Bad naming skills..... *cries*

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tuna_sushi
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Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#1 Post by tuna_sushi » Tue May 29, 2012 9:42 pm

EDIT :
Stupid post deleted.
Last edited by tuna_sushi on Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#2 Post by Argeus_the_Paladin » Tue May 29, 2012 10:04 pm

tuna_sushi wrote:

### They're names connect with flowers
# Hinata Hashimoto (Sunflower) - Fabian Frost (Bean...)
# Shinomi Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) - Cherri Clark (Cherries)
# Hiraoka Hanako (Flower) - Flora Foster (Flowers)
# Yanagi Yuri (Lily) - Lilly Lopez (Lily)
# Kamisaka Kiku (Chrysanthemum) - Veronica Vega (Veronica)


So that's where those typical names come from, I see.

A good advice is to start diversifying your stock in other aspects of abstract thinking. The notion of naming children after desirable attributes or virtues are universal, for instance. Also equally universal are names of animals known for their ferocity or nobility.

There is one particularly weird aspect I found in Japanese names, speaking as someone from a similar linguistic background, is that many of their names tend to be made of what may appear to be random Chinese characters mashed together with no real meaning when taken literally. Oda Nobunaga's first name, for instance, translates into... "Land organization" (Wait what?)

Hope that helped.
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#3 Post by MaiMai » Tue May 29, 2012 10:49 pm

First question: What is your setting?

If it's Japan, you'll have Japanese names. If it's a weird alternate version of Japan, there will be Japanese names as well. If it's not Japan, but you're likely to find Japanese culture/people in that setting, you'll have some Japanese names.

If it doesn't take place in Japan and you're not planning to use aspects of Japanese culture... well, look up those name meaning sites on Google!

http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =4&t=10373 there's a pretty good discussion about names in this link.
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#4 Post by Camille » Tue May 29, 2012 11:28 pm

When you're naming characters, it's really important to take into account both the current setting and where the characters come from. For example, if you have a story that takes place in the old wild west, chances are you're not going to have any characters there named "Hanako". Unless you're writing a story about a small Japanese colony or specific group or something, there's really no excuse to have more than a few Japanese-named characters when the setting isn't Japan and/or the characters themselves aren't Japanese. It's kind of a huge pet peeve of mine. ^^; Even if your setting is a fantasy world, you probably shouldn't use a whole bunch of Japanese names unless there's a reason for it. Make sure your names go with the setting and with the characters' history. People think the names "Agatha" and "Bertha" are old-fashioned now, but there was a time when they were perfectly acceptable names.

Also, I think it's a little cliché to name your character in a really obvious way... Like naming a really depressing girl "Ebony" or something. Most (western culture) parents don't really think that deeply when they pick a name... My first name means "orchid", but I don't think that really has anything to do with me. However, all the women in my dad's family are named after flowers, so I guess they were just following that pattern with me.

Regarding Japanese names, they're generally written in kanji. That's why when you're giving someone your business card in Japan, it'll have your name's pronunciation below the kanji... Because any one kanji usually has multiple readings and any one name has multiple ways of writing it. Even if the kanji meaning doesn't make sense when directly translated, they're always chosen for a reason. Nobunaga's first name makes perfect sense if you consider what kind of family he was born into and what he was expected to do. (that is, take over the country? so a name like "land organization" works pretty well)

When my friends and I were picking the BCM names, we all looked at the kanji... All of the Amamiya siblings are named for the seasons, but there's lots of season-related names, so a lot was fair game. I went with 夏目 for Natsume, which is "autumn" (to go with the theme) and "eye" because Natsume looks out for his brothers... The second character gives his name a more mature, distinguished air to it. So there's a lot more to picking Japanese names than saying "Hanako means 'flower child'" because it might not mean that if you pick different kanji. ^^;

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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#5 Post by Argeus_the_Paladin » Wed May 30, 2012 12:30 am

Camille wrote:Even if the kanji meaning doesn't make sense when directly translated, they're always chosen for a reason. Nobunaga's first name makes perfect sense if you consider what kind of family he was born into and what he was expected to do. (that is, take over the country? so a name like "land organization" works pretty well)
I kind of doubt that was the case. To Chinese speakers or people familiar with the Chinese language, Japanese names - when converted into Kanji and read as-is rather than read from their hiragana form at least - sound like gibberish most of the time, since (i) Most Japanese surnames consist of two to three kanji, which is unheard of in other countries in the Chinese linguistic family, and (ii) both surnames and first names are very usually made of Kanji characters that normally do not go together in Chinese. There are exceptions, of course. It's a little hard to elaborate this to people not coming from a Chinese-related linguistic background.

