Picking a Chinese name - (second name)


How do I go about picking a Chinese name?
I don’t want to make a name that sounds like my Dutch name,
because it won’t sound natural.
If you have any advise, let me know!


I like two-character names (meaning surname + given name = 2) rather than three. Simple.

For a place to start, you can still base the sounds off of your real name, but make it sound natural (not really like your real name except for the initial consonant) and have good meaning by just choosing a single character.

For example, instead of using 大伟 (Dawei) for someone named David, they could choose the character 达 (Da) (to attain; to reach, etc.). Then say if their surname in their native language starts with an L, like Lawrence or Langley, they could choose from the surnames 罗 (Luo), 李 (Li), 林 (Lin)…

This would give a hypothetical “David Lawrence” a possible name of 罗达 (Luo Da). Simple, good meaning, natural, nice sounding and only partially based on the sound of his real name.

To give another example, let’s choose the name Kevin. Instead of 凯文 as a given name, he could just choose 凯 (triumphant; victorious). Then say his surname is Holmes. He could choose from surnames 何 (He), 韩 (Han), 昊 (Hao).

So, in this case, hypothetical “Kevin Holmes” could choose the name 昊凯 (Hao Kai). Again, simple, natural, good meaning, good sound, and not too ridiculously based on his real name.

I like this better than three-character names that usually end up rather corny or country sounding when people try to create names based on cool meanings that often have nothing to do with the person, like “handsome hero” or something. If you aren’t a well-educated Chinese native, single character given names are easier to choose than a really good two-character given name.

If that sounds like a good idea to you, you can pick your initial consonant and search a dictionary for a character with a great meaning and sound that you like.

There are also name rating websites in Chinese that will rate your name, taking into account the sounds, tone melody, meaning, cultural significance, and some other Chinese superstitious stuff that takes your date of birth into account as well… But those sites are in Chinese and you’d have to have a good level to make sense of it.


Awesome! Xiexie :slight_smile:

Good info! I was also starting to think about a Chinese name. Given that even in South America and Russia somehow most people didn’t understand what the hell ‘Tommy’ was supposed to be and I had to retreat to Tomás etc to avoid becoming ‘Tony’ or ‘Domi’.

I think that it’s a good idea though to wait with the chinese name thing until your level in the language is well intermediate or above. Then you have a better feel youself of what you’re getting youself into.

LFJ could you link to a good name rating site? I can deal with chinese sites.

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This is the one on Baidu from Meimingteng.com. It’s pretty good, but if you want to crosscheck a name with some others just search 姓名测试打分 on Baidu.com. Some times they give different scores, so you can test a few name choices on different sites and pick the best over all.

I just entered 罗达 (Luo Da), the name I created for my hypothetical “David Lawrence”. I made him 30 years old, born 30 years ago today. Below are the results. You can see it scored pretty high.

Actually 罗大伟 (Luo Dawei) scored much higher with three 98s and an 81. But if he doesn’t want a name to sound like his real name, then I think we did alright. I could look up some other D- initial characters and test them out to possibly find a better one, but you get the point…

And really, I don’t care about the Chinese Zodiac score, Five Elements score and that kind of stuff. So the important number to me is the first one, the “Cultural Impression” score based on character use in idioms, poems, sayings, famous words, etc., which got 94. Pretty good!

And then the last bits of info are interesting. Character meaning, melody, character formation, and connotation. All did quite well.


文化印象94 分。(主要参考成语、诗词、名言、名人用字等因素)
五行八字98 分。(主要参考名字的五行是否符合八字喜用神的要求)
生 肖75 分。(主要参考名字是否符合生肖姓名学的起名要求)
五格数理80 分。(主要参考了名字用字的姓名学笔画组合的搭配关系)




罗: 罗系您指定的姓氏用字。从生辰八字上看,名字中需有火相助,罗字的五行属性为火。
达: 从生辰八字上看,名字中需有火相助,达字的五行属性为火。

字义: 达表示全面、通晓、畅通,意义优美。
音律: 罗、达的读音是luó、dá,声调为阳平、阳平,音律优美,朗朗上口。
字型: 罗为上下结构,姓名学笔画20画;达为半包围结构,姓名学笔画16画;字型优美,利于书写。
五格: 该名字的五格笔画搭配为20-16,五格俱佳。
意蕴: 成语波罗奢花 廓达大度扩展了名字的意境。

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This is a great tool. I’ve read several posts about ‘choosing a ch name’ on sinosplice, yoyochinese and other major blogs, but this type of tool was never mentioned.

Probably because this is what natives use to choose baby names. It’s not really something non-natives would know about for choosing a Chinese name, or even natives unless they’ve been through the baby-naming process.

I think I found it because it occurred to me that there are English baby name websites, so there must be something similar in Chinese, and of course it’s bound to be more culturally complex, what with all the Chinese Zodiac, Five Elements, and just the poetic nature of Chinese names and characters too.