Chinese Name

Chinese Name

Business people from the UK are advised to take great care when creating a Chinese name. Generally, there is no direct translation for Western names that carries the same meaning in Chinese. Two common ways to choose a Chinese name are:
  • Phonetic. Appropriate Chinese characters are chosen phonetically.
         For example Mike will be  迈克   (pronounced ‘My-Ker’),         and Katherine 凯瑟琳 will be (pronounced ‘Kai Ser Lin’).
  • New name. You can choose a Chinese first name that conveys suitable meaning and a Chinese family name that is phonetically close to your own family name.

For example, Chris West chose the Chinese name as 魏博生:

魏 is pronounced ‘Way’, which is close to ‘West’

博生 is pronounced ‘Boar Shung’, which means ‘knowledgeable and lively person’.


Note that Chinese names are usually given in the order of surname then forename. So, using the example above – the business card would read ‘West Chris’ in Chinese.

It is worth remembering that in Chinese the emphasis is on the first name, so you are likely to be called Mr Chris. In a work scenario, the whole name is traditionally used.