Chinese names

When I first came here I signed a document that empowered my agent to handle all my visa/ARC stuff for me. When it eventually came through I suddenly realised that I now had a chinese name.

Yikes! It’s basically my initials, sounds awful, and doesn’t really mean anything - as far as I know. I’ve been carrying it around for a couple of years now, and really need to do something about it. If nothing else I might get more motivated to speak Chinese if I felt comfortable introducing myself.

Assuming I can get the authorities to let me change it, how the hell would I go about picking a name? Ask my students? Consult an image consultancy? Copy something from an advert? How did you guys aquire your labels?

NB My computer doesn’t read chinese, and neither do I. Pinyin does just fine, thanks.

There’s a thread about this somewhere, but change your name when you renew your ARC. Get them to put it in the remarks on the back. Or you can just start using it for things like filling in forms, registering at the video store, or even putting on a namecard.

Get someone to choose something for you and make it clear that you want a proper Chinese name, not something silly like a transliteratiopn of your English name. So that should be 2 or 3 characters. Pick a real surname too. Something easy to write is a good idea, so something like wang is better than xie or something. Don’t choose a name like xu which there are two variations of, otherwise you’ll have to keep explaining which one. Make it clear that you don’t want a stupid name like ‘xiao long’. People will just laugh.


I’d suggest wandering by a decent restaurant and asking a waiter. Worked for me.

Have your bf, gf, or ‘special someone’ pick the name for you. Though, they don’t have to go through the process my bf did, which was to pick something that had meaning, as well as sounded similar to my English name. Plus, he counted strokes, checked to make sure the resultant # was a lucky number, etc…

It was suggested not to do a transliteration of your name. But, if you do, I would suggest making sure the characters that are picked have some meaning for you. For instance, my “family name” is fu4, which means “teacher.” This was picked because I’ve been involved in education for most of my career and was going to be an English teacher when I moved here. Plus, my English family name starts with the same “f” sound.

Jing4-shan1 was picked because my given name is Jonathan, and it was close – Jon-than (though not exact). However, it was also chosen because of the meaning “quiet-mountain.” The quiet I’m not so sure about, other than it was wishful thinking on my bf’s part, since I tend to talk alot. :laughing: The mountain is obvious, being 6’6"/198cm tall. :smiley:

And, I agree that you should pick something semi-easy to write. The first two characters of my Chinese name are kind of hard to write - fu4 and jing4. Even most Taiwanese who see it ask why I chose such a hard name to write. Though, they are impressed when I can write it correctly. :sunglasses:

Thanks QM, but my special someone is American. Maybe I should ask my most special cocktail waitress?

Don’t you have local friends who’s friend is a Chinese teacher?
Perhaps you will have a proper Chinese name if you seek for those who have been teaching Chinese throughout their lives. Like my friend, who got a cool Chinese name from his Mandrain teacher in China.

I’m stuck with a really ludicrous Chinese name. I chose it myself when I was just starting to learn Chinese and didn’t know any better. As I’ve used it to buy my flat and get married, for my bank account and job, and for countless other official purposes, it would be way too much trouble to set about changing it – so I’ve learnt to just endure the chortles that it always elicits.

I sometimes use another truly splendid and poetic name when I introduce myself to new friends, and I have it in brackets after the silly one on my name card, but for most purposes, I just have to put up with being known as the guy with the obviously-foreign-and-oh-so-hilarious Chinese monicker.

Many people will consult a fortuneteller to choose an auspicious name. That’s how I got mine. That’s how my kids got theirs.

Well, I didn’t really mean that kind of special someone. :smiley: I was thinking more of a close Taiwanese friend… ah… mate. Someone you trust. Though, you could ask the cocktail waitress… she may have some ideas. :mrgreen:

What’s the chinese for harvey wall banger?

What’s the Chinese for harvey wall banger?[/quote]

Ha Wei Wa Le Ban Ge :?: But, that might be too long for a good Chinese name. :mrgreen: