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English names: practical or just pretentious?

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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby pqkdzrwt » 12 Aug 2011, 09:12

Why do so many people have problems with other people choosing a second name in another language. Many people do it. Most people in my chinese classes over the years also like to choose a chinese name.

It is neither practical or pretentious! I would suggest most people choose a second name in a second language because it is either, symbolic of trying to adopt a language, fun, or cool.
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby Mawvellous » 13 Aug 2011, 12:17

Nothing wrong about having an English name, but there is something wrong with a corporate culture that forces many people to adopt an English name.

A: What's your English name?
B: I don't have an English name, I just use my Chinese name. It's easy to remember
A: You should choose an English name. Otherwise the foreigners will be confused.
B: My Chinese name is fine.
A: Well I don't think you are suitable for our company then.

This has happened to at least two Taiwanese friends.

Strangely, companies that are completely Taiwanese and do all of their business in Taiwan are no exception.
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 13 Aug 2011, 17:26

Personally I think the 'chinese names are hard to remember' thing is a form of racism. If, in the West, you keep saying your Chinese name, I'll remember it just fine thanks, mostly because I'm not retarded. We had kids in my class with Indian/Vietnamese/Chinese names and didn't think anything of it past 'How the hell do you read that?' the first time we met them.

In Taiwan, remembering ALL Chinese names is hard when you first move here, but you do get used to it. If people only give you nicknames or English names, you never get used to it and it never stops being hard. The first six months I was here I was in the foreigner circles, and everyone gave me an English name - so the few people who's Chinese names I knew I could rarely remember. After being in an all TW circle for about three months I found Chinese names just as easy to remember as English names - I know an ABC who's been back for around 8 years, and still can't really remember proper Chinese names since she spent a lot of that time in a bar and everyone has a nickname or an English name. It's just what you're used to.

Having said that, I now have a Chinese name which I used a lot - my school gave you a Chinese name when you signed up (computer says NO to English names), which I then changed to make not-awful. And it's a pretty name, so it's catchy and I like it. Then again, a friend picked it for me after I told him to pick a name that 'suits me', so it at least has a little bit of meaning to me.
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby Confuzius » 01 Dec 2011, 22:10

Some of my favorite names (my wife's HS students)

Beer (its a girl btw)

Can

Wish

Air

Rain

Pohuidon (pronounced puh-hui-den)

Cynphony (and no, shes not from the ghetto)
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Re:

Postby hhohho91 » 27 Jan 2012, 04:53

Big Fluffy Matthew wrote:Posting in Chinese on a Engish forum: practical or just pretentious ?

If it for work- for example you need to contact non- Chinese speaking clients/ partners, it’s practical.
I found it’s hard for Westerners to pronounce my Chinese name- “Yi Jen” right.
It’s either pronounced as “Y” Jen- Y sounds “not straight/ uneven in Chinese (歪), or Yi “J” (where do “en” go?)

But I know some Taiwanese local firms like to push employees having English names, that’s pretentious in my opinion.
You can’t even answer “How are you” fine, what would you need an English name for?
But in this case we need some company owners to answer……
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby fh2000 » 27 Jan 2012, 10:17

Years ago, I landed in US to attend the graduate school. I soon realized that since my Chinese name involves a round vowel word, much like the word "rain", this is almost impossible for a lot of Americans to pronounce. French people might have an easier time. People kept asking me how I would say it. I gave in one day and announced to my professor and classmates, from now on I would be called <an English name>. I heard a collective sigh of relief.
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 28 Jan 2012, 03:52

Haha. I can imagine that happening XD

In certain places you just have to accept that they cannot say your name correctly. My name cannot be pronounced correctly in Japanese, and so I just accept the closest approximation (which is slightly different to the 'standard' Japanisation of my name, so I get a lot of people 'correcting' my spelling for me, grrr).

Actually, it kind of hit me the other day that nicknames play a bigger role in Taiwanese society than they do in English-speaking countries. In the UK only your family and close friends will use your nickname, here it seems to be almost the opposite.
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby Zla'od » 30 Jan 2012, 06:52

Well I for one have found my English name quite useful, since nobody can be bothered to work out the Wylie system of Tibetan transliteration. (It's enough to cause one to exclaim, "dkon mchok gsum!")
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby ādikarmika » 31 Jan 2012, 10:59

Zla'od wrote:Well I for one have found my English name quite useful, since nobody can be bothered to work out the Wylie system of Tibetan transliteration. (It's enough to cause one to exclaim, "dkon mchok gsum!")


A-kha! mchoG, not mchoK.
(Wylie dar khung du a log rgyag/)
the moon's too bright, the chain's too tight, the beast won't go to sleep
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Re: English names: practical or just pretentious?

Postby Zla'od » 03 Feb 2012, 07:16

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

(Is there a TongYong Wylie I can blame?)

According to the time-honored customs of Indo-Tibetan debate, I must now convert to your religion.
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