Hi ChinesePod team, my question is this:
And there came the moment in which I must settle on a Chinese name. The 姓 was not so hard to decide on: 孙 it is, as it accurately translates my family name. Finding the right 名字 has proven to be a little more challenging.
I’m trying to find Chinese names that bear a phonetic resemblance to my name – Paulo – without resorting to transliterations such as 保罗. After having thumbed through a book that purports to guide us in the choice of auspicious and elegant Chinese names, I was able to shortlist a few names that please me both in meaning and in sound. However, I couldn’t say which of these would sound good or just plain odd to the native (or non-native expert) ear. Do any of the names strike you as particularly beautiful or prohibitively strange? Please tell me.
If you can help me with that, it would be a really invaluable and timely assist. In a couple of weeks I’ll have to fill out the university documents, and the Chinese name I’ll use then will also be the definitive one, that will eventually figure in the diploma. That’s why I’m attaching great importance to finding the right name.
I listed below the names I selected and my impressions of each:
- 宝林: I gravitate towards names with characters that signify, and especially depict, nature. It also sounds like the affectionate name my family calls me.
- 宝禄: Phonetically as close as it can get. I’m afraid, however, that its meaning may come across as too “shallow” or “materialistic”.
- 百禄: A variation on 宝禄.
- 葩武: Fragility and might - seems beautiful to me. Combined with the family name 孙, however, I think it doesn’t sound so well.
- 布令: I like this very much, but I’m not sure if its meaning is transparent. It comes from a sentence of the 礼记 that reads as follows: “布得和令，行庆惠施“. In the translation I’ve seen: “Spread the policy of benevolence, holding ceremony, sharing generosity”. I’m also not sure in which tone 令 should be read here.
- 博良: Or maybe some variation such as 博禄, 博伦 or even–who knows–博柳?
- 柏伦: I think this may sound ridiculous, but, as I said, I’m drawn to nature-related characters.
- 若水: This one is the exception, as it doesn’t sound at all like my original name. I’ve included it among the contenders because I just like it very much. If I come to abandon the principle of phonetic similarity, I guess that would be the one.
Thank you for your gentle help!