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How do Chinese parents name their children in China?

When I was given a Chinese name by my parents, they used a generational name, or a 字輩/班次。I also know that parents in China sometime like to name their children based on historical events and/or patriotic reasons. Is there a certain method they would use in naming their son or daughter? Or is it usually based on a certain circumstance?

I already read the wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_given_name, but would like to hear preferably from people in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Culture

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    There is really no particular pool for naming in Chinese. Family name comes first, which almost always inherit from father. It is strongly believed last name carry on the family. However, it is legal to name child with mother's last name after negotiation in Taiwan. Someone told me, in China, parents can pick a completely irrelevant family name. Pick up non father's last name is still not very common and bring up issue of fighting for heritage property and family belonging. Some families practice certain rule according to family tree: for certain generations, their middle character or the first character of the first name is set to certain character. Others, parents can pick any character they like, usually bring positive meanings. Some parents just open a dictionary and pick characters they like. Some parents go for a fortune teller and look for a name would bring their child good fortune. 1 character and 2 characters in first name is common practice. 1 characters for the family name and sometime 2 with exception some indigenous non Han people may have a different set up.

    actually,people born in1940s~1970s are named based on historical event, now parents name their children in many ways. they think about the character's meaning,and some consider 五行,Chinese like to have unique name. you would know about his parents' expectation to him by learning his name. 晚辈不能与长辈用同样的字来起名,否则,就不够尊重。maybe it's not so strict now,but it's still important

    they choose some beautiful words to make a meaningful name

    The male name, like " ‘強’ Qiang,‘明’Ming,‘華’Hua,健or康 ", (those refer to mighty, physical attributes) are pretty popular in China; While those name, such as, 清 Qing/ Tsing, 麗, 潔,雯,琪,曉,欣 and etc,. are used to name the girls. Parents in China sometimes ask for help from Fortune tellers coz they believe the name is directly linked or related to the future of their children, like my name....

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