Questions tagged [names]

Questions related to Chinese names.

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32
votes
10answers
4k views

How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?

Since there are many characters that share a common pronunciation and sometimes also the same tone, how do we properly choose which character best represents our name? Is it totally arbitrary or are ...
18
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5answers
2k views

How do we know what characters correspond to Chinese names?

Recently I've asked "How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?", and now, I'm facing a similar, yet kind of different problem, which I think applies to any westerner or Chinese ...
17
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5answers
10k views

Is there a rule of thumb for distinguishing male and female names in Chinese?

I often get tripped up when reading names of Chinese people, and trying to work out if they are male or female. Is there a good rule of thumb to follow to determine which is which?
14
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3answers
1k views

How does foreign word transliteration work in the context of Cantonese vs Mandarin?

If I understand correctly, Cantonese sounds very different from Mandarin, despite being written in the same way (omitting some small differences, which are irrelevant for the question). If it is the ...
11
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5answers
2k views

What is a good form of address for a male friend who is too old to be 小, too young to be 老, and too humble to be called 大?

I have a male "friend", last name 柯 (kē) who is over 30. From ages 18-30 or so, he went by 小柯, but that seems less and less appropriate as he gets older. Always going by his full name seems overly ...
10
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5answers
1k views

Are people's names always pronounced the same in Mandarin?

In many languages, you can not be really sure how to pronounce a person's name, so you have to ask them first, and remember. For instance, "Broglie" can be brɔɪ or brɔˈgli, "中島" can be Nakashima or ...
8
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6answers
4k views

Can I use a rare character like 飂 in a name?

I am trying to find a new Chinese name for myself. Before, I simply used a transliteration of my western name. Now, as my Chinese progressed, I would like to find something that does not immediately ...
8
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1answer
855 views

Why is Cristiano Ronaldo known as “C罗” in Chinese?

I see Cristiano Ronaldo is often referred as C罗 in Chinese. I find it curious because: This is not a nickname pattern followed in any other player name, and 罗 isn't even part of the full name ...
7
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4answers
896 views

Where does the middle name go in a name that has been translated into Chinese?

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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

How to learn how to pronounce and remember names of Chinese students?

This question was originally asked on Academia.Stackexchange.com. I would normally not cross-post, however, I think this question might be an exception, where both sites may provide complementary ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Placeholder name for a Chinese person targeting foreign audience, ie. John Doe equivalent

Suppose I want to make up a story featuring an unimportant Chinese character. How do I give the name, so it sound like Chinese, but do not carry too much particular meaning? That said, the Chinese ...
6
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2answers
456 views

What are the connotations of the word 拳拳?

I chose 拳拳 as my own Chinese name, having the meaning of my name in mind. I got it from an online dictionary, so I would like to know what native speakers "get" from it, as in what are the ...
6
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2answers
254 views

Why do the Taiwanese have such strange characters for names?

It seems like every time I look up a CJK ext. B character it invariably says: 台湾人名用字。 For example I just looked up the character: 𢵓 zisea notes: 拼音peng2。台湾人名用字。 A few days ago I was ...
5
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2answers
484 views

Alternative name for Hong Kong 香港

Just as Mainland China can be referred to as 中国, 大陆 or 内地, I was wondering whether Hong Kong has any alternative names (official or just as slang). In English, we refer to Hong Kong in slang as '...
5
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1answer
142 views

Why did people sometimes call Liu Bei “明将军”?

Reading some historical texts on Liu Bei, the famous Three Kingdoms warlord, I was surprised to see that in more than one occasion, he is referred to as 明将军. What does this name mean, and where did it ...
5
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2answers
128 views

Why would 人 be used for names?

I've seen 人 used as a character in multiple names. 李劼人 is an example of a fairly well known person with the character 人 in his name. It seems slightly jarring that 人 - person would be a feature of a ...
5
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2answers
581 views

How do I pronounce romanised Chinese names which lack tone marks?

In the West, Chinese names almost never seem to be written using pinyin tone marks or numbers. For example, the current president's name will simply be written as Xi Jinping. I had to Google to ...
5
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1answer
2k views

What traditions do people follow when naming a second child in Chinese?

