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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Xi'An, China
    Interesting about the Naxi vs. the Mosuo... especially since this seems like such a widespread issue (I've read many ethnographies in both Chinese and English that have failed to clarify this point). I'm also intrigued by how the government created these minorities... like why are the 回族 a minority, even though this just means "descendants of Chinese who married with Muslim foreigners", so essentially many Hui could be completely unrelated. Anyhow, enough of that rant... Would you ever consider choosing a Chinese name which does not sound like it, but conveys the same meaning as the original name? For example, Jasper is a stone... Now, I know most jade and such characters are normally found in girls' names, but would there be a way to make it more manly (I genuinely don't know)? Or what about a name like Cyrus (similar to Caius), which I believe means "sun"... 阳 and other sun characters are quite manly in Chinese... Plus, that would connect him to Rayhan (who has the sunrise)... Might not sound soooo similar to the original name, but at least you could maintain the nature-related aspect AND the meaning of the original name... Don't you love naming in 2 cultures? If we stick around China, we'll get to worry about 3... :P
    Currently exiled from the US

    Emiliana Pari 郑煜曈 '14
    Caspian Kaveh 郑煜祺 EDD: Oct '17

  2. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Soren and Aurelio are my favorite. And for your Soren concerns, meaning doesn't have to just come from the literal meaning of the word. A lot of names' meanings are more historical relics than anything. To most people, Soren brings to mind Kierkegaard, which, no matter how you feel about his philosophy, is certainly a nice way of naming your son. Lends a sense of wisdom and intellectualism without doing something awful like tacking your son with one of those horrible word names.

  3. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Lijiang, China
    @tf- I do not quite know why the Chinese ethnic minorities are grouped quite the way they are, cuz though there are 56 officially recognized minorities, there are actually way way more than that. It seems like it is sometimes quite an arbitrary categorization, perhaps sometimes based on geographic convenience. With the Naxi and the Mosuo, there is evidence that they may share some similar roots, but there is also evidence that says the opposite, so perhaps since there was uncertainty on the issue, they were thus were grouped together out of convenience. I don't really know though.
    Your idea about connecting the meanings instead of the pronunciations is something we've definitely been looking into (specifically with Jasper). The direct translation of Jasper into Chinese would be a nice name, for a female. We haven't been able to find/think-of any gemstone related names in Chinese that would be masculine, but if we can do that, that would definitely be a viable option. I'm not attached to having the exact same pronunciation (though I'd like that a lot), but as long as there is some pretty direct connection between the 'English' and Chinese names, I'd be content. I think if we do this meaning related connection, we'd definitely try to do it with one of our top 4 (Jasper, Emrys, Evander, Amias), and if that seems impossible then we'd probably end up going with Soren, Aurelio or Oisin (for the similar pronunciation path), or perhaps end up going with Evander (He Yang De 和様徳-- 和 is the family name in Chinese) or Jasper (JiaZhi 嘉志) anyways-- Evander and Jasper's Chinese pronunciation here don't sound quite as close as Soren/Aurelio/Oisin do, but not too crazy far off either (Amias and Emrys on the other hand, are really tough ones to get anything anywhere near similar in pronunciation).

    @liz- Thanks for your thoughts! I do like the associations with Soren. I only know a bit about Kierkegaard's philosophy, but I do like some of the things I've read about him. I'm gonna be doing a bit more research on him since it is a rather large association to the name Soren. That may be part of the process that could partially sway me one way or the other with this name.

    Research currently underway: The legend of Oisin
    Next research to be done: Soren Kierkegaard's philosophy
    Updated Name List- Vote away...

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