I'm an American writing a novel in English and I have a Chinese character I want to give a real Chinese name. I'd like his name to mean something along the lines of "will," "purpose," "ambition," intelligence," or "achievement." I've found the names "Da" and "Zhi," which I like (maybe together--Da Zhi?), but I want to make sure that it's a real name and that the meanings are appropriate and accurate.
Zhi Da (Zhì dà) 志大 = great ambition/ ambition is great
Meanwhile, 大志 is a common noun for 'great ambition'. We often say, someone 有大志 (have big ambition) or 沒大志 (don't have big ambition)
志大 sounds like a first name. You can add any common Chinese family name to make up the character's full name, for example, "吳志大". The character '吳' sounds exactly the same as '吾'(I). So, "吳志大" would sound like 'My ambition is great' in Chinese
Other common names that have a similar meaning not mentioned in other answers:
志豪 - Zhihao (heroic ambition)
志強 - Zhiqiang (strong will/ ambition)
志豪 and 志強 in Chinese are as common as 'John' and 'Michael' in English
the character 志 (u+5fd7) roughly means "purpose, will, determination, aspiration, ideal; ambition; scope; record; annal; mark, sign", and it's a common name, maybe too common.
my first suggestion is : "鴻鵠"
that most people would understand the pun --> 志 ( from the idiom "燕雀安知鴻鵠志")
2nd & 3rd are: "鴻志" or "宏志", in which "鴻" or "宏" means "great, grand"
about the romanisation of these names, what's the background of the character? you may choose between cantonese, hokkien, or mandarin scheme.
edited, in lieu of long comment.
to be from Guangzhou/the Guandong province
depends on his age, roughly, born before 1949, wade-giles style. aft-1949, mandarin pinyin.
or, born in hong kong or macau, nurtured in canton; born in canton, but stowaway to h.k. macau, then, name in hong kong cantonese, or macau cantonese (slightly different romanisation)
some more options:
- “志偉” extremely common
- “志黨” (communist party), “志東” (mao tse tung), “志紅 (red)
they three reflected the influences of the 1950s-1970s, in red china.