How To Correctly Write Your Name In Japanese
In Japanese, foreign names are normally written in the phonetic katakana alphabet. So, you might want to remember katakana alphabet first of all to write your name. However, once you have remembered the katakana alphabet, you could easily write your name down to the documents. Did you know telling and writing your name in Japanese is totally opposite in English? Let me introduce how to correctly write and tell your name in Japanese today!
氏名 / フルネーム
氏名 can also be called フルネーム as well and both are the same meaning. And we, Japanese do not have our middle name, however, if you have the middle name such as “Mark Elliot Zuckerberg” (マーク・エリオット・ザッカーバーグ), it would be written and said ザッカーバーグ・マーク・エリオット by Japanese.
名字 / 苗字
Last name / Family name
名字 and 苗字 are the same meaning which depends on who people write. However, the Japanese official day on February 13th is designated as 名字の日 by the Japanese government. So 名字 is common and casual than 苗字. By the way, maiden name is 旧姓 and is used only for married women because after getting married, their last name would be changed to their partner’s one.
名前 means “first name”, however, some natives speakers sometimes use 名前 as the meaning of 氏名(full name) and they call “下の名前“(first name) and “上の名前“(last name). Although these are not official, they sometimes use them. An honorific word of 名前 is お名前 which has been used as the business and public situations.