IGBOSCHOLARS INTERNATIONAL OF IGBO SCHOLARS FORUM, NIGERIA VOL.12, NO.1,

Intercultural Communication and International Cohesion: A Study of Chinese and Igbo Names Exchange Phenomenon

Ahamefula, Ndubuisi O., Odii, Benita C., Udechukwu, Chinwe N. Ezemoka, Augustina, Aboh, Sopuruchi C., Okoye, Loyce C., Ozioko Emmanuel, Nwachukwu, Adaeze P.

Department of Linguistics, Igbo & Other Nigerian Languages

University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 08034772290, ndubuisi.ahamefula@unn.edu.ng Fudan University, Shanghai & University of Nigeria, Nsukka. benita.odii@unn.edu.ng

Igbo Department, FCT College of Education, Zuba, Abuja. 08170567850 Nnamdi Azikiwe Universities, Awka & Chinese Department/ Confucius Institute, UNIZIK, Awka. nenyeo@yahoo.com, 08160620484

5 General Studies Unit, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus

* Corresponding author's email: ndubuisi.ahamefula@unn.edu.ng

Abstract

This paper studies communicative behaviour and strategies adopted by interlocutors in culturally heterogeneous situations. It specifically investigates the convergence in cultural communication between Chinese and Igbo cultural contact situation. It looks at strategies in intercultural communication and its implication in intercultural and international relations. The paper adopts the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) for analysis. Data for analysis is collected through semi-structured interviews, participant observation and personal communication. The paper argues that across cultures, there abound areas of convergence that enhance friendship, good international relations, peaceful co-existence such as evident in the Chinese name swap phenomenon, a very important and essential ingredient in Chinese intercultural practices and interactions. The paper finds out that the name swap phenomenon in intercultural relations promotes peace, integration, effective cultural dialogic engagements, which hold a lot of implications for intercultural relationship, friendship across cultures, international relationship and international trade.

Key words: Intercultural communication, International relations, Chinese and Igbo name swap phenomenon, Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT)

Introduction

The paper studies the phenomenon whereby Chinese make non indigenes adopt a Chinese name when they arrive China or come into a Chinese institution or establishment. Chinese indigenes also adopt the indigenous names of their host communities. This concept of name exchange takes place within and outside China. This phenomenon at first, portents culture shock, especially for the non-Chinese and in this study, the Igbo in particular. Naming for races are aspects of cultural identity and this phenomenon that encourages adopting names of other races is worth studying.

One of the problems people face when they enter a new speech community is communication. This problem is worsened when there is no common code between the person and the people of his/her host community. This culture shock and communication gap pose a problem, and this problem necessitated this research. In an attempt to bridge this gap, one has to learn the language in order to be considered a part of the society. In China, however, not only does one learn the language; in most cases, one is given a Chinese name as a sign of international relations. This phenomenon of name exchange has not been given attention by researchers.

The scope of the study covers Igbo indigenes in Nigeria and China and Chinese indigenes in Nigeria. Objectives of the study includes investigating the motivation for the names exchange, finding out modes of the names exchange between the Chinese and Igbo and finding out the implications of names exchange between the Chinese and Igbo for intercultural relations/international relations.

Review of literature

Name and naming is a phenomenon that has gained universal application. It is rare to see an object, person, animal, human or any entity without a name. If the object is newly introduced, a name is used to identify it. More so, naming (especially personal names) is not done haphazardly; it is given based on different cultural practices and beliefs. Idika & Onyike (2016) aver that the name, which a community is known cannot be isolated from its history, community ethos, and the oral tradition, which is the many stories, legends, songs, proverbs and myths. Onukawa (2012:11) highlights that the Igbo core values embedded in traditional Igbo names include; value of human life/existence, essence of being, virtue, significant socio-political entities, religion, and security.

Rosenhouse (2002) notes that naming is a specific linguistic act that is connected with values, hopes, traditions, fears, events in people's lives, which at the same time relay the preferences of their owners in terms of real life objects, actions, features and beliefs. For Ubahakwe (1981), names are ways of representing human experiences and feelings. They are universal entity that can reflect individual's history, gender, culture, nationality, politics etc. Similarly, Campbell (1998) explicates that useful and reliable information for linguistic prehistory can be obtained from names for peoples.

