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Inspiring Chinese Names and Personalities

by Dr.Yow Yit Seng

The Western world would name their children from a list of establ­ished names such as Peter, François, Günther, Carlos, or Antonio. The Chinese on the other hand could create unique names by choosing characters from a vast selection of vocabulary that is meaningful. It is like being able to create a name for your children or yourself by choosing virtually any word from the vocabulary.

In the Chinese language there is a wide choice of words that are suitable names, though in practice some words are used more common than others. Other than inherited surname, it is an art to choose meaningful words as names.

Embedded in most Chinese names are the parents’ aspirations and hopes for their child.

As we shall see later, words could be chosen to project character traits such as ‘confidence’ ‘excellence’, ‘love and care’, ‘loyalty’, ‘peace and tranquillity’, ‘trust’, etc. The combination of words is enormous. A list of about a thousand naming words is provided in this book.

If you have a Chinese name, an understanding of what your name means not only enables you to understand what your parents hope in you, but also how others would get their ‘first impression’ of you, as well as a personality profile that you would be associated with, whether you like it or not.

Brought up in Malaysia, educated in France and now settled in Australia, Dr. Yow is in a unique position to highlight Chinese roots, their mindset and psyche. The author adopts a bilingual approach, whereby the relevant texts are printed in Chinese together with the pinyin pronunciation wherever possible, followed by translations in English.

For more information please contact the author