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How to chose a Chinese name?


Hi everyone (你 们 好)

I have seeing that People have a ocidental name and also have a Chinese name.
How this Chinese name is chosen? It’s is a translation off my ocidental regular name ?
Or I have the freedom to chose a name that I want?

Can you help me gays?




Of course you have the freedom to choose whatever you want. But you probably want a name that sounds good in Chinese, and for that you need help. I have a friend whose name in English translates to 皋黎明. That is very lucky for her. That translation is an excellent name in Chinese. Most of us are not so lucky.

Western people famous in China are usually given names that just sound (more or less) like their original name. Men named Fabio are often named 法比奥. You can search that on-line. Names that you get this way do not sound like good Chinese names.

Do you have any Chinese friends that you could ask for help? That is the best way. But I can also tell you that Chinese people will not all agree what is best for you! Helpful people here may make suggestions but you should not be quick to just adopt one of them.



I will accept your tip and will not chose a Chinese name quickly.
Unfortunately don’t have close Chinese friends to help me in this quest.

One question. Your name has a meaning in Chinese? The people chose names in this way? For exemple, 游客巴西 ?

Or just the sound remains a meaning?

Xie xie



When you do pick a name, these lessons will help you introduce it:




Fabio, 别谢,

A friend thought of 马科林 for me. It sounds a bit like both my names actually. It is reasonable in Chinese (indeed there was a Chinese agronomist in Hubei with this name). And it suits my wife’s love of horses and my love of science. Plus, the characters are easy to write! It is no kind of translation of my name (which is Scots Gaelic for dove, son of speaker).

However, nothing in this life is easy. I had already done some things in China that were announced on line using a transliteration of my name: 科林·麦克拉蒂. Of course that is not a Chinese name, it is only a name in Chinese words. But my friend advised me to stay with this known version than change to the nicer 马科林.

So, with best regards, 科林·麦克拉蒂


你好 马科林

很好 your history, including the love for horses. Unfortunately if I use the same logic, my supposed name 法 比 奥 faria referencia a leis austríacas (segundo o Google tradutor), kkk.

Gwilym, Thanks for the video suggestion. I hope they help me in my quest.

I,m thinking in doing some remote classes too. Maybe the teacher can help me too after some lessons, kkk

再见 你 们


My name is James Anderson. I am a University lecturer. When I was discussing my research with the Chinese Academy of Sciences they told me I had to get a Chinese name so that they could talk about me. I asked all of my Chinese co-workers to suggest names. I then asked some of my Chinese students to pick the best name from among these suggestions. They mostly agreed on An1De2Sheng1, 安德生, Tranquil Moral Life. It sounds like “Anderson,” it has the structure of a Chines name – “An” is the 70th most common surname in Beijing - and it suits me. I am the strong, calm type, with a clear sense of morals and a clear plan on how to live my life.

Recently I started doing business in China. I had a delegation of translators, business people, engineers and assistants to help me get about. The people I met were happy to use my Chinese name, some complemented me on it, but they also wanted to talk about my wife. Her name, Linda Anne Anderson, isn’t natural in Chinese so I instructed my delegation to come up with a name for her. After a couple of days of discussion they settled on An1Lian2, 安莲,Tranquil Lotus. It sounds a bit like “Anne Lynn” where “Lynn” is an English contracted form of “Linda.” My wife is also the strong, clam type and is quite beautiful so “Lotus” fits well. It is an English affectation that we share the same family name “An.”

The path by which we learners find our Chines name will be different but it is an important journey and one that is better not hurried.

After negotiating a business deal for a month in China and being left to my own devices during down time, I discovered that without Chinese I would die of thirst, hunger and boredom so I signed up for ChinesePod lessons and one of my teachers supplied the Pinyin for the names.


James, very good history!
I will try to find some Chinese friends to help me finding a meaningful name like that. Hehe


Hey, I’m looking for a Chinese name at the moment but I chose Daìyù (黛玉) as a first name and Chu as a surname for now. I really like the name Chu Daìyù but I’m not sure if it’s a weird name since it’s apparently not a common name. Can anyone give me an insight into whether this is a good name? Also I noticed there are a few different characters for the surname Chu and I wasn’t sure which to use, is there any difference between the meanings or is any one just as good as they other?