Iwundu (1994:35) remarks that name and action are intertwined. He notes, "Naming and action are not random issues recognized haphazardly in the Igbo society. Rather they form an important sociocultural behaviour consistently associated with heroic actions which have meanings for the members of the society."

Sequel to the above, Onukawa (2017) opines that anthropologists prefer to refer African names as anthroponyms, which connotes that name has a socio-anthropological significance. The Igbo names, notes Onukawa, just like other African names, are culturally rich. They are not simply labels used for mere identification purposes, like baggage tags. This is in line with Okoye's (2016) assertion that Igbo names, for example, are taken from Igbo culture. Likewise Chinese names provide great insights into Chinese culture. Onukawa (2017) remarks that in the present dispensation, the practices of the contemporary Igbo personal naming will result in overshadowing of the traditional meaning in personal, abandonment of names associated with culturally significant entities in Igbo, Anglicization of Igbo personal names, arbitrary abridgement of personal names, complete change of names etc.

However, the study of Chinese and Igbo names have received attention from researchers. Okoye (2016) reveal the social contexts/factors under, which the semantic contents of Igbo and Chinese personal names are categorized. These social contexts include: Theophoric (God related), Ideational (experience of the real world), Monumental (achievements in life), Testimonial (circumstances of birth), kinship (relational), Temporal (based on time and calendar). The paper settles that the process of naming among the Igbo and Chinese is related when analyzed or considered culturally, linguistically and in terms of cosmology.

In addition, another similarity between Igbo and Chinese names is the regards for surnames. This respect for surnames makes the two languages to place the surname in the first position when they are writing or saying their name. Similarly, Louie 1998:51 comments:

Since early on in their civilization, the Chinese have placed the surname first in a name, which seems to emphasize that the family comes first in an individual's identity. Other Asians, such as the Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, also place the surname first. In Europe, Hungarians and Rumanians follow this name order as well.

In his study of Igbo sobriquets, Nwagbo (2016) reveals that what characterise Igbo nicknames are the attribute of being positive attribute based, hyperbolic, symbols-filled, and not ready made. He opines that Igbo nicknames are not ready made products like birth names; rather they are earned and commonly shared among people in the community. The finding from his research reveals that Igbo nicknames are filled with symbols i.e. they contain names of objects and animals like anụkaanụ 'relating to animal', ite ego 'pot of money.'

Ekejiuba, Ahamefula & Ezemoka (2016) study place names in Owerre-Ezukala lect of Igbo. The paper adopts Tent & Blair's (2011) toponymic typology as the framework. The research reveals that the elements that feature in Owerre-Ezukala lect of Igbo can be nouns, adjectives and preposition. The morphological analysis revealed that these toponyms are compounds, prefixation or reduplication. The study also discovered that the toponyms in Owerre-Ezukala lect of Igbo at the sentential level can function as a statement, interrogative or imperatives.

However, names play a role in cultural appropriation, cultural exchange, and intercultural communications. Rogers (2006) claims that cultural appropriation entails the use of a culture's symbols, artifacts, genres, rituals, or technologies by members of another culture, when cultures come into contact, including virtual or representational contact. He further classifies cultural appropriation into: cultural exchange, cultural dominance, cultural exploitation, and transculturation. Cultural exchange occurs between cultures that are on the same level whereby a mutual exchange occurs. Cultural dominance takes place when a 'highly placed culture imposes its cultural elements on lowly placed culture. Cultural exploitation, on the other hand, implies imposing cultures on a group without compensation or substantive reciprocity. In transculturation, cultural elements created from and/or by multiple cultures, such that identification of a single originating culture is problematic (Rogers, 2006:477).

Between Igbo and China, there appear to be instances of name exchange between Igbo inhabitants in China and Chinese people living in Igbo land. This exchange is often seen among people that came for business or academic purposes. This name exchange is important because according to Mulinda (2015), academic and cultural cooperation do not have to be separated from other protocols of cooperation; rather, they have to be seen as components of the whole interests that are pursued by both parties. This implies that this cooperation will enhance intercultural communication.

