For those of you learning a Chinese dialect and/or the written aspect as well, you will eventually face the conundrum of selecting a name in Chinese. For those of you who were thinking of or have already chosen a Chinese name by transliterating your mother tongue's name into Chinese, I want you to lift up your left hand and move it in the direction of your face as quickly as you can. Fortunately most of you are right handed and so probably missed, but you get the point. If you are really proud of your given name which was forced upon you at birth and probably not well thought out, then by all means go ahead and translate your name into Chinese. Translating your name into Chinese affects others as well. Chinese characters are not normally read phonetically except those that are from a foreign origin (in some cases). When a Chinese reads a text, the moment they come across your name they have to pause and stop reading the characters by meaning instead they have to read it by pronunciation. Also the structure of transliterated names does not follow the normal structure of Chinese names. For eg. Chinese Name- 朱 (last name) 真明 (first name) Transliterated name- James 詹姆斯 (first name) Smith 史密斯 (last name) 99% of Chinese names are three characters where as the transliterated name is variable depending on the foreign word. You can also see that the order is opposite, meaning that the name is much harder to remember. Because most Chinese last names are from the the 百姓, they are easier to memorise. The transliterated names completely destroy the structure and pronunciation of normal Chinese names. This is an opportunity for you to choose your own name that you think represents who you are. For eg. 朱真明 is constructed in multiple ways. Of course 朱 is a generic last name but I chose it for a reason. Looking at the structure 朱 and 真 they are both straight and upright as opposed to 明. They are both pronounced with the "Zh" initial and both use the first tone. 真明 has multiple connotations. 真 refers to 1- 真正 and 2- 真理 明 refers to 1- 明白 and 2- 明理 Altogether the first is two first tones that sound similar showing a solid consistent foundation whilst the ending is more soft and rising indicating the soft exterior with solid interior and a rising upwards indicating progression and development. You can also choose your name from famous poetry or prose. As long as you follow the structure on how a Chinese name is normally structured. If someone asks about your name you can tell name the origins of your name and they will almost certainly be impressed. No Chinese speaker has this opportunity, their names are forced unto them by their parents. DO NOT WASTE THIS OPPORTUNITY.