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How To Pick An English Name (Tip: Stay Away From Food)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now this. A Chinese TV network is offering advice for Chinese people who choose English names. People often do that. When studying English, they pick some new name that English speakers can pronounce, you know, like Shirley or Steve. China state broadcaster CCTV has now offered advice on how to do this. If seeking a safe choice, it is said, you can go for a, quote, "traditional name" like Elizabeth. You may choose a non-name as a name, such as Dragon or Surprise, but expect people to be confused when you keep saying Surprise.

Our editor David McGuffin once worked with a cameraman in Beijing who chose Borg as his English name, which may be fine. But be aware that food names like Sugar may create the impression you're a, quote, "stripper." And be careful what you pair with Wang. But be aware of potential complexities also if you name yourself Jesus or Satan, nevertheless choosing Harry, like Harry Potter, is OK. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.