请问|如何起个好英文名?

起个英文名是有多难?你懂的。

Yo,亲爱的观众朋友们,如你们所知,C频道新开设了【C请问】的观众互动环节,我们会从观众的提问选出一些,由美国小伙伴给出他们的感受见解,第一期我们讨论了美国人是如何看待英国口音的这个问题,回顾看这里

本期问题

如何选择一个好英文名?

最近一个热心观众留言,问是否能请Channel C的美国小伙伴谈谈他们觉得什么样的名字是比较好的英文名,以及如何避免起令人啼笑皆非的名字。

名字这个话题其实以前Pan和Muge做过一期视频并请朋友们倾情出演小剧场,全面分析了三种社交场合里,中文名字带来的尴尬:1. 求职 2.毕业典礼 3.爬爬爬~爬梯!

总结:从大家的回答来看,其实就中文名字也不是不可以,大家对这种选择也都表示尊重,不过呢,如果真的要给自己起一个英文名字,结合所有回答,需要避免以下几点:

1.不要起一听就是爷爷奶奶辈人的名字

2.不要起非常正式的,名人政客的名字 (有一个中国男生给自己起名字叫拿破仑,M觉得他酷得快没朋友了)

3.不要起非常奇怪少用的名字,比如根本不是名字的名字(比如Banana,Wish,Boat这样的名词,或者Struggle之类的动词,这不是演习是确有其人!

4.不要起在俚语中有其他(糟糕的)涵义的名字。

总之,起英文名字往往是为了方便或者更好地融入。能找到个性化的,最好还能和中文有些联系的名字当然最好,不过要注意别掉进以上这些文化陷阱中,要不然恐怕适得其反哟,如果实在拿不准主意,就问问你身边的美国人吧。不小心给自己起了脱衣舞女郎或者和自己的个性完全不符的名字(小女孩不要起Larry这种蓝领壮汉的名字喂)不然只会令人哭笑不得。

好了,下面进入正题,来听听美国小哥儿妹子们怎么说:

Alex 艾丽克丝

给自己起名字确实挺难的。一方面你可能想要一个比较热门的名字,比如说常见的女名有Sarah,Megan,Jessica,Jennifer以及Katerine的各种变形(比如Katie)。但是如果我能有机会给自己起名字的话,我会选择我喜欢的或者对我有特殊意义的音乐人,演员的名字。最重要的是你觉得这个名字要适合你。

It can be difficult when given the choice to select your own name. On the one hand, you might want to go with a name that is popular. For example, names for girls that are common are Sarah, Megan, Jessica, Jennifer and variations on the name Katherine (i.e. Katie). However if I had the chanceto choose my own name, I would think of musicians or actors I admire or feel a connection to. It is most important that you feel your name fits you.

Daylon 大龙

如果从美国文化中关于名字的种种政治的角度来看,定义什么是一个“好名字”挺难的。但是如果我们只是中立、抽象的谈什么是个好英文名字,我觉得可能一个和你的中文名字相似并且含义符合你的个性的名字就最好了。比如说我有个朋友叫李华,她给自己起名字叫Grace。但是我就和她说呀,你应该叫你自己Leah,含义是困倦(累)。这很完美啊!!因为她成天睡觉。

这对有的人可能行得通,对有些人不太行,但我觉得这种名字超酷,因为不仅能反映你的个性,而且和母语的发音挨得上边。

I think if we talk about the politics of names in the US, it would be really hard to define a”good” English name. But merely speaking in neutral, abstract terms of a good English name,I think it would be something that sounds similar to your Chinese name and has a meaning that fits your personality. Like I had a friend named Li Hua, but she called herself Grace. But I suggested Leah, which means tired. And it fits because she slept a lot. This may work, may not always work but I think it’s cool because you get a new name that shines a little on who you are while holding ties to the native tongue of where you come from.

Taylor 泰勒

个人角度来说,我从来不觉得很难发音的或者来自别的语言的名字有什么问题。如果一个人想要被这样称呼,那就应该给人家这种权利。而且我一般学名字学得还是很快滴。不过呢,在美国文化中,如果一个人想要找一个英语名字,还是有许多文化陷阱需要注意的。最简单的一条:名字过时得老快了。比如说,任何年轻美国人都可以告诉你Agatha(阿加莎)是个比较老的名字。或者Frank,Bertha,Cleveland什么的。不是说这些名字不好,只不过没有同龄人会叫这个啦。 如果我要给自己起一个英文名的话,我会先找一个说英语的朋友给我些建议。他们会很认真的对待这件事(额,你认识大龙吗?)不过,要是我可能还会从我自己的文化里找一个名字然后翻译过来。打个比方,我是意大利裔,像Leo (Leonardo的简称)这种比较传统的名字就会很棒,因为这样一来人们更容易记得我,因为我的意大利长相能让他们联想到我的名字,反之亦然。在此奉上我本人最喜欢的英语名字供大家参考: Payton, Thomas, Nick, Pan (不错哟), Jenna, Jason, Emma, Elizabeth