Let's take Oda Nobunaga, for instance. There was a Chinese historical drama I watched some time ago on the subject of Chinese-Japanese relation back in the 16th century, and Oda Nobunaga's name was mentioned as "Zhitien Xinchang". Believe me, I was like "Who the hell is he?"

(Fun fact: Translated fully into English, that guy's name becomes "Land-Organization Longfaith". Take that what you will.)

In a sense, this actually allows for a quick method of naming Japanese characters:

- Pick a random Hanzhi.
- Pick another random Hanzhi.
- Stick them together.
- If these accidentally form a compound word, use the -kun reading of the compound word. If not, use the -kun reading of both characters.
- ???
- Profit!
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#6 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Wed May 30, 2012 1:58 pm

Not sure where some of you guys are getting your information from about Japanese names.

There are 3 general methods for choosing names in Japan:
1. They are named after someone else.
2. The parents choose a name that sounds cool.
3. They carefully choose a name so the kanji that makes the name adds up to a lucky number. This method can be applied to the other two.

Be careful with kanji combinations. Just because you know the meanings of 2 kanji, doesn't mean you can predict the combined meaning. For example, 馬 means deer, and 鹿 means horse. But combined, 馬鹿 means "baka", which I think most of you will understand.
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#7 Post by dracothrope » Wed May 30, 2012 2:32 pm

I tend to surf the heck out of baby naming sites for a start, if my characters are human... then I mix things around, if needed. Sometimes I go with Rinkworks' Fantasy Name Generator for a start and pick bits that sound nice to mash together, too.

Other times I take themes that sound right and mix 'em up... though it doesn't always work well. My current project has two cultures named 'Tonnaw' and 'Tonvah' which sound almost identical... they're just phonetically reversed 'Have not' and 'want not'. I'm thinking that even after giving some info as to why they're similar, I may still have to find a way to diversify that a bit!

If you're thinking of ways people name their kids, there's often a tradition where a name carries over several generations one way or another. Grandparents or Great-Grand's names, middle names, etc. Considering how names can be recycled may lead you to some neat conclusions.

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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#8 Post by WatchJessieGo » Wed May 30, 2012 6:35 pm

You don't need Japanese names by any means, unless the story takes place in Japan, but even then they don't have to be Japanese. What's important, though is that you're doing what you want. If you want them to have Japanese names, then go ahead and give 'em Japanese names. :3
I personally have trouble coming up with English names for stories, so I almost always come up with foreign names from languages I happen to like. For instance, I've also got a story that takes place in nowhere in particular, and seeing as it takes place on a college campus, I could come up with all sorts of foreign names because there are so many people of different ethnicities/races at college due to the high amount of exchange students. I got two Japanese names, two Russian names (I love the Russian language ~), one Korean name, and one German name. Only one character has an English name. XD
Since your story also takes place at a school (which will often have exchange students) and a fictional place, you can play around with as many kinds of names as you want. :3 Just look at names from all different languages until you find what you like.

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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#9 Post by nyaatrap » Wed May 30, 2012 7:20 pm

When I naming, list names which sound cool first, then use google to allocate kanji to them if they're Japanese.
Don't forget to use google at the last stage of naming anytime, because there is a chance that they have negative images.

Incidentally, there are 2 Japanese names famous but never used in real: Tarou and Hanako. They are only used as default Japanese names to fill blank name fields. Also names which sound like them are usually avoided because they sound they have nothing characteristic.

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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#10 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Thu May 31, 2012 1:31 am

nyaatrap wrote:Incidentally, there are 2 Japanese names famous but never used in real: Tarou and Hanako. They are only used as default Japanese names to fill blank name fields. Also names which sound like them are usually avoided because they sound they have nothing characteristic.
I know 2 people with the name Hanako. I've met a few people named Tarou too.
Hana generally means flower, and ko is a common extension to female names, although it's starting to sound a little old fashioned. Usually it's written with the kanji "子", which means "child". So it does have just as much meaning as any other Japanese name.

