Main Site Blog Help

Thinking of Changing my Chinese Name


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

When I first started learning Chinese, my teacher gave me a Chinese first name, 格森, which is a transliteration of my English name, Grayson. Since then, however, I’ve been told by a lot of Chinese people that my Chinese name is weird. I’ve been thinking of changing it to 葛森 since 葛 is the character for kudzu, and I’m from the South. I just have a couple questions: does this name sound more natural to the Chinese ear? Also, does this name sound masculine?

If anyone else has any other suggestions for names that sound similar to my English name, I would greatly appreciate them!



Hi Rasputin/ Grayson,

I’m glad you wrote in about this! It’s common for people to give themselves slightly odd-sounding names in other languages so it’s an important thing to check. 格森 and 葛森 are very similar actually, have you thought about 格雷森 géléisēn?That is how Grayson is usually put into Mandarin. If you wanted to use the other 葛 you could make it 葛雷森 which is interesting and different but not too odd. 葛 is neutral, however when you add the 雷森 it becomes more masculine because 雷 (meaning thunder) is very masculine. Additionally, 葛 is used as a last name in Taiwan, so it seems like this name follows the Chinese format of X last name XX first name. Let me know what you think!
Just an additional point, (葛)雷森 is not a name that a Chinese person would have because it is transliterated from English. However, it would make sense for you to have this name since you do not have a native Chinese background.



Three ways to get your Chinese name

First way. Translate your English into Chinese. This method is simple but has three problems. First, not all English names can be translated directly into Chinese.Only some typical names can be translated into Chinese smoothly. Such as Jack to 杰克、Harry to 哈利. Second,Names translated directly are usually too long. and do not conform to the Chinese name rules. In general, Chinese names consist of two or three characters. Third, Such a name may contain some bad words with ridiculous meanings.

Second Way. Select one from some Chinese name list.This method is better than the first one, but there are also some problems.First, Such a name is common and may be the same as other people. Second, Such a name has no special meaning for you, just a Chinese name.

Third way, also the best way. To design you a standard Chinese name base on your native name、gender、personality traits. This way can give you a realy Chinese style name. But it is difficult to do that well for non-Chinese native speaker.

My friend spent one and half year collecting more than 80 millions Chinese names and analyzing them. Summarized the characteristics and laws of Chinese names. Based on this, he created a website for foreigners to design their own standard Chinese style names.This website can design you a personalized Chinese name according to your native name, gender, name and personality characteristics.Chinese names designed by this website are usually composed of two or three Chinese characters, and it can ensure that it conforms to Chinese culture completely, and there is no one with ridiculous meanings.After you get your Chinese name, the Pinyin of Chinese names will be given, also some gif images that show you how to write you Chinese name.

This website was built only a month ago. Welcome all Mandarin teachers to experience it. The url is