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Author Topic:  [Background Information] Mahoutokoro Naming Reference  (Read 1186 times)

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[Background Information] Mahoutokoro Naming Reference
« on: October 02, 2016, 06:47:48 PM »
EAST ASIAN NAME GUIDE


A Chinese name typically has either two or three words consisting of one word as the family name, and either one or two words as the given name with each word being one syllable. If a person has a two-word name, they are usually addressed by their full name along with their surname, and the surname is dropped if he or she has a three-word name, which is common practice amongst friends. For example if someone's surname is "Shi" and the given name is "Ke", then he/she will be addressed as their full name "Shi Ke". If someone's surname is "An", and the given name is "Yi Xuan", then he/she will be addressed as "Yi Xuan", especially between friends and family. Double names, such as "Fei Fei" are also quite popular for girls and young children (very occasionally for boys depending on the character of the name), although most of the time they're used as nicknames.

Chinese surnames are like English surnames in the sense that they can just be picked from a list in most cases, but for the given name there is no set rule. Parents tend to pick names based on the well wishes or hopes they place upon their child, such as "Jian Guo" for a boy, which loosely translates to "building one's country".  In no cases are people named after a geographical location or another person. While there are many cases of people with the same name, it is most likely due to coincidence and the popularity of the character as a name, and not a conscious effort of naming him/her after someone else. That said, many families in China are a fan of naming those born in the same generation with the same character in their name. Hence, siblings could be named "Hui En", "Hui Ping", and "Hui Ru", and this sometimes extends to cousins as well.

Women do not adopt their husbands' surnames after marriage. In the last few decades there are families who choose to let their child take both parents' surnames, mostly due to the one-child policy. This practice should not be mistaken with compound surnames, which should be used with care due to ethnic specificity and certain names falling out of use. One thing in particular to take note of are dialects, which can change how the name is spelt; "Li" is written as "Lee" in many dialects, "Wang" can be written as "Wong" in Cantonese, but at the same time it can also mean "Huang". When in doubt, google or ask an admin for help. Alternatively, this guide offers a much more comprehensive understanding of Chinese names, and it is definitely worth reading through (please note that 1. the linked guide tends to come off a little strong, so please note that the personal views of the author in question does not necessarily reflect the views of the admins on MH and 2. school names and courtesy names have fallen out of use in modern society).

Some sample given names that can be created from the list below include "Pei Wen", "Guo Qiang", "Bao Zhen" etc. As the tonal value and characters of these words are not specified, names written in Pinyin are not gendered, although it is possible in some cases to guess the gender. There are endless combinations available, so once again if you're struggling with naming a Chinese character, simply contact a Mahoutokoro admin for help/advice.

Given names: An, Bai, Bao, Bo, Chao, Chen, Da, De, Fei, Gang, Guo, Hai, Hao, He, Hui, Jie, Jing, Juan, Jun, Lan, Lei, Li, Ling, Long, Meng, Min, Ming, Na, Nan, Pei, Ping, Qi, Qiang, Rao, Ru, Shu, Tao, Tian, Wan, Wei, Wen, Xi, Xia, Xiang, Xiu, Xue, Ya, Yang, Yao, Ying, Yu, Yun, Zhen, Zhi, Zhong

Surnames: Bai, Cai, Chen, Deng, Fan, Gao, Hu, Huang, Jiang, Li, Liang, Lin, Liu, Ma, Meng, Pan, Qiu, Ren, Shen, Sun, Wang, Wu, Xie, Xu, Yang, Ye, Yu, Zhao, Zhang, Zheng


Japanese names are fairly simple to understand; simply pick a surname and a given name and it is all set. For given names, a lot of parents usually choose a root word and add suffixes such as "ko" for girls and "ta" for boys. Most Japanese names can be written in Kanji, which offers different variants of readings, but it is becoming more prevalent to have a name that can only be written in Hiragana. However, it should be noted that in ancient Japan only the noblemen had surnames. It was only since the Meiji restoration that "commoners" were allowed to have their own surnames, and those were mostly cobbled together based on geographical locations. For example the name "Kobayashi" means "little forest", and the name "Inoue" means "above the well". Wives take the husbands' name after marriage and lose their maiden name altogether.
*NOTE: It is not encouraged to "create" a unique name. There are plenty of resources out there that offer sensible name choices- outlandish names taken from Anime should generally be avoided as well. As a rule of thumb, if all the results are all anime-related when googling a name, it might be best to pick something else.

Female names: Ai, Aoi, Akemi, Aya, Chie, Chiyo, Eri, Etsuko, Fumiko, Hiromi, Jun, Kimiko, Kyoko, Makoto, Mizuki, Nao, Natsumi, Rin, Shizuka, Umi, Yoko, Yuki, Yuu

Male names: Akio, Eiji, Haruto, Hiroto, Hitoshi, Jiro, Jun, Kaoru, Ken, Koji, Masao, Minato, Osamu, Ren, Satoshi, Seiji, Shinji, Sota, Takeshi, Tetsuo, Yoshiro, Yuuto

Surnames: Abe, Asakawa, Chiba, Fujiwara, Harado, Hayashi, Inoue, Ito, Kikuchi, Kimura, Kobayashi, Matsumoto, Mori, Nakamura, Okada, Okamoto, Ono, Sakamoto, Sakura, Sato, Sugiyama, Suzuki, Takahashi, Tanaka, Watanabe, Yamamoto


While Korean names bear the most resemblance to Chinese names in terms of how the system works, there are some unmistakable differences that distinguish the two. The most telling factors are the surnames "Kim" and "Park", which are very rarely seen as Chinese names but are amongst the most common surnames in Korea. Similarly, there is no set way on how to pick a name in Korean, but there are some names that are more popular and are seen quite commonly, with only slight variations in how they're written in Hanja. "Ji-eun", "Jun-seo", "Seo-eun", "Ye-jin" are just some of those. This is a good resource if you find yourself struggling with Korean names. There are also different ways that a surname is romanised, which is why you might see variations to the same surname. It should also be noted that more than half the Korean population have the surnames Kim, Park, Lee, and Choi/Jung, and repeat names are fairly common. Like the Chinese, Korean women tend to preserve their maiden surname as well.

Female names: Da-hee, Eun-seo, Ha-eun, Hye-jin, Ji-hye, Ji-min, Ji-young, Mi-rae, Min-ji, Seo-yeon, Su-bin, Ye-eun, Ye-rin, Yun-seo

Male names: Dong-hyun, Ha-neul, Hyun-woo, Ji-hoon, Jun-seo, Jung-woo, Kyung-soo, Min-ho, Sang-hoon, Seung-hyun, Tae-hyun, Woo-jin

Surnames: Ahn, Bae, Cha, Choi, Doo, Han, Joo, Jung, Kim, Ku, Lee, Lim, Moon, Oh, Ok, Park, Ryu, Seol, Shim, Um, Won, Yeun




When in doubt, Wikipedia can be a good resource to look up notable real people with geographically accurate names as a reference. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask one of the MHTKR admins for help, as well as any other members who have Asian descent/experience living in Asian countries.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 05:09:21 AM by Taylor »

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