Chen Mingyu

Chen Mingyu

Max Zuckerberg has a Chinese name, and it’s… pretty nice, actually.

It basically means something like “Bright World”, but you can click on the individual characters for the in-depth meanings.

Interestingly, even though Xi Jinping gracefully declined the honour of having a hand in naming her, it seems like his influence may not have been totally absent. His daughter’s name also contains the character 明, being 习明泽 (Xi Mingze). The link remains ambiguous however, because 明 appears so frequently in names that it could conceivably be a coincidence. (They could have used the 泽, but given the character’s political connotations it would pretty much have been the equivalent of pledging allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party, something that you don’t necessarily want to do when naming your kid, however much you enjoyed Xi Jinping’s book.)

Couple of other interesting titbits:

The subtitles use simplified Chinese, as is current on the mainland, rather than traditional characters as used in Taiwan (and, to a certain extent, in other Chinese-speaking regions outside of the PRC).

The video uses standard Mandarin throughout, even though Chan grew up speaking Cantonese. Usefully, however, 明宇 sounds more or less the same in Mandarin and Cantonese. It’s not uncommon for Chinese parents who speak several languages to aim for a name that sounds similar in all of them, even when one is English. (陈 is pronounced “Chen” in Mandarin and “Chan” in Cantonese.)

Priscilla is speaking slowly and enunciating carefully – like it was a language class. Possibly because Mandarin is far from being her first language, possibly to make the video as comprehensible as possible to a mass audience, possibly a bit of both.


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