I instantly liked my Chinese name, but more importantly I found that it gained me a favourable reaction from those I announced it or showed it to. I will never forget my Chinese name, and I’ll never forget the lady who gave it me.
When I moved to Hong Kong in 2009, one of the less obvious tasks I had to complete was to choose a Chinese name for my business card, “how hard could it be?” I thought. Very hard as it turned out!
The literal translation of my native English name was a minefield and without a discernible logic.
I decided to try and make my own headway, but inadvertently seemed to choose Chinese characters which if pronounced or written incorrectly (many tones to consider) would basically mean my name was a mixture of; swear words, curses and/or less than complementary qualities about my character.
Then one day, during a casual conversation I joked and told Catherine (a work colleague) of the nightmare I was having trying to find a suitable name that would not get me laughed at, ignored completely or punched in the face.
Catherine had a talent I didn’t know about, and soon afterwards Catherine provided me with not only a Chinese name, but also the complete explanation of how it was formed based on a few basic pieces of information I provided her about me.
I instantly liked my Chinese name “丁柏文”, but more importantly I found that it gained me a favourable reaction from those I announced it or showed it to. I will never forget my Chinese name, and I’ll never forget the lady who gave it me.