What's the chinese name

The Chinese name, the name from the Chinese

Historians believe that the origin of family names in China was in matriarchal society about 5000 to 6000 years ago lies. In contrast to the thousands of years old Chinese surnames, the surnames only found their way into Europe and other regions very late, in Northern Europe for example in the 19th century. Most Chinese names are made up of two or three characters, rarely four characters.

Differences between the German name and Chinese names

The form: In Germany first name + family name

in China Family name + first name

In contrast to Germany, where women take their husbands surnames, Chinese women keep their maiden name after they get married.

While the Germans choose the names of their children from already existing names, such as Andreas or Barbara, the Chinese first name can be formed almost freely from the basic elements of the vocabulary and often contains a meaning intended by the namesake.

In Germany, a father and his son can have the same name. Or you can take the name of your grandparents or their ancestors. This is quite normal for the Germans and in some ways it is part of tradition and memory. But in China it is disrespectful to mention the names of the ancients or ancestors. In ancient times, naming the emperor with the same name was considered an insult to majesty.

Points of contact between the German name and Chinese name

In China and Germany, children mostly have it the family name of the father.

Like some German surnames, for example, Müller, Schneider, some surnames in China are also associated with employment. For example: 巫 (wu) sorcerer, 尉 (wei) judicial officer, 司马 (si ma) officer who was responsible for the army. There are Chinese surnames in the sense of color, for example, 白 (bai) white, 蓝 (lan) blue, 黄 (huang) yellow, like German surnames white, green and so on. Some Germans use place names as surnames such as Bayer or Schwabe. There are also Chinese family names that come from place names of fiefs of old princes. For example 姜 (jiang) and 沈 (shen).

The book A hundred family names

Apart from scientifically compiled rankings, the Book of the Hundred Family Names has been very popular for generations. It is a collection of 504 Chinese surnames that an unknown intellectual from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) wrote down in rhyme. At that time, the surname of the first emperor was Zhao. Therefore, the surname Zhao comes first, Kong is 72nd, then the last name Bai and the name of the head of state Mao is in the book in 76th position.

How many family names are there in China?

Depending on the historical source, there were around 6,000 family names in the past, currently there are around 2,000, and the trend is decreasing. If you believe the statistics, about 19.8 million people live in Beijing. Of the 1800 surnames that occur there, around 400 surnames are very common. Although there are a few hundred Chinese family names, most Chinese only share around 100 very common names.

The most popular family names in China

Compared to Germany with its seemingly infinite surnames, about 85 percent of the population of China have one of the hundred most popular names and about 1/5 are called Li, Wang or Zhang.

李 (li)

More than 87 million Chinese bear this name. In the long Chinese history, no fewer than 60 emperors have borne the name Li.

王 (wang)

Over 80 million Chinese share this name. The origins of this name are diverse, but have in common that most of the emperor's descendants refer to themselves as the Wang family.

张 (zhang)

about 78 million call it their own.

Other functions of the names

In addition to the form of address, the name also has an impact on life and other aspects in China. In China schools can be named with the surname of the founder, for example Confucianism. Dishes are also named after family names, for example, Mao cuisine (the cuisine based on the diet of Chairman Mao Tse-tung and the eating habits of his homeland.)

Special Chinese family names

the vinegar
the poison you
heavy nán
much duo
the salt yán
is Shì

Chinese translation of German names

Thomas Müller 托马斯 · 穆勒 tuomasi , mule tuōmǎsī , mùlè
Angela Merkel 安格拉 · 默克尔 angela , moke’er āngēlā , mòkè ’ěr
Beethoven 贝多芬 beiduofen bèiduōfēn
Einstein 爱因斯坦 aiyinsitan àiyīnsītǎn