Friday, May 18, 2012

Seeking My Chinese Alter Ego

So another Monday Morning email from Bosch China’s HR department took me off guard…again.

Chris and I were wondering what paperwork we needed for us to get work visas.  Sally (Xu Chen), our Bosch HR contact, responded with the following list.

Why do these emails always arrive on Monday Morning?

I was taken back by item #6, your favorite Chinese name.  I had to research this phenomenon to see if it was legit.  After reading this article on, I decided needed to take control of the situation and select my Chinese alias.  If I let my Chinese co-workers select my name, it would more than likely end up being  “Crazy Woman with Dogs” or “American Wi-Fi Seeker”.

So in an attempt to keep the naming process real, I asked my Media Specialist for her input.  She responded,

         “What about morning?  You always sign your emails A-M.”

I thought about this…it made sense.  I dashed to my computer, opened Google Translate and typed morning. 

I got “as result.  (Pronounced ZǎoChris liked it.  His exact words were “That’s very pretty.” I could actually pronounce and write it.  It seemed like a winner. To make sure all would be great with , I decided to ask my authority on all things Chinese, Jie  (my Chinese tutor), about a name during our Tuesday lesson.

Jie teaches me how to negotiate by showing me the hand signal for seven.
“If you would like a Chinese name, I can give you Chinese name. That would be very good! Let me think about it tonight and I will give you some names tomorrow!” she exclaimed.

At the end of my Wednesday lesson, Jie pulled out her list of names she thought were pretty. 

Jie’s Names for Anne-Marie
Ānmì ()- Ānmì means peaceful or tranquil.  Anyone who knows me that I am not either one of these. Hence, is a no go.

Yè zǐ (叶紫)- Yè zǐ means Leaf.  Yeah…I don’t think so.

Bìyù (碧玉)-  Bìyù is Chinese for Jasper.  Insert your own joke here. NO NO NO!

Diāochán (貂蝉) – Apparently Diāochán has a history.  I need to make my own story in China.  I also don’t want to be named after someone who is ancient.

Bái xuě (白雪) - Bái xuě means snow.  Snow White was by far the most irritating Disney Princess, so her name is out.

When I asked her about the name Morning, she looked at me like I had 10 heads and asked,
“You want to be called  Zǎo?  That’s not a pretty name.” 
She proceeded to burst into laughter for about 5 minutes.   She then told me that people would remember the name Zǎo.  I immediately knew I had to trust Jie and go for one of the names on her list.

She had one more name for me.

Mòlì (茉莉) Mòlì  the Chinese name  for Jasmine. The characters are a little difficult to write, but I liked it.  I think we have a winner!!

Ní háo! Wò jiāo Mòlì!