Picking up a Chinese Name

It had been a rumor among the newly accepted student of fall 2012 to have a Chinese name. Some said that it is required to have, and some said no. I didn’t really put attention to this problem before. For this reason, I didn’t pick any Chinese name for me before I left to Taiwan.

Long story short, after finishing the registration procedure, we, the new student got our student certificate from the graduate student affair. Basically, the certificate states that the name that is written in the certificate is a student in that university, and it is one of the requirements if you want to apply for Alien Resident Certificate (ARC).

We went with a big group of new students to the office of immigration affairs in Xiaonanmen. The office was very crowd since it was in the new academic year, therefore many new students applied or extended their ARC. I took the form, I filled it. Immediately, I saw the point of the Chinese name. I passed it, but later I saw almost all of my friend had it. I was not really confident to leave it empty since some said it will create some problem if we don’t have. Finally, I believed them.

Without any understanding of Chinese name structure, and the meaning of Chinese character words I asked my friend by the name of Yuddy to pick me the character that has sound Han and Hao. The reason for this word was I have the sound of “Han” in the end of my name, and I know that “Hao” means good. By the help of my friend, I got the character for “Han” and he said the meaning was a warrior. Sounds good, right? So I thought to have a name that means a good warrior would be cool. I took a bit time to decide whether I will use that name or not and finally I decided to have a name Hao Han (好韓).

Later on, after taking a Chinese class, I realized that the Chinese name should be formed by three words with the surname in front. Since “Hao” is not a common sure name, my name is wrong. So my name should be Han-Hao (韓 好). Unfortunately, it was already printed in my ARC, and also my National Health Insurance (NHI) card. When I have to go to a hospital, to be honest, I feel a little ashamed when the nurse calls my name. Something is obviously wrong with my name.

So, if you want to have a Chinese name, you should know that the Chinese name usually consists of three words, the first character is the sure name and remaining two characters are your given name. For example Tsai Ying-Wen (蔡英文).


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