According to Arent (2009:2), "intercultural communication is the sending and receiving of messages across languages and cultures. It is also a negotiated understanding of meaning in human experiences across social systems and societies. This implies that the essence of intercultural communication is to bridge the communication gap that exists between the concerned parties. This objective must have necessitated the idea of giving foreigners Chinese names when they come to China for academic purposes. Besides, Chinese that come to Igbo land also adopt Igbo names.

The Communication Accommodation Theory will serve as the theoretical framework for this research. The Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) is a social theory that takes into cognizance the interaction that exists among interlocutors in a discourse. The concept of social identification through communication is of paramount importance to CAT. The chief proponent of this theory is Giles (1971) who argues that the role of accommodation in communication is very important. The theory opines that participants in discourse communicate or interact to signal mutual attitude toward one another. The theory was further elaborated by Giles, Coupland and Coupland (1991). They posit that language functions as an indication of both individual's and group's need to interact socially with others and also an indication of the aspiration to gain social approval. Agbedo (2015) opines that CAT emerged from speech adjustment theory, which refers to the value of psychological concepts to understand the dynamics of speech. He further reveals that the main tenet of CAT is its emphasis on the adjustments that people do while communicating.

Furthermore, Giles, Coupland and Coupland (1991:17) opine that a language can be used to show social belongingness and social disparity. These they capture in the two notions: convergence and divergence. Convergence has been defined as a strategy whereby individuals adapt to each other's communicative behaviours in terms of a wide range of linguistic-prosodic-nonverbal features including speech rate, pausal phenomena and utterance length, phonological variants, smiling, gaze and so on." In essence, when one uses language in such a way the every person understands, his/her communicative act is said that have gained convergence. Contrarily, divergence is used to refer to the way in which speakers accentuate speech and nonverbal differences between themselves and others. Consequently, Giles and Ogay (2007) highlight the tenet of CAT it helps speakers to differentiate themselves from others and/or to communicate that they belong to a particular group which others do not. However, Giles et al (1991) maintain that the equilibrium between convergence and divergence is very important in communication and this makes speakers to assume the communicative pattern that is typical of their group so as to maintain a sense of belonging.

This theory is apt in analyzing the intercultural and intercommunication that exist between Chinese and Igbo people. In order to ensure that they converge in communication, Igbo dwellers or visitors in Chinese territory tend to have a Chinese name which might be given to them or chosen by them. This might have arisen on the desire to fasten their communication process and gain social acceptance and/or recognition. More so, when there is a similarity in cultural elements between interlocutors, the more attracted to and accommodating the interlocutors will be in the exchange.

Notwithstanding CAT's importance in verbal and nonverbal communication, some scholars have criticized the convergence-divergence process of CAT on the basis that text and talk are too complex to be stereotyped to the convergence-divergence process. They also note that the theory ignores that a part of the interlocutors might not have any sense or reason.

Methodology

This research adopts the descriptive survey research design and obtains the data employed in this work using semi-structured interview, participant observation and personal communication. In respect to choosing data, the accidental sampling technique was adopted. Nworgu (2006) opines that in accidental sampling, only pieces of information that are within the grasp of the researcher(s) are used in the work. These data are analysed with the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) framework.

Data presentation/analysis

Igbo indigenes bearing Chinese names

S/N

IGBO NAMES

NATIVITY

GENDER

INSTITUTION

ADOPTED CHINESE NAMES/PINYIN

CHINESE CHARACTER

MEANING OF CHINESE NAMES

1.

Chinenye

Igbo (Imo)

Female

Fudan University

Shanghi

(God)

Xi (gives)

Xingshen

Xingfu

幸福

God gives/

Blessed

Indeed/ blessed

2.

Onyekwere

Igbo (Ebonyi)

Male

Fudan University

Shei xiangxin

谁相信

Who agrees

3.

Asadu

Igbo (Enugu)

Male

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Yà sā

亚撒

Name of the third king of Judah

4.

Chinonso

Igbo (Imo)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wè iké tūo

维克托

Victor

5.

