Lost in Translation: 17 Asian Celebs’ Epic Name Fails

Since the dawn of cinema, celebrities on the big screen and small screen alike have been changing their names to sound more mainstream or “star-like.” But with the following Asian celebrities, their English names left us scratching our heads wondering where they came up with that!

Here are some of our favorite epic fails of Asian celebrities’ English names that may have lost something in the translation.



Alien Huang — Maybe he really is from out of this world?

The incredibly talented Taiwanese singer, actor, MC, lyricist, writer, illustrator and fashion designer says he chose his English name because he wanted to be “an indefinable and unique character, just like aliens…” His Chinese name is Huang Hong Sheng. We think he should have stuck with one of his previous English names, Janson or Harry.

Don’t miss this rising star in “Sweet Sweet Bodyguard and “Lovestore at the Corner.”

Alien — Bringing universal charm to us on Earth!

Puff Guo — Any relation to Puff the Magic Dragon?

The Taiwanese model, actress and singer is a member of the girl group Dream Girls. Born Guo Xue Fu, Puff is considered one of Taiwan’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World. We have no idea why she chose her English name, but we think of her every time we’re out of breath.

Don’t miss her in the currently airing “Love Myself or You” and “We Got Married Global Edition Season 2,” as well as the popular drama “Just You.”

Puff — She’ll huff and she’ll puff and blow you away!

Nylon Chen — Were Satin and Linen already taken?

The up-and-coming Taiwanese actor and singer is starring in the currently airing drama “Tie the Knot” and had a small role in the popular drama “Déjà Vu.” It’s obvious that Chen Nai Long didn’t spend too much time thinking of the first English word that sounded the most like his original name. But if we had to pick our favorite synthetic fiber, he would definitely top our list!

Nylon — The kind of synthetic fiber we all can get used to!

Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu — Can anyone announce her name without running out of breath?

The popular Japanese model and singer thought her given name, Kiriko Takemura, was a little too boring for show business. So she took on “Kyary,” which is the Japanese phonetic spelling of the name “Carrie” but also decided to add “Pamyu Pamyu” because she thought it sounded cute. She kept adding a couple more names for good measure! 

See her performance in the “KAWAii!! MATSURi Live Special.”


Kyary Pamyu Pamyu — Take a deep breath before you call out her name!

Eugene — Because no girl names were available?

We know it’s kind of cool to have a masculine name, but we’re not sure if Korean actress and singer Kim Yoo Jin put much time into trying to find an Anglicized version of her Korean name either. Like Madonna and Rain, the former member of the girl group S.E.S. opted to go with a single moniker, instead of calling herself “Eugene Kim.” But we’re certain that would have made her sound even more like a dude.

Catch her in the recent popular dramas “Can We Love?,” “A Hundred Years’ Inheritance” and “Creating Destiny.”

Eugene — There’s no mistaking this beauty for a boy!

Kingone Wang — Is there a younger brother named Kingtwo?

The Taiwanese singer, actor and host clearly took his Anglicized name from the first and third characters in his Chinese name Wang Chuan Yi, which means “king” + “one.” We’re just curious if the royal theme continues for any other children in his family.

When you see him starring in the currently airing drama “Tie the Knot” and in the drama “Scent of Love,” you’ll see why his good looks helped to launch his music and acting career!

Kingone — He’s definitely the number ‘one’ king in our hearts!

Lego Li — Maybe it’s his favorite toy?

This adorable up-and-coming Taiwanese actor has an equally cute English name. His original name is Li Guo Yi, so he must have picked the English word because of its similarity in sound to his Chinese name. But we’re wondering if he’s been contacted by the Denmark-based toy company that manufacturers the iconic kids’ building toys for trademark infringement?

Don’t miss him in the popular dramas “In a Good Way” and “Because of You.”

Lego — He’s our favorite boy toy!

Vision — Wouldn’t it be awkward if he lacked it?

The Chinese singer and actor Wei Chen who rose to fame through the “Super Boy” singing competition put a lot of pressure on himself by giving himself the English stage name Vision. But he’s also known by the names Little Orange and Chen Chen.

You can see him in “Let’s Watch the Meteor Shower Again.”


Vision — The rising star can definitely ‘focus’ on a bright future!

Hero Jaejoong — Did he rethink this unusual name choice?

One of Korea’s hottest singer-actors of the moment, Kim Jae Joong used to go by the English name of “Hero.” But as his acting career has taken off, he is downplaying that previous name. But the dreamy hottie will always be a hero in our eyes!

See his smoldering good looks and great acting chops in the currently airing drama “Triangle,” as well as the popular dramas “Dr. Jin” and “Protect the Boss.”

Hero Jaejoong — He may be downplaying his former name, but he’s still our favorite hero!

Here are a few more Asian celebrities’ epic name fails:

  • Fanny Sit (Hong Kong actress) — Yeah, that’s what we’d want our fannies to do most of the time, too!
  • U-Know (Korean singer Jung Yun Ho) — No, we really don’t know; is there something we should know?
  • Se7en (Korean singer Choi Dong Wook) — In case you didn’t know what his favorite number is, his stage name gives you a clue!
  • Ham (Chinese Mandopop singer Yu Hao Ming) — The name reminds us of deli meat and makes us hungry
  • Passion Yara (Japanese comedian Yara Chobyo) — He lives up to his first name in his best-known chest-beating comedy routines!
  • Rain (Korean singer and actor Jung Ji Hoon) — It’s better than Sleet or Hail, but not as cool as Hurricane or Tornado!
  • Angelababy (Chinese model, actress and singer Angela Yeung based in Hong Kong) — Yes, she is adorable, but she wants to make sure you never forget it by adding her nickname to her first name as one stage name.
  • Papaya Suzuki (Japanese celebrity and choreographer Hiroshi Suzuki) — In case you want to enjoy your favorite fruit while driving in your favorite brand of car…

What is your favorite unusual Asian celebrity name? Let us know in the comments below!


Some titles on Viki are not available in certain regions of the world. But Qualified Contributors (QCs) can view and contribute to most titles. Read this blog post to learn how to become a QC.