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6 min2017 NOV 6
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English Names


Hi everybody, welcome to Meiguo Shushu Shuo Yingyu (美国叔叔说英语).

What's your name? Today we are going to talk about names.

Usually the first question we ask someone when we first meet him or her is, "what's your name?".

It's important to know what to call someone, right?

I mean, we don't want to go around saying,

"hey you, hey you, and you, the other you, tall guy, hey, short guy, you over there, the one with the blue shirt, what's your name again?"

If we forget someone's name after he or she has already told us, then we can ask, "what's your name again?".

Some people suggest that when you meet a person, you should say his or her name immediately after you hear it. 

For example, when someone says, "hi, my name's Jack", you should say "nice to meet you, Jack!"

This will help you to remember the name. OK, another good way to help people remember your name is to have an English name.

For those of you in China who are learning English and talking to people from other countries, it's a good idea to have an English name.

Having an English name makes it easier for foreigners to remember your name, and also it's easier for them to say it. 

Being a teacher in China, I have heard many, many English names.

There are names that are quite common in English speaking countries, like Jack, Michael, Billy, Cathy, Susan, Lisa.

There are names that are not exactly English names but were created by people, perhaps because they want to be unique (独特), or perhaps they just like the sound of it.

I remember that I once had a student named Jackfield, and yes, he was unique. I have never met anyone else like him.

There are names that are interesting words that are not usually used as names, but if someone likes that as a name, then that's ok too.

I have met people named Superman, and Charm, and Rainbow

You know, that's the thing about names. It is totally up to you (取决于你) what you want others to call you.

In America, people like to use first names (名), so we often say, "please call me Steve", if your first name is Steve, or whatever the person's first name is. 

"Please call me by my first name."

We call this name a given name because it was given to you, usually by your parents, or grandparents. 

Your last name (姓), also called your family name, or surname, is a name that you really cannot choose, it's already settled and there is not much discussion.

A first name, on the other hand, that can be whatever you like, or whatever your family gave you, and if you want to change it later, you can change it.

And the good news is that if you have an English name, you can use whatever name you like.

It's a chance to become a new person, with a whole new name, a new personality (个性).

I always recommend an English name for people who are studying English.

Having an English name helps you to be the new you, the you that speaks English.

However, some people don't want an English name, and that's ok too! Just use your Chinese name and write it using Pinyin (拼音).

I remember my first class ever in China.

All the students had English names: Andrew, Susan, Betty, Eliza, Richard... and then, there was one student who didn't have an English name.

I asked him how I could say his name in Chinese, and he told me, but I couldn't say it right.

I was so embarrassed and so I asked if I could give him an English name.

He said, "nope, I just want to use my Chinese name, Zhong".

So, I just called him Zhong. You know, it's perfectly acceptable to use whatever name you want.

Your name is yours, and it's the one thing we use to identify (辨识) you. It's what makes you special.

If you would like an English name, for you or your child, I would be happy to help you choose one.

We can talk more about your new English name on WeChat, so please add me at meiguoshushu or scan the code below. 

Ok everybody, that's our program for today.

Thanks for listening to Meiguo Shushu Shuo Yingyu (美国叔叔说英语) and see you next time, zai jian, bye bye.