To me, 'John', sounds more like the former, but to Japanese speakers, does it sound more like the latter?

I am in JPNS 101 in college, and my sensei wrote my name on my namecard as 'ジョン,' but when I asked her why it's not 'ジャン,' she didn't explain it very well, and she said I could change it if I wanted to.

You are watching: How to say john in japanese

If there's a good reason for it being spelled the current way, I would rather keep it, but I don't see the reason.

EDIT: I DID MEAN ジャン. Sorry for the confusion.


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level 1
· 8y
ジャン is a distinctly North American pronunciation of John. You don't expect to an "o" to sound like "ah" unless that person has an American accent. If I heard a Japanese person say ジャン, I would never be able to guess they were saying "John". The same goes for names like Tom. It may be "Tahm" in the US, but anything other than トム would sound strange in a Japanese accent.


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level 2
· 8y

This is correct. Just watch a Harry Potter movie—no one in that movie says "Tom Riddle" like an American would. Same with John, but this early on the weekend I'm blanking on an English movie with a character named John. Probably some Shakespearean movie would have that. Maybe the BBC Robin Hood series with Prince John?


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level 2
· 8y

American here; I've never heard anyone pronounce john or tom with anything other than an 'o' sound. It must be a regional thing much more specific than 'America.' (lived and traveled from mid-east coast clear through Texas)


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level 1
· 8y
Because the way of going to Japanese from English is somewhat fossilized; very few Americans (at least where I'm from) pronounce "White" the traditional way, and yet it's still rendered ホワイト rather than ワイト.

The same thing happens in English; we traditionally render 李 the Korean surname as "Lee" although South Koreans almost uniformly write it and pronounce it as just "Ee." And Park is a bit of a stretch (as shown by the fact that people also use the spelling "Beak" for the same surname).


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level 1
· 8y

I'll back up the consensus that "Jahn" is the pronunciation in North America, not everywhere else that name is used.

To an extent, "John" is ジョン in Japanese, by which I mean it's the way the name is pronounced in that language. Compare with pronunciations "Jean" in French, "Jan" in Dutch, etc. Feel free if you want to go with ジャン to do so, but in Japanese it kind of just is ジョン.


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level 1
· 8y

ジアン is pronounced "jian," which sounds like two syllables to the English ear. 'Jee-ahn.' To me it actually sounds a bit like Chinese.

ジョン on the other hand is pronounced "jon." Granted the 'o' is a bit off from the English pronunciation, but it really is the best fit for Japanese phonology. ジャン (jan) would be next best I suppose, but it sounds really weird to me.


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level 1
· 8y

They do use ジャン for Jean (the French version of John); on the other hand, they also use it for Jan, which is a female name.


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level 1
· 8y

I think most English words try to mimic English pronunciation and not American. I.e. ロケット


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level 1
· 8y

Because the first way is Jo-n, while the second is Ji-a-n. If you actually do pronounce John with an "ee" sound after the J, then the second way really is better; otherwise you're probably best just taking the slightly incorrect vowel.

EDIT: Perhaps you mean ジャン? In that case, if it sounds better go ahead.


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level 1
· 8y

Also it sounds like the short form of じゃない which is じゃん. Often used at the end of a sentence in Tokyo dialect.

See more: Why Is My Wii Remote Flashing Blue ? What To Do If Wii Remotes Keep Blinking


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