Help me choose an English name that is easy for Chinese to pronounce?

Hello everyone,

I am looking for an English name that is easy for people who does not know English to say it. Could anyone advice me what name is easy to say in Taiwan?

I thought of the following names, any pro and cons for them to use in Chinese speaking countries?

Jason
Alex
Vincent
Thomas

Would Alex or Jason be easier to pronounce for people who does not know English?

Thanks a lot. :slight_smile:

Jason, Alex, and Vincent are all fairly common “English names” for Taiwanese ESL students. People may pronounce them with heavy Taiwanese accents, but the names will at least be very familiar for them.

Thomas is rarer here, but Tom is common enough.

In 2011, the most common English names boys chose for themselves (or had their teachers choose) were David, Peter, and Michael. For girls it was Amy, Vivian, and Lisa.

Kelvin, Calvin, Rich, Tim, Bill, Louis.

Keep it with in 2 syllables, and with no X (cause for most east Asians x has 3 syllables…)

[quote=“hansioux”]Kelvin, Calvin, Rich, Tim, Bill, Louis.

Keep it with in 2 syllables, and with no X (cause for most east Asians x has 3 syllables…)[/quote]

What do you mean for most east Asians x has 3 syllables?

Name like “Alex” is pronounced with 2 syllables correct?

[quote=“marble”][quote=“hansioux”]Kelvin, Calvin, Rich, Tim, Bill, Louis.

Keep it with in 2 syllables, and with no X (cause for most east Asians x has 3 syllables…)[/quote]

What do you mean x has 3 syllables?

Name like “Alex” is pronounced with 2 syllables?[/quote]

I meant the work X itself. Say Xavier would be horribly rendered.

But you are right, Alex in usually rendered as Ai-Li-Ke-Si, the X wold be 2 syllables. Though that makes a single syllable name into 4 syllables…

Don’t just make up one … go to a fengshui master to get one that brings good fortune. It’s Taiwan afterall, people will be impressed by your good name.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

[quote=“hansioux”]
I meant the work X itself. Say Xavier would be horribly rendered.

But you are right, Alex in usually rendered as Ai-Li-Ke-Si, the X wold be 2 syllables. Though that makes a single syllable name into 4 syllables…[/quote]

I thought Ai-Li-Ke-Si is Chinese words pin yin? The English name Alex will be pronounced by Taiwanese just like the Westerners pronounce as A lex correct?

[quote=“marble”][quote=“hansioux”]
I meant the work X itself. Say Xavier would be horribly rendered.

But you are right, Alex in usually rendered as Ai-Li-Ke-Si, the X wold be 2 syllables. Though that makes a single syllable name into 4 syllables…[/quote]

I thought Ai-Li-Ke-Si is Chinese words pin yin? The English name Alex will be pronounced by Taiwanese just like the Westerners pronounce as A lex correct?[/quote]

If that said person is pretty good at pronunciation, then yes. But often they’ll get the Ale part right, then proceed to say Ke-Si.

[quote=“hansioux”][quote=“marble”]
I thought Ai-Li-Ke-Si is Chinese words pin yin? The English name Alex will be pronounced by Taiwanese just like the Westerners pronounce as A lex correct?[/quote]

If that said person is pretty good at pronunciation, then yes. But often they’ll get the Ale part right, then proceed to say Ke-Si.[/quote]

For Taiwanese is Jason easier to pronounce than Alex?

I guess it depends on what you mean by “easier to pronounce.” Nobody will struggle with the name Alex (old people and maybe some farmers aside), but they may not say it they way you are used to hearing it. “Jason” may come out more like “Jeh-sun,” but again, people won’t be confused when they hear/read this name.

Any common name, say the 100 most common boys’ names in the UK and US, will probably be fine. I have a slightly uncommon name (i.e., not many Hollywood stars or pop singers with it) and it can trip people up sometimes, but it’s basically only been an issue with older people. That’s why I have a Chinese name, anyway.

