Chinese State Media Advises Citizens to Choose British-sounding Names to Get Ahead

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Society and Culture

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Chinese advised to choose British-sounding names to get ahead

State media advises Chinese against adopting English names that are sexually provocative, preferring those of Britain’s Royal family

Lord Sugar's surname has been advised against by the Chinese state broadcaster as it is too 'suggestive'

The Apprentice star Lord Sugar’s surname has been advised against by the Chinese state broadcaster as it is too ‘suggestive’ Photo: BBC

Chinese people have been given state advice on the adoption of English sounding names – being urged to avoid those that make them sound like a “stripper” and instead opt for ones that imply the bearer is from “a fancy or conservative family”.

A report published on the website of CCTV, a state broadcaster, offered readers practical advice on the selection of their Western-style name, a rite of passage for most young Chinese.

“Take heed,” the article said. “English names come with different connotations…A name can come with a ‘feeling’ or idea about what sort of person you are.”

Names “with a distinct feeling of Britishness” such as Elizabeth, William and Catherine were considered as “safe” by the article, which was illustrated with a picture of the Royal family.

But other, less desirable name types were also listed, such as those derived from “suggestive” foods such as Candy, Lolly and Sugar which were “typically thought of as ‘non-smart girl’ names, or ‘stripper’ names.”

Picking the distinctive name of a world leader of celebrity such as Obama or Madonna, or that of a religious figure (“Satan”), was not advised.

In a discussion about the article on Observer, a news portal, one user suggested that the tradition could be short-lived. “Why get an English name?” Xiao Weixia wrote. “Just wait, everyone will get a Chinese name in the future.”



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