0

Right now I'm using an anecdote about the Japanese Akita, Hachikō. The dog's name contains an "おう" (ou) in Japanese. What is the standard way to romanize this? Should I use a macron (ō) or "ou"? The same goes for the president of Japan, Shinzō Abe.

3
  • 2
    since it’s the same as such a famous guy whose name is likely to be found all over the internet, why not do some searches and see how his name is spelled by reputable news agencies etc.
    – Jim
    May 16 '17 at 15:00
  • 1
    This is not about ELU, but about translation from another language into English.
    – Gary
    May 16 '17 at 15:06
  • @Gary - I think the question could be relevant since the idea of transcribing names is to come up with a spelling that is most likely to lead to the desired pronunciation by speakers of the target language. But in this case the answer should be easily found with a quick Google search.
    – Jim
    May 16 '17 at 15:29
2

Honestly, it depends.

The most widely used system of romanization is arguably Hepburn romanization. To quote, "The Revised Hepburn system of romanization uses a macron to indicate some long vowels... For example, the name じゅんいちろう, is written with the kana characters ju-n-i-chi-ro-u, and romanized as Jun'ichirō in Revised Hepburn." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Japanese#Modern_systems)

However, other widely accepted romanization methods besides Hepburn, like Nihon-shiki, preserve the exact characters for the word, meaning that you would instead use ou. I've seen it done both ways, and I don't believe either way is wrong.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.