chinese and english name terms

By Brittany King,2014-07-28 14:32
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chinese and english name terms

    Chinese and English Name Terms

    Thesis statementThis paper is intended to make a comparison between Chinese and English name systems to see their differences and similarities, and a tentative explanation is given to the differences of these two systems from the aspect of culture as to illustrate the communicative functions they play in their own society


     1. Introduction of Chinese and English name

     2. Comparison between Chinese and English name terms

     2. 1 Similarities

     2. 2 Differences

     3. Cultural connotation of Chinese and English name terms

     3. 1 Cultural connotation of Chinese name terms

     3. 1. 1 The development of family name and its history

     3. 1. 2 The meanings of first name and its culture

     3. 1. 3 The connection between appellation and position

    3. 1. 4 The connotations change of name and the taboo

     3. 2 Cultural connotation of English name terms

     4. Conclusion

     5. Works cited

    Chinese and English Name Terms

    1. Introduction

     Name is the symbol which will accompany you all along with a persons life. A person will

    have his own name since he is born and he will bring it into his social activities as well. Its an

    unique symbolic representation. A name is for name owners to distinguish with others and for people to recognize each other. It is more than just an individual life's simple appellation, and also representing the connotation of many more essence, including character, occupation, background, cultural degree, image, social position, and even the advantages and disadvantages. Namely, name transfer all kinds of information through the communication. For example, we know that Chen Jingrun was the mathematician who had proved goldbach's conjecture; and when you came up with Napoleon, we will remember he was little French big strategist. At the same time, as a representative symbol, because of its sociality, the name has its legal significance. After a public security organ registration, the name which has its nationality and census register, has become personal content, it represents part of human rights and obligations, including citizenship, reputation, etc.

    Names carry rich connotations too. Along with the progress of the society and the development of the traditional culture, name also approximately changed from inchoation to evolution, gradually gave the connotation of its complex from simple "code" to "comprehensive culture" which contains psychology, sociology, history, ethnology, philology, literature, aesthetics, phonology.

2. Comparison between Chinese and English name terms

    2. 1 Similarities

     Name has consistency. A name reveals a kinship, a kind of family relations, it may be said as "jackleg". It represents the inheritance of a surname and shows that family members are related by blood, life gene can be continued. Both Chinese and English name has this character. The surname also refers to a family. For examples: we call Songjia to represent the whole family and The Smith are also used in the same way in English.

    Names show the hope of parents. All parents hope that their children can walk the path, so when they think about a name for their children, it often contains good expectations. Therefore the name of the new life is full of friendship and earnest expectation, we can find some examples in the following diagram .

    Chinese name The meaning English name The meaning

    Yong() Brave Andre Brave

    Li;丽? Beauty Burgess Freedom

    Yan;燕? Freedom Clark Scholars

    Gang;刚? Strong Don leaders

    Zhi;智? Wisdom Edgar Happy warrior

    Ming;明? Bright Godfery God of peace

    Tian;恬? Calm Hiram Honorable

    Wei;伟? Great Jason Healer

    Xiu秀? Elegant Kerwin Friends

    Bangguo;邦国? Guard countries Leopold Spirit of patriotism

    Yuanhang;远航? Travel around Matt Gifts from the god

    Hongwen;弘文? Spread the culture Nick winner

    Names by the times. People have different name along in fashion , names usually change according to social background, environment, situation and the spirit of the age style . We can find that name is closely linked to the social politics, economic status after carefully study. It shows that in a different eranames reflect the specific period and humanistic atmosphere and value orientation.

    The packaging function of names. In the usual social interactions, decorous, deep name, often can help a person to leave a good impression on others, wonderful like a poem or as beautiful as a picture, all of them are most memorable. In the opposite, the name can also give an unpleasant abhor or rejection feeling. Writers are always give his protagonist the names which has special meanings. The following diagram shows some names in J.K. Rowling’s works--Harry Potter

    Name The meaning

    Albus (阿不思) White

    Severus;西弗勒斯? Serious

    Minerva ;米勒娃? Goddess of wisdoms name

    Riddle (里德尔) A riddle

    Voldemort (伏地魔) Keep away from the death

2. 2 Differences

    In china, name started in the spring and autumn and warring states period and began to stabilize during Qing dynasty. In England, the history of name is much later than China, for most

of English only have their first name for a long period.

    In china, people think the family name is more important than the giving name while the English have the opposite idea. We can find this phenomenon easily through the order of the name. Chinese always put their surname in front of their first name, such as: Zhang San. Here is an English name:William Jafferson Clinton. We know that William is the first name, Jafferson is the middle-name, and Clinton is the family name.

    The usage of appellation has great differences between England and China too. Few English can pay attention to level, especially social rank, their conversation rarely refers to their own titles and they are not willing to be connected to their parents. But in China, this is not a good behavior. Chinese like to show their great achievement. They like to be honorable. And their parents

    positions are really important.

