Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Chinese Name

When i started dating my first Chinese boyfriend it really bothered me that every Chinese person who comes to Ireland is required to choose a "new" English name. So I felt it was only right that i should get a "new" Chinese name. My ex boyfriend made a huge heap of excuses as to why he couldn't give me a Chinese name

Firstly you don't have a Chinese surname.
Therefore it's impossible for me to even contemplate giving you a Chinese name. End of story. I was a bit disappointed I wanted a Chinese name I hated that new names were only suitable for Chinese people but not for Irish or any foreigner for that matter. So in the end i gave up.

Then when we went to China to meet his family, All his family found it impossible to remember my name because it was so different and foreign. So i tried to suggest that maybe he could put his thinking cap on and give me some sort of Chinese name... I assured him that i would be OK with even just one word.... Then he met me half way and gave me a Direct translation of my name "Sailia" he found it on a Chinese book that had been directly translated from English into Chinese.

I know i said I would be happy with any Chinese name... I quickly explained to him i didn't actually mean any... I want a real name not some made up direct translation name.... He refused to accept it and said its this or nothing. So i decided to stick with nothing.

Finally when we came back from China and I pursued the Chinese name one final time. He asked his Mom to pick up a Chinese name for me! Then i got the name Tian Tian. meaning  Sweetie.

I was really touched. His mom was really kind and nice at the beginning she always tried to make me feel comfortable whenever we visited. She believed western girls would never sleep on the hard cold ground so she paid for me and my boyfriend to stay at a hotel. When we went to China she rang my boyfriend everyday and instructed him to take care of me and make sure i eat good food and make sure he brings me to the right places and watches my bag on the street. His mom lived in Ireland but the rest of his family lived in China.

Sadly when she heard me and my boyfriend were talking about marriage she forced my ex boyfriend to break up. :(

So after that my "sweet" Chinese name was no longer as sweet as I thought. So I reverted back to Sarah period  I used Sarah as my screen name on QQ and a Chinese girl told me that no one uses there real names on QQ in China. So she helped me create a new Chinese name and I then became Zhi Han and she even gave me a Chinese Surname which was inspired by my Surname. Lin

Since that day my Chinese name has been Lin Zhi Han. However no one actually calls me that... Although when my boyfriend saved my number on his phone he saved it as Zhi Han. :) and I saved his as Michael lol!

Sometimes my boyfriend calls me Sarah Chen! So it makes me wonder will i ever actually change my name to Sarah Chen? I don't know if the shoe fits?

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting story about your name. And I think it's good to have a name with a meaning, not just something that sounds like your name. I chose my name myself yeard before I came to China and my last name reminds of the beginning of my real last name. So my Chinese name is Ya Xuefang.