Question by Samantha: How do I translate people’s names to Japanese without an online translator?
Okay,
now my friends always ask me for their name in Japanese because I’m studying the language now…
But,
I don’t want to have to look it up on the web all the time! Even my classmates want to know their name, but I don’t have enough time to search all their names!
How do I find out someone’s name in Katakana Japanese without an online translator?!

Best answer:

Answer by tess
What does their name sound like?

Katakana is actually pretty easy if you don’t let it intimidate you. Once you know all the characters, you shouldn’t have much difficulty writing out their names on your own. Just think of exactly how it is pronounced and the Japanacize it! For instance, anything that ends in a consonant probably needs to be turned into a -u in katakana. Don’t forget about boru (ー) and chisaii tsu (ッ). Katakana is only really hard when the Japanese truncate an English word when they put it into everyday-use katakana.

For instance
バルピ brad pitt
ボーロペン ball point pen
ジルバ jitterbug

So, just give your best guess! It’s good practice and, if you’re wrong, it’s not like they’ll ever know, right?

Add your own answer in the comments!