my name in chinese

My Name in Chinese: How to Find Your Chinese Name and Let Everyone Know Who You Are

If you were your own mother, what would you name yourself?

Whether you like your birth name or not, there’s not much you can do to change it.

But let’s be honest—getting to name yourself would be pretty cool!

Fortunately, now you can!

The Great Charlemagne once said, “to have another language is to possess another soul.”

And how true is that!

When learning a new language, we have the opportunity to take on a new identity.

So it only makes sense that we get a new name, right?

If you’re wondering how to say your name in Chinese and introduce yourself with it, you’ve come to the right spot.

In this blog post, you’ll find out how to say your name in Chinese and learn six must-know phrases for introducing yourself like a native speaker.

Let’s get right into it!
 


 

My Name in Chinese: How to Find Your Chinese Name and Let Everyone Know Who You Are

Learn a foreign language with videos

How to Find Your Chinese Name

If you’re wondering how to say your name in Chinese, there are plenty of resources to figure it out. After learning some basics of the Chinese language and becoming more conversational, saying your name as you would in English can sound awkward and choppy.

So if you need a Chinese name, here are a few tips to finally get one!

Use a Chinese name tool

Perhaps the most popular way to get a Chinese name is by using a Chinese name tool. These online tools take your name in English and your gender to autogenerate ways to say your name in Chinese. If this is your chosen route, use a website like Chinese.gratis or Chinese-Tools.com to instantly get a Chinese name.

The great thing about these tools is that they’re great starting points. Even if you choose not to use the exact name they give you, you’ll likely still leave with some inspiration. Plus, depending on your name, many tools will give you several translation options.

Here are a few other Chinese name tools to help you find your name.

  • Mandarin Tools. This tool takes your given name, family name or surname, gender, birthday and even your “desired essence of your new name.”

    You can choose from a drop-down menu between “personal character and skill,” “wealth and fortune,” “beauty and appearance,” “mind and intelligence” and “strength and power.” Whichever one you select, your name will represent. It even tells you which zodiac year you were born!

  • Chinese Converter. By entering your English name in the box, the site will generate the translation of your name, as well as any variants it might have. What’s fun about this tool is that you can create a picture with your Chinese name and use the name on social media channels like Facebook!

Ask a friend or Chinese tutor to name you

Sometimes, your autogenerated name from name converters just sounds bad. Especially if your name is three syllables or longer, it can be difficult to find a natural-sounding name in Chinese with online tools. In this case—or in the case you want your Chinese name to be nothing like your English name—ask a Chinese friend or tutor to give you one!

This is what I did when I started learning Chinese. My English name is Brooke, and I didn’t like any of the results from online translation tools, so my tutor gave me the name 嘉莉 (jiā lì), which means “beautiful woman.” Not only did it sound much better, but I was very honored she gave me such a name!

My English name (Brooke) was translated as 布鲁克 (bù lǔ kè) by the name generators, which just didn’t sound as appealing to me.

Rename yourself

One of my favorite things about learning new languages is that each one gives you a new identity! You didn’t have the opportunity to name yourself when you were born, but now that you’re learning a new language, you do!

If you don’t have Chinese friends or a tutor, name yourself after your favorite Chinese drama character, pop singer, historical figure or even browse lists of common Chinese names for inspiration.

Watching Chinese media—like dramas, music videos and movies—can do more than just give you new name ideas and improve your listening skills. You can actually become fluent off of them!

“How,” you ask?

FluentU!

my name in chinese

FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news clips and inspiring talks—and turns them into Chinese language lessons. You can browse the endless library of Chinese media for levels ranging from beginner to advanced and learn new vocabulary and grammar patterns through interactive subtitles, flashcards and quizzes!

You can start learning Chinese through entertaining content today by signing up for a free trial.

Tips for Introducing Yourself in Chinese

Before we get into the different ways to introduce yourself in Chinese, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind.

In many cases, Chinese etiquette and manners are much different than those in the Western world. Because of this, you can’t always directly translate from English to Chinese what you’re going to say or start a conversation the same way.

Let’s take a look at a few tips that’ll keep your introductions polite and running smoothly.

Say 很高兴认识您 (Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nín) — Nice to meet you

Unlike other Asian languages like Japanese, the phrase “nice to meet you” comes after both people have introduced themselves. For example, after greeting a person, saying your name and asking for theirs, the other person will reply, and then you both say 很高兴认识您. In this case, the same applies to English.

Use (nín) instead of (nǐ)

Both of these words mean “you,” but 您 is the formal version. When first meeting someone, it’s best to refer to them as 您 than 你 because you’re not yet familiar with them.

However, after you’ve chatted for a bit, it’s usually safe to start using 你 unless the person is an authority figure or superior—like an elder or your new boss.

Say your last name before your first name

This is a concept in numerous Asian languages that many Westerners find confusing at first. Unlike in most European languages, Chinese people put their last name before their first name.

For example, you wouldn’t say “my name is Bob Jones” in Chinese. Instead, you’d say, “my name is Jones Bob.”

Of course, when you have a Chinese name, this sounds much more natural!

Ask 您贵姓 (nín guì xìng) when asking someone their name

This phrase literally means, “what’s your honorable surname?”

Even though this phrase seems old-fashioned and ultra-formal, it’s still used in everyday Chinese. When responding to 您贵姓, you’ll typically state your last name first, followed by “but I’m called…”.

For example, if someone asked me this question, I’d respond with 我姓白,叫嘉莉 (wǒ xìng bái, jiào jiā lì) — my surname is Bái, but I’m called Jiā Lì.