What traditions do Chinese people follow when selecting names for consecutive (2nd, 3rd etc.) children? In the case of my own children the second child was given the same middle character as my ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

What did Eastern Han Chinese sound like?

As I was improving an answer to this question in the History SE, I discovered that the prestige Luoyang dialect of the Eastern Han and Three Kingdoms period didn't actually fall under Old Chinese but ...
4
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6answers
3k views

Chinese name of a dish containing both chicken and egg?

I was just talking about how the old Paul Simon song Mother and Child Reunion was inspired by the name of a menu item he saw in a Chinese restaurant. I wanted to know what the dish is and what its ...
4
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2answers
184 views

四航奋进: This ship's name is translated as “Four Aircraft Endeavour”, but is it?

The name of the ship below is given as: 四航奋进 I've seen it previously*** translated as "Four Aircraft Endeavour", which seems peculiar, as it's not an aircraft. The 四 I can understand: it has two ...
4
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2answers
168 views

Large List/DB of (Mandarin) Chinese Geographical Names and Entitites (for NER)

Is there a freely available list of geographical entities, like cities, provinces (in China and abroad), names of rivers, mountains, etc.? I am looking for something like GeoNames, but it doesn't ...
4
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1answer
425 views

How should this painting's title, signature and yin (chop) be correctly translated?

This is the title, signature and chop from a painted silk screen. I think the upper characters translate as hǎi táng huā [Chinese flowering crab-apple (Malus spectabilis)]. I think the lower ...
4
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4answers
3k views

How to address a teacher one knows well (in conversation and emails). Is 亲爱 “dear” ever appropriate?

Can one use 亲爱 "dear" in a letter to a teacher one knows well? In the specific case that triggered this question, the student, who is a male student in his late 20s, is being addressed 亲爱的[name]兄弟 ...
4
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1answer
4k views

How does the Chinese translation of an English name get established? [duplicate]

This isn't a question on how to choose a Chinese name equivalent, but how the one that most media and people use, gets used. For example, if some unknown person out there who never had a Chinese ...
4
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2answers
97 views

Stylistic assessment of a Western first name as the basis for a Chinese name

I need some help from native speakers who can provide critique of the following practice. Imagine that someone is called Martin Schneider (fictional example) and is the head of the China department at ...
4
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3answers
346 views

How to determine if a personal name is feminine or masculine?

Sometimes when working with Chinese names it is not evidently clear whether the person in question is male or female. Besides using pure, fallible, intuition - what other methods are there to tell if ...
4
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5answers
4k views

Chinese given names with 3 or more characters?

Most Chinese given names are 1 or 2 characters long. Were there any proper, Han Chinese given names of 3 or more characters, that weren't transliterations or pseudonyms? Surnames are different; while ...
4
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4answers
353 views

Is there any official way to translate Chinese names into English?

Is there any official way to translate Chinese names into English? Chinese is of course: surname + name, usually when translated into English why is the same formatting kept? 毛泽东 is usually written ...
4
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6answers
1k views

Help me choose a Chinese name from a list of ideas

My English name does not transliterate well to Mandarin, so I'm choosing a Chinese name. I want it to evoke wisdom, inner strength, peace, beautiful and serene elements of nature, and poetry. I'm new ...
3
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5answers
3k views

Why is George 乔治 in Chinese?

I've always been puzzled at the origin of the translation of "George" into Chinese. It's probably the only (pardon me if there are more) name that does not sound like its English counterpart.
3
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4answers
486 views

Must Japanese people's name be mapped to equivalent Chinese characters?

According to this question titled "How do we choose the correct characters for a westerner name?", the accepted answer says the following: It's your name and you can arbitrarily pick characters to ...
3
votes
3answers
199 views

Help choosing a Chinese name among a few shortlisted ones

(I'm not actually certain my request fits here, as I'm looking for specific advice rather than answers to an abstract question. I'm sorry if it doesn't.) I'm going to study in China for two years. ...
3
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3answers
7k views

Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?

