I almost forgot - the girl at my local tea stand is named ‘Special’
There is one student in my bushiban whose parents have refused to let them call her by an English name - the same one whose parents refuse to let her sit through video class and make her go out to do her Chinese homework downstairs because they think it’s more important (sensible people in my opinion). What can I say except that I have more respect for those parents than the ones who have been making us crazy by picking different English names for their kindy student every single month I’ve been here (resulting in her learning to write all those different names…oy…she just starts getting one by the end of the month and then they change it another time).
Maybe Linda is the romanized version of his name – 霖達 or 林大 or 麟搭 … so on.
When our family immigrated to Canada, my school teacher had such a hard time with my romanized Chinese name that she suggested to my parents that they had better pick an English name for me. So I had a couple of options foisted upon me and not knowing English whatsoever at that time, I just randomly chose one. Although this new name is not strictly my legal name, it’s on all of my documents now (except citizenship records), including my passport.
I’m really glad my parents gave me some real names for me to choose from, as opposed to choosing it from what they see in a grocery store – Kitkat, Mars, Kraft, Cheerios, …
My wife knows a girl named Oliver, which isn’t that funny if she didn’t pronounce it Oh-liver.
Not Taiwanese, but my Korean friend here’s name is “Bush”.
I’ve taught students named Chocolate, Grand, and Opal. Oh, and one asked me to name his boy something unique. I suggested he could follow the John + son, Jack + son pattern, and use his own name, Kai. His boy is now Kaison. They love it.
Me too. First lesson of the first day
T: “Okay, pick a Chinese name.”
Me: “Errr, I only know one surname - my girlfriend’s, Wu”
T: “No Problem. your Chinese name is Wu2 Da4 Wei4.” My name is David.
T: “Wu Da Wei.”
Talk about being presured into something.
It turns out that there is quite a famous bloke with my name, a singer or something. People look at me strangely when I have to sign in Chinese. They also laugh becasue my now finacee and I have the same surname! Stooopid Shi Da rule. Later when I applied for a credit card I had no choice. They transliterated “Kenning” into “ke3 ni4” on all the paper work without even speaking to me.
When we moved to Oz, we discovered that people found it difficult to remember a two-character Chinese name, so Min-hui simply became Min because we couldn’t decide on a suitable name for her. I insist on calling her by her real name though.
[quote=“Bodo”]Had a student at Motorola, an engineer and bright guy, who named himself “Creamson.” He was a rock and roll aficionado and liked Cream.
Well at least he displays something that the average Taiwanese doesn’t and that’s good taste in music.
I was in a Starbucks in Taichung yesterday and was served by a girl named Purple. Speaking of Starbucks and names of colors, in the Starbucks near my apartment in Changhua there’s a girl called Pink. Another one (non-color) called Uesefan.
As far students, for boys I’ve got a Karen, a Blues, a Brand the obligatory couple of Johnson’s and a Wei-wei (pronounced wee-wee). For girls, there’s an Envy, lots of Coco’s/Kiki’s and a female teacher named Oscar.
Amongst our anquinban teachers, the one’s who don’t speak much English all go by English names, while the one who speaks pretty good English is always called by her Chinese name, although if she’s writing her name, in students books, on her timecard etc, she uses her English name. Her English name is fairly similar to her Chinese name though (Ca-lu/Carol).
I notice with lot’s of my kids they have Engrish names that end with “y” or long e sound. Tammy, Barry, Kelly, Jenny, Fanny, GiGi, Jesse, Hetty, Henny, Phoebe, Kenny, Sammy, Penny, Melody, Tommy, and onandon.
This doesn’t annoy me half as much as names like King, Prince, Princess, and honorifics like that.
I have a strange habit of adressing my kids with Mr. and Miss followed by their Engrishy names. They seem to like it. I don’t let them call me Teacher. My first name, Fauntleroy is fine.
What’s wrong with Cedric? Stop lording it over your students.
Elephant: this guy was an insurance salesman, and incidentally, he was pretty big
Canary: Only she pronounces it like ‘cannery’.
Golden: He’s a high school student. It’s an unusual name, but I like it.
And why is Coco, or Koko so popular with girls? It makes me think of the famous talking gorilla of the same name.
Once I was served at a restaurant by a rather cute girl named Fish.
Was that the Thai restaurant on the 6th floor of the new Eslite building?
Coco Lee was a pretty big Taiwanese pop star a few years back and contributed a song to The Lion King movie. Another poster on another thread claimed the name Coco was popular due to Coco Channel. Jog (male) was probably the only name that annoyed me. Maybe it was meant to be Jock.
There were a lot of Michelles when I was at school due in part to the Beatles song.
I knew a girl named Fish when I was a kid. Actually on her driver’s license.
Taiwanese people have Western names, WHY?
Are we too dumb to learn their Chinese name? I didn’t go round calling myself ‘Manguo Bing Sha’ for 3 years, cos TOM is too hard for Taiwanese people to remember.
I think it’s an insult on some level that Asian people give themselves Western names for our benefit. So your name is Xi Wei? I can learn that. I’m not a retard. Don’t call yourself ‘Spunky’ for my benefit.
That’s how I feel, too. It took me forever to learn the kids’ names at my buxiban anyway even though they were English because there were a million of them. It has nothing to do with English or Chinese names. Treat me like I’m not stupid, please.
But again, people who have no contact with foreigners and cannot speak English regularly use English names to communicate with each other. I don’t think in this case it’s a patronising sop to foreigners. I think it’s about self-identity (“I chose this name!”) and the perceived “coolness” of English.
I have been told that many Taiwanese feel their given (Chinese) name is only for family use (or very close friends), and that Mr/Ms Familyname and/or given English name are for all the others to use.
Nah, it was at Thai Town in Yonghe. Good place.
That’s awesome. I rather like the name, but perhaps not enough to bestow it upon my daughter.
But again, people who have no contact with foreigners and cannot speak English regularly use English names to communicate with each other. I don’t think in this case it’s a patronising sop to foreigners. I think it’s about self-identity (“I chose this name!”) and the perceived “coolness” of English.[/quote]
Agreed. Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that millions of Taiwanese are taking English names in the hope that they just might bump into one of us at McDonald’s.
But you got one thing wrong…English is cool.