Registering a Chinese Name

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    Avatar photoRay

    I just noticed something: on my residence permit, my Chinese name has been left blank. They asked me what it was, and not having one, I just said “Xi Yang Yang” (you know, as in the cartoon). My Chinese buddy here thinks they won’t register a name which they think is “foolish or made up” (his words).I know names are pretty serious business in China. Anybody have any experience with this? I wonder how they would translate Tiger Kuma…..

    Avatar photoSteven

    it’s easy, Tiger Kuma=老虎 哭嘛(tiger,cry) hahaha

    Avatar photoBrendan

    Do you need to even bother with registering it? Or is it just a whim?

    Avatar photoRay

    @brendan: depends. In the past I’ve been told that I needed one, so my ex supplied some noble-sounding, impressive name (which i always felt stupid using). In HK a few weeks ago, it didn’t matter. I think generally it’s not compulsory…BTW: you got a Chinese AKA?

    @steven: you mean Kuma translates as “cry”. Goddamn, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry… Maybe the police thought i was more of a “Hui tai leng” (bad wolf?) so that’s why they wouldn’t give me the Yang yang…?

    Avatar photoSteven

    You see, other people give you noble sounding name, you don’t like, I give you an ordinary name, you don’t want it either, why so fussy, 😛 Kidding, I was kidding brother, don’t do something to let me cry, lol, by the way, in my point of view, if you do like using Xi Yangyang, why not, why they let Da Shan register “Big Mountain” but don’t allow you to register Xi Yangyang, I do believe among the whole Chinese population, there are some people whose name is Xi Yangyang, maybe not exactly those 3 character, but at least the same pronunciation, if it’s compulsory to have a Chinese name just go ahead for Xi Yangyang, and good luck

    Avatar photo7

    I read that I am required to have a Chinese name and basically I had the opportunity to state what I wanted it to be. But, if I don’t then one will be assigned to me and it will be very difficult to change later. I’m fairly certain that there are Chinese versions of both my first and last name, but since I don’t know any Chinese I figure I’ll just take my chances and roll with what they assign me.

    I wonder how they do that. Do they try to match up the meaning or the sound or just pick something at random?

    Avatar photoCharlie

    I imagine they must just pick a phonetic equivalent although I don’t think I’ve ever had to use a Chinese name on any official documents. Chinese people will naturally translate my name to 查理 and although I have a more proper Chinese name, I never use it. Seems like you should be able to pick any Chinese name you want though.

    The other day my friend Justin was telling me about students he had in Jiangxi province with completely crazy English names like FBI, Counterstrike, and CPU. If they can pick names like that I can’t imagine how Xi Yangyang is a problem!

    Avatar photoRay

    Yeah, i’ve had students with awesome English names, and i always encourage them to go for it: The top ten:

    1.Black Angel

    2.Vampire (current student)

    3.Bin Laden (very popular about 7 yeears ago)

    4.AK-47 (had this one a few times)

    5.Let it Be (good philosophy too)

    6.Elvis Cat King (great kid. Claimed to love Elvis)

    7.Master (how can you fail the master?)

    8.Snow Fox (alas, she never came to class)

    9.Saw (as in the torture-porn flick)

    10.George Bush (go figure)

    Avatar photoCharlie


    Young Chinese George Bush… those names are hilarious.

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