Sinology Sunday: How do Chinese names work?

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While Wang Kai’s leading role in the Held in the Lonely Castle is most well-known as Song Renzong in Chinese,  his last name is Zhao and first name is Zhen.  Instead, Song Renzong is his temple name that translates into Emperor Renzong of Song.

Even for fluent speakers, watching an ancient drama can often be confusing because of how many names everyone has.   Here’s a mini-guide to the different parts of a Chinese name, starting with simpler modern names and moving onto complicated historical names. There’s also some information on non-Chinese names and how we at Cfensi translate names.

Chinese names are grouped into two – 姓(xing)氏(shi) and 名(ming)字(zi) . You can think of 姓氏 as last names that you inherit, and the later as given names. Nowadays , they’re shortened into  your last name 姓(xing)   and  your first name 名(ming).  Historically,  they were once distinct.

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NYC to host the CineCina Film Festival for Chinese art house films

Director Qingyi Lu brings her acclaimed documentary “Four Springs”, which had a budget of 1500 RMB but has a douban score of 8.9 with sixty thousand votes.

With a focus on Chinese art-house films,  the inaugural  CineCina Film Festival will take place from April 5th to 19th in 2019.  Twenty-two films, including a series of films by director Lou Ye ( Suzhou River, Blind Massage)  and recent favorites like Four Springs 四个春天 will be aired with many directors present for Q&A.

See the scheduled screenings here. I haven’t even heard of any of the films other than Four Springs and the Lou Ye ones, so I have no recommendations. Many of them sound super interesting, though.

Four Springs theme song by Chen Chusheng:

Chen Man has a Barbie modeled after her

he cut of that qipao is gorgeous and is definitely something Chen Man would love.

Probably the most well-known celebrity photographer in China, Chen Man is one of nine 2019 Barbie Sheros as a part of Barbie’s 60th anniversary’s nine new Barbies. Last year,  actress Guan Xiaotong,  ballerina Tan Yuanyuan, and volleyball player Hui Ruoqi got their own barbie dolls.Maybe because she looks like a doll, I think Chen Man’s barbie looks the most like her. 

Liu Yifei is stunning as ever

Seriously I’ve seen like fifty romance novels with an illustrated cover that looks just like this but not as pretty.

Actress Liu Yifei reminds you why no matter how many bad movies she makes, she is still the prototype for like half of all Chinese romance novels.   Here are two sets of photos for a series of Tissot events. Images from her weibo and 壁纸控ins @Weibo.

The actress hasn’t had any new projects since finishing up Records of Nanyan Studio and Disney’s Mulan. Hey Marvel, she would be perfect for a superhero role in, say, The Eternals by Chloe Zhao or Shang-Chi.

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Casting call: Zombie Brother looking for English-speaking actor of Chinese descent

Channing Tatum-produced live-action zombie comedy Zombie Brother 尸兄 / 我叫白小飞, based on the manhua of the same namehas put out a new casting call.  Although they had a round of casting before, they’re doing another round with the addition of money from STX Entertainment.  The film is also coproduced by Tencent and Free Association.

They’re looking for a English-speaking male of Chinese descent ages 22-30 (or 35?) . Interested parties should   e-mail a  1 min video of introduction in English, a recent photo, and a resume to bai@popingcasting.com by Dec 21, 2018. Continue reading

Actress Kara Hui is still looking for her first love, an American soldier deployed in Hong Kong during the Vietnam War

I hope one day he’ll send me a picture, no matter how old, because I’ll still remember his face. And I would know he didn’t die, that he was still alive.”

Award-winning actress Kara Hui said in an interview last year that she’s still trying to find her first love, an American soldier deployed in Hong Kong during the Vietnam War. This reminds me of the story of actor Anthony Wong, who was able to find his Australian half-brothers online earlier this year thanks to a BBC report. Hey BBC, time to step up again.

“From ages 3 to 11, this girl ( you see here) lived in the red light district. I’ve seen every tragedy and joy of life. He was the first one to ask me how to say I love you in Cantonese. For a young girl, I think it was like a first love. It’s a bit tragic because he left Hong Kong the next day to Vietnam, maybe he got killed the day he arrived.” Hui said.

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Married: Zhao Liying and Feng Shaofeng

Zhao Liying and Feng Shaofeng announced on Weibo they were married today on her birthday. Her Weibo just said Official Announcement <3 while he replied “Happy birthday, Wife.”  The two will co-star in upcoming series The Story of Minglan, which released the following still after the announcement . Congrats to the couple!

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29th Golden Eagle Awards

Feather Flies to the Sky has been continuously collecting well-deserved trophies for the past year, and this time screenwriter Shen Jie and male lead Zhang Yi received top accolades. Zhang Yi shared the award with Li Yifeng, who won for his performance in popular espionage drama Sparrow. He has improved since then, so I guess the theme this year is encouragement?

 

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