Can Chinese Names and English Names Co-exist?
I recent saw this question on Quora and liked the following answer by Raj Bhuptani:
I think either name is fine, but personally something that annoys me is when a Chinese person gives his Chinese name to his Chinese friends and his English name to his non-Chinese friends. The reason for using an English name should be that you prefer the English name, not that you think your Chinese name is too hard for an American to pronounce. In addition to feeling a bit patronizing (“My name is Mingyuan, but you can call me William”), using different names with different friends can lead to confusion when you have both Chinese and non-Chinese friends (in college, more than once have I had an epiphany along the lines of “Ohhhh! Lucy and Lu Xi are the same person?!”)
I totally agree with this answer, but I also understand that Chinese people with a name like “Xu Juan” or the like basically have no hope of Americans pronouncing their name correctly, so it’s kind of a dilemma.
I personally arrived in China eager to use a Chinese name (I chose 潘吉), but over the years started to feel it was a little silly, and just reverted to my English name. In my case, “John” is quite easy for Chinese speakers, and now, pretty much only my in-laws call me by my Chinese name (which is fine).
It’s safe to say, though, that most Chinese names are harder for English speakers than most English names are for Chinese speakers.
Solution: The world needs to learn Chinese! (ha… OK, maybe just pinyin?)