How to choose a Chinese name


Just like many Chinese give themselves a foreign name in order to better adapt to and integrate into foreign culture, people who study Chinese are also keen to give themselves Chinese names, but many foreigners say that choosing the right and nice Chinese name is a technical job, not an easy task, so today I will bring you four tips to help you find the Chinese name that suits you faster.


  • 直译法
  1. Transliteration Method


This is the easiest way to choose Chinese name, and it is the method that most foreigners will choose. You don't have to spend too much time thinking about it, but you can maintain the pronunciation of your original names, such as 迈克( mài kè)Mike, 简妮( jiǎn nī)Jenny, 丽丽( lì lì)Lily, etc., this method is also used in China's official news reports, and if the names of foreign dignitaries are involved, they will use literal translations.


  • 意译法
  1. Paraphrasing

这种方法是根据原本名字的含义选择相关的中文单词和字符,然后再解释它们,这样就形成了一个全新的中文名字。比如Jade用意译法就可以变成宝玉( bǎo yù),Andrea代表美丽而优雅,我们可以翻译成丽雅( lì yǎ)。

This method selects relevant Chinese words and characters based on the meaning of the original name, and then interprets them, resulting in a completely new Chinese name. For example, Jade can be translated into 宝玉( bǎo yù), Andrea represents beauty and elegance, and we can translate it as 丽雅( lì yǎ).


  • 引用历史名人的名字
  1. Quote the names of historical celebrities


This method is what many senior Chinese learners like to adopt, because after contact with deeper Chinese, such as ancient poems, ancient texts, etc., they will be deeply attracted by the author's literary brilliance, so they will directly choose the names of these ancients as their Chinese names. For example, 唐伯虎Tang Bohu, a well-known American female singer in China, and 李白Li Bai, a Canadian national, adopted this method.


  • 用美好的愿望起名字
  1. Choose a name with good wishes

不排除上面提到的三种方法对一部分外国友人来说不太适合,如果按照这三种方法,会导致最终得到的中文名字并不符合中国的实际文化和中文的语言环境,所以我们可以采取将自己的美好愿望放在名字中的这种方式来给自己命名。比如有人希望自己气质不凡、清新脱俗,可以叫婉清( wǎn qīnɡ),还有人希望自己的名字看起来有诗书气,可以叫言卿( yán qīnɡ)。

It is not excluded that the three methods mentioned above are not suitable for some foreigners, if you follow these three methods, the final Chinese name will not conform to the actual culture and Chinese language environment of China, so we can take the way of putting our good wishes in the name to name ourselves. For example, some people hope that their temperament is extraordinary and vulgar, and they can be called 婉清( wǎn qīnɡ), and some people hope that their name looks poetic and can be called 言卿( yán qīnɡ).



In addition to the methods mentioned above, some foreigners will choose the names of characters in some Chinese books as their Chinese names, which is also a good way, but it is worth noting that try to choose positive characters to avoid small misunderstandings. In addition, foreigners do not need to have both a surname and a first name, and generally choose a first name is enough.



After reading today's sharing, have you figured out your Chinese name? Welcome to leave a message to tell us, we will see you next time!