Andy is very easy for Chinese speakers to pronounce, but I thought half the fun was watching people struggle?

:no-no:
:ponder:

How’s about Nin?[/quote]

Hmm, a name with a diacritic that most English speakers leave off and don’t know how to pronounce…

Google 'most popular names (so you won’t pick something ridiculously out of date such as Doris or Peggy) and pick a one syllable thing or two syllables without too many consonant clusters. Don’t fixate on the meaning. Where I come from, you need to choose either a king or queen’s name or a New Testament name in order to not sound like an utter chav. No flower names.

As I was growing up, I heard about an American teenage girl who was a family friend named Lucy.

I finally met her after she came back to Taiwan with her husband and son. I found out her name is Ruth not Lucy.
I was shocked, I asked her why. She said no one could pronounce the “th”, so she was called Lucy.

No Thomas, nothing with “th”.

Oh! R tends to truned into L. Lice instead of rice.

[quote=“jmcd”]
Oh! R tends to truned into L. Lice instead of rice.[/quote]

i was unfortunate enough to have to pick my own English name (cause I rejected the “English name” my hippie parents gave me, they wanted to name me “Shiny”, WTF)

I chose the shortest name I could find at the time, and it was Rex.

As jmcd said, R becomes L, and X as I said is disasterous. So when I was in college, the Taiwanese classmates would call me “Rice” but pronounced at “Lice”, and that was in California…

They called me Rice so much, when they refered to me in Mandarin, they’d call me 小米…

[quote=“marble”]

Would there be any problem with name Jason and Alex?[/quote]

The ‘n’ and the ‘x’ are difficult to pronounce. Some say the ‘l’ is tricky, but that’s more a feature of Japanese than Chinese. The thing I would say is that they sound like Chinese names, not real names. ‘Alex’ is a shortening g of ‘Alexander’, and Jason sounds kind of low-class and old-fashioned (where I come from, before all the Jasons on the Internet pile on).

[quote=“hansioux”]
I was unfortunate enough to have to pick my own English name (cause I rejected the “English name” my hippie parents gave me, they wanted to name me “Shiny”, WTF)

I chose the shortest name I could find at the time, and it was Rex.

As jmcd said, R becomes L, and X as I said is disasterous. So when I was in college, the Taiwanese classmates would call me “Rice” but pronounced at “Lice”, and that was in California…

They called me Rice so much, when they refered to me in Mandarin, they’d call me 小米…[/quote]

For Taiwan people, the English names are not registered in the birth certificate correct? I guess you can still change a new name.

Hard to imagine that Rex pronounced as Lice.
Does Alex sound like A lice?

[quote=“Ermintrude”]
The ‘n’ and the ‘x’ are difficult to pronounce. Some say the ‘l’ is tricky, but that’s more a feature of Japanese than Chinese. The thing I would say is that they sound like Chinese names, not real names. ‘Alex’ is a shortening g of ‘Alexander’, and Jason sounds kind of low-class and old-fashioned (where I come from, before all the Jasons on the Internet pile on).[/quote]

What do you mean sound like Chinese names?

Names that Taiwanese people choose such as as Jacky or Peggy.

A final n is easy for Chinese, since the language has that sound. The second syllable of Jason would be pronounced like Chinese 森 (sen).

Alex would be very difficult because it ends with “x”. They would say “a-leh-ke-si” or something similar. Avoid consonant clusters and names that end with consonants other than n or ng.

Easy names would include Andy and Simon.

A final n is easy for Chinese, since the language has that sound. The second syllable of Jason would be pronounced like Chinese 森 (sen).

.[/quote]

Taiwanese speakers flatten the first vowel, and 森 would be a close-ish Chinese approximation on what ‘-on’ sounds like.

At the end of the day, what difference does it make? If people can’t pronounce the difficult names, they’ll mangle the easy ones too: they all have vowels in. Just choose one you like.

TV is fckin gash. Enjoying ‘Benidorm’ though.