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  • When you pick an English name for yourself,

  • think about how the name sounds

  • and make sure it goes well with your Chinese family name.

  • A name that sounds funny may cause problems.

  • It might not only embarrass you but also make communication difficult.

  • For example,

  • Mark Jiang sounds likeMahjong,”

  • a table game in Chinese.

  • Leon Chang sounds likeyou are dirtyin Chinese.

  • Names like these could certainly make you feel uncomfortable.

  • What’s worse,

  • certain names may lead to misunderstanding.

  • The following joke shows how such names can make clear communication difficult.

  • (A Chinese woman at the counter in a Chinatown restaurant)

  • Clerk: Good evening, maam. May I have your name, please?

  • Lady: Yes, Eve Ning.

  • Clerk: Evening, and your name is

  • Lady: Eve Ning, sir.

  • Clerk: Sorry, maam. There’s a long line of people waiting right behind you. Don’t be funny. please.

  • Lady: No, I’m not Fang Ning. That’s my sister.

  • Clerk: Gee, are you joking?

  • Lady: Sir, that’s my husband. He’s Joe King, not me. Youre rude. What’s your name?

  • Clerk: Noel Wei! Are you satisfied’? Now tell me your name!

  • Lady: No way! I want to see your boss!

  • It seems hard for the clerk and the lady to really communicate.

  • So the next time youre picking an English name for yourself,

  • remember to say it out loud

  • and make sure that when you pronounce your English first name

  • together with your Chinese last name,

  • it won’t sound like a different English word

  • like Eve Ning, which sounds likeevening.”

When you pick an English name for yourself,

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