Many westerners (like I) possess a three-part name in full.

given + middle + family [名·中间名·姓]

It's understood that―in China―middle names typically don't exist.

Usually, westerners only translate their legal "first" and “last” names as per the traditional Chinese format below. (phonetically or otherwise)

family + given [姓·名]

However, if one would like to retain their middle name in the translation, where would they place it? What would be the conventional or culturally appropriate arrangement in this case?

Note: Most transliterations do tend to be exceedingly long compared to native Chinese names, but for now let's not worry about the total character count too much.


Very easy. Use Wikipedia.

We could continute, but you see the pattern: [first]·[middle]·[last]

| improve this answer | |

There are two ways to translate a non-Chinese name. The first is to use transliteration with the · character separating name parts. The order of name parts is not changed and the meaning of name parts is irrelevant. That would make it [first]·[middle]·[last] like others have said.

The other option is to use a name that follows the Chinese naming conventions. This is normally only done in case of people that live or work in China and use that name in daily interactions, like Matteo Ricci (Chinese name 利玛窦 Li Madou). Most people choose a name that is similar to the sound of their name in the other language, but that's not always the case. So the middle name may or may not be reflected in that kind of name.

| improve this answer | |

It is translated as

given · middle · family

I personally think it is rude to reorder people names

| improve this answer | |
  • Ah, that makes much more sense. My language instructor only emphasized the native Chinese arrangement without explicitly distinguishing foreign names. Thank you! – Corellian Dec 29 '15 at 18:24

You made a mistake. Translating a English names to Chinese won't change the order. Thomas Alva Edison is still translated to given-middle-family form as 托马斯·阿尔瓦·爱迪生. Only native Chinese names are family-given ordered, like 屠呦呦(Tu Youyou). Native Chinese surely don't have a middle name.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.