names Sarah and Karin.

      • But, now that I think about it, I kind of like the name Tyler for a girl. Why not? After all, many girl’s names started out as boys names (Ashley, Evelyn, Sidney all come to mind. And Taylor is certainly used for both sexes.)

  2. I’m sorry but i have to disagree because english and japanese doesnt sound the same.
    However i want to note:
    1- tyler is not tairyou!!
    3- kent is not kento!!!!
    3- l is not r!!!
    ………. 以上

    • 平良 is taira, not tairyou.

      And neither the English l or r exist in Japanese.

      As I prefaced, some are identical (ex. Ken, Joe, Jay, Dan, Eugene, Naomi, Anna, Hanna), and the rest come very close.

    • When you translate an English speaking girl’s name, Ericka, into Japanese, you say エリカ, so you really have to think how would it be in katakana. レイチェル is not a Japanese name. It would be a foreign name, even though it sounds nothing like the English pronunciation of Rachel. But エリカ can be used a lot easier in both languages than ふさえ or さおり because of the similarity.

  3. A couple of names that come to mind. Sonja/Sonya (ソニャ) and Maya. No idea if the latter is written in hiragana or katana, and I have no idea if either name even exists in Japan, but I would think the pronunciation is similar anyway.

  4. There’s also Taiga, which is my favourite. It seems more acceptable than Tiger somehow.

    D’oh, I forgot my name too. Kairi is very similar to Kiley, or Khairi (which is a guy’s name).

  5. I know that my name would be pronounced “Herisha” in Japanese, but I can’t write it because 1. I don’t have a Japanese keyboard (I should really get that…) and 2. I only know Hiragana and learning Katakana, so…

  6. We named our son Kai which was originally meant to be short for Kyle but later just stuck with Kai. Works great in Japanese as a common and now popular name as 海 or where we used a more unique kanji which means ore/paddle 櫂

  7. My name at least is three simple syllables; ヘレナ. The l sound gets a bit mushed but at least there’s no random added sounds like the ム in アダム.

    • I’ll never forgive the ム sound! Even leaving out the ム, my name is never pronounced properly when Japanese people speak English.

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