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Choosing a chinese name

Hi @YuQinCai, @Constance_Fang @Fiona and the ChinesePod team, my question is this:

I’m going to study in China for two years and I want to choose a chinese name before my departure. I want it to reflect my quiet, peaceful personality and/or my moral integrity.

For my surname, I already chose Peng (which is similar to my real name Pelletier). As for my given name, I was thinking of Chéngxìn (integrity) or Fănxing (introspection). I don’t know if it makes any sense (I didn’t really learn mandarin chinese yet).

Thanks for your help!!

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Hello! I think that 彭诚信 sounds very good. Integrity and honesty.

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Hi guys,

I know that the Chinese people select English names, especially for their kids, but I had never thought of giving myself a Chinese name. Is it necessary? if so, is there a way that we select or go about selecting a Chinese name or we just randomly select one of our preference?

Hey Stefano,

I think it is what you want. Many use a phonetic names, that sound off to what your name Stefano sounds like… Sī tè fán nuò… but then they look for difference meanings for each character/ phonetic syllable. OR you can also find characteristics that you want to define you or that you would like to introduce yourself as without reference to the phonetics of Stefano. Also keeping in mind that typical Chinese names have three characters, one for surname and two for the name part. Hope this helps, ask if you have more questions!

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The way I chose my Chinese name was to first look up the meaning of my English name, which is Luke and in Hebrew it means Radiant Light. The next step was to find an equivalent word in Chinese that wasn’t too strange to native speakers, 光明.

It’s a good approach and gives you a way to explain your choice. Chinese people will appreciate that you took the time to select an appropriate and meaningful name and not just something that sounds good to you.


If you want to create your own name, it’s definitely a good idea to check out any potential name out with at least one Chinese person first (probably more). It’s very easy to pick a name that 1) sounds weird to Chinese people, 2) sounds like the wrong gender, or 3) sounds similar to some bad or strange word

However, as long as your actual name is pronounceable to most Chinese people (which I would guess yours is) it shouldn’t be a big issue.

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Thanks everyone, sorry for my late reply. Haven’t been on this particular page for quite some time. This was very helpful.

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