How to Name in Chinese?

By Sujanti Djuanda – LingoLearn Chinese Teacher

Most Chinese people name has three characters, the full name (姓名(xìngmíng) format is surname + first given name + second given name (middle name). The first and middle name can have different or same characters (双名(shuāngmíng)). Since the middle name is optional, there are Chinese people name that only have single-character given name (单名(dānmíng)), the format is surname + given name.

There are several ways to name in Chinese:

I. Use good Chinese characters meanings. Examples:

1. 张(Zhāng)富(Fù)安(Ān) : the meaning is rich and peace.

2. 朱(Zhū)美丽(Měilì) : the meaning is beautiful.

3. 王(Wáng)惠(Huì) : the meaning is favor.

4. 李(Lǐ)清(Qīng)清(Qīng): the meaning is honest.

II. Use animal, plant, nature, precious things names.

1. 洪(Hóng)鳯凰(Fènghuáng): the meaning is phoenix.

2. 红(Hóng)玫瑰(Méiguī) : the meaning is rose flower.

3. 张(Zhāng)风雨(Fēngyǔ) : the meaning is wind and rain

4. 郁(Yù)金(Jīn) : the meaning is gold.

There are also Chinese people that give the same first given name for their daughters and likewise sons as well.

For examples:

1. The daughters’ names:

a. 李(Lǐ)月(Yuè)金(Jīn)

b. 李(Lǐ)月(Yuè)美(Měi)

2. The sons’ names:

a. 李(Lǐ)国(Guó)亮(Liàng)

b. 李(Lǐ)国(Guó)翔(Xiáng)

III. Use English names or English and other languages loanwords

Currently most Chinese people give themselves English name because it’s easier to pronounce or having an English name is cool. For some famous English products, Chinese people prefer to say in English rather than their Chinese names. English names can also be translated into Chinese according to their pronunciation or meanings.

Example 1:

Jessica, iPad,iPhone和iPod touch是(shì) 苹果(píngguǒ)公司(gōngsī)的(de)注册商标(zhùcèshāngbiāo)。

Example 2:

麦克(Màikè=Mike),现在(xiànzài),麦当劳(Màidāngláo=Mc Donald’s)和(hé)肯德基(Kěndéjī=Kentucky Fried Chicken)连锁店(liánsuǒdiàn)遍布(biànbù)世界各地(shìjiègèdì),中国人(Zhōngguórén)喝(hē)美国(Měiguó=USA)的(de)可口可乐(Kěkǒukělè=Coca Cola), 星巴克(Xīngbākè= Starbucks)吃意大利(Yìdàlì=Italy) 的(de)披萨(pīsà=Pizza),用(yòng)微软(Wēiruǎn = Microsoft)的(de)软件(ruǎnjiàn)。

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