Ekpereamaka

Igbo (Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wàng xiāo xiāo

王肖肖

Hope

6.

Obinna

Igbo (Enugu)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Dā wèi

大卫

David

7.

Ifeoma

Igbo (Enugu)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Ma li

玛丽

Noble mary

8.

Nnamdi

Igbo

(Anambra)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Zhĕn wáng

真王

Precious king

9.

Chizoba

Igbo (Imo)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik.

Oū mò kă

区茉佧

Loveth

10.

Chibuike

Igbo (Enugu)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wŭ ming

午明

Bright

11.

Emeka

Igbo (Ebonyi)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik.

Pang gao xiang

旁高翔

A person who has a bright future

12.

Chibuzor

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Chi mai ke

起码可

Michael

13.

Onyinye

Igbo (Imo)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Chi qiao chu

吃翘楚

The best

14.

Odinaka

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Mi yue xi

米月息

Freedom/to exceed

15.

Ebube

Igbo (Imo)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik.

Wu xing ze

无行则

Star

16.

Ikedi

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wang xu

王 许

Warm monarch

17.

Ifeoma

Igbo (Delta)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Guo shang

国上

Noble

18.

Chinedu

Igbo (Ebonyi)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Zheng meng jie

证 梦接

Clear dreams

19.

Kaosi

Igbo (Imo)

Male

Confucius

Lu guang zhi

路光之

Numerous ambition

20.

Chinenye

Igbo (Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Qù tian yì

区天艺

nature's gift

21.

Emenike

Igbo (Anambra)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

lijunxian

李 俊 贤

Smart

22.

Egbule

Igbo (Imo)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

xìn xìn fù

新新服

Confidence and rich

23.

Onyedika

Igbo (Ebonyi)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wáng Wàng

王王

King to reign

24.

Uzuegbunam

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Zhānghóngyì

张弘毅

Indomitable

25.

Ugoagha

Igbo (Ebonyi)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Líjūnháo

李俊豪

Extraordinarilygifted

26.

Makuachukwu

Igbo(Anambra)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Lĭ Wén Zhé

李文哲

Wise and philosopher

27.

Chinaemerem

Igbo (Imo)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Gāo Mĕi Xīn

高美心

A good heart

28.

Chidubem

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Zhāng Yīng Yīng

张英英

Outstanding

29.

Adanne

Igbo (Anambra)

female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Fāng Wén

方雯

Multiple cloud

30.

Obinna

Igbo (Anambra)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Bái Le Níng

白乐宁

Peaceful heart

31.

Okezie

Igbo (Anambra)

male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Lĭ Kăi

李凯

Victory

32.

Afamefula

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wŭ Băo Chéng

吴宝成

Precious

33.

Chiamaka

Female (Anambra)

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Zhōu Yĭng

周颖

Outstanding

34.

Chijioke

Igbo (Ebonyi)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wŭ Yī Fán

吴一凡

Extraordinary

35.

Ogechukwu

Igbo (Enugu)

female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Mă Zhēn

马臻

Prosperity

36.

Emeka

Igbo

(Anambra)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Lĭ Jia Líng

李佳玲

Beautiful and innocent

37.

Ogueji

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wáng Shī Han

王诗涵

Brilliant and purity of heart

38.

Chikezie

Igbo (Enugu)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Chén Yŭ Hán

陈宇涵

A cheerful person

39.

Chioma

Igbo (Enugu)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Zhào Xīn Lán

赵馨兰

Strong fragrance

40.

Udoka

Igbo (Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Hè Yīng Jíe

贺英杰

Hero

41.

Nwachi

Igbo

(Anambra)

female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Pān Bái Qĭ

潘佰奇

Rich and unique

42.

Chike

Igbo

(Anambra)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Lín Zhì Wén

林智文

Wisdom

43.

Chika

Igbo

(Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wáng Jìng

王婧

King

44.

Chidiebere

Igbo (Abia)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Yùe Liàng

月亮

Moon

45.

Ekene

Igbo (Abia)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Liú Lì Qún

刘立群

Outstanding

46.