3. The Cultural Connotation of Chinese and English name Terms

    3. 1 Cultural connotation of Chinese name terms

    China has many different family name. Some of them are often used while the other has small groups. Chinese nation's name cultural origins can be traced back to the early matriarchal. Only RenYaoJiang(任、姚、姜) three of the family name of matriarchal society still exist in our society, while others all disappeared because of the population is rare. But most surname of the paternity clan remain until now. According to the statistics to today, Chinese surnames has reached 11939, including 5313 one word name, 4311 double-word name, 571 four-word name,22 six-word name,7 seven-word name,3 eight-word name and 1 nine-word name. We can see rich and profound Chinese culture from these figures, rich and colorful. It also make us realized that name culture is accompanied by our national development. It is one beautiful crowd in our traditional culture.

     It is very interesting to find that Chinese first-name changed by the background of different society. The name of an era reflects the characteristics of contemporary society life, cultural background. After northern song dynasty carried out obtaine, especially in Ming and Qing, a great number of people took Yingkui(应魁), Dengbang;登榜?as their first name. After the foundation

    of new China, Kangmei(抗美)Yuanchao;援朝?are used a lot. During the culture revolution, a

    lot of name called Hong(), Zhuan()Yuejin;跃进?are taken. Some researchers have

    concluded the statistics, the name Jiangsu people prefer to use are Ying()while Beijing is

    Rong(), Shanghai is Bao()Liaoning is Shu()Shaanxi is Jian(), Sichuan is Qing()

    Guangdong is Ya(), Fujian is Zhi() and so on.

    Chinese respect the old , pay attention to the etiquette, now the appellation can be roughly divided into three categories:

    1. Surname + class: teacher Huang(黄老师).

    2. Surname + administrative posts: commissioner Zhao(赵局长).

    3. Old + surname or surname + old: Lao Li or Li Lao(老李或李老).

    By the way, comrade is used during 1970s and 1980s after the Reform and opening up.

     Chinese has many taboos when they give a name to their kids. They always care about a lot. Zodiac is the most important one. Truly, this is the ancient Chinese custom. They will compare the zodiac with Chinese pinyin, meanings, glyph. To find out whether the name is good, bad, fierce or auspicious.

3. 2 Cultural connotation of English name terms

    "Family name" is a production of British society in history. From scratch to mature, it has

    thexperienced over the last three centuries. In the 5 century A.D., when British ancestors are

    invaded, they formed the tribal society, until 1066, Norman conquest British, they formed their family name system though it is still very simple. With the development of the feudal society, people have to solved distinguish identity issue. They create a new expression way, named after their father or mothers name and put the name behind their original name. Ultimately, these alias gradually became last name.

    Anglo-Saxon is British ancestors, they have fixed name system. They wont use a word as his

    name, but choose in a set name. This leads to name repetition. Some Old English name reflects the

    people worship hero and power at the social trends. Most peoples name has connection with war

    and army. Such as Ecgbeort(亮剑)Hereweald(军队力量)Sigeweard(获胜的守卫). In later

    centuries, people suffered war-ravaged, so they are longing for peace. So they put the desire to name. Such as Leot(beloved ), Frith(peace和平), Wine(friend朋友). Many Anglo-Saxon has

    their name related to the change of society.

    The appellations of English are fixed. We call men Mr. and Ms. for women. Miss is used among ladies who are unmarried. Mrs. is used in who has been married. We can also call Sir or Madam to show respect.

    However, English will be unhappy if we call them Lao as we do in china which shows respect in Chinese culture. They care about their age and do not want to be treated as old ones.

4. Conclusion

    After comparing Chinese and English name terms. We find out that the name is the production of a certain degree of human evolution. The name showed the progress of living environment and life attitude firstly. When it developed to a certain degree, it finally shows cultural significance and culture intention. Overall, name can clearly express specific character's characteristics, personality, hobbies, pursue, ideal, etc. And it is related closely to the culture. It has unique connotation. The more we know about it, the more we understand the history.

    As an individual, we are also conscious of our own names significance. It is the first

    present our parents give us and it is full of love. It is our treasure forever.

5.Works Cited


     the meanings of name in Book Harry Potter


    the meaning of different English names


    the explanation of a name from baidu


    Name culture: A paper from Baidu library

    5. The names of the overseas interesting cultural connotation of the United States

     Date: 2011-3-29

    6. English name and appellation culture differences

     Writer: Stephen Date: 2007-4-11

    7. Sino-us cultural differences : name and appellation. Date: 2009-12-18 8.从姓名内涵看中西文化 作者!富饶 黑龙江大学 西语学院 哈尔滨 2009年第四期 9.从名字看中美文化差异 作者!张红 重庆三峡学院 人文社科

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