Translation:What is your last name?
This is a little unrelated to this problem but I find that the words are easier to learn when I know what it means and sounds like before I start trying to learn sentences and match them. For example when you see a box in a character (ex. 吃 eat, 喝, drink) it'll sometimes mean it's related to your mouth (not always but most of the time 听 listen) or maybe I just learn better differently than others.
You're actually catching on to some of the "radicals" in the characters. The symbol 口 means "mouth"! Not all characters follow this meaning literally, but a lot do!
I'm seeing the same symbol (xìng [not 100% sure on the tone marking]) and sometimes it is translated surname, sometimes name. Here they wanted surname, but some places it seems to indicate simply "name."
If it is only xìng姓, then the meaning is surname. If you see xìng míng 姓名together, the translation is name. Because 名 means given name
What do you mean by "given name"? Never mind, I looked it up and it means "first name". I just never use that expression. To me, I thought that I was given both a first name and a last name, but in reality, I guess, you are born with a last name and are given the first name. I thought that my dad gave me his last name, but I guess in this expression that it was my last name and that he didn't have a choice. Now though in the new world, people sometimes have their mother's last name or a combination of the two last names.
Given name is a better description because in Chinese (and many other cultures) the family name is written or said first, followed by the personal or given name. E.G. Zhang Yi Mou is Mr Zhang.
Surname is last name. If you ask "What is your name?" someone could give both first and last name, or last name, but as likely that person might just give a first name. I get it though, in English, we rarely specify unless they gave just a first name and now we want to know the last name too. In Chinese this is specifically the last name, so assume someone only gave you a first name, but you need to know the last name and this is what you would use.
Tip: in the Chinese sentence, the interrogative word is at the end, but if you translate in English, you have to put it at the beginning.
Can anyone explain why 'mingzi' is omitted here, but is required for 'Ni jiao shenme mingzi'?
(Also if anyone can point to an extension or something that will allow me to type characters, that would be awesome.)
Scroll up to oVoFeng's answer to LLB1964 above, this means "last name" while your version asks about the " first name".
Go to your computer's control panel or phone's settings. There should be a language input section. It is often grouped with time zone and/or region. Choose Chinese as an input option!
It would help, beginners like, when you translate in all the first lessons in the cards what the chinese sign is meanig
There are two "xing4" words that are very similar.
姓 xìng family name; surname; to be surnamed
性 xìng nature; character; property; quality; attribute; sexuality; sex; gender; suffix forming adjective from verb; suffix forming noun from adjective, corresponding to -ness or -ity; essence
xing4, etymological character formation of 姓:
woman + life ==> one's family name; clan, people
xing4, etymological character formation of 性:
heart + life ==> nature, character, sex
i want to understand why it is written like this if any word is new to me how can i say it that is write i dont its meaning it i ok i want to know how can i say it
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This seems very rude. You should say 你贵姓什么. the extra character 贵 means "expensive, precious " and is used to mean "honourable " here. You add it for someone else's family name but not for your own. To not use it in the sentence here is impolite.
I put what is your surname and it said it was unacceptable. Surname is the same as last name