Chukwudi

Igbo(Imo)

male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Mèng Shī Tíng

孟诗婷

Graceful

47.

Chikezie

Igbo (Enugu)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Lĭ Zhì Yŏng

李志永

Forever ambitious

48.

Chigozie

Igbo(Enugu)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Chéng Shăo Bó

程少博

Achieve Something In Younger Age

49.

Okoro

Igbo(Enugu)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Hé Lì Yŏng

何力勇

Strong and brave

50.

Nneka

Igbo(Anambra)

female

Confucius Unizik

Shen Dān Mò

沈丹墨

Beauty and Knowledge

51.

Amaka

Igbo(Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Yè Xĭao Mĭn

叶小敏

Clever

52.

Chioma

Igbo (Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wú Qíu Píng

吴秋萍

A beautiful flower

53.

Obinna

Igbo(Anambra)

Obinna

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wáng Băi Qíang

王白强

Good In Hundred Fold

54.

Ogbonna

Igbo (Imo)

Male

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Wú Băo Chéng

吴宝成

Success And Success

55.

Chisom

Igbo (Anambra)

female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Yùn Dōng Xu

云东旭

Rising sun

56.

Uche

Igbo (Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Xìa Xĭao Mĭn

夏晓敏

Intelligent

57.

Chizoba

Igbo (Enugu)

female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Sòng Xíao Rŏu

宋晓柔

Clever

58.

Oluchi

Igbo (Abia)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Qí Hăi Wén

齐海闻

The famous one

59.

Chibuzo

Igbo(Enugu)

female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Pear

60.

Chinenye

Igbo (Anambra)

Female

Confucius Institute, Unizik

Qù tian yì

区天艺

nature's gift

Source: 2017 Field research report conducted by the researchers

Source: 2017 Field research report conducted by the researchers

Chinese indigenes/teachers bearing Igbo names

S/N

Names/Pinyin

Character

Meaning

Age

Sex

Igbo names

Gloss of Igbo names

61.

Sòng

Song dynasty

46

M

Ifeanyichukwu

There is nothing greater than God

62.

Qiăohuā

巧花

Flower

32

F

Chimamanda

My God will not fall

63.

Línnà

琳娜

Gem/ Elegant

29

F

Ngozi

Blessing

64.

Wĕi

Nurture

26

M

Chinonso

God is available

65.

Storm

54

M

Chinedu

God leaves

66.

Tíng

Justice

25

F

Mmesoma

Favour

67.

Hŏng

Red (lucky colour)

26

F

Ifeoma

Good things

68.

Shàn

Virtuous/ Good

26

F

Ifunanya

Love

69.

Chāngbín

长滨

County

27

M

Okechukwu

God's share

70.

Qúnbīn

群彬

Refined

33

M

Chukwuemeka

God has done wonderful things

Source: 2017 Field research report conducted by the researchers

Data analysis Motivations for the names exchange

For every action, there is a cause. One of the identified motivations for Chinese and Igbo names exchange is social integration. Names play an important role ensuring social integration and among individuals of a particular community, ethnicity and indeed, race. Prejudice springs up where there is a sense of difference among people of heterogeneous origins. The Chinese give in their native names to western or foreigners to make sure that there is a fluid free-knowing understanding in activities where association is necessary. This association paves way for integration, but an unpronounceable name from either party could be a barrier in many cases like business. According to Mr. Odii, who currently lives in China, he stated this: "giving a foreigner a native name in both areas can equally denote social acceptance."

Another motivating factor is cultural transmission. Culture is embedded in language, and thus could be transmitted through language. Changing the name of an immigrant in the Igbo setting, glaringly signifies conscious attempt to transfer their culture, norms and values into them. Generally, cultural homogeneity is inextricably linked to the survival of an individual in a particular polity. Naming is a significant step towards making people who may be regarded as outsiders by their hosts know how things are done, beliefs and perception of the people they find around them. In Rwanda, when a child is born, the child is referred to as kuntu 'a thing.' When the child begins to speak, he/she is being referred to as muntu 'a person.' From this ideology, language makes one a human. In essence, since a foreigner is new in China, one of the ways of making the Chinese to see him as one of them is through giving the foreigner a Chinese name, which can be the first step in learning Chinese language. The same scenario can be obtainable in the Igbo case.

