I am looking for a resource that explains the translation of English names to Chinese. In this case i am trying to understand why Broadway is translated to 百老汇。 Anyone knows? Thanks in advance.
Most foreign names are transliterated, not translated into Chinese.
百老汇 /Bǎi lǎo huì/ is a transliteration of Broadway
Only a few English names of place are common enough to be translated by their actual meaning in Chinese
Buffalo city - 水牛城
Phoenix city - 鳳凰城
For people's name, even the simplest English names like "Stone" and "White" are transliterated as "史東" (Shǐ Dōng) and "韋特" (Wéi Tè) instead of translated as "石" (stone) and "白" (white)
Transliterating Western names can be tricky for the person whose name is being transliterated. The transliterator can play a trick on him/her by choosing characters that sound like the Western name but mean something horrible, so one should get a second or even third opinion, preferably from different dialect speakers, as the same characters will/can sound different.
John DeFrancis covered this in one of his books. I'm paraphrasing as I can't remember the exact details now.
Rendering Western names into Chinese went through a number of phases over the years:
(i) Account for all the sounds in the Western name and do it in the same (Western) order, e.g., Michael Wilkinson would be done as Mai-ke-er Wei-er-jin-sen (I'm not doing the characters because it depends on what the transliterator chooses);
(ii) Since it's to be a "Chinese" name, then do it in the Chinese order (surname first, then personal name), so Wei-er-jin-sen Mai-ke-er;
(iii) Since it's a "Chinese" name, then follow the Chinese convention (most commonly 1-plus-2: 1 character for surname, 2 for personal name), so Wei Mai-ke.
It was at this third phase that an Italian (called Bozzetto or something like that) was given a Chinese name which sounds rather like Bozzetto. Every time someone asked him in Chinese what his name was and he'd proudly say the 3 syllables, they laughed. He later discovered that the transliterator had given him the Chinese name of 不知道.
Someone with the surname Moyse was given 莫伊斯 Mò Yīsī, which sounds like Moyse and adopts characters used in classical Chinese. However, it also sounds like 没(有)意思, especially if said in a regional accent. She then went for the sounds of her first name Sarah; it came out sounding just like "salad". So, she's now gone for a Chinese name that doesn't contain any of those sounds.