Personally I have never had any problems with a difficult-to-pronounce name, or a name that is from a different culture. If a person wants to be called that, they have a right to, and I’ll get used to it very quickly.However, in an American culture, if someone wants to choose a more American/English name, there are certain cultural ideas in the way. Quite simply, names go in and out of fashion very quickly.For example, any young American could tell you that Agatha is an older name. Or Frank, or Bertha, or Cleveland. It’s not that they’re unappealing names, it’s more that no one our age is named that. If I were to pick out an English name for myself, I would first ask any American/English speaking friends for suggestions. They’ll take it seriously. However I would also take a look at any more traditional names from my culture that do translate well. For example, I’m Italian, and traditional names such as Leo (short for Leonardo) would work perfectly and also people would remember me because my Italian face would have an Italian name to go with it. And to answer the question most directly, here is a short list of my favorite English names: Payton, Thomas, Nick, Pan, Jenna, Jason,Emma, Elizabeth

Wesley 卫斯理

我觉得个自己起一个英文名字是一种向人们介绍自己的好方法,特别是如果你觉得自己的本名很难读或者很难记的话。有个英文名字在上课回答问题或者在星巴克点咖啡的时候格外有用呢。但另一方面我觉得如果你和一个人要深交的话,他们可能会希望能用你的本名来称呼你。

我觉得什么是好英文名没有一个明确的答案,更好的问题应该是:“什么样的英文名字不该选?” 有一点,别选特别正式的英文名字,虽然这种可能是外国人最熟悉的英文名。我是说,别选那种美国总统或者什么其他名人的名字,除非你觉得这个名字特别适合形容你。别选特别生僻的名字。我觉得选英文名字的时候可以先找一个说英语的人问问,这样可以避免选到一个在俚语中含有特殊意思的名字。选的时候我建议也想一个能让你朋友称呼你的昵称。

I think that the use of English names is a good way to introduce yourself to someone if you feel that your name is going to be too hard for them to remember or pronounce. An English name would probably be very useful incases like ordering a coffee at Starbucks. On the other hand I feel that if you have a lasting relationship with someone they might want to call you by your actual name. I think there is not a clear answer to a good English name. I think an easier question might be: “What should be avoided when picking an English name?”

I would say as a tip not to choose one of the more formal names in English, even though they are probably some of the most familiar to foreigners. I mean names that belonged to presidents or other famous people. That is unless you feel that name describes you particularly well. I feel that when you pick an English name it would be beneficial to choose one that describes you but try not to choose something too strange. If you already have a friend who is a native English speaker you might want to include them when you choose a name to avoid a name that might have another popular slang meaning. When choosing I would say to think about it like a nick name that you will use with friends.

Calla 凯拉

在挑选英文名的时候,我认为普通好念的名字最理想!我的中国男票的英文名是Nick。他用这个名字很好因为他的原名对美国人来说难念的不得了。因为很简单、好念又不过时,所以这个名字起的好。我认识很多美国人也是叫Nick的。另外如果英文名和原名接近也是不错的。如果有人的名字就是Li,直接叫这个很多美国人也可以记住和念。比如如果叫“瑞”,就可以叫Ray。

When selecting an English name, I would say that a common, easy-to-say name is ideal. My boyfriend, who is from China, has the English name of Nick. It’s good for him to have an English name because his real name is difficult for Americans to say and remember. Nick is a good English name because it is common, easy to say, and also modern. I know many Americans with the name Nick as well. A name that is close to a person’s real name is good, too. For example, if someone’s name is Li, then it is fine to just keep his or her name as Li, because it is something easy for Americans to say and remember. The same is true for a name like Rui; however, just change the spelling to the English name Ray. 

不过有时候我也遇到了不太好的英文名。有些人给他们自己起的名字不是一个名字,而是一个单词,这听起来就很奇怪了。有的人会用非常非常过时或生僻得连美国人都不会用的名字。当有人起这类型的名字的时候,我觉得就有点本末倒置了,因为取一个英文名本来的目的就是方便美国人记住嘛。

However, I’ve encountered some less-than-ideal English names, too. Sometimes people give themselves names that are not English names, just English words. They sound very strange to Americans. Also, sometimes people use very old-fashioned or uncommon names that some Americans have never heard before. When someone has a name like this, this basically defeats the purpose of having an English name, as an English name should be something simple and easy to remember.  

所以当取英文名的时候我建议大家找身边的美国朋友帮忙,确保这个名字是简单、好念,不过时的,确保这名字不仅好听还要恰当!

When it comes to choosing an English name, I would recommend getting help from an American friend to ensure that the name is simple, easy to say, and modern, as well as simply sounds good and is in fact a proper name.

