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This Chinese Calligraphy of name "Marta"... which is correct?


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The first says 'ma-ta', the second 'ma-er-ta'. The name 'Marta' doesn't exist in Chinese, so the only way you can write it in Chinese characters is by writing the approximate sounds. 'Ma-ta' and 'ma-er-ta' are both approximately correct. Neither is exactly correct.


Which one you should pick depends on what you want to do with it.

- If this is for a tattoo: don't. Just pick a nice font in your or Marta's own language and use that.

- If this is for a calligraphy scroll to hang on your wall, pick the one you think looks the nicest. Either is good. Another poster may come by in a bit to tell you that it would look even nicer in traditional Chinese, and she will be right.

- If Marta needs a Chinese name because she's learning Chinese or is going to live in China, consider choosing a more Chinese name, not just a transliteration of her real name. If she (or you) posts a bit more about the kind of name she'd like and her surname (or the first syllable or the meaning of her surname), people here will be happy to help with that.


I hope this helps!

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I have been told to pick a surname first and perhaps I would like it to be Xiè (which stands for thankful).

My English name is Marta, but I have been suggested in the other post to consider a more Chinese name. 

I know that two or three character names are common, so I would like the same.  Where would I start to pick my first name? Do I just pick a random one with a meaning I like? If you have any suggestions, it will be appreciated. I am looking for a female name, maybe something musical/artistic/creative? If there isn't a name that has those meanings, I simply would like one that has a nice flow to Xiè and one that isn't funny.


Thank you.

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马 is actually a fairly common surname, so you can start from that and then choose something you like for the given name. Unfortunately there really aren't any characters with the pronunciation [ta] or [da] that are commonly used in names. You mentioned something musical, so maybe something like...




晓 = dawn/to know

琴 = refers narrowly to 古琴 Guqin (a type of Chinese zither), but more generally to many different musical instruments, including familiar ones like 钢琴 piano, 风琴 organ, 口琴 harmonica, 小提琴 violin, and 大提琴 cello.

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达 seems pretty positive in its connotations...

It's fine as a transliteration, but it doesn't look like a Chinese name. And when it's seen as a transliteration, it doesn't really matter too much what the characters mean (talking about characters commonly used in transliterations and which don't have any significance when used together, not like the joke examples I gave earlier). Similarly with surnames - the context of the characters strips them of their semantic baggage. So being surnamed 马 won't make people think of horses, nor will being surnamed 谢 make people think of thanking or withering.

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