This page will contain all tips on finding and romanizing artists' names.
http://www.romaji.org/ is the easiest to use, but you should note it's not very good with kanji (hiragana/katakana are done well though). If you ever feel like Romanji.org isn't giving you a very good result (this often happens with complex kanji, and you can tell it's likely to be wrong if it gives you a name like, "Goto maka kono koto jisa urujesai". That's just long and unlikely.
http://oldnihongo.j-talk.com/parser/search/ - Go to > more options > proper names.
http://tangorin.com/names/ - Does very good with all sorts of Japanese names, including place names and katakana names.
http://en.wiktionary.org/ - Has some names, but mostly useful for finding readings of kanji and hanzi.
http://kanji.reader.bz/ - Simple interface, but will only give you one reading.
http://translate.google.com/ - Click the "Read phonetically" option
Hangul (Korean characters) romanizers
I will use http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=610073 as an example of an easy artist.
Their pixiv name is listed as イチゼン (Ichizen). So, "Ichizen" will be the tag created. But what if it is not this easy?
You can open one of the artist's images, right click, and go down to either a) properties or b) copy image location. Paste the image location into your address bar, if you chose the second option.
This will allow you to see the artist's sign in name.
For example: http://img27.pixiv.net/img/o_tori/6743488_s.png
"o_tori" is the sign in name of our friend Ichizen. So, in this case, the sign in name is useless and unrelated to the artist's name.
But sometimes it is related, as in the case of this artist. The name is listed as 朔神 海音 and the pixiv url is sakugamikaine! And if you check the kanji, the reading "Sakugami Kaine" is plausible! Another example is http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=4818, whose name is 西表山猫 and the url says "iriomoteyamaneko" so their name is Iriomote Yamaneko.
If you have no clue how a Pixiv artist's name is supposed to be read, you can (if you have a Pixiv account) send them a PM. I have done this before with a couple artists, the message I've used is "[Artist]さんの名前の読み方は何ですか？" which is pretty much "How is [Artist]-san's name pronounced?" Here is the button to send PM:
Often, artists will just have a blog, and not an actual website. So I'll start there.
All blogs are set up differently, and some can be very annoying to navigate, but here are a few important notes:
- If it's REALLY hard to navigate, it's probably Chinese. :P
- Korean blogs often have a romanized name hiding somewhere.
- Blogs usually have either a place that says "author", "about" or "profile", and that is where you'll find the name.
- Click around! Random clicks can often net you nice gains.
Artists may also have a proper website, with multiple pages, etc. Oooh~
To find an artist's name on a proper website, you employ a similar method to finding it on the blog. Look for an "about", "info", "profile", or "links" page, primarily. If the site page names are in Japanese, look for "プロファイル", "インフォ", "アバウト", or "管理人". Sometimes the main page will contain names, and sometimes an "offline" or simply "off" page will have it hidden.
In any case, if you simply open all of the links you'll stumble onto it eventually.
On these pages, the information usually comes after either "PN", "HN", "管理人", "名前", etc.
Things like "サイト名" or "HP" are generally the name of the website. These are never the artist's name.
In Depth Guide to Artist Website Sections
"プロファイル" or "プロフ" or "ぷろふぁいる" or "ぷろふ" or "管理人" or "Profile" or "Prof" Generally this will include artist's name and sometimes the reading. Stuff like their gender, location, favorite things, email, a photo, etc also is found here.
"あばうと" or "アバウト" or "About" or "このサイトについて" or "はじめに" or "このブログについて" These will be an introduction to the site/blog, including the name of the site, and often the webmaster's name. Sometimes a banner link image will be here too.
"information" or "インフォ" or "インフォメーション" or "info" This can be many different things but it's usually helpful.
"Offline" or "off" or "オフ" or "オフライン" or "サークル" or "circle" or "どうじん" or "同人" or "doujin" This will be information about the artist's doujin circle. Sometimes the artist name is hidden in here.
"Link" or "リンク" or "りんく" or "bkm" or "bookmark" or "ブクマ" or "ブークマーク" This is sometimes information for linking to the site, including the site name and artist name, but other times it will just be links to other sites.
Sometimes the page isn't divided into proper sections. In these cases sometimes the info will be at the very top or very bottom of the page. Try doing a CTRL+F search for "管理人".
For romanizing purposes, follow the guide above. However, I would like to expand upon a point: that some artists give you their names.
Aside from it being pre-romanized, names may also be found in other manners. Artists will often list their names like this:
- 管理人: 主水 (シュミズ)
- Name: Shumizu (shumizu)
This way, you can see their name in kanji, as they would write it, and you can also see the way that they read the kanji. This is an especially useful tool, but sometimes parenthesis can contain things like "temporary" as text instead, so it's best to translate things before assuming they're readings.
In this case, by the way, the artist's tag would be added as "Shumizu". Not "Shumizu (shumizu)" or anything of that sort.
Ask the forums
Help! I'm not sure if this is romanized correctly! - Only available to Tag Team members.
You can enter the Japanese name into these and see if anything comes up. Because there can be multiple artists with the same name, try and verify that it is the correct one.
http://doujinshi.mugimugi.org/ - go to the search box on the top right and select the "Author" option. (You can also use "Circle" to look up a doujin circle! Gee!)
http://danbooru.donmai.us/artist/index?order=date - Danbooru has a rather extensive artist name database. Be careful because on danbooru, anyone can make an artist tag so it might be wrong. Also be careful as danbooru contains some NSFW pictures.
- Some artists do this thing, where they take the letters from the syllables of their name and make it their URL or email or twitter or whatever. E.g. An artist named Shiroma Kazuki might use "email@example.com" for email, or one named Nakajima Rena might use "nkjmrn".
- Rikaichan is an add-on for Firefox that's basically a Japanese <-> English translator. You can hover over words and it will display the display the translation of the word if it's in the dictionary. This won't help much with names, but if the word isn't in the dictionary, it will provide common readings for each kanji.
- If romanization tools/online dictionaries are giving you a lot of different readings for a name and you can't figure which one it is, you can try searching the kanji in Japanese Wikipedia or Google and find whichever one seems to be most common.
- Entering "[kanji] 読み方" in a search engine is sometimes helpful.
- Try looking at all of their pictures and all over their sites/blogs to see if they ever write the name out in romaji.