How to give a Chinese name Maomi Chinese Podcast 110

#110 How to give a Chinese name 怎么起中国名?

大家好!欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese!

最近,我收到一些非常有趣的问题,比如“中国人是怎么给孩子起名字的?”“我应该怎么选一个好的中国名字?”谢谢问这些问题的听众,我也觉得这些问题非常有意思,应该也有很多人都想给自己起一个合适的中文名,那么我们今天就一起来聊一聊吧!

我觉得起一个好的中文名字比起一个英文名字难太多了,因为中文里有很多汉字,它们的发音和意义不一样。起名字的时候,我们要考虑汉字的单独的意义和发音,也要考虑这些汉字一起的时候,发音好不好听,意义合适不合适。当中国的父母给孩子起名字的时候,他们常常要考虑很多东西。比如,在一些大家庭里,同一辈的孩子可能会用同一个字。比如,父母如果说不同的方言,孩子的名字在不同的方言里都要好听。如果我们在学中文,想给自己起一个好的中文名字,我们可以怎么做呢?

首先,我们要给自己找一个姓。现在,中国有五千多个姓。首先,读一读你的姓或者名,发音是怎样的?然后,根据发音,去找一个相似的中国姓。比如,David Beckham,他的姓氏是Beckham,那么我可能会选择“贝”或者“白”作为他的中文姓。比如,Taylor Swift,我可能会选择“司”或者“卫”作为她的中文姓。有时候,我们也可以根据意义来选择中文姓。比如,有一个英文的姓是Brown,棕色。虽然“棕”不是一个姓,但是我们可以选择同样发音的“宗”。你可能会问,应该去哪儿找到中文姓呢?我们可以在网上找Chinese surname,你会看到很多的中文姓,也有拼音。

下一步,我们就要给自己找一个名。很多人的中文名一听就像是外国人的名字,这是为什么呢?这是因为这些名字是直接根据发音翻译的,比如“凯蒂Katie”“大卫David”,这些汉字放在一起,没有什么特别的意义。中国的父母为孩子起名字的时候,他们都要起一个有意义的名字。比如,“勇”代表“勇敢brevity”,“德”代表“好的品德good personality”,还有很多带有“玉”的字,比如“琼”“琳”“瑜”等等,这些名通常被用在女生的名字,因为玉也代表着宝藏,美好的东西和美好的品德。我们可以打开一本中文字典,根据我们的名字的发音或者意义去找合适的字,选择你喜欢的意义。比如,如果你叫Michael,我觉得你可以叫“明昊”,“明”代表“明亮Bright”,“昊”代表“广阔的天空endless sky”。这个名字代表你有明亮的人生和未来,也有很伟大的目标。如果你叫Amy,我觉得你可以叫“安美”,“安”代表“安全”“平静”,“美”代表“美好”,希望你会有一个安全的,美好的人生。如果你叫Harry,我觉得你可以试试“赫谛”,“赫”原本的意思是“鲜艳的红色”,现在也有“光明耀眼”的意思。“谛”意思是“真谛”,就是真正的学问,真正的道理。这些名字,听起来是不是比“麦克”“艾米”“哈利”更地道呢?因为他们都有很多美好的意义,也代表了美好的希望。

选择了姓和名以后,我们也要看看,姓和名在一起合不合适。我听说有一个英国朋友叫Adam Power,他根据发音,给自己起的名字是“安灯泡”,听起来就像“安装灯泡”,非常好笑。也有一个网友叫Farzan,他给自己起的中文名是“发展Development”,听起来也有一些奇怪,像中国文化大革命时候的名字。我有一个英国朋友,他给自己起的名字是“夏虎仁”。“夏”是很好的中文姓,“虎”的意思是“老虎”,“仁”是“宽容,对别人好”,是中国人很重要的品德。这三个字都是很好的字,也有美好的意思。但是,“夏虎仁”听起来就像“吓唬人”,也很奇怪。

我也听过一些很好的中文名。我有一个朋友叫“Todd”,他的中文名字叫“陶德”。“陶”是很地道的中文姓,“德”的意思是“美好的品德”。他的名字很美,也很好听,和英文名的发音也很像。比如,美国副总统Kamala Harris也有一个中文名,叫“贺锦丽”。“贺”是一个很好的中文姓,也有“祝贺celebrate”的意思,“锦”的意思是“丰富的,多样的”,“丽”的意思是“美丽”。这个名字不但地道,而且很好听,还代表了美好的希望。

如果想要起一个好的中文名,我们要考虑发音,意义,还要考虑姓和名听起来合适不合适。如果你想好了中文名字,不知道好不好,合适不合适,你也可以在MaoMi Chinese的网站上留言,我很高兴帮你看一看。

Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!

Recently, I’ve received some very interesting questions, such as ‘How do Chinese people name their children?’ and ‘How can I choose a good Chinese name for myself?’ Thank you who asked these questions. I also think these questions are very interesting, and many people may want to give themselves a suitable Chinese name. So today, let’s talk about it together!

I think it’s much more difficult to come up with a good Chinese name compared to an English name because there are many Chinese characters, and their pronunciation and meaning can be different. When naming someone, we have to consider the individual meanings and pronunciation of the characters, as well as how they sound and whether they have an appropriate meaning when combined together. When Chinese parents name their children, they often have to consider many things. For example, in some big families, children of the same generation may use the same character. Also, if parents speak different dialects, the child’s name should sound good in all of them. So, if we are learning Chinese and want to give ourselves a good Chinese name, what can we do?

First, we need to find a surname. There are more than five thousand surnames in China. Firstly, read your surname or name aloud and think about its pronunciation. Then, find a similar Chinese surname based on the pronunciation. For example, for David Beckham, whose surname is Beckham, I might choose “贝” or “白” as his Chinese surname. For Taylor Swift, I might choose “司” or “卫” as her Chinese surname. Sometimes we can also choose a Chinese surname based on its meaning. For example, the English surname Brown, which means the color brown, may be translated to the Chinese surname “宗” with the same pronunciation. You may wonder where to find Chinese surnames. We can search “Chinese surname” online, and we will see many Chinese surnames and their pinyin.

Next, we need to find a given name. Many people’s Chinese names sound like foreign names. Why is that? It’s because these names are translated based on pronunciation without much consideration for meaning. For example, “凯蒂Katie” and “大卫David” don’t have any special meaning when the characters are put together. Chinese parents always want to give their children meaningful names. For example, “勇” represents bravery, “德” represents good personality, and many characters with “玉” in them, such as “琼” “琳” “瑜,” are often used in girls’ names because “玉” also represents treasure, beautiful things, and good personality. We can open a Chinese dictionary and find suitable characters based on the pronunciation or meaning of our given name, and choose the ones we like. For example, if your name is Michael, you may consider “明昊.” “明” represents brightness and “昊” represents the vast sky, indicating a bright future and great ambitions. If your name is Amy, you may consider “安美.” “安” represents safety and calmness, and “美” represents beauty, wishing you a safe and beautiful life. If your name is Harry, you may try “赫谛.” “赫” originally means bright red, but now also means brilliant, and “谛” means true knowledge and truth. Don’t these names sound more authentic than “麦克” “艾米” and “哈利”? They all have beautiful meanings.

After choosing a surname and given name, we also need to consider whether they are suitable when put together. I heard about a British friend named Adam Power, who chose his name based on pronunciation, resulting in the name “安灯泡” which sounds like “installing light bulbs” in Chinese and is very funny. There is also a netizen named Farzan who chose the Chinese name “发展Development” for himself, which sounds strange, similar to the names used during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. I have a British friend who chose the name “夏虎仁” for himself. “夏” is a good Chinese surname, “虎” means “tiger,” and “仁” means “tolerant and kind to others,” an important virtue for Chinese people. All three characters are good characters with positive meanings. However, “夏虎仁” sounds like “scaring people” and is also strange.

I have also heard of some good Chinese names. I have a friend named Todd, whose Chinese name is “陶德.” “陶” is a very authentic Chinese surname, and “德” means “good character.” His name is beautiful, pleasant-sounding, and similar in pronunciation to his English name. For example, the US Vice President Kamala Harris also has a Chinese name, “贺锦丽.” “贺” is a good Chinese surname and also means “celebrate,” “锦” means “rich and diverse,” and “丽” means “beautiful.” This name is not only authentic but also sounds good and represents hope.

If you want to choose a good Chinese name, you need to consider pronunciation, meaning, and whether the combination of your surname and given name sounds suitable. If you have chosen a Chinese name but are not sure if it is good or suitable, you can leave a message on the MaoMi Chinese website, and I am happy to help you take a look.

26 thoughts on “#110 How to give a Chinese name 怎么起中国名?”

  1. Years ago, I asked my Taiwanese co-workers to give me a Chinese name that was easy to write. We were all mid-twenties and they were all male. I could tell they were very nervous and they explained to me that they were qualified to do this. 🙂 Finally they decided to give me 江 莉 based on the sound (and not too similar to our boss’s surname. :).

