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Originally posted by lovable at 2007-3-20 19:53
Funny as I found really that even some nonchinese people like calling their chinese friends by their chinese names. It looks like a lot easier for them to be with a real Chinese:)
I'd rather call chinese people by their chinese names, especially if they only chose their english name randomly and don't really care about it. But a few chinese people I know have been using their english names a long time and really like them. In that case I call them by it, or whatever they tell me to call them.
As a teacher, I don't make the students tell me an english name; I know some (especially older ones) are uncomfortable with it, so I just say "what should I call you" or something. Does anyone have a better way to ask a chinese person's name without meaning either english or chinese? I mean, I don't care which they tell me, just tell me what you want me to call you and I'll do my best? (that's too long of a sentence for beginners)
Even "what should I call you" or "tell me what I should call you" is confusing to beginners. They are only used to hearing "what's your name?"
Ok, chinese people, maybe you could help me! (please!) Continue these conversations for me according to what you'd like to hear if you were an absolute beginner:
ME: Hi, what's your name?
YOU: Chinese or English?
ME: ....... (I want to say 'whichever you'd rather have me call you' but it's too confusing for a beginner)
ME: Hello, what's your name?
YOU: Zhang Ziyi
ME:....... [ thinking, "do I call her all 3 of those names? Or the first one, or the last two? I need to ask what I should call her, not just for the attendance list, but if I call on her to answer a question later...]