Adam 亚当

很不幸这是我和我朋友间一大笑料来源,不过我必须得说精神可嘉。很多时候,亚洲名字真的太难念了,所以我非常支持你们为了方便起见取英文名字。不过我觉得有时候这个名字取得实在不怎么样,要么不符合文化要么不符合性格。比如说,我工作的地方有个人取的名字是Horace,听起来就好像个喜欢生气的老头子一样。还有个叫他自己Eddie,但他本来中文名是Yitan。他说Eddie听起来像Yitan,但我觉得用“Ethan”会更适合!我在这方面的建议是直接谷歌”top baby names 2014″ (2014年最流行的名字)然后从那里选。不是说这样就肯定能找到万无一失的好名字,但至少是个好起点。还有就是尽量避免选择不是名字的名字。我知道有的美国人会这样做,但这种名字未必合适。说到底名字应该是一个人性格的象征或某种延伸,如果你爱上了某个名字,那就用那个呗!你还可以保持原名或一个小名。美国人更看重的是你的表现而不是名字,如果你很外向喜欢交朋友,叫什么都是次要的。

This is unfortunately the source of a lot of jokes and confusion amongst me and my friends, but at the same time, I really DO appreciate the effort. A lot of times, names from Asian cultures are incredibly hard to pronounce or even hear when they’re spoken to us, so for simplicity’s sake, I love the consideration of selecting an American/English name. That being said, I think oftentimes they pick names that aren’t culturally relevant or don’t match their personalities. For example, I worked with a kid who chose the name Horace, which has the connotation of being a grumpy old man’s name. Another example of a kid I worked with: He picked his English name to be Eddie, but his actual name was Yitan (spelling?). He told me he selected Eddie because it sounded a lot like his actual name, but in reality the English name “Ethan” would’ve been a much better choice. I think the best advice I can give for selecting an English/American name is to google “top baby names 2014″ and select off that list. This isn’t going to give you a perfect, fool-proof listing of all the name options, but I think it will steer you in a better direction. I’d avoid picking things that aren’t actually names. I know that some Americans do it, but it makes you stand out in a way you probably don’t want to. This is all just one man’s opinion, though. Ultimately, name selection should be an extension of your personality, and if you have really fallen in love with an English name, use it! On a similar token, choosing to keep your actual name or a nickname version of it is an admirable choice as well. Americans aren’t going to judge you based on what your name is, but on how you act around us. If you show that you’re interested in making friends, the name is largely an unimportant detail.

Jared 杰拉德

呃我很支持这个做法啊。我完全可以想象当外国人尝试介绍自己的时候发现各种困难。我自己经常因为念错名字而感到罪过……方便起见以及避免重复讲解名字,起英文名是上策!过了介绍名字这一步大家就可以聊聊其他的了,这样一来外国人们可能就可以摆脱这个身份带来的局限了。

Umm I guess I like the idea personally. I imagine there are countless times when “foreigners” try to introduce themselves and find much difficulty. I am personally guilty of butchering people’s name upon introduction. For convenience and in order to avoid the constant repeating of your name I suppose adopting an English name is a brilliant idea. If people make it past brief introductions and you have further interaction/conversation perhaps it will be a topic that expands their overall perspective of what being a “foreigner” may encompass. 

Taryn 塔林

这个问题好主观啊。很多名字都是很常见的,可能是来自圣经,可能是来自那些所谓的“最热门新生儿名字”列表。我从来都不喜欢这些东西。我的名字就是那种让人有点摸不着头脑的。我也听过很多人念错,拼错。我就觉得独特的名字特别好,不仅别致,还好记。我也很喜欢一些朋友的常见名,例如Emily, Laura,但其他罕见的比如Teasha, Lena也很酷哦。名字很重要,因为这是第一印象的一大部分。我觉得自己的名字很少有是很幸运的事。

This is a very subjective question. There are so many names that are deemed to be “common.” Maybe they’re from the bible. Maybe they made some crazy list of the “top baby names” around the time you were born. I was never a part of that. My name is always one that’s caught people off guard. I’ve heard many interesting pronunciations of it and seen even more interesting spellings. I personally enjoy names that are a little less common, because they not only make you a bit more unique, but I think they’re easier to remember. Many of my best friends have common names, which I like (examples: Emily and Laura), but others (examples: Teasha and Lena) are a little less ordinary, and I think that’s great too! Names are important. They help provide a first impression when you meet someone. I’m lucky to have a name that’s a little less common for that reason.

 

4 Comments on 请问|如何起个好英文名?

  1. good

  2. John Absher // August 18, 2014 at 4:38 am // Reply

    I wish you provided translations of the chinese here. I’m guessing this is prospective chinese students asking about choosing english names. I can only infer from the english responses.

  3. my name is Victor,is it alright?

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