Trần is the 2nd most popular family name in Vietnam, with 11% of the population claiming the name. Trần is especially popular in northern Vietnam provinces like Quảng Ninh (e.g., Halong Bay).
What is the Meaning of the Vietnamese Name Trần?
Trần meant ‘ancient’ in old Vietnamese, while in modern Vietnamese it has multiple meanings: Trần means ‘roof-top’, Ở trần means ‘naked’, and trần tục means ‘dusty’.
How to Pronounce Trần in Vietnamese?
Trần is pronounced like chun with a down-tone
Where Does the Name Trần Come From?
The Vietnamese family-name Trần originated in ancient China. It is accredited to the great Emperor Shun (portrayed above) from the mythological characters known as the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors.
Trần in Other Languages (Chen, Jina)
Trần is also widespread in other countries with Chinese heritage, such as Taiwan (Chen) where it is the most common surname.
- Taiwanese 陳 (Chen)
- Japanese ち ん (Chin)
- Korean 진 (Chun or Jin)
Trần Dynasty in Đại Việt (Ancient Northern Vietnam)
The popularity of the name in Vietnam is due to the famous Trần dynasty, which thrived in the Kingdom of Đại Việt from 1225 to 1400. The Trần dynasty corresponded to a flourishing of rich Vietnamese culture, and produced a revered canon of literature and poems, as well as saw the raise of Buddhism in Vietnam. The period was rife with war and strife and foreign incursions, especially from the Chinese. Such conflict is reflected in period’s art, which has a proud, nationalistic, militant and warrior-centric character.
A particular Trần, Trần Hưng Đạo (b.1228-1300), is so revered in Vietnam that is often worshipped along-side the Buddha in pagodas. Most towns and cities have a major road named Trần. He was a great general who repelled multiple Mongolian invasions during the 1200’s in the Vietnamese kingdom called Đại Việt.
Other Common Vietnamese Surnames
Read more about other Vietnamese Surnames, including how to pronounce them, fun-facts, and audio: