Chinese names - Gender?

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Wd40
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Chinese names - Gender?

Post by Wd40 » Fri, 21 Nov 2014 9:02 pm

Wondering if there are any rules or logic to guess the gender from Chinese names. Like Western and Indian names that typically end with a vowel are female(but not always). I came across some Chinese names of females that sounded so male to me.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by Pal » Fri, 21 Nov 2014 9:57 pm

Yes!

Usually names describing all the feminine beauty and/or virtues are for females whereas the males have names about prosperity, fitness, courage, loyalty, peace, etc.

Apart from some rare names, it is easy to tell the gender via the name.
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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by Wd40 » Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:03 pm

Thats interesting! Thanks!

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:17 pm

I've come across a lot of Chinese females who complain of having "male" sounding names. I think a lot of those rules have changed for recent generations.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by The Ref » Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:49 pm

So do have to be able to understand Mandarin for this?

From an Ang Moh perspective I have no idea from the name.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:23 am

Yes, at a near native level. I wouldn't even try.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by ecureilx » Sat, 22 Nov 2014 10:07 am

zzm9980 wrote:Yes, at a near native level. I wouldn't even try.
It gets even odd

Was looking for a kevyn with Chinese surname

Assumed it was a male till I was told Kevyn is on maternity leave ...

Re purely Chinese name, Some names are easy to figure, most, not

Mei Ling is female, but when you hear Lim alone, that should give warning bells going and try not to guess

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by nakatago » Sat, 22 Nov 2014 10:09 am

Pal wrote:Yes!

Usually names describing all the feminine beauty and/or virtues are for females whereas the males have names about prosperity, fitness, courage, loyalty, peace, etc.

Apart from some rare names, it is easy to tell the gender via the name.
If you already know enough Chinese* to know which words mean which, you would already know which names are female or male.


* take your pick: Mandarin, Cantonese, Fookien...
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 22 Nov 2014 3:01 pm

ecureilx wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:Yes, at a near native level. I wouldn't even try.
It gets even odd

Was looking for a kevyn with Chinese surname

Assumed it was a , Male till I was told Kevyn is on maternity leave ...

Re purely Chinese name, Some names are easy to figure, most, not

Mei Ling is female, but when you hear Lim alone, that should give warning bells going and try not to guess
Lim is a family name, Mei Ling is not. Mei often (but not always!) is 美 which means beautiful, and thus is female.

How to know which one is family name and which isnt? Well, if it's a long chinese name the first syllable is usually the family name. Also in Singapore, I've noticed most people have a tendency to use Hokkien/Hakka/Teochew for family names, but Mandarin Pin Yin for given names. So learn Pin Yin (actually quite easy) and it becomes easy. That's how I'd do it when I first arrived.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 22 Nov 2014 3:02 pm

nakatago wrote:
Pal wrote:Yes!

Usually names describing all the feminine beauty and/or virtues are for females whereas the males have names about prosperity, fitness, courage, loyalty, peace, etc.

Apart from some rare names, it is easy to tell the gender via the name.
If you already know enough Chinese* to know which words mean which, you would already know which names are female or , Male.


* take your pick: Mandarin, Cantonese, Fookien...
Even then, it's not always the case. I've met multiple Chinese females who didn't like their names, as they were for 'male attibutes'. No, get your mind out of the gutter, not like that. :)

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by tweiqi23 » Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:11 am

zzm9980 wrote:
nakatago wrote:
Pal wrote:Yes!

Usually names describing all the feminine beauty and/or virtues are for females whereas the males have names about prosperity, fitness, courage, loyalty, peace, etc.

Apart from some rare names, it is easy to tell the gender via the name.
If you already know enough Chinese* to know which words mean which, you would already know which names are female or , , Male.


* take your pick: Mandarin, Cantonese, Fookien...
Even then, it's not always the case. I've met multiple Chinese females who didn't like their names, as they were for ', Male attibutes'. No, get your mind out of the gutter, not like that. :)

My nickname is viagra in chinese. #justsaying

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by bgd » Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:38 pm

tweiqi23 wrote: My nickname is viagra in chinese. #justsaying
I reckon with a name like that you must be male. That and the fact you are looking for a non lesbian gf :wink:

I had to interview a Dong Fang. Spoke to my Chinese colleagues and the conclusion was I would be interviewing a guy. We narrowed it down to a big chap we had seen in an earlier round. The person I met was a sweet wee girl with a beaming smile, completely unexpected. :)

Edit: formating still not quite right in the software.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by nakatago » Tue, 25 Nov 2014 1:07 pm

bgd wrote: I had to interview a Dong Fang. Spoke to my Chinese colleagues and the conclusion was I would be interviewing a guy. We narrowed it down to a big chap we had seen in an earlier round. The person I met was a sweet wee girl with a beaming smile, completely unexpected. :)
Like this picture: actual person vs who they think this person is.

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Wee, little girl vs. big, burly bruiser-man

(Yes, I know it's fiction but we all know life is stranger than fiction.)
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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by maneo » Tue, 25 Nov 2014 1:32 pm

bgd wrote:I had to interview a Dong Fang. Spoke to my Chinese colleagues and the conclusion was I would be interviewing a guy. We narrowed it down to a big chap we had seen in an earlier round. The person I met was a sweet wee girl with a beaming smile, completely unexpected. :)
Were the characters for her name by chance 蝀昉, 洞芳 or maybe even 涷芳?

This Dong,蝀 , is nice enough to be a girl's name - it can be used to mean rainbow.

Besides this Fang, 昉, which means dawn, this one, 芳 (meaning fragrant), could be used, too.

While Mei and Ling are commonly used for girl's names, for other names you may need to know the tones to be able to infer a gender.

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Re: Chinese names - Gender?

Post by Pal » Tue, 25 Nov 2014 2:11 pm

Dong Fang should be 董芳 (female) or 董方 (male). Should always look at the Chinese words and not the Hanyu Pinyin.
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