A 25-year-old woman from the US has launched a website to help Chinese people in choosing an appropriate English name.
Lindsay Jernigan, founder of the website BestEnglishName.com, is the first Westerner and native English speaker to address the issue of helping Chinese people to avoid choosing strange English names like Mars and Crystal.
On the website, people can search through hundreds of names, read about English naming culture, understand what mistakes to avoid (like choosing a stripper name) and even talk to Lindsay herself about their proposed name.
Users can also pay 15 yuan ($2.50) to access an online test, in which they answer 10 questions about their character and requirements for a name. Upon completion, the user receives five suggestions for an appropriate English name.
Already, there are nearly 400 people paying for the test each day.
The website is now gaining more than 2,000 page views per day. Predominantly, users are young women from Hangzhou, Kunming, Shanghai, Wenzhou, Chengdu and other cities in China, who are preparing applications to study abroad.
Lindsay’s previous experience of studying and working in Shanghai meant that she often came across Chinese people with strange names. Often, the unusual names left a bad impression on foreign bosses and colleagues, which became the inspiration behind launching her website.
Lindsay has admitted that sometimes it can be difficult to agree on an appropriate name. She explains that there are strange requests for certain meanings, symbolisms and even elements like water or fire to be represented as users names. This is the part where it becomes more challenging to agree on a name.
She said that BestEnglishName.com prides itself on striving to understand the Chinese perspective of names and personal representation, while also educating and communicating the English speaker’s perspective.
People, say goodbye to the Swallows, Apples and Cinderellas of China. Maybe.