    What do you think? Recently I’ve been wondering if 莉 is a bit old-fashioned.

    1. Molly - Maomi Chinese

      江莉is a nice name! Actually 江 is a good surname because it means wide and running river. 莉 is a very typical female name. If you would like something more neutral, you can have a look into 江黎. 黎 means dawn/sunrise. Sunrise at a wide and running river. Sounds more ambitious to me!

  2. 老师好!我是一个男人。下个月我去中国工作。选择一个中文名字:”杜安明”。你觉得好不好?

  3. Hi my name is Jake Hines, I love listening to your podcast! I recently tried to pick a Chinese name for myself but I think it probably sounds a bit strange. It’s 韩森山。韩 I was told is a common last name but my Chinese teacher said it sounds a little old fashioned. And the first name I simply picked because I love the look of the characters 森山 and also love the outdoors, hiking, running and getting out in nature. But there might be other combinations that have similar meaning that are more natural. Any help is appreciated! Thanks again for the podcast – it has helped me a lot, perfect speaking speed and translating some of the harder characters when you speak makes it easy to understand 🙂

    1. Molly - Maomi Chinese

      韩is totally fine! it also sounds like your last name so it would be a good choice! 森山 is probably not the best combination in terms of pronunciation, as both characters are first tone (both very flat) therefore it doesn’t sound to have the ‘melody’. Perhaps try 韩森克? 克 means 克服to overcome difficulties/hardship. I just assume that people who love nature and outdoor activities are more likely to have great resilience and endurance. It also relates to your first name. Just an idea to help 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for the podcast! My friend gave me the name 白皓汐 after thinking about what would sound authentic and my English name’s meaning (“little wave”). What do you think?

  5. Not so long I asked a Taiwanese friend to give me a Chinese name. I was given the name 华柏韦。What do you think? Is it a good name?

  6. 我的中文老师给我中文名字,那是 ”梦李”。我喜欢那个名字因为它像是我的英文的名字,但是我自己介绍的时候,有的时候别人会说 ”那个名字一点奇怪因为它没有三个字。” 虽然我搜索网络和找一个演员叫梦李,我不知道我要不要三个字。而且 ”梦李” 的意义合适不合适?我麻烦你帮我?谢谢老师

    1. Molly - Maomi Chinese

      “梦”不是一个很常见的姓,所以听起来不太像中国人的名字。或许你可以试一下“梅”这个姓?

  7. 老师好!昨天晚上我听了这个集,很有意思的!每次听你的podcast的时候我学会很多。在网上我找这个中文名字:程惠丽。我是印度人,我喜欢这个名字因为我姓Champaneri ,所以觉得这个名字听像我的姓一样。 是不是一个好的名字?谢谢!

  8. 你好,我真喜欢听。
    我有一个名字,是林奥光。我想名字不像男的名字,也不像女的名字。你觉得这个名字好不好·?

  9. Hi Molly!
    The Chinese name I chose is 王仁发.
    王is because my family name means “brave, valuable” and because I like 王菲and王家卫 .
    仁发because my name is Raffaele and people generally call me Raffa, and alos because of the meaning, especially the 仁part.
    Chinese friends say this name sounds authentic, although it sounds a bit old fashioned.
    But then, I’m a 54 YO 叔叔 so I guess it’s appropriate after all!!
    那你觉得怎么样?我选择那个名字好不好?
    谢谢,周末愉快!

  10. 因为我矮的女人,也我的英文名字是Rachel,选择一个中文名字 ”芮萌霞”。可是我觉得阳平声(rising tone)一点儿难。你觉得怎么样?听起来像不像中国人的名字?

    1. Molly - Maomi Chinese

      这个名字的发音有点儿难,改成“芮秋霞”怎么样?这个名字更像中国名字,秋霞-秋天的晚霞,也很美。

  11. 听这个博客以后,我终于选择了一个中文名字。是 郗锦霞. 你觉得怎么样? ‘郗’ 听起来像 我的英文性 ‘Sheetz.’ 我的英文名叫Jessica, 有点听起来像
    ‘锦霞’,而且我觉得这个名字有漂亮的音义。我知道我现在晚一年,可是如果你有时间,我可以麻烦你指教我吗?

      1. 我很惊讶!我以为你不会回答我的问题,因为这个博客是从去年。谢谢你。我非常享受你的博客; 它们很有用,好帮助。去年五月我开始听。我从第一集开始,我越来越赶你现在的集。
        我最喜欢的集之一是那个关于刘耕宏的锻炼视频的。现在我每天跟着他的视频一边锻炼,一边学中文。特别好玩儿。

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