We both live in Japan, but have very different information. :?
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#11 Post by nyaatrap » Thu May 31, 2012 2:18 am

They were used but I no more see them younger than or around my age.

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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#12 Post by LadyAvori » Thu May 31, 2012 4:38 pm

dracothrope wrote:I tend to surf the heck out of baby naming sites for a start, if my characters are human... then I mix things around, if needed. Sometimes I go with Rinkworks' Fantasy Name Generator for a start and pick bits that sound nice to mash together, too.
I do this too. Although I use Serendipity instead. I also go to Babynames.com. In Babynames.com there is a topic "Tips for Writers." Many people already know this I'm sure, but some may not and I found it very helpful.
dracothrope wrote: If you're thinking of ways people name their kids, there's often a tradition where a name carries over several generations one way or another. Grandparents or Great-Grand's names, middle names, etc. Considering how names can be recycled may lead you to some neat conclusions.
Agreed. I'll give a couple examples from real life:

1. My son is named after his father's Grandpa, William. His Middle name "Brenton" is a family name given to the first born son. However, I didn't want his father dominating his whole name (even though I have always loved the name William) so we gave him two middle names. His second middle name "Scott" is after my father. William Brenton Scott (omit last name). If my son ever hears me yell his full name he knows he's in big trouble.

2. My niece, June, is named after mine and my sister's grandmother whose middle name is also June. My sister also wanted her nickname to be Junebug which sealed the deal.

3. My other niece of the same sister is named "Josephine" to honor our late grandfather, affectionately called Papa Joe.

4. My name comes from a girl my father once new at his first job. "Tiffany" was the name of his boss' daughter and he has always loved it. He said since then he always wanted to name is daughter "Tiffany." I am his first born and that's what he named me. But because my dad can't seem to remember names well, and my younger sister came shortly after, I was nicknamed "Bigger One." You know...because I was the Bigger One of the two. (And in case you were wondering, I am still called Bigger One nearly 3 decades later, even though my brother is clearly bigger than I am lol)

5. My Little brother, Robert Craig, is named after both of his grandfathers whose first names are: "Robert" from our dad's dad, and "Craig" from his mom's dad. We call him "Birdy."

Other families and parents may do it differently, but that's how we tend to do it I guess. And you can see where those names have taken us! I like to name my characters as though they were named in a similar manner in their own fictional families and by their own fictional parents. Even though no one will know that my main character is named after his fictional grandfather. It makes it more fun for me. I also like to give them nicknames that deviate from their actual name, like "Bigger One" which is certainly not a derivative form of Tiffany!

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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#13 Post by Gambit74 » Thu May 31, 2012 6:42 pm

I almost never name my characters based on meanings (The only times I ever do it is if their names are intended to be puns).

What I usually do is that I give them actual first names and mix them around with surnames based on their nationality/ethnicity for unique-sounding, but natural names. Then I decide if the name suits the character well, like "Does this girl sound like a Ms. X? Does this guy sound like a Mr. Y?".
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#14 Post by dramspringfeald » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:24 pm

Simple Fix

First go to Wiki world mot popular names // Male american Names (1219) // Female American Names (4275) // Most Common Surnames (1000)
(Grabbed them from the US Sensus)
Then go to a Random number Generator Here

Simply put the number of Male OR Female names in the first go then Surnames in the second. You will have a new Name and a new character.
for writing their 'history' you simple google 'Meaning of (Name)' // "What does (my name) stand for?" to get the history and personality then you go from there.
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Re: Bad naming skills..... *cries*

#15 Post by Lumen_Astrum » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:26 am

Usually, people don't really care about names. But some people who name their kids base the meanings upon what they want for their kid. Okay, this may be a funny example but, my first name, Loewe, was the name of a bag. I did ask my father why he named me such thing, but he didn't respond, until I saw my baby book and he said it meant something like "popular". So there.

You can try to base their names upon the nature of their families. They can base the meanings upon adjectives or objects they want their kid to get associated too.

As for my naming style, I usually go to Google Translate, pick words my character is associated to, then translate said terms in different languages. I list them down and pick the one that doesn't sound too absurd. For Withering Blossoms, I use Greek, Latin and some other Asian languages. But one of my most unique naming techniques is that I translate certain phrases in certain languages, then stick together the words. If that doesn't work, I try another form of the phrase, translate then I'd slang it a bit.

My naming style's pretty crazy, I know. XD

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