Its hard work I tell you! There are so many names that one can find online these days and for free! I don't understand why they still produce baby names book anyway? I seriously don't think its worth the money to buy them as you'll be only using it for say 2 or 3 kids (or more if you like) and will either give them or throw them away.... And let me tell you, even if you buy it, you don't necessary choose a name from it! This is because may be the names are too "unique"/special to even say it out loud (on top of your lungs) when you're angry at him/her later for being naughty....
There's always the telephone directory if you don't have internet excess or go temple (Buddhist/Hindu) for the priest/monk to help one choose a name. But then again this will cost you several Ringgit as you need to make a small "donation" to them. OR do what one of my friend suggested, go thru the Bible (no pun intended here)! One will bound to find a name there right?
As for us, we're still looking around online. Chose a few of them that we like and could actually say it when we're angry. Why a few? Because from there we can stream it down to the ones we really (REALLY) like and that can be translated into Mandarin. Why translate an English/French etc sounding names into Mandarin? Well let's just say, when you're born Chinese, you'll always be a Chinese no matter how "banana" you turn out to be later in life! Plus I find that it's better, short, sweet and simple to look at; be it on the birth certificate, ID, driving licence etc. Our reason is why have long names? Why complicate things? I'm not saying that by having an English/French name on top of Chinese ones aren't nice but its just too long don't you think?
Recently, one of my SIL called and ask us what are we going to call our baby. So hubs just casually say the ones we chose and that we're not definitive on any of them, although we already have one special name in mind but didn't tell her yet. She was like;" all of them is nice but too American/English. Don't you want to have a French name?". Its not that we don't want a French name, just that we find it difficult to translate it into 2 syllable in Mandarin! And plus you don't need a French name to be French or have French nationality! Look at Johnny Hallyday! His name isn't French, more American than French and yet he's the famous French singer! Or Bruce Willis, his is more French and yet this actor is American. So my point it, you don't have to be that particular nationality to have the name!
Names play vital part in our lives. Without them, we can't tell who is who! Naming children happens to be the job of the parent of the child in question nowadays. Unless of course you have to follow "orders" from your ancestors, like this generation have to have this name included and next generation have to have that name included etc. Then my friend, you're in deep waters liow.... Sometimes the business of naming a child could turn a family upside down with different opinions from every family members; "this name too common, not nice, to difficult to pronounce" etc. My sister was basically on the verge of break down every time her in-laws talk about this matter before Evelyn was born! This is just because want to "jaga hati orang tua" a.k.a, give face to old people. I though that I won't face problem this until now from my SIL!!!
My thinking is, we'll be the ones facing our kid 24/7/365 for the rest of our natural lives. What has naming our own kid has anything to do with you? I don't recall us saying anything when you guys were naming YOUR kid?! And its not that the name you chose for your kid is any nicer than the one we choose for our kid.
There! Got it out of my system. Advice for future parents; naming your kid is YOUR OWN BUSINESS. Even though other family members, especially parents, siblings or in-laws, may have their own opinions, just listen to them but name your child as you want in the end. OR better yet, just tell them, "Why don't you have your OWN kid to name after?"