Time to brush up on your linguistics. There is nothing worse than meeting business colleagues and having no idea of how to pronounce their name, or seeing other people fumble through it. Do your research people, as it can be a sign of disrespect in a lot of countries.
More than a billion people now share just 100 surnames in China, with Wang, which literally means “king”, being the most popular, followed by Li and Zhang (which has risen by 4,718% in popularity in just 13 years ). So I would take the time to know how to say these!
Presently only about 300 Chinese surnames are used. The Chinese generally address each other by family name and an appropriate title or by both family and full given name together, with the family name first. The obvious reason for this custom is that it helps distinguish all the Zhangs, Wangs etc from one another.
The most popular Western surnames are – Smith, Jones, Brown, Johnson and Williams.
Over the last 100 years, the number of people named Ahmed, Singh and Ali, has increased by more than 1000% each.
Other widely used names include – Singh, Patel, Sato, Suzuki, Takahashi, Rodriguez, Martin, Muller, Murphy, Hansen and Gonzalez.
For some fun on a Friday – see what your Chinese name would be… http://www.mandarintools.com/chinesename.html