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Asian student names??
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Kereru



Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Christchurch NZ

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:13 am    Post subject: Asian student names?? Reply with quote

Has anybody who has worked in China or Korea suggest a reason why so many Asian students adopt really wierd "English" names? You seldom see it with Japanese but in my latest classes I have Apple, Rock and Single for starters (all from China). My colleagues have Forest, Stone & Earth. Are they direct translations of their Chinese names or what? Laughing
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bella



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach in Hong Kong and I have Kinki, Ocean, Jackal, Petti, Circle, Junkie,Worthy and Licky among my students. My guess is that they think it sounds cool but don't know the meaning.
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Wolf



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 1245
Location: Middle Earth

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the Japanese students never have English names.

But the Chinese all do.

Actually, a couple of months ago, my Chinese students asked me what my Chinese name was. I told them that I wasn't from China (in case they hadn't figured it out yet Very Happy) and that non Chinese people seldom had Chinese names. I also don't have a Swahili name, but that didn't seem to matter.

Anyway, they told me to choose on the spot. So I chose "lang," which means wolf. I feel like a wolf most days: I perefer smaller groups, I shy away from tons of attention, I travel great distances to find my next meal, and everyone thinks I'm dangerous when research shows I'm not.

They told me that "lang" would only be good as an internet name. So I used it here. Very Happy

In China I have a Win, Whisky, and Sasaki. Sasaki Koujiro was the name of a famous Japanese sammurai, who is famous for being a jerk and getting himself killed in a duel with Myamoto Musashi (the guy from my sig file.) That kills me: I have at least 3 students whose "English" names are Japanese (they all watch Japanese cartoons.) I have lots of Andys (from Andy Lou the Hong Kong singer guy.) I have Apples and Diasys etc.

I honestly for the life of me don't understand. Then again, I honestly for the life of me don't understand English Corners, Crazy English, or why I asked for 180 book reports and had the same 6 books reported on 30 times (they didn't plagerize - I beat that out of them. They just all read the same bloody books. ARGH!)

They do that in Korea ... interesting. The Koreans I knew in Japan had Japanese names, but I thought it was just to escape the prejudices (man, if I could 90% blend in by taking a Chinese name, I'd fly back to Canada and get mine legally changed.)

I guess I have nothing usful to add.... Crying or Very sad

I heard that it used to be standard way back in the day to give ESL students "English Names", but that practice was discontinued because it was demeaning to the students. That's what I would think.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:22 am    Post subject: 'real' names I have known Reply with quote

Dear Kereru:

Why restrict this thread to adopted names when there are so many funny given names out there?

When I worked in Japan, I had two little girls in my kids' group; they were sisters. One was called 'Yumi' and the other was called 'Yuki' with the 'u' being pronounced as a long vowel, like the 'u' in tube. I used to call them 'yummy' and 'yucky', as in delicious and disgusting. When they finally found out what yummy and yucky meant, we all had a good laugh. In fact I'm still laughing 4 years later. Even their mother thought it was funny!

In Korea, I had many odd names to deal with, as any Korean vet will attest. The funniest were these 2:

1. Suk Won (use your imagination here)

and

2. Duk Man (quack quack)

And then there's the very common Filipino nickname 'Bong'.

OK. I'm finished now. Have a nice day! Very Happy
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a real answer to your questions. Chinese names are different. In English most family names originally had meaning (unimaginative Copperson ...son of the Cooper) Well their Chinese given names really do have meaning. Haiyan is ocean bird or Seagull. Various kinds of flowers or rocks are names in Chinese, etc.

Then they want to get names from a dictionary, becuase that is how they do it in China. I tried explaining to a student why you shouldn't call yourself careless. I just tell girls ( and boys) you can't call yourself Cherry. Of course the boys want Figo, Beckham etc for their names (soccer/football stars). I explain these are family names. Some of the other names are worse. There is an occassional thread on it, Kitty, is fine, but another name for a kitty isn't so good???

Personally, I always teach at least one class on names, how we use them. I make all my students have "proper" names. To me, it is part of learning the culture. They need to learn to use and understand western names iof they ever deal with the wesy. And let's be honest, most of us can't say or remember their Chinese names.

I still don't understand Russian or Japanese names. But being able to say a person's name correctly, mucho important. They need to learn IMHO. I give them a list of 200 names from babycom
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Kereru



Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Christchurch NZ

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2003 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Personally, I always teach at least one class on names, how we use them. I make all my students have "proper" names.


But you are saying that their given names aren't "proper". I don't feel this approach is right. Also - our names "mean something" - my daughter's name is Zoe, which means "life" - that doesn't mean I call her "life" or that she should translate her name into Chinese as "life".

My current favourite is a female student who calls herself "Windy" - now you probably have to be a NZer to get the joke, but the student advisor's name is Wendy. (hint NZers tend to pronounce vowels differently from other English speakers). Rolling Eyes
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"proper" was in quoptatios for a reason. Of course, everyone has a different idea of what proper is. The thread was not about their Chinese names, bu about their english name.

So, you will let your students walk around calling herself Careless, or
F*ck? I have met foreign teachers like you who believe that is so cute.

