Rejected Chinese Names of Samsung, Facebook, and iPhone

2013-12-11 — Good Characters (Leave a message)

The following are funny examples of unacceptable Chinese versions of brand names:


The official Chinese name for Samsung is 三星 (sān xīng), meaning three stars.

There are some Chinese terms that sound similar but surely do NOT have positive connotations. These are what some might hear instead of 三星;

三心 (sān xīn)

Literally “three hearts.” To have three hearts means to be half-hearted or double-minded as in the Chinese idiom, 三心二意 (sānxīn èryì), literally “three-heart, two-mind,” meaning to be of two minds or to change one’s mind constantly.

傷心 (shāng xīn)

Literally “injured heart.” It means heartbroken or sorrowful.


臉書 (liǎn shū) is the common Chinese name Chinese users use to tell their grandma about Facebook. It’s a translation-by-meaning name: 臉 (liǎn) means face and 書 (shū) means book.

The other option, transliterate-by-sound, is not very good for Facebook because the name sounds too much like 非死不可 (fēi sǐ bùkě), literally “not die not ok.” It means “must die!”
Example: Learn the basics about privacy on Facebook unless you think privacy must die (非死不可).


愛瘋 (ài fēng)

Literally “love crazy.” The Chinese term “愛玩愛瘋” (ài wán ài fēng), literally “love play, love crazy”, is often used to describe someone who loves to party or have fun. Party girls or party boys come to mind when this phrase is used. 愛瘋 (ài fēng) is not Apple’s official Chinese translation for iPhone but it’s a commonly used nickname among Chinese fans. 愛, love, is a good character and 瘋, crazy, is sort of fun and speaks to fans who are madly in love with their iPhone.