Did you know that politicians in the federal election make up Chinese names? Because we sure didn’t. Apparently, a lot of politicians in the 2019 federal election have Chinese names. Some are very profound and thoughtful, others sound like a translation gone wrong. Either way, you need to hear them. 

According to an article posted by freelance journalist Niko Bell, there are a number of Chinese names created by the campaigners in the 2019 federal election. 

Bell, who according to his bio has studied journalism and the Chinese language, translated a number of the names for his personal blog. He even went as far as to rank them. 

This list consists of 14 politicians that all represent different political parties in B.C. Each one has a very unique name that was composed in one of four ways. 

The four ways include using the first name, the last name, the “Chinese style” which takes the first name and moves to the end and visa versa, or the “Western-style” which keeps the same sequence of the first and last name. 

Some of the names are powerful and represent the leader well. Others are a tad confusing and could be a case of bad translating. 

Either way, you need to read some of these. 

Neelam Brar with the Liberal party in Burnaby South has a Chinese name of “Nilanmu Bula” 妮兰姆. 布拉. According to Bell, this is one of the worst Chinese names for a politician he has ever seen.

Her surname uses the characters for “cloth” and “pull.” Not only this, but Bell claims that her signs could have an error as there is a normal English period in the middle. 

Leigh Kenny, NDP for Vancouver Qudara, is “Li Kaini” 莉凯妮. This final character in the Chinese name means girl. Bell claims this is seldom used in Chinese for adults and undermines the female politician. 

Jagmeet Singh has a name that translates to “Zang Miancheng” 驵勉诚. Bell quite enjoys this Chinese name as Singh does all the proper things to ensure his name felt “authentically Chinese.” 

According to Bell, Singh’s name combines the characters for “workhorse,” “exertion” and “trustworthy" which are great qualities for a future leader. 

Birget Burns of the Green Party in Vancouver chose “Peng Biyin” 彭碧茵. Her name says “jade-green bamboo” which is playful given the fact that she works for the Green party. 

Coming in at number one is Harjit Sajjan with the Liberal party in Vancouver South. Sajjan’s name, “Shi Jun” 石俊, has all the right notes for Bell and apparently, it translates to “stone handsome.”

The best one in our opinion is from the B.C. Green Party candidate Greg Powell. According to Bell, his name translates to "soup". 

Whether it is an error in translation or has some deeper meaning, it is pretty funny. Narcity reached out to Niko Bell to find out more about his hilarious ranking of the adopted Chinese names and will update this story.

Monday, October 21 is election day so be sure to get out there and vote. 


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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