I totally disagree with your approach! Your aprroach would have your daughter being called sheng 生 ? If your daughter was studying Chinese as her major, and that name is innapropiate in China, I hope she doesn't have a teacher like you, but one that will tell her chinese don't use names like that (if that is the case)

We are the foreign teacher. It is our job to judge which names are suitable, and which are not, for those of us who believe names are an important part of culture and self identity. Most students want to know this information, in my experience. Even if they didn't, i would still them, just like my approach is to tell them when I think they are using bad english etc.

So your approach is to just let students speak bad english? After all who is to say if their usage is "proper"

YOU. YOUR PAID JOB! DO IT
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sheng.. Chinese characters don't work
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Kereru



Joined: 24 May 2003
Posts: 32
Location: Christchurch NZ

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arioch you've misunderstood me - I was saying that their Chinese names are their "proper" names - I would rather call a student "Chen Yao" than "Rock" or "Careless". All my Japanese & Thai students use their REAL names & we have no problem pronouncing them or remembering them. All I want to find out is why do Chinese students specifically change their names - some have a different one each year which is very confusing for the office staff (I guess that is fashion). I am also aware that amongst permanent residents we do have a growing number of Chinese & Korean Christians so it may be understandable if they choose a "christian" name for their baptism.
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to misunderstand. Some teachers think it is cute for having english names that would only be laughed at. It is not a baptism thing. Very few Chinese students in china believe or are baptized.

They just don't understand western names. Some will change their name because it sounds bad in Chinese (Sophie - fat) or because other students laugh, or can't pronounce the name. Sometimes it is because a new star becomes popular. Most of these students get their name on their own through a dictionary. Many of my freshman at college can not correctly pronounce many English names. And no one likes to have their name mis-pronounced.

I know some teachers that teach their students english names are accused of cultural imperialism. When I took Spanish, my Spanish teacher gave me a Spanish name. When I took Chinese, i got a Chinese name, When i took Japanese ditto.

So I think it is of value for them to have and learn, and learn to say and use english names.

I don't know how many students you have back in your home country? Is taht where you are now? With 400 or more students each semester, I couldn't begin to remember that many Chinese names. Though when I do remember their chinese or english name, that is great, I will still use their english name in class. My teacher judgement
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Steiner



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 573
Location: Hunan China

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got an Apple, Engels, Mint, Lemon, Einry, Second, Super, and Nicy. My wife has a Chinese name but I haven't taken one.

One problem is that students want a name with a particular meaning, which limits their choices of common English names or turns them to the dictionary. Never mind that hardly any native speaker knows what most English names mean, it still has to have a good meaning. We try telling our students that most English-speaking parents choose a baby's name for reasons other than its meaning, but to no avail.

George=farmer, Paul=small, Philip=lover of horses, Mary=bitter, Cynthia=the moon personified.
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miss-l



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Posts: 20
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the middle school I teach at all the students with English names have proper english names. But at the college next door..........there is:

chocolate
computer
future
cuckoo
skylark
white swallow (really)

And these are just the ones I know. I don't know if they chose these names or were given them by someone taking the p**s !
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ESL Guru



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You won't like this but it is real life teaching ESL in China:

Raingirl - I asked if she had seen the movie Rain Man. No, she has seen a fetish page on an XXX web site and thought that particular fetish was cute. (No, I did not think about sex with this stupid girl. But she will make a very fine wife for some lucky guy!)

Chinese - This boy failed my class. He was just far too Chinese. He only attended the first and last classes.

God -- I told this boy that if he did not pick a different name I would not call on him or allow him to participate in my class. He also failed.

Ocean --- This boy is my best student. He is as deep as an ocean. Good thinker.

Angel -- This girl is the most promiscuous on campus. Often see her buying condoms.

Heaven - She should be featured on the ugly people net.

Book - This boy never read one and failed.

Sunglasses -- This boy is the class clown. He also failed.

Hitler -- When this boy refused to change his name, can you imagine how he fared in this Jewish boy's class? Not well.

Bible -- This poor lad was told he should have a biblical name.


Most of these kids look in a dictionary and take any word that suits them.

My teaching partner and I are currently discussing providing a comprehensive list of appropriate names for people and requiring that our Chinese students adopt one of them or else.

What do you honestly think of this idea? Please, no flames. This is a real issue we all face.
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Seth



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 575
Location: in exile

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:22 am    Post subject: thinks of money Reply with quote

I had a similar experience but in reverse. When I took Chinese at my university the teacher gave us all Chinese names. My name was Han Si Li, because it sounds like my surname (100 bucks to anyone who can guess my surname). So I just accepted it and didn't really look into the meaning. I get to China and find out that while Han is just a family name, SiLi means 'To think of money and benefits.' The name came in handy when signing contracts.
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Steiner



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 573
Location: Hunan China

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you Seth Hansel?

More names, all from my jr. high classes-
Snoopy
God (but he changed it)
Gentleman
Ximen (not an English name)
Brain
Joy (a boy)
Kiki (a boy)
Event
Alf
Pot
Bald
Holy (maybe she meant Holly?)
Green
Ery
Canning
Eleven
Chill
Ice
Aewa

and Kinki. We made Kinki change her name, but not until the last day of class. We never knew her name until then.
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