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Looking for a Chinese name

My second son, Andrew Meson, is now going to a new school since we moved late last month to the capital of the Philippines. It turns out that this school is catering to the East Asian community in the capital (mostly Chinese-, Korean-, and Japanese-Filipino students). And to add to our surprise, we were asked to give our son a Chinese name!

So, I spent the whole day yesterday trying to come up with a good name for my son. I already know some Chinese characters because I have learned Japanese during my stay as a student in Japan. Still, I found it a rather challenging task. So I can only wonder what it would be like for a parent who has no knowledge whatsoever of the Chinese language.

I found that many "baby names" websites actually have a list of popular Chinese names. So, if you don't want to complicate things, you just pick one from there.  The downside is that it's not exactly tailored to what you might want for your child's name. For that I found the Mandarin Tools website really useful, in particular their Chinese character dictionary. Google's translation tool also helps, especially if you want to know the Chinese equivalent of common English names. Using it, I found that the Mandarin for Sanchez is 桑切斯 (Sāngqièsī). I've decided to use the first character (桑 Sāng, which literally means "mulberry tree") as the short version of our family name. And after several discussions with my wife, we've decided on our son's name: 桑 梅森 (Sāng Méisēn).


So, did I pick a good name?

Related reading(s):

Best Chinese Names

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