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。
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.
10 thoughts on “#110 How to give a Chinese name 怎么起中国名？”
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.
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!
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 🙂
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 🙂
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?
That’s a lovely name. both pronunciation and meaning are beautiful.
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?
Yes it’s a good name. definitely authentic!