Australian politician Zhenya Wang, sometimes called Dio Wang, Chinese name 王振亚, has his surname written in English as "Wang", but it's sometimes pronounced in English as "Wong". Another Australian ...
3
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1answer
307 views

Why do Chinese writers have three different names?

I've been reading about Chinese writers and apparently they have too many names! For example, in the article of Wikipedia about 黃遠庸 (Huang Yuanyong) there's first this name as the title of the article....
3
votes
3answers
369 views

Which characters typically occur only within names?

Does anyone know where I can find a list of characters that are, at least in common usage, found only as a component of names (especially of persons) in modern Chinese? I have in mind characters such ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

In the film 流浪地球, why is a character nicknamed '户口'?

The most common translation of '户口' seems to be 'household registration system'. The other meanings do not fit either: https://www.mdbg.net/chinese/dictionary?page=worddict&wdrst=0&wdqb=%E6%88%...
3
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5answers
184 views

How do friends use each other's name?

How do people (especially in Taiwan) use their names when talking among friends, for example, in University? I've previously heard that some people always use the complete name when addressing other ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

What can we make of the name 九儿?

Two questions about the childhood name of the pivotal character in Mo Yan's Red Sorghum Clan: Her childhood name was 九儿. Does this suggest she was one of (at least) nine children? I do not recall ...
3
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2answers
171 views

Why Is 浜 (bīn) Used So Much In Panda Names?

浜 (bīn) seems to be a very common character in the names of pandas. For example: 爱浜 良浜 樱浜 桃浜 梅浜 永浜 雄浜 just to name a few. Why Is 浜 (bīn) Used So Much In Panda Names?
3
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1answer
249 views

How to write your original (non-Chinese) and Chinese name, jointly

What is the most appropriate way to write both your non-Chinese, as well as your Chinese name, in one text line combined, e.g. at the bottom or top of a document. Clarification: by this, I mean that ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Where can I find a list of existing Chinese surnames?

According to this wikipedia article (reference 5), there are about 3,100 chinese surnames that are in current use. Is there a downloadable resource that include those?
3
votes
1answer
332 views

Use of polyphonic characters in transliteration

The pronunciation of polyphonic character is usually deduced from the semantic of the context. In a transliterated word, there is no such context, the character only stands for its pronunciation, so ...
2
votes
5answers
204 views

How would you describe the Chinese name 阮天文?

When a name is introduced such as 阮天文, native speakers might want to know what the characters are, so they can spell it. Does it make sense if you were to say 天气的天, 文化的文? However, what would be a good ...
2
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4answers
121 views

How do you refer to multiple people with the same surname?

I was wondering if Chinese people ever get confused addressing multiple people with the same last name. For example, let's say you are at a gathering and you meet many people who are from the same ...
2
votes
3answers
105 views

How common are the following Chinese names: 王朋 & 李友 & 高文中 & 白英愛? My Chinese coursebooks are full of them!

Context: my Chinese course uses a series of books (called 'Integrated Chinese') in which the following are among the most commonly used names: 王朋 李友 高文中 白英愛 It makes me wonder how common these names ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Are there readings exclusive used only for people name?

When reading songyuanyao's answer on Are people names always pronounced the same in Mandarin?, I suddenly wonder if Chinese has something similar to nanori in Japanese. Basically, nanori is a special ...
2
votes
2answers
525 views

Why the surname 유 (Yoo) is translated as 刘 instead of 余 or 于?

유창혁 (Yoo Changhyuk) is translated as 刘昌赫 in Chinese. Is there any reason that 유 is translated as 刘 instead of 余 or 于?
2
votes
4answers
355 views

Is the female name 桂英 outdated? Why?

I suggested naming a Chinese baby girl 桂英 after her grandmother but my suggestion was rejected as the name was considered outdated. I know there is a legendary heroine named 穆桂英 and the name 桂英 is ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Describing and meaning of the name 楚胜天

My first question is similar to Lil ol' 阮天文's post regarding how to describe my name, 楚胜天. Most native speakers have me repeat myself several times or write it down before understanding me, it would ...