Many years ago I visited Disney World and Epcot Center. During that visit I bought a paper fan with a landscape painting from a woman who was selling both the fans and her services as a translator. for a nominal fee, she would write the buyer’s name on the upper right corner of the fan, in Japanese characters.
The little table where she worked was located on a relatively quiet (for Disney World) sidewalk populated by street artists drawing caricatures and portraits of tourists willing to pay the fees for their services.
Walking up to the table I indicated that I wanted a fan with my name. She smiled and we went through the usual formalities of clarifying the service and making payment. I recall liking her sincerity – for reasons I cannot explain she came across as a person who was inherently authentic and trustworthy. Ready to begin the work, she my name.
“Adora” I replied. Just to be clear, my name is pronounced Uh-Door-Uh, with the emphasis on the second syllable. In other words, ‘Dora’ with an A.
The look this poor woman gave me was something I had become all to familiar with over the years. There are many variations, ranging from simple I-don’t-understand panic to outright anger (yes, anger over the audacity of admitting to my legal name…but that is a story for another blog posting). This woman fell under the former category and, for a brief moment, I thought she was going to ask me to repeat my name but (for whatever reason) decided against it. She nodded, bent over the table to complete her task and handed me the completed fan.
At the time I wondered whether or not she had actually written my name and how I would even know if she hadn’t. Regardless, it was a pretty fan and my ‘name’ looked elegant, painted in the corner, so I went with the flow, proudly displayed my fan, and told people it was my name…no doubt about it.
Recently, I have been using Fiverr to complete some work for my WildRaccoonPress.com website. (Many aspects of my Wild Raccoon plans are still in the formation stage, so the work is somewhat exploratory as I test out ideas.) I noticed Fiverr has an entire category for translation, which reminded me of that old fan.
Amazingly enough, the fan has survived many decades of time and thousands of miles of travel. So, I took it outside, snapped a picture and posted a gig to Fiverr, requesting a translation of the text. I did not provide an explanation of the fan’s original or my decades old request to write my name. Several Fiverr-accounts posted their bids and I selected a company that specialized in Japanese, Chinese and Korean because I honestly could no longer remember what language it was.
For $5, I requested a translation that included the following: 1) the language, 2) a roman letters translation of the foreign language text (read: the text in the non-English language but using the English-language alphabet) and 3) a translation of the text into English. Here is what I was provided:
雅&多 are both existing in Chinese and Japanese, but 娜 only can be find in Chinese.
雅 多娜 is absolutely a girl’s name. But actually, this kind of name is often the transliteration from Japanese name. So this 娜na could be a translation from Katakana.
Thus, this name also have a possibility from Japan. In this way, it is 雅多ナ（雅-みやびmiyabi,多-たta,ナna）.
From this I gather that Adora (Uh-Door-Uh) was translated into Yaduona, and I’m guessing the pronunciation would be Ya-Doh-Nah, which isn’t to far off.
In the end, my $5 Fiverr translation has made me re-appreciate that old fan, which is more than worth the money.