There are plenty of reasons why someone might need a Chinese name. The biggest reason is probably just for fun and why not? Most Chinese people have an English name, even if it is Apple, Lemon or some other equally fruity name. So, if you’re going to meet a Chinese person, whether on your travels, in the Chinese classroom or at work you should really do the decent thing and get yourself a Chinese name. I don’t suggest you make it yourself (this could go terribly wrong), you could always ask a Chinese friend (although a Chinese friend of mine later told me she suspected the name she had given me was a ‘gay’ name) or use our brand spanking new automated Chinese Name Generator!
If you’re viewing this post on your mobile device, you can now go to Chinese Name Generator Mobile to get your Chinese name!
Once you’ve been studying Chinese or have lived in China for some time it is kind of expected that you should have a Chinese name, especially if you’re a student. My original Chinese name was 百合 (bǎi hé) which means lily. I’m not sure if i was given this name because I am extremely white, or because she suspected I was gay but I have cast off my old name and taken on a name based on my English one: 霍莉 (huò lì).
My Chinese name sounds quite cute, but my colleague informed me that 霍 is the family name of a well known Kung Fu master, Huo Yuan-Jia who can be seen in the picture above. The second character 莉 is jasmine, like the flower.
In Chinese your personal name is known as 姓名 (xìngmíng) and is most often made up of three characters (although sometimes two); a monosyllabic family name and a disyllabic given name. The family name precedes the given name so for example if there is a girl named 芊岑 (QianCen) and her family name is 刘 (Liu) her name will be 刘芊岑 (Liu QianCen) not 芊岑刘 (QianCen Liu) as in the west. She would be referred to by friends or family as either 芊岑 (QianCen) or by her full name 刘芊岑 (LiuQianCen). However, if she was to adopt an English name, her family name 刘 (Liu) would come after her chosen English name as is the way in Western countries. My colleague, 刘芊岑 romanized her Chinese name and is Chamcen Liu, however another colleague whose Chinese name is Zheng Weijie replaced his Chinese name and is (now famously) known as Allen Zheng!
There are around 4000 Chinese family names still used in China to this day, however these three 张 (zhāng), 王 (wáng) and 李 (lǐ) are the most commonly used names.
When a woman marries in China she usually keeps her own name. However if (when) her and her husband have children, they will take the name of her husband (their father.) There’s an interesting article about changing names here.
So, if you fancy getting yourself a Chinese name for fun or to impress your Chinese friends check out our new automated Chinese Name Generator. Some of you may have used our first version, which were manually made using our WCC Online Dictionary. The Written Chinese developers have carefully created an algorithm that will provide you with a great Chinese name based upon romanized Chinese and English syllables. As a bonus, you’ll also get information on your Chinese zodiac so don’t go pretending you’re still 21…
Now you know a little about Chinese names you can go and get your own. Go to our Chinese Name Generator, enter your details and you’ll receive your very own Chinese name!
Although many of us in the west have middle names (sometimes more than one) you should just use one of your names, probably the one you use most often as your given name.
Above is my newly generated Chinese name: 首伙丽. Oh, how the generator knows me – amazing maker of delicious food! Not really, but it’s a cool name nonetheless. Once you have your Chinese name, you can visit our dictionary at dictionary.writtenchinese.com and find out a little bit more about each character by pressing the Learn More button. You can also learn how to write your name using the stroke animation!
Your name will go to your email address so no silly emails please (yes, I’m talking to you).
If you have any questions or queries about your name you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org