Why Chinese Babies Have Such Different Names Every culture uses baby names. The customs for naming babies, however varies widely from one culture or people to another. The Indonesian naming custom is very short and simple involving the use of a single name. The Chinese are much more traditional in naming and the process is particularly complex in nature. The 2 Chinas An ancient civilization and cultural region in Eastern Asian, China is really two completely separate states. Both sovereign states are geographically assigned governmental authority and function independent from each other. The PRC (People's Republic of China) handles Hong Kong, mainland China, and Macau. The ROC (Republic of China) runs Taiwan including its associated islands. Language Barrier When considering language, Chinese is really a term used to refer to a collection of 5 languages spoken in China. Jin, Wu, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hokkien are languages associated with the Sino-Tibetan family, collectively called Chinese. All five languages are distinct and aren't usually mutually discernable. However, China's written language using Chinese characters is understood by everyone. Older Chinese Names In traditional Chinese naming customs, males were designated at certain points in life with different names added on to their family name and generation name. This assumption in names was a mature designation, as in the zì or style name, or the self nicknaming practice, the hào. All babies born in the same generation to an extended Chinese family share a common generation name. Korean families also use generation names. A given name's first character is often used for the generation name positioning being common in all family members for that generation, including siblings and cousins. Modern Chinese Names Most modern Chinese naming practices consist of two names, a surname & the given. The ordered presentation of the surname followed by the given name in Chinese characters are often transcribed into separate components in western writings. Thus, the Chinese name Xing Mining in western transcription would be given as Xing Mi Ning. A given name in Chinese is typically two syllables. The syllables can be any, nearly unlimited, combination from the Chinese characters which number thousands. The practical application in naming prefers some characters over others, as in the popular use of Mei (beautiful) in naming baby girls. Another popular trend noted in modern Chinese naming is using only one syllable in the given name. Chinese Characters The characters used in naming are the Chinese logograms. In China, these logograms (characters) are referred to as hànzì or Han characters. The hànzì is a system for writing by using single character which represents a word. Han characters unify China's multi-lingual people and serves as the commonality in communication throughout the nation. Due to the logogram uniqueness in traditional Chinese names, English translations are not always ideal and at times produce unfavorable associations. For example, Long Dong might not be the most appropriate name for a young Chinese man in America. For this reason, many Chinese-Americans adopt common Western names, like Steve, Kim, and Sukie, to facilitate ease in communication with their peers and coworkers. Top 8 Chinese baby names 1 Xing M/F – star 2 Jia-Li F – good & beautiful 3 Dingbang M- protects country 4 Cheng M – become 5 Chen M/F – dawn 6 Da-Xia F – big hero 7 Qiao M/F – handsome or pretty 8 Chi M – young at heart