HOW TO SAY MY NAME IS IN CHINESE - INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN CHINESE
Introducing yourself is one of the first things you learn when learning a new language. When people ask "what's your name" in Chinese, how to say my name is... in Chinese? Watch the 1-minute video to learn how to say my name is in Chinese for different situations, including formal and informal.
How to Say My Name Is in Chinese Characters and Pinyin
pinyin. wǒ jiào Lǐ Xiǎolóng literal. I (am) called Li Xiaolong liberal. my name is Li Xiaolong(my name is Bruce Lee)
When people ask what your name is in Chinese, 我叫 plus your name is the easiest way to say my name is in Chinese. In the example, Bruce Lee's Chinese name is 李小龙 Lǐ Xiǎolóng, 李 Lǐ is his last name and 小龙 Xiǎolóng is his first name. With the sentence 我叫...，you can either introduce yourself with your full name or just your first name. You're most likely to introduce yourself in Chinese with your full name, especially in formal situations.
pinyin. wǒ jiào Xiǎolóng literal. I (am) called Xiaolong liberal. my name is Xiaolong(my name is Bruce)
If you say 我叫小龙, it means that you're in a casual situation, and you're probably talking to someone who's near the same age as you, or younger. In Chinese, calling someone by their first name only is similar to calling them by their nickname, used between people of close relationships.
pinyin. wǒ de míng zì jiào Lǐ Xiǎolóng literal. my name (is) call(ed) Li Xiaolong liberal. my name is Li Xiaolong(my name is Bruce Lee)
Another common way to introduce yourself in Chinese is to say 我的名字叫 plus your name. Again you can either choose to say it using your full name or your first name, depending on how casual the situation is.
pinyin. wǒ de míng zì shì Lǐ Xiǎolóng literal. my name is Li Xiaolong liberal. my name is Li Xiaolong(my name is Bruce Lee)
我的名字是李小龙 means the same thing as 我的名字叫李小龙, only with a different choice of word.
pinyin. wǒ de zhōng wén míng zì shì Lǐ Xiǎolóng literal. my Chinese name is Li Xiaolong(Bruce Lee) liberal. my Chinese name is Li Xiaolong(my Chinese name is Bruce Lee)
What if you want to be specific and say your name in Chinese or another certain language? You can say 我的中文名字是... plus your name. Here 中文 zhōng wén means Chinese. And if you want to say your name in any other language, just replace 中文 and change it to any other language. For example, English in Chinese is 英文 yīng wén, so my English name is David would be 我的英文名字是大卫 wǒ de yīng wén míng zì shì Dàwèi.
How to Introduce Yourself in Chinese by Saying I Am...
pinyin. wǒ shì Lǐ Xiǎolóng literal. I am Li Xiaolong liberal. I'm Li Xiaolong
Sometimes you don't have to say exactly my name is... in Chinese. You can just say I am... plus your name. 我是李小龙 is an example of this. 我是... is okay to use in the following situations:
- to introduce yourself to someone you meet for the first time (=我叫...)
- if you're on a phone with someone who already knows you but doesn't recognize your voice
- when you're trying to explain why you're there or what you want to do more than just introducing yourself personally. For example, if you say 我是XX大学的李小龙 wǒ shì xx dà xué de Lǐ Xiǎolóng, that means you're introducting yourself as Li Xiaolong of xx university, and are here for xx reason.
pinyin. wǒ shì Xiǎolóng literal. I am Xiaolong liberal. I am Xiaolong
When you introduce yourself in Chinese by saying I am..., you can also just say your first name, as long as it's an informal situation and you want the person to feel like a personal friend of yours.
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How to Introduce Yourself in Chinese Using Your Last Name
pinyin. wǒ xìng Lǐ literal. my last name (is) Li liberal. my last name is Li
In Chinese, a person's last name might be more commonly used in some situations, such as at the workplace. By saying 我姓李, you are only introducing your last name. This usually means:
- you are probably not ready to take the relationship to a personal level
- you are answering this question "你姓什么？"
pinyin. xiǎo xìng Lǐ literal. (I) small last name (is) Li liberal. my last name is just Li
If you want to be polite when introducing yourself in Chinese, add 小 xiǎo small; little before 姓. 小 is as if you are saying "my humble last name is just..."
pinyin. miǎn guì xìng Lǐ literal. drop the noble, (my) last name (is) Li liberal. just Li
Have you heard people ask : 您贵姓？ what's your noble last name? They use 贵 guì noble to show respect and politeness. However, when you answer this question, you cannot say 我贵姓李 wǒ guì xìng Lǐ my noble last name is Li. Instead, you want to be modest. So you can say 免贵姓李 to drop "the noble"
How to Say My Name Is in Chinese in An Informal Way
pinyin. jiào wǒ Xiǎolóng bǎ literal. call me Xiaolong liberal. just call me Xiaolong
If it's an informal situation, and you want the person to feel close to you, you can say 叫我小龙吧. 叫我... is usually followed by your first name only or your nickname. It is a very friendly and casual way to say my name is in Chinese.
How to Introduce Yourself with Specific Chinese Characters
pinyin. wǒ xìng Lǐ, mù zǐ Lǐ literal. I last name (is) Li, tree-kid Li liberal. my last name is Li, with mu(tree) on top and zi(kid) on the bottom
In English there are ways to spell your name when you need to. Remember how many syllables are there in Chinese Pinyin? Around 410, each has four tones. And how many characters are there? Over 5000. There are some popular characters for people's names in Chinese, but when it comes to spoken Chinese, it's sometimes hard to know which characters you use for your name. So if you want to explain the characters of your name, there are two ways:
First, you explain the character by saying what components or elements or radicals are used in the character. For example 李 Lǐ Li is made from two components, the one on top is 木mù tree, and the one on the bottom is 子 zǐ kid. So you say, 木子李 to specify the character.
pinyin. wǒ jiào Xiǎolóng, dà xiǎo de xiǎo, lóng zhōu de lóng – literal. I (am) called Xiaolong, xiao of da-xiao, long of long-zhou liberal. my name is Xiaolong, xiao as in da-xiao(size), long as in long-zhou(dragon boat)
The second way you to explain the character is to say a commonly used word that has this character as part of it. For example here for 小 xiǎo small, you say 大小的小, meaning the xiao used in theword da-xiao(size). And for 龙 lóng dragon, you can say, 龙舟的龙, meaning the long(dragon) in the word long-zhou(dragon boat). We can do this because each Chinese word is usually two characters put together.