How To Name Your Panda



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    Join date : 2012-08-15

    How To Name Your Panda

    Post  Baochai on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:40 am

    So. You want to roll a Pandaren. And you want a name for your Pandaren. Where does that come from? Let me walk you through it...

    First Names: Chinese Or Pseudo-Chinese

    Like it says on the tin. Your first name is based on a Chinese name. It's true a lot of the good, obvious Chinese names are already taken on Argent Dawn, but you'd be surprised which ones aren't. There are many ways to look up Chinese names, most of them involving Wikipedia. Here are a few hints.

    Wade Giles or Pinyin?
    That is a very clever question, person who is reading this guide. Let's just assume you made it!

    Pinyin is the modern form of Chinese transliteration, it was adopted in 1979 and it is now standard. Wade-Giles was the standard for before 1979. Transliteration, for those few of you who don't know it, is the process of deciding what letters to use in our Latin alphabet to represent words that are normally written in other scripts.

    Wade-Giles is generally closer to English pronunciation. In Wade Giles, for example, the first dynasty of China is Ch'in and the final dynasty of China is known as the Ch'ing. In Pinyin, the first dynasty of China is Qin and the final dynasty of China is Qing.

    So if you've ever talked about the 'Quinn Emperor' or the 'Kin Emperor' and thought you sounded clever this is an excellent point to recognize you sounded like an idiot. So why the change to pinyin? Because the Chinese decided instead of using the Latin text to make the words sound like English words (which isn't the only pronunciation used for the Latin alphabet, you know) they'd prioritize something that resembles their own alphabet. So 'Q' became the letter for the 'Ch' sound.

    With me so far?


    Forget it. I personally prefer pinyin (although I'm still inclined to use older, Wade Giles names when customary - Sun Tzu rather than Sun Zi), but if you want to go down the Wade-Giles route, you know, more power to you.

    Back to the actual topic.

    1. Actors, Directors, Other Famous Chinese People

    Did you know that most Chinese actors with English first names - Tony Leung, Maggie Cheunge, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan - only adopted those names because that's easier for the foreign market? It's true. Bruce Lee's real name is Lee Jun-fan, and Sergee here picked up Junfan on Argent Dawn just a few days ago.

    What about Chinese Emperors? What about the sons of Chinese Emperors? What about Chinese philosophers? What about Chinese composers? Chinese architects? Painters? Doctors? What about... what about... keep scouring Wikipedia. You will find a name there people haven't used.

    2. Chinese From Books And Such

    My name for my character is Baochai. I took the name from Dream of Red Chambers, and I'd be very surprised if all the names of the main characters in that book have been taken (although quite a few not including mine already have). Other Chinese epics, from Romance of the Three Kingdoms to Outlaws of the Marsh, are sure to yield names that haven't been used. Hey, does Argent Dawn really have the names from all the characters of Puccini's Chinese-themed opera Turandot?

    3. Making It Up

    Okay. So you want to just make up a Chinese name? Well this is in the end an RP guild about a bunch of fantasyland pandas. I never expect a kind of rigorous historical Chinese accuracy here (I think it's a useful thing to draw on, but that doesn't mean quite the same thing).

    Now, have a look at the first two points. Look up a lot of Chinese names, get a sense for how they're created, and then mix and match syllables until you have something that sounds like those names but isn't. Take Wang and Kong and ta da, you have Kang! That kind of thing, only probably more complicated.

    Second Names: Two Words Made One

    This is a lot easier, so you can relax. Second names for Pandaren are like second names for Orcs and Night Elves - compound word names. Chen Stormstout's surname isn't that different from Stormrage, Whisperwind, Hellscream or Earthfury.

    So. Try to think of two words in English that you like and you feel kind of summarize something about your character or your culture or anything like that, then combine them. Panda-y or Bear-y words like Paw and whatnot are cool.

    Last edited by Kegg on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: How To Name Your Panda

    Post  Flaw on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:45 am

    This is a fantastic guide! Bravo!

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    Re: How To Name Your Panda

    Post  Nongren on Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:00 pm

    I recommend this site:

    Type in anything, and you'll find a full list of Pinyin words. It's very useful in making names.

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    Re: How To Name Your Panda

    Post  Taopaii on Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:06 am

    I just used Dragon Ball Z names :p

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