Although the books of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy were brilliantly translated into English, of course the Chinese (and presumably other) names of the characters seemed to be unmodified.

This left me wondering if any of the names have allegorical or symbolic significance that would not be obvious to an English-speaking reader?

For instance in Star Wars the surname "Skywalker" implies something about the character, alluding to his dreams and future. This is similar to an evocation of meaning that a real name like "Taylor" (tailor) or "Jamison" (son of James) might create.

So would names in the stories such as Luo Ji, Cheng Xin, Rey Diaz, etc. have any similar significance? Meanings that a native of the places where names like those are common would easily recognize?

  • 2
    I don't know about the other names, but at the beginning of I think Dark Forest another character points out that Luo Ji means "logic".
    – Raj
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 18:51
  • @Raj yes! Google says "logic" is translated as 邏輯 or "Luójí" Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


Many of the Chinese names have special meanings. It is a real pity they are lost in the English translation.

  • Luo Ji - yes, Logic
  • Cheng Xin: Sincere/sincerity
  • Shi Qiang: "Shi" can be interpreted as another Chinese char which means Stone. "Qiang" means Strong or wall.
  • Rey Diaz: translated by pronunciation from the Spanish names. May have a meaning of "Beat the enemy" but this is a stretch.
  • Chang Weisi: "Often has grand ideas"
  • Wade: "great moral value" but another variation can also mean "no moral value". This perfectly summarizes his personality.
  • 1
    There's also the common English meaning of "wade" (as into water) though I can't quite connect that to the character. He wouldn't have waded in carefully, he would dive head first... Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 18:37

I couldn't find the page, but I remember one of the other characters in the book pointing out that "luoji" means "logic".

I also found this link, although it didn't specify which of the other characters' names had other meanings.

According to Google Translate, "chengxin" means "integrity" and "shiqiang" means "stone wall". I do know someone that can translate Chinese, I can ask her to confirm.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.