I am Chinese. I made up an English name “Jushine” for myself yesterday. Is it pronounceable for a native English speaker?

Monday 6 October 2014, 5.49am HKT

Amended to fit in with the blog’s style and requirements (hah!):

Answer by The Naked Listener:

This question keeps showing up on my feed and it’s getting on my nerves (no offence to the asker, who is blameless for this), so I might as well answer it.

we will wok you

In absolute terms, you don’t need an English/European/foreign name because Pinyin has already made your Chinese name pronounceable to other language speakers.

In practical terms, you have your own good reasons for wanting an English name, and that’s fine. But if you’re going to have an English name, my recommendations are:

Don’t invent an English name

It usually doesn’t put you in a good light. Like one of the answerer said, “Jushine” sounds like (or can be joked up) as “shoeshine” — you don’t like to be called a shoeshine boy/girl.

Choose a traditional English name that fits in with the times

You don’t want the jokes from a mediaeval or outdated name like Tankred (Norman French) or Sherlock Holmes.

If you’re not a fluent English speaker, avoid trippy or hippy names

Like Starflower Sunray Willowchild: you won’t be able to explain yourself to others and then become the butt of jokes.

Don’t try to have one-to-one mapping of Chinese name meanings to your English name

English names do have meanings but they’re not in the forefront of people’s minds. Choose an English name that’s completely different from your Chinese name: English speakers are okay with that.

I grew up in 13 different countries around the world, and over the years I’ve collected a depressingly long list of oddball names used by all sorts of nationalities. You have no idea the kind of crap that people talk about you behind your back because of your name. So there.

Note for commenters:

Be advised that I’m not the OP and therefore not the person who’s choosing Jushine as the name. (06 Oct 2014)

(via I am Chinese. I made up an English name “Jushine” for myself yesterday. Is it pronounceable for a native English speaker?)


Image via Gob-a-log.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014 | About.me | FB | Twitter | Legal | B14374

Updated 21 Oct 2014 (image added, jumpline added)

3 Responses to “I am Chinese. I made up an English name “Jushine” for myself yesterday. Is it pronounceable for a native English speaker?”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    Well, I suppose it’s okay to choose an English name similar to the sound of your Chinese name. One of my friends back the old college days went from Cho Tat Lam to Joe Lam(b) — tolerating the added “b” when he saw it, making corrections only if it mattered. He’s a banker in the US now.


  2. James said

    Making up your own name is a bad idea, for several reasons – you’ll have to teach everyone you meet how to pronounce it, and most people will think it’s a strange name, and you’ll be asked hundreds or thousands of times what it means.

    But… if you don’t mind people pronouncing it Jooshine or Juhshine or shortening it to Shine, and if you don’t mind answering the same question, “What does Jushine mean?” several hundred or thousands of times, then choose Jushine as your name.

    I think you would be much better off to choose a more common name. I’ve never in my life had anyone ask me how to pronounce ‘James’ and nobody has ever asked me what it means – even though it comes from the Hebrew name ‘Jacob’ which means supplanter.


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