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Explanation: Foreign names are not translated into Hiragana or Kanji (chinese characters).
Katakana is the alphabet used to write foreign words.
So your girlfriend's name Sarah, would be written as Sara, which is also a name that has become popular in Japan over the last couple of years.
Six years in Japan
Amy Kasuga United States Local time: 11:53 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in pair: 11
Explanation: I don't understand why people insist on not rendering the name into Japanese. I have four friends with the name Sarah and write their names:
Get over it guys... Write the name in Japanese.
Pro-Japanese Canada Local time: 09:53 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in pair: 23
Explanation: Yosh is right - it is normal to write non-Japanese names in Katakana, one of the two Japanese phonetic scripts but I prefer "セイラ" / "seira" "セーラ" /"Se-ra", as a translation of Sarah since it is often used (as in the references below, in Japanese) and it is closer to how I pronouce Sarah.
Seira (and se-ra) is pronounced "say-ra"
Sara is pronounced Sa-ra as in the first two syllables of "Saracen."
If you are happy to be be original however, then Seara セアラ, pronounced "say-a-ra" is closer to the British pronounciation of Sarah as testified by the second reference.
But if you stick with Seira (as I would recommend) then the following renditions in Kanji (Chinese pictograms) are often used,