Chinese name: 中国
Pinyin: zhōng guó
English name: China
Characters: The first character 中 is an ideographic character. Originally in oracle bones, it is a picture of two flags planted on both sides of a land. Later the character evolved into a flag inserted into the center of a land. Now the character simply means middle.
The second character 国 means kingdom or country. Originally, the character has the enclosure radical 囗 surrounding a king 王 and weapons戈. The simplified version of this character consist the enclosure radical 囗 and a component 玉 (pinyin: yù; meaning: a string of jade).
A literal translation of 中国 in English is middle kingdom.