It's 2020 - Are You Still Using a Chinese Name From the '80s?

 

 

Do you have a Chinese name? Chances are good that if you're learning Chinese online or in a brick-and-mortar school, you've at least thought about what name you should pick. Picking a Chinese name is a right of passage for all learners, and it's something that makes the language and culture unique. Your Russian and French learning friends don't get to pick new names, but you do!

 
 
Why should you pick a new Chinese name?
 
 
√ Your name will be easier to pronounce for native speakers.
 
√ You show that you're serious and the language and respect the culture.
 
√ Chinese names are full of meaning, giving you an opportunity to tell your audience something meaningful when you introduce yourself.

 

 

Mistakes to Avoid

 

 

While Westerners might name their children after famous movie stars or singers, it's not a common thing in China. As much as you love 成龙Chéng Lóng (Jackie Chan) or grew up watching 李小龙 Lǐ Xiǎolóng (Bruce Lee) movies, best to steer clear of those names.

 

 

Other names may be popular in famous Chinese literature, but are outdated and sound strange to native speakers. Famous names like 木兰Mùlán (Mulan) make you sound like you were born a thousand years ago. But you're current and hip! Your name should reflect that.

 

 

 

These words often appear in the 1970s and 1980s: 伟wěi (great), 勇yǒng (brave), 杰jié (outstanding), 芳fāng (fragrance), 丽lì (beautiful), 娟juān  (beautiful, pretty). According to statistics, there are nearly 300,000 people called 张伟 Zhāng Wěi (Zhang Wei).
 
 
How to Pick a Good Name
 
 
So, how can you make sure you avoid those traps and pick a name that you'll enjoy for years to come? Follow these three simple steps:
 
 
√ Choose your surname first
 
 
 
 
Last names are more important than first names in Chinese culture. Don't be overly creative here. Stick to common Chinese surnames so that your new name will sound instantly familiar. You can choose a surname that sounds like your surname.
 
√ Choose one or two characters that reveal something positive about you Remember that your Chinese name will be closely linked to your personality.
 
 
The 50 most frequently used words in the names of newborns born in 2019
 
 
 
Choose words that describe you, or at least what you want others to see in you. It can be helpful to see what parents in China are calling their newborns these days. The 10 most frequently used words in the names of newborns born in 2019.
 
 
梓 zǐ vitality, tenacious vitality
 
子 zǐ children, learned people
 
宇 yǔ space, world
 
泽 zé grace, kindness
 
涵 hán contain
 
晨 chén morning, hope
 
佳 jiā beautiful, good
 
一 yī one
 
欣 xī happy, joyous, glad
 
雨 yǔ rain, friend

 

 

 

 

√ Ask a trusted native speaking friend
 
 
This is the best piece of advice you'll get all day. Your new name is important. You've got to get it right. So, ask someone you trust to check if you're picking a good name. They will be sure to let you know if you're on the right track, or if you've chosen a name from the last century.
 
Have you already chosen a Chinese name that's been working well for you? Please share your experience with us. learn Chinese online with Mandarin House, get a good Chinese name.

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