Use 请问 (qǐng wèn) to get someone’s attention

The phrase 请问 can be used in numerous situations. It literally means “may I ask” but is used like “excuse me” in English.

Before starting a conversation, asking for directions, introducing yourself or simply approaching another person, use 请问 to be polite.

For example:

请问您贵姓(Qǐng wèn, nín guì xìng?) — Excuse me, what’s your surname?

6 Ways to Introduce Yourself Like a Native Speaker

Now that you know how to politely start a conversation and have found your Chinese name let’s get into the different ways we can introduce ourselves in Mandarin!

我叫。。。(Wǒ Jiào…) — I’m Called…

One of the most common ways to give your name is by saying 我叫… followed by your first name.

Please note here that you can’t say 我叫 to give your surname. That would be 我姓… (wǒ xìng…).

The verb 叫 (jiào) means “to call” in Chinese, so you can use this to tell someone what you, someone or anything else is named.

For example:

请问你叫什么名字(Qǐng wèn, nǐ jiào shén me míng zi?) — Excuse me, what’s your name?

我叫嘉莉你呢(Wǒ jiào jiā lì. nǐ ne?) — I’m called/named Jiā Lì. And you?

我的名字叫。。。(Wǒ De Míng Zi Jiào…) — My Name Is…

Another common way to introduce yourself is to extend 我叫… into 我的名字叫…

The word 名字 (míng zi) means “name,” so this phrase literally means “my name is called.”

We also see this word in the question 你叫什么名字? (Nǐ jiào shén me míng zi?) — What’s your name?

请问你可以自我介绍一下吗(Qǐng wèn, nǐ kě yǐ zì wǒ jiè shào yí xià ma?) — Excuse me, can you introduce yourself?

可以我的名字叫乔菲(Kě yǐ! wǒ de míng zi jiào qiáo fēi.) — Yes! My name is Qiao Fei.

我的中文名字叫。。。(Wǒ De Zhōng Wén Míng Zi Jiào…) — My Chinese Name Is…

If you want to further explain that the name you’re giving is your Chinese name, you can use the phrase 我的中文名字叫…

This is a phrase I personally use a lot. It’s also good for establishing preference.

For example, when I was in university, I had lots of friends who were foreign exchange students from China and Taiwan (one was even my roommate).

They knew I could speak Chinese, so they’d often speak to me in their language. Since they knew my English name as well, at first they weren’t sure what to call me or which name I preferred. I solved that problem by introducing myself with 我的中文名字叫… so they knew that when speaking Chinese, they can call me by my Chinese name!

I basically had two names during my time at university!

请问你叫什么(Qǐng wèn, nǐ jiào shén me?) — Excuse me, what are you called?

我的中文名字叫李娜(Wǒ de zhōng wén míng zi jiào lǐ nà.) — My Chinese name is Lǐ Nà.

叫我。。。就行/可以了 (Jiào Wǒ…Jiù Xíng/Kě Yǐ Le) — Calling Me…Is Fine

Another great phrase to use for establishing preference is 叫我…就行/可以了, which literally means “calling me…is just fine.”

This is also a phrase I frequently used with my foreign exchange student friends. Two common ways to use it are in response to the question 您怎么称呼 (nín zěn me chēng hū) — how should I address you and when explaining that you’d prefer to be called a name different than what you used to introduce yourself with.

Here’s a culture tip!

In Chinese-speaking countries, it’s very common for people under the age of 30 to be called 小 (xiǎo) + their surname by their friends and family.

For example, someone with the surname 王 (wáng) might be called 小王 (xiǎo wáng) by their friends.

请问您怎么称呼(Qǐng wèn, nín zěn me chēng hū?) — Excuse me, how should I address you?

叫我小王就行了!(Jiào wǒ xiǎo wáng jiù xíng le!) — Calling me Xiao Wang (Little Wang) is fine!

请问你叫什么名字? (Qǐng wèn, nǐ jiào shén me míng zi?) — Excuse me, what’s your name?

我的中文名字叫嘉莉所以叫我嘉莉就可以了(Wǒ de zhōng wén míng zi jiào jiā lì, suǒ yǐ jiào wǒ jiā lì jiù kě yǐ le.) — My Chinese name is Jiā Lì, so calling me Jiā Lì is fine.

我是… (Wǒ Shì) — I’m…

If you want to keep it short and sweet, you can say 我是 plus your name. This is used in the same way as 我叫.

请问你叫什么名字? (Qǐng wèn, nǐ jiào shén me míng zi?) — Excuse me, what’s your name?

我是贝拉(Wǒ shì bèi lā.) — I’m Bèi Lā.

我姓。。。叫。。。(Wǒ Xìng…Jiào…) — My Surname Is…I’m Called…

Although this might sound a bit awkward in English, this is one of the most common ways to introduce yourself in Chinese, especially after being asked 您贵姓.

请问您贵姓(Qǐng wèn, nín guì xìng?) — Excuse me, what’s your surname?

我姓王叫李娜(Wǒ xìng wáng, jiào lǐ nà.) — My surname is Wang, I’m called Lǐ Nà.

 

Introducing yourself properly in Chinese is perhaps the best way to make a stunning first impression!

And with these six phrases, you’re now readily equipped to blend in with the Chinese culture and impress some native speakers!


Brooke Bagley is a freelance writer and a passionate language learner. She’s learned Mandarin Chinese for seven years, Spanish for three and Indonesian for one. Aside from languages, Brooke runs her freelance writing business—Writing & Thriving—and specializes in B2B, digital marketing and holistic health and wellness.
 

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