Chinese Names Incorporated And Tattoos

Chinese Names Incorporated And Tattoos


If you turn to any page in a dictionary for names in , you may not come across a name like Sugiarto or Gunawan. Honestly, it may not even matter to you now because you will never come across them in your part of the world, say the United States of America or Ghana.


There are many Chinese people around the world that are recognised by their races and faces that they are Chinese. Yet their names certainly do not sound anything Chinese. In fact, you might think they are adopted! For instance, the Chinese surname Lim is spelt as ‘Liem’ amongst Indonesian Chinese. This had been the case for many years when the Dutch administrators had tried using the Dutch spelling and pronunciation conventions to translate Chinese names. So you might have heard of the famous Liem Siew Leong, Liem Siew King and Kwik Kian Gee (Indonesian coordinating minister of economics and finance 1999-2000; minister of national development planning 2001-2004).

Do you know that David Beckham has inscribed on his body?

Chinese Names Incorporated And Tattoos


To be recognised as Chinese and not having a Chinese name can be a big deal for people in Asia. Those in Indonesia had never been allowed to speak, study or even display Chinese characters, cultures or traditions in public or even within their own private dwellings during the dictatorship of ex-president Suharto,. So from this group, emerged generations of Chinese Indonesians, who neither speak nor read Mandarin. To a certain extent, they have become quite creative with their names so it can be spelt and easily pronounced with the English alphabets.

Do you know that David Beckham has Chinese characters inscribed on his body?



It might also interest you that Chinese people who have embraced religions such as Christianity and Islam, have also adopted either Christian and Muslim names. John, Richard, Rickie, Anthony, or Desmond will be followed by the Chinese surnames. Or Mohammad Amin Teo or Azhar Tan. In Singapore, these Muslim converts are registered with the Majlis Ugama Islam and they carry with them an identity card bearing their Muslim names. So don’t be surprised when you meet a Chinese person who introduces himself as Mohammad Hassan or David Setiawan.


Conversely, many non-Chinese who are studying Mandarin, married to Chinese or have interest in learning the language, have the urge or need to translate their names to Chinese writing. At kindergarten, my teacher had already given me a Chinese name which I continued to use for more than 16 years throughout my education. The name was inscribed in awards and certificates wherever it was related to Chinese, like the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Singapore. My Mandarin name was also used in a newspaper article.


It is not as easy to translate names into Chinese names. There are millions of Chinese characters and each has a meaning and meaning is value. If you pick the wrong one, you might end up being mocked and misunderstood. After many years of using the same Chinese name, I realised mine is a funny one. See the first character of my Chinese is ‘Ha’ which literally means laugh. Students started calling me Ha Lao Shi which means Laughing Teacher or Teacher who laughs (like a lot.) It is nice, I get lots of laugh everyday thinking about it. I have started using a different though as they couldn’t pay attention in class everytime they have addressed me. Well these are pre-school kids, and I have lots of fun teaching them.

Chinese Names Incorporated And Tattoos

15 thoughts on “Chinese Names Incorporated And Tattoos”

  1. I should think the former “Heaven disposes” is more appealing especially for fans of David Beckham who see him as a the most skillful sportsman in the world of soccer.

  2. Hi, I want to say thank you for an fascinating website about a subject I have had an interest in for a while now. I have been looking in and reading the comments avidly so just wanted to express my thanks for administering me with some very interesting reading material. I look forward to more, and taking a more active part in the conversations here, whilst picking up some knowledge too!!

  3. Hi there, I am very happy that you enjoy reading the articles here. Which subject are your referring to? Are you referring the cultural aspect in Indonesia or Chinese names in general. I would be glad to exchange views and discussions on this subject.

  4. Yes you may. Let me know which article you are interested in. I look forward to hearing from you soon. By the way, please enter the correct email address as the one you have provided does not work. Emails that are returned means I have to delete your comment and link to your website permanently.

  5. Very good article. I’ve found your blog via Bing and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your blogs layout is really broken on the Kmelon browser. Would be cool if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

  6. Getting a tattoo is a major decision. A tattoo is a everlasting physique decoration so particular care must be noticed to look the proper tattoo shop and tattoo artist. The present breed of tattoo artists is professional, trained and really skilled. However, not all professional tattoo artists are good. They still want to meet many necessities before you select one.

  7. Tattoos are not attractive to me personally. It is very difficult to enjoy a good painting when it is painted on places where you cannot even see, example, the back of a body, on the underarm etc.

  8. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  9. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup?

    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.