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Tracking Down Name Pronunciation (Specifically 馮相如)

ledojaeger

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I'm translating through a Japanese picture book for fun, and right away I ran into a problem I've never given much thought. The main character's name is 馮相如, and Google translate tells me it's the Chinese name Feng Hui (this is no surprise, I'm pretty sure the story, 狐の義俠, is Chinese). What I'm wondering now is, would a Japanese person reading this name transliterate the Chinese (I'm gonna guess no), or is there a unique Japanese pronunciation to the characters?

In learning Japanese in school or through textbooks, there's a variety of names and surnames that arise, but up to this point, I've never had trouble finding name pronunciations from scratch. The Kanshūdō,com name database gives me all sorts of pronunciations for 馮 (くあい、しょう、etc.) but no luck for 相如. There must be an answer out there for me - and hopefully, a good way to be able to study kanji names in Japanese.

If anyone can help me out I would be very grateful!
どうぞよろしくお願いいたします。
 

Toritoribe

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What I'm wondering now is, would a Japanese person reading this name transliterate the Chinese (I'm gonna guess no), or is there a unique Japanese pronunciation to the characters?
The latter is common, as you guessed correctly. For instance, 毛沢東 is usually read もうたくとう, not マオ・ツォートン. (As for present Chinese people, Chinese pronunciation is also sometimes used, e.g. シー・チーピン for 習近平, though.)
The most common reading for 馮 is ふう. You can check it in Japanese Wikipedia in most cases.
馮 - Wikipedia

The most common reading is also applied to the given name, so I would read 相如 as そうじょ or しょうじょ.
 

ledojaeger

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Toritoribe,

Thank you very much for your explanation!

In the future, for discerning kanji names, would it be accurate to say "Go with the most common On reading" as a general rule for perceiving pronunciation? Or is there really any "rule" that can be applied?
 

joadbres

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The main character's name is 馮相如, and Google translate tells me it's the Chinese name Feng Hui

This seems incorrect. The Chinese name has three syllables, but the translation you claim only has two.

Anyway, depending on the intended audience for your Japanese picture book, I would expect that a katakana suggested reading of the name would appear somewhere in the book, as furigana or otherwise.
 

ledojaeger

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Joadbres,
My apologies, one click would have told me that it's Feng Xiangru, not Hui! My mistake.

I'll see if I can't find a suggested reading; the book has no furigana and the inside flap doesn't appear to offer a pronunciation; but I'll be on the lookout.
 
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