In addition, the role of a given language in communication needs not to be overemphasised. Pronouncing names from another language could be erroneous, especially when the two languages have sharp phonological differences, like the absence of a particular sound or sounds in the target languages. Name giving creates an escape route from this communication problem. It works against mispronunciation, which could have led to frustration when severally attempted. It equally saves the visitor what we may term a 'linguistic caricature,' which involves mockery because of distant-sounding language among a homogenous group.

Modes of names exchange between Chinese and Igbo

When we talk about modes, we make reference to if the names were given based on sound, meaning, or arbitrary. Worthy of reference here is if people that the names were given the opportunity to choose the names they bear or the names were imposed on them. However, from the data above, it is evident that none of the names, both the one given to Igbo by Chinese and vice versa, was given based on sound. Fifteen names were given based on meaning. By this, we mean that the semantic import present in the source name was transferred to the target names. Instances of this can be seen in numbers (1, 2, 6, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, 25, 30, 33, 37, 41, 49, and 60). For instance, in (1), Chinenye, which means 'God gives' was replicated in the Chinese name, Xingshen, which still means God gives. In Igbo, the name Chinenye is a shortened form of Chinenyenwa (God gives a child), Chinenyeego (God gives money) etc. More so, in (6), Obinna, which means 'the heart of a father' was realised as David in Chinese (Dā wèi). The meaning transfer here is not a literal one but a connotative one. In the Bible, David is regarded as the apple of God's eye, which share similar semantic connotations with Igbo's Obinna - thus the name exchange.

On the other hand, other names were given arbitrarily as seen in examples (3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, 18, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29 etc.) from the data above. Continuing, the names given to Igbo foreigners in China and the ones given to Chinese foreigners in Igbo land were not imposed. In some cases, the names were suggested and the to-be-bearer accepts the name or roots for another one. This is pertinent because of the power in a name. People tend to act or behave in accordance to their names. This explains the reason why no parent would want to name his child Judas Iscariot, Ichabod, or Jabez.

Implications of names exchange between Chinese and Igbo for intercultural/international relations

One of the implications of names exchange between Chinese and Igbo for intercultural/international relations is the promotion of peace. Language finds a way it binds people together. Name as a part of cultural heritage creates in the mind of the people a sense of belonging, which in turn facilities peaceful living. Based on the pieces of information gathered from the respondents, all of them share the common view that when the people of the host community observe that foreigners bear their name, it presupposes that they respect them (people of the host community) and they accommodate the foreigners as their own.

In addition, the implication of names exchange is integration. Through this, foreigners are accustomed to the way of life of their host community. This, to a great extent, facilitates intercultural relationship, friendship across cultures and international trade. More so, effective cultural dialogic engagements are facilitated through the process of names exchange. With name exchange, the interest of learning the host community's language increases. This enables the language to grow and escape extinction.

Conclusion

In this paper, the researchers have looked at the issue of names exchange between the Chinese and Igbo as a means of intercultural and international relations. The motivations of these names exchange are social integration, cultural transmission, and communicative needs. More so, names are chosen voluntarily. From the study, no name was given based on sound but based on meaning and arbitrariness. The implications of names exchange are that they promote peace, effective cultural engagements, and international trade.

Therefore, with these names exchanges, intercultural and international relations between Chinese and Igbo have moved to greater heights. Igbo people's interest in learning Chinese has increased and vice versa. For countries who experience series of wars, aside from marriage, names exchange can foster peace and cooperative living.

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Primary source/ Personal communication

Respondents

Age

Occupation

Date of interview

Place

Mrs. Benita Odii

38

Lecturer, UNN (Chinese scholar)

November15, 2017.

Fudan University, Shanghai

Mr. Elijah Odii

40

Lecturer, UNN (Chinese scholar)

November 15, 2017.

Shanghai, China.

Mr. Asadu Victor

45

Lecturer (Chinese unit, UNN)

November 18, 2017.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka.