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 ...
17
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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
8k 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?
13
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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
1k 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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1answer
731 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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6answers
3k 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 ...
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
votes
4answers
690 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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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
votes
2answers
441 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 ...
5
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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
votes
2answers
406 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 '...
4
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3answers
359 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
181 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
112 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 ...
4
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1answer
394 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
3k 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
521 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 ...
4
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2answers
205 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 ...
4
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5answers
3k 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
votes
6answers
884 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
votes
5answers
2k 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
votes
4answers
304 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
177 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
votes
1answer
272 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
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3answers
6k 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
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
138 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
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
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
328 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
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4answers
115 views

How can I make a two-character Chinese girl's name, perhaps using 静?

I'd like to make a chinese name (girl). I wonder if you could help me, since I don't know what wouldn't be weird for a name. If any native speaker could help me, I'd appreciate it. I want a name that ...
2
votes
2answers
103 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
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4answers
257 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
79 views

What is the usage with these names?

The TV movies 流星花園 made in 2001 and 2008 have characters named 道明寺, 花澤類, and 藤堂靜, who are usually called 寺, 類, and 靜. I think those are just the second syllables of the two-syllable given names. ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Does it sound like a natural name?

Since I am a westerner and I study Chinese, I am currently undergoing the hard task of choosing a Chinese name for myself. The last thing I want to do is to simply translate my Italian name in Chinese....
2
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3answers
2k views

How do you address someone with their name in Chinese?

Chinese first language here, but since I've lived outside of China since I was little I'm completely out of touch with this kind of culture. Does China have stuff like this? I know you can call ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Conventions for indicating a surname

When I write to other Americans about Chinese colleagues the name order is often confusing. As a made up example, (so as not to use a real person's name) if someone's name is Chiao Chien then even ...
2
votes
1answer
475 views

What are the original Chinese characters for the Filipino-Chinese family name Suico?

The book Life in Old Parian says the Cebuano family name Suico has Chinese origin, and I'm looking for the original Chinese characters. I'm trying to narrow it down based on the Hokkien pronunciation ...
2
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3answers
594 views

Naming siblings with same sounding chinese characters [closed]

I would like to name my baby daughter "嫣" which is written as "yān", per pinyin. However my elder daughter's name is "彥" which is pronounced as "yàn". Is it considered taboo to give my daughters the ...
2
votes
2answers
193 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Why are certain Chinese surnames common in certain provinces?

I am referring to the figure below, obtained from Wikipedia I am aware that about 40% of all Chinese can be characterised into 10 or so surnames. However, breaking it down, there are particular ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Do the names 远宁, 温宁, 文宁, or 玟宁 sound good for a male character?

I have so much with trouble finding Chinese names it's beyond shameful. I always worry about the name sounding nonsensical or just evoking the feeling of "say what? O_o" Anyways, I'll have to trouble ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Phonetic pronunciation help for “秋子/Autumn Child” - Chinese trad

Trying to figure out the laymans phonetic spelling for 秋子 (Qiūzi: Autumn Child.) The closest I've been able to come is Chee-Oh-tsö (because the umlaut 'o' makes an oo sound). But this still seems ...
1
vote
2answers
276 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?
1
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3answers
405 views

Chinese names: Gah-Ning

I'm trying to translate the children's book "Where Is Gah-Ning?" in Chinese. The Gah-Ning in question is Chinese-Canadian, and the book is written in English, so I don't know how to render her name. ...