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Chinese Names

 
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
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Chinese Names


This topic might come across as being racist, so I apologize in advance. I don't intend it.

I am starting to get a ton of Chinese customers. They all have advanced degrees and high paying jobs and big houses. They are extremely loyal. They refer all their Chinese friends.

I have so many Chinese customers that I am starting to have a big problem with their names. If you meet one person and you can't really pronounce or remember their name, you can kind of fake it. But I'm losing it. There are too many.

"Hi, my name is Ni Shǔbiāo. I was work with Shēngyīn Diǎnzhu. You fixed her wmrenko sonka last month...? Come by and take a look at my bathroom. My husband, Rǔy Yndng, will be home until 5:00."

Husband and wife don't even have the same last name in Chinese culture. It's driving me bonkers and I don't know what to do about it. But I don't want it to stop!
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: Chinese Names


Funny stuff

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Old 07-27-2015, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: Chinese Names


They also generally go by their last name first and will even shorten it for us English speaking folks. For example, your Shēngyīn Diǎnzhu will go by Sheng to make things simple for us. When they do that, it sure makes it a LOT easier to remember.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:08 AM   #4
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Re: Chinese Names


Funny.

My neighbors across the corner are a Chinese family that does not speak English at all. I mean at all. He is doctor at the medical college. Which blows my mind.

But the funniest thing is, the first time I met them, I could tell they knew about 10 words. And he introduces himself as Abraham and this is his wife Martha.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Chinese Names


I was installing some equipment in a bank inside Walmart and had to climb into some ceiling grid in a Vietnamese nail salon next door. I thought I was doing the right thing by asking the owner how to pronounce his name as I read it on his plaque on the wall. He got pissed and said "MY NAME BRANDON!"
It was something like duphat nuygen
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:29 AM   #6
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Re: Chinese Names


Here is one of these opportunities to use a difficult situation to make your interaction shine.

Say to your client, "Please bear with me as I am still learning your name." They'll be glad to repeat it as many times as they have to OR they will give you a nickname to call them. Either way they will be appreciative of your respect for them as you attempt to address them properly.

Also it's good for your business and good for personal development to learn new things.. even if it's someone's unusual name.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
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Re: Chinese Names


My wife is Chinese, the Chinese name is for professional purposes only, as soon as the boat lands on this continent they have an English name or something that can be very easily spoken in English.

Even I have a Chinese name that was given to me almost 20 years ago, it only gets used when her parents introduce me to other Chinese people...and don't ask me what it is or means...I'm assuming something along the lines of this is the bald white guy who corrupted our daughter!!
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:40 AM   #8
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Re: Chinese Names


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
"Please bear with me..."
That's a good suggestion. I like that. I do try very hard to listen to the names. Even the tone is very important. In Chinese, the word "ma" could refer to a mother or a horse depending on the tone. I sure don't want to accidentally call somebody a horse.

My bigger problem, though, is REMEMBERING names. "Dave Peckerman"? No problem. "Ju Xiaunan"? Don't ask me to repeat that back to you tomorrow (or even recognize it when you call me a month from now).

My wife is Chinese too. That definitely helps me bond with these customers. I know a few words. But it doesn't make me less American.

I'm not that comfortable on ladders so one time when I was cleaning the gutters, I told my father-in-law "I am chicken" in Chinese. I repeated it several times to make sure he understood. Apparently that expression does not translate well and I actually told him "I am a whore". That was a fun day.

I would say only about 50% of my Chinese contacts give me an American name. And I feel like it would be rude to say, "These Chinese names are too hard. Do you have an American name you go by?"
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:05 AM   #9
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Re: Chinese Names


A question is worth a thousand apologies. Chinese proverb
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:21 PM   #10
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Re: Chinese Names


I often have them fill out the name and address/e-mail for me---

One of my customers name is Yu Lie---I smiled when I pictured him in a red neck bar saying You Lie!

I can't remember names--no matter what nationality---so I just smile and warmly ask how they are doing.
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:51 AM   #11
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Re: Chinese Names


I have a customer who's name is zuagen hueyueguegen or something like that. She calls herself May. I talked to her on the phone a couple of times until I realized I have known her for probably 10 years or so.

Didn't recognize the name on my phone. :grin.
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Old 07-28-2015, 05:50 AM   #12
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Re: Chinese Names


Some people have problems remembering people and their names. Take a pic and label with phonetic and actual spelling, then practice putting the name to the face. It isn't specific to any particular group, and it works with things like cars as well.

Different people work differently....
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:30 AM   #13
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Re: Chinese Names


I also have lots of Chinese customers and they always introduce themselves by shortening their name to english sounding name. Jinping would be Gene, the name you posted (Rǔy) I had a customer with a similar name he was Ray, etc.
My neighbor is of Indian decent and he got a long, very hard to pronounce name,(I would never pronounce it if my life depended on) first time I met him when I was building his house, he introduced himself as Raki and everyone calls him that.

On occasion they would call themselves by a full name is when they leave a message and when returning the call I will skip the name part, but 95% of the time when you meet them, they will give you a short, easy to remember name.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:43 AM   #14
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Re: Chinese Names


I have a DSA field inspector named Jackson Tom....

Everybody calls him Mr. Jackson.....

He's a very nice guy, very knowledgeable and has a good sense of humor.

He will right away start addressing a guy by his first name but with the Mr. in front of it. He tells them he just thought it was the way we do things here. He was born in the USA and went to Cal Poly....

He never calls me Mr.......tell everyone he just doesn't like me...
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:09 PM   #15
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Re: Chinese Names


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
Some people have problems remembering people and their names. Take a pic and label with phonetic and actual spelling, then practice putting the name to the face. It isn't specific to any particular group, and it works with things like cars as well.

Different people work differently....
Now that is a fantastic idea. I can set my phone so their picture appears when they call. I always thought that was a stupid gimick on my phone, but now that you mention it... that is exactly what I need! It might be a little awkward to ask for a picture, but in a good way. You're a genius.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You're a genius.
Faces I remember, names, well....
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:56 AM   #17
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Re: Chinese Names


I remember butts. I can see a chick from behind and suddenly realize we went to school together. It's a gift.
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:00 AM   #18
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Re: Chinese Names


Quote:
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I remember butts. I can see a chick from behind and suddenly realize we went to school together. It's a gift.
Or a curse, depending on the butt
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:05 AM   #19
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Re: Chinese Names


Just another form of non-verbal communication.

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Last edited by CarpenterSFO; 07-30-2015 at 09:26 AM.
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