Chinese Name Question

Looks like I need a Chinese name for the HSK. I’d like to choose something that I won’t be changing later but could I change it later?

As a foreigner can I change my Chinese name without issue?

I’m registering for HSK 1.

I’ve been doing some research on Chinese names.

These are two names that I came up with.



How do these names sound?

I was looking for something with 朋友 in it to mean friend, but I wasn’t sure how to make a name with that.

I’m really new when it comes to names.

Any help would be huge for me so I can register for the HSK. I have an italki tutor but they haven’t had the time to answer my name questions.

@Matt-Mandarin_Simplified_HSK_1 你好!

When choosing a Chinese name I think it’s best to consult a native speaker (or several). For example, you could try this: Chinese Name Generator // Get Yours Now (Super Quick, Super Simple).

The form won’t let you specify that you want your name to have something to do with 朋友 but you can always add a suggestion as part of the first name e.g. Matt (can we create a name using 朋友).

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Hey Matt

You can also change your Chinese name whenever you want. I was stuck with the rather dull, and usually mocked 马克思 for years (it’s the same name as Karl Marx hence always got a laugh from the locals).

It wasn’t until recently one of the LTL staff members helped me come up with a new one which I really like.

I second what Ben says - consulting a native is best. Do you know any Chinese friends you could speak to? The more they know you, the better, because they will be able to use your personality traits when creating this name so it has genuine meaning.

It’s honestly so nice to see them spend so much time trying to find you the perfect name based on who you are. Very different to the naming culture in the west!

Good luck on your naming journey :slight_smile:


Hi Matt,

How exciting it is to choose a name!
不介意的话让我提一下我的建议。首先 “西平” 这个名字的拼音和中国目前的总统 “习近平” 有点相似。可能我想多了 哈哈。。除了那个原因,其实是一个不错的名字。

士和文都和学识有关的词,听起来是一种很聪明很用功的绅士 :)

“朋友” - 至今还没遇到用这两个词的名字,但是我知道很多中国人会用 “鹏” 这个词起名字。和“朋” 同音. 我也觉得这个词很好听。

Good luck with it and please let us know your Chinese name once you decide!

My Chinese name is 黄葛芸 by the way :slight_smile:


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So what is your new Chinese name, Max?
I thought 马克思 is quite cool :slight_smile:

Some English name does sound quite horrendous when translated directly into Chinese characters… For example my friend is called Laura. In Chinese her name is 老拉… She hated this name, understandably… haha. Maybe it’s time for her to change her Chinese name, too!

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I also thought it was quite cool… until I spoke to a lot of Chinese natives! :rofl:

To be honest I’ve always been fine with it but I love the meaning and thought put into other names so I finally made the decision to push for a new one.

All credit goes to the LTL Beijing staff, I sat with them on a recent visit and Linda in particular asked me a number of questions about me, my personality and my general life outlook (deep indeed).

She got to know what makes me tick and we also spoke about the Myers Briggs personality test.

From this she came up with the name 郝琪睿 (hǎo qí ruì)

According to natives, this one is a lot better! Super happy


I’m thing that 吗朋 would work best for me.
I like the family name and 朋 to show a friendliness.

What does everyone think?
Then again does it come off that I’m a friendly horse?

Something I also feared having the name Max!

As the MA is different to horse (吗 not 马)I think you’ll be OK but I would always say the best way to check is with a native.

Any Chinese natives on the forum who can help?

Really nice name!! And I searched up the meaning of the characters, too. 睿 ~ farsighted :+1::+1: I think it suits you very well!!

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I think Max is right, the surname Ma is written as 马. Just like the Alibaba founder Ma Yun (马云)and also Tencent / Wechat founder Ma Hua Teng (马化腾):grinning:

Correct! I spoke to Linda about how I’m a forward thinker, someone who does their best to plan ahead no matter what the current situation.

I really liked the thought put into the name.

It also has connotations of wisdom, but we’ll leave that up for debate!

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Oh and perhaps to avoid the direct meaning of “friendly horse”, you could add another character?


Just my 2 cents :slight_smile:

I am only now catching up on this thread, did you find a Chinese name you liked? :slight_smile: