Chinese Naming

Giving Your Child A Good Real Chinese Name

Many visitors wrote to us and asked us if they have given their children suitable Chinese names. We know many adoptive families have read books talking about giving a baby a Chinese name. However, in many cases, two separate words, each with beautiful meanings, are combined arbitrarily. Although these words individually may have good meanings, very often in combination they are not suitable as names or simply cannot be combined into names.

Giving a Chinese name is a very challenging task for most Westerners. A good Chinese name should not only sounds pretty, but should also radiate a good meaning, AND make sense for Chinese – meaning it is a real Chinese name. Besides these requirements, we also want to give a Westerner a Chinese name, which sounds similar to his/her English/German/French name.

In “Naming Your Baby in Chinese”, Edward Hume wrote “it is REALLY EASY TO MAKE A BAD NAME for your child.” Further, he does not  “recommend do-it-yourself,” and instead suggests “never make up a Chinese name without consulting Chinese friends”. We want to follow his good advice and offer a service to adoptive families to help them give their children good Chinese names that sound pretty, have a good meaning, make sense to Chinese people, and sound similar to her/his English name.

Currently, this service is free! What you need to do is to tell us what kind of characteristics you want to be expressed in your child’s name and her/his English name. You can also send us the name you selected (in Chinese characters) and we will tell you if you have made a good choice.

For those of you who want to keep your child’s Chinese name that was given by the orphanages and want to know what they mean, please send us a copy of the name in Chinese characters. Please note: we cannot evaluate a name without seeing the corresponding Chinese characters. Pinyin spellings do not indicate tones, and even if you tell us the tone, each pronunciation has half-dozen to a dozen characters.

Xiaoning Wang published an article Choosing a Chinese Name to help you give your child an appropriate Chinese name. Another great source is Best Chinese Names which provides hundreds of names, with sections for both male and female babies, suggestions on methods of naming a baby, and a list of English names compatible with Chinese names.

If you have more questions regarding giving your child a Chinese name, please feel free to contact us.

Please note: due to high demand, this free